Local Advertising Ideas for Small Business

79 Free Advertising Sites to Promote Your Website Online

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Are you a new business owner who is looking for free advertising sites for small businesses? Well, look no further, because this article has all the information on how to promote your business.

Once you start a business your first priority is to enhance sales. But the problem arises where there is a lack of funds. So most business owners look for the best way to advertise a new business.

50 Ways to Advertise for Free 

Online Advertising

Below are the ways to advertise without spending a penny

Online directories for businesses 

In the current day and age building a small business from scratch and securing a good market, isn’t a piece of cake. The oversaturation in the market is the first hurdle a local business owner must overcome, the second is the complexities of algorithms of search engines.

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This is where building citations comes to the rescue. This is a marketing strategy where you list your page on online directories to enhance its visibility in the market.

  • Angie’s List:

Angie’s list is a website based on original reviews of the businesses registered on it. It runs on subscriptions and is an online market. The subscribed members are eligible to review and rate the products on it.

The rating is done over a report card scale ranging from A to F.

  • Apple Maps

Apple Maps is a unique way to utilize as a directory to advertise your local shops or businesses. You can list it on the maps and people can click on them to find your number, address, and product information on maps

  • Better Business Bureau

Bbb.org enables people to look for and recommend different franchises and organizations. These may include local businesses or charities. The Better Business Bureau franchise itself is based on a rating system conducted by consumers. This helps people rate different businesses according to real user experience and prevents substandard organizations from conducting business.

  • Bing Places

Bing is a product introduced by Microsoft. Bing itself is an internet search engine. A by-product of Bing is Bing Places for Business. Bing Places is a portal that utilizes the Bing network to allow small businesses to advertise their products over the Bing network.

  • Brownbook.net

Brownbook is a wiki-based business directory that works over the internet. The unique thing about it is that it can be edited by anyone. Users enjoy the liberty of adding and updating listings. It also lets you free reviews of enterprises without hassle.

  • eLocal

elocal business directory works nationwide. It enables the discovery of a large variety of local businesses due to its nationwide eligibility. The website is elocal.com allows various service providers to connect with consumers.

  • EZ Local

As the name suggests EZ local is a local advertising company that offers local businesses the opportunity to market their products. It also allows management of social review monitorings and check-ins etc,

Its indexing pages on google exceed 2 million.

  • Google My Business

The good thing about Google’s franchise Google my business is that it’s free and lets people manage their online existence with ease.

  • Hotfrog

Hotfrog is an international platform for businesses to advertise their business. Hotfrog is great for brand exposure through free promotional material, hence enhancing its appeal as an advertising platform.

  • Insider Pages

Insider Pages is a local platform. This allows trustworthy businesses to come on top and allows consumers to get trustworthy products. 

  • Local.com

Local.com has a listing of over 16 million different types of services and opportunities in the United States. The good thing about the website is that it characterizes different services according to zip codes hence making it easier for people to find those in their own state.

  • Manta

Manta facilitates small businesses by providing them with the data and information they require for networking. The online directory helps customers connect with businesses and helps them grow and build a market.

  • Merchant Circle

Merchant circle provides users tools to network and grow their business. It also has the added perk of reputation management software that allows local businesses to publish and push their advertisements to grow their market.

  • Submit Express

Submit Express helps companies with search engine management including various factors such as search engine optimization. In 2009 it was awarded Top Search Optimization Firm by Website Magazine.

  • Superpages

Superpages is a more primitive citation and directory service. In addition to being a directory, it is also a high authority site. It allows updating of new listings in the directory.

  • Thumbtack

Thumbtack.com allows business owners to connect with consumers and allows reviewing and rating of the services provided. 

  • Tupalo.com

Tupalo enables users to find the exact type of service they require with ease and convenience

  • Yahoo! Local

The portal website includes Yahoo! Local listings service which utilizes hierarchical patterns to help classify businesses.

  • Yellow Pages

The business directory is a part of a local marketing solution YP. YP was launched in 2012. They offer an app as well as the website yp.com

 Social media platforms 

Social media is another platform that allows advertisement services to websites and business owners.

  • YouTube

Youtube is a video-sharing platform consisting of a vast array of content. It offers advertisements of different websites and businesses as pop-ups and other ads.

  • Yelp

Yelp provides crowdsourced reviews of different services. These may range from restaurants, cafes, cleaning services, and any other kind of small business that would come to mind.

