Utilizing Free Advertising to Cut Start Up Costs

In business nothing is more important than the bottom line. With the cost of business rising, the line for spending definitely needs to be the lowest possible. Start-ups are in a position today that twenty years ago was non existent. With internet marketing constantly being honed and simplified, start-ups can now advertise for free and get their business started right. Here are a few ways of marketing your business online without spending a dime:

Social Networks:

I am starting with social networks for one reason; it should be where you start. Social networking can allow your startup to reach thousands of people in seconds. However that is only once you have it set up properly.

Start by setting your social up during the planning of your start-up. Once you know what your business will be about, the product or service you will be offering and the areas you will be offering it in, sign up for the popular networks. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are the current monsters of social networking. You should create your account and begin adding users, finding followers, and following others (follow SimplifyThis on Facebook now) to begin building a database of people who will see your ads and posts later.

In the beginning you don’t want to “pitch” any of your followers, in case you change your services, products or company direction during planning. Don’t give out too many details as details may change and that will affect your credibility with your targeted audience. You want to make your presence known but not seem like a spammer. The same goes for when you launch. The idea is to get them to see your business, products, and services without feeling like they are bullied. Don’t mass IM with unsolicited offers, simply posting a status update, wall post, or tweet with new products or services will allow you to reach everyone without making them feel beat up by your ads. Be sure to avoid these Facebook marketing mistakes, when starting your social media campaign.

Free Classifieds:

There are hundreds of free classifieds sites online. As a matter of fact more companies advertise through them rather than the newspapers. Craigslist, Yahoo, and Google Places, are all free and great ways to get your business listed and searchable. Yellowpages.com also offers free listing that can bring your business up in search results. Though you may not have the best placement in searches, it is a start as you take your marketing plan step by step. To get started, read up on some tips for marketing your local business on search engines.

Once you are in a position to invest more money in marketing you can upgrade those accounts for better placement either on a pay per click or flat rate. Determine which of the two rates will work better for you and which is affordable. Marketing can bring you business but too much too soon can put you out of business as well.

Blogs:

There is a craze that until recently, most companies didn’t utilize. Blogs are a great way to market your product or service. With every business there is the opportunity to discuss it. By utilizing blogs you can express your opinions as to why your product is better or why your service is necessary. You can inform your followers of industry news and changes that they may find interesting or imperative. If you have a knack for writing you may even post on other blogs with links back to your product site. This will bring more access to your page. Studies show that blogs bring 55% more traffic to a site than one without one. For a start-up that is a much needed 55%.

Viral Video:

Some people just aren’t readers. With that said, the popularity of viral videos appeals to both those who read and those who watch. Posting a video on your networks or YouTube can bring much needed traffic to your site. Whether it is a commercial or a video that you think will generate traffic, posting a video that may go viral is another free way to market your business.

Whether you are offering a product or service, there are many ways to freely market online. Use the web as a tool to get your business name and brand out to the consumers and be sure to utilize the free marketing. If you are ready to take a step towards paying for advertising, be sure you know the true cost and that you choose a plan that fits your budget.

Amy Southerland is a career advisor and writes for The Best Degrees, a website providing essential information, rankings and reviews of many programs, including accredited online business degrees.

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