  • Twitter

The microblogging social media platform allows the advertisement of businesses directly or by getting in touch with influencers online.

  • Snapchat

This multimedia messaging app is also an optimum way to utilize local businesses through social media. An extra perk is location services which make conducting business easier.

  • Pinterest

Imagine having an online corkboard to promote your local business. The platform is versatile and is used by many. Here you can utilize the visual features it allows to enhance your business.

  • NextDoor

This neighborhood-based hyper networking platform allows you to advertise your business around your neighborhood hence allowing a more direct relationship between customers and owners.

  • LinkedIn

Linkedin is an employment-based forum and consists of various options to enhance your business.

  • Instagram

The optimum social media source visually market and advertise your enterprise without paying a penny

  • Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms that allow users opportunities and optimum reach.

  • Buzzfeed Community

Consider Buzzfeed Community as a hub for content, and all you require is an account for it.

Social bookmarking and curating 

Social media bookmarking and curating are done through organizing and managing bookmarks of internet resources. Curation is also essentially similar as it also includes classifying data.

The significant part of curating and social bookmarking is generating content that has standards. 

They function on a similar phenomenon to social media platforms. They have dual functions, one is to provide entertaining and quality content to users. The second is to simultaneously provide advertisement opportunities to the local businesses.

Here are a few examples:

  • Akonter
  • Digg
  • Foursquare
  • Juxtapost
  • Mix (formerly StumbleUpon)
  • Product Hunt
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Scoop.it
  • Tumblr
  • WikiHow

 Classified ad websites 

  • Oodle
  • OLX
  • Locanto
  • Hoobly
  • Gumtree
  • Geebo
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Classified Ads
  • AdPost

Other 29 Ways to Get Free Advertising

Best Online Advertising Platform

A few other ways for those who are still wondering how to advertise for free:

  • Amazon Handmade 

As the name suggests Amazon Handmade is the online platform that serves the consumers handmade products. It is the number one opportunity for artisans to sell their handmade products and conduct online business. As with most of these websites a 15% cut is made by Amazon once you sell a product. This is Amazon’s referral fee.

  • B2B Networking Sites 

B2B websites are any sites that sell from business to business. An example is alignable. It functions on referrals between small-scale members.

  • Behance 

Behance acts like a personal portfolio for all kinds of talented and creative people. Whether you are a musician, writer, painter, photographer, or have any other sort of talent that you can sell. This is the website for you. The new owner of Behance is Adobe.

  • BizSugar 

The Bizsugar website is a bookmarking type of website and is one of the best free advertising sites for small businesses. The type of content that it enables you to share is blogging content. Its specialty is its mastermind content section.

  • Bulletin Boards and Pin-Up Cards 

For Bulletin Boards, you’ll have to search a little. You might find bulletin boards in supermarkets or community centers where you can attach your business cards or any other form of advertisement. Use your connections and networking to get the most out of advertising.

  • Conferences, Podcasts and Webinars 

Going on to Podcasts and conferences will provide maximum exposure to your business and it will give you a wide platform to market your services. This could be the best alternative to free advertising sites for small businesses.

  • Consumer Service Hubs 

Consumer service hubs like Nextdoor and Angie’s list are a great place to enlist your business and get orders. Initial sign-up is cost-free but upgrades require charges.

  • Crunchbase 

If you are a high-growth tech company looking for investors, CrunchBase is your go-to platform.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing is a simple yet very effective way to market and advertise local businesses. To market through this tactic you’ll first have to manufacture an email list. This list is the people you’ll send your newsletter to. 

This is the direct audience to your advertisement. Once you have an email list, design the email you want to send. Remember that this will be your actual advertisement and should be catchy enough.

You can also use different tools to enhance your marketing technique.

  • Etsy 

Etsy is the marketplace for handmade products. It is increasingly popular in its league of e-commerce platforms.

The initial setup doesn’t require a penny out of your pocket. This factor enhances its charm. 

Although 20 cents are required for the items you enlist. An additional transaction fee is also required when a product is successfully sold.

  • Fiverr 

Fiver is the best advertisement platform for broke website owners. The forum allows people to sell their services online. From digital art to content writing it has it all.

It works on a free profile that you make initially. Once you start earning through it Fiverr lets you keep 80% of the earnings. 20% is kept by Fiverr which is actually a pretty good deal considering the amount of work it provides.

  • Flyers 

Other than free advertising sites for small businesses, flyers should also be considered a good strategy. Flyers tend to be a very inexpensive way to advertise local businesses or services. You can easily get your flyers printed in bulk. Most cafes, community centers, and restaurants have a designated space to post flyers and business cards.

Utilize this opportunity to post free advertisements for your small business.

  • Guest Blogging 

Blogging is a widespread and accessible form of media. It brings readers information and recommendations on a wide array of products.

Getting your content published on a blog will bring it to the eyes of a whole new niche audience and increase your chances of attaining attention.

  • HARO 

HARO essentially stands for Help A Reporter Out. HARO is now a branch of Cision. It provides an opportunity for journalists to directly gather information and interview business professionals. This helps them get hands-on information on local businesses and ongoing trends. Whereas you get to publicize your small business on a greater platform.

  • Kindle Publishing

Sharing e-books is a great way of advertising through kindle in particular niches.

  • Local Listings and Review Sites 

Review sites can help local cafe or motel owners to increase their worth and publicity by getting maximum positive reviews on sites.

  • Medium 

Through Medium businesses can post their own content and publicize it with ease

  • Merchandise Displays 

Merchandise displays are a simple marketing technique. They work when a business owner provides their merch to well-known forums and they display it to market the business. This could come in the form of decorations provided by a business, wall art by an art gallery, or dresses by a tailor. The merchandise is then displayed by the forum and the name of the business owner and price tags are attached to the products.

This way the cafe or other forum benefits from the display and the business owner gets advertisement as well/

  • Newspapers and TV News 

Your local newspaper and Tv News should be your go-to source for marketing and advertising. Over these platforms, you’ll get optimal coverage and might even get a few good words in. This would be due to the success story of your small business. The local news broadcasters gobble on the “local business makes it big” trope. 

Both sides get benefitted from this type of advertisement.

  • Nonprofit Donations 

Donations might sound like an investment. Yet, they don’t necessarily have to be like that. Your donation should not be limited to money. 

You could donate your time and carry out charity walks. These charity walks could be done in advertising attire with labels of your business. You could also volunteer in different events for Nonprofits while using the same attire and advertise your business there as well.

  • Other Search Engines 

Listing your business on websites and search engines can enhance your chances of advertising your product to the maximum level. These include Apple Maps, which don’t include a directory. If you want a search engine with a directory then Yandex is a good option

  • Product Hunt 

If you can develop apps and software for products, you should advertise them on product hunt’s website.

  • Referral Cards 

Referral cards are an old-school marketing technique. Yet, it is still quite an effective one. By handing out cards with your information and the details of the services you provide you can advertise your content.

  • SEO 

By optimizing your search engine you increase the chances of your website showing up on top of the search engines. 

  • Starter Story 

A good starter story of the struggles of your journey helps consumers relate to business owners and it is a great way to share your business.

  • Vehicle Parking 

Have you ever observed branded vehicles parked in streets near shopping malls trying to advertise various products? This is what vehicle parking is. The marketing strategy works due to the branded car that grabs the attention of the consumers. Once they pay attention it’s highly possible that they’ll look at your product as well.

  • Viral Contest Giveaways 

Giveaways help promote your business. A free trial will build your customer base and provide good reviews and referrals

  • Workshops 

Workshops can be arranged in community centers or any platform that can accommodate the invited people. The purpose of your workshop should be information and providing the consumers with material to gobble upon.

While you inform them of your services you are giving them an opportunity to spend cash on them.

This way you can enhance your customer base only by explaining the hows and whats of what you do.

  • Yard Signs 

The optimal form of physical advertising is a yard sign. If you have worked on a house or are a landscaper you can easily take permission from your clients to advertise the job you’ve done. Retailers can also use this type of advertisement technique to advertise their services. They can utilize tree strips to put up signs. Although an important thing is to check with rules and regulations regarding putting up signs in public places.

Tips to Maximize Free Advertising 

  • Tip 1: Balance short-term speed with long-term impact. 

Paid ads always prove to be more fruitful than free ones. This is where business owners are mistaken and spend more to attain short-term success and don’t consider the economic and profit factors of free sites.

  • Tip 2: Barter for cross-promotion. 

Instead of exchanging cash exchange benefits. This will help in long-term growth instead of short-term monetary benefit.

  • Tip 3: Cut costs with marketing tools. 

Use technology instead of manual labor for appropriate tasks to save time and money

  • Tip 4: Combine paid with free for bigger impact.

Promote content to get better organic output on social media search. Set aside a certain amount of cash to increase engagement on the content.

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