Advertising a Business Online at No Cost

There is a lot that can be cone without any expense when advertising a business online.

Perhaps one of the main thoughts that puts many of us off advertising a business online is the expense associated with it. We are all aware how expensive even short TV ads are. Placing even a small ad in a local paper can become costly if ran over a long period of time too. In the online world there is a variety of ways to advertise. Some ads pop up on our screens, others are apparent on most Web sites, some you read, some you watch and listen to, and some take you to another site. In this article only free forms of advertising will be touched upon.

As can be expected in the physical world, as well as online, certain ads are more powerful, than others. The reasons for these are in some instances patently clear, and sometimes not so obvious. When an online business is started with a limited budget, it is natural to begin with fairly basic forms of advertising. The simplest way to do so is to include a four to six line ad for your business in an e-mail signature. You can choose to include this in every e-mail you send. To increase its effectiveness you could offer an incentive, such as a free e-book or a video to encourage visitors to go to your site.

Another simple way is to include a Tell-A-Friend feature on your Web site. If your content is viewed as good by others, they will happily recommend it onwards. Those who have been recommended a certain Web site, blog, or other, are less hesitant to visit them. A bribe, i.e. an incentive, giving them something for free gives a good reason to do so.

Classified Ads are another way to attract traffic. Visitors to these sites are already looking for what you are offering, and in many cases they are ready to buy. There are many of these sites and it can become rather tedious to keep placing ads on them, as they expire after a few days. In addition you also want your ad to appear as high up the list as possible. It is a good idea to get used to classified ads, as they do produce traffic. However due to their time-consuming nature, there are other forms of free advertising which are more effective with regards to the effort invested in them.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what you should logically pour a lot of hours into. When done properly and consistently you can end up on the first page of Google without any financial investment. If you consider the fact that 80% of people do not look further than the first page of their search results, this is definitely worth investing in. Free traffic is a goldmine. Apart from that, SEO is a component of most other forms of advertising. You should even consider looking into SEO before deciding how or what to name your business. Getting familiar with SEO sooner than later in your online marketing career will pay dividends.

Article marketing is a good way forward especially if you have some information to share and know how to put this down on paper in an interesting and clear manner. The more intriguing this piece of writing is, the more likely it is that it will be added as content to various Web sites. Greater exposure can be achieved by article syndication, i.e. posting an article to several article marketing sites.

Press Relapses are a great way to promote your Web site, and so increase traffic to it. Writing them will take some practice and getting used to if this is something you have not done before. It is worth the effort, as press releases can remain on the Internet for years.

At the time of writing this, videos are all the rage. Again they are a great off-page SEO technique. Uploading a video to YouTube with your URL gives you a link pointing to your Web site from a page rank nine site. Admittedly it can take a few hours to get to grips with how to go about making them and getting hold of all the required software, graphics, etc. After the production of a couple of videos it becomes a lot easier. The only remaining challenge is content. Aim to make it as high in quality as you can and include valuable information in order to attract traffic to your Web site.

Reality style videos need not take long to make, however you will need a video camera. If you are new to this, practise until you feel comfortable and appear natural to the rest of the world. It is well worth remembering that first impressions have a long-lasting effect. A messy background, a dishevelled look, unsavoury use of any language, unclear audio, and other distractions should all be avoided. A good video can get lots of views, and this can happen in a short period of time. The faster you establish a good reputation in your niche, the more frequently your video will get viewed.

Social Networking is another area of online advertising that has climbed to new heights in no time at all. We have all heard of Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. There are countless others. Signing up with them enables you to have your URL in your profile.

The main reason to have a Web site is to promote a business be it a product/s, a service, or both. Like customers in a shop, visitors are the lifeblood of an online business. In order for the visitors to find our virtual shop we need to take steps to make it easier for them. This is where advertising comes in. To get organic traffic, SEO needs to be fully employed and put in place – the best possible way forward. In addition there are several other free ways of advertising a business online that will keep your Web site busy with visitors, and potential customers.

4 Effective Ways To Advertise Your Business Online

Every business owner knows that advertising their business is critical to running a profitable business. It does not matter whether this business is internet-based (online) or a ‘brick and mortar’ business, a business needs to regularly advertise its products and/or services. Advertising is what draws customers to any business. If customers are not aware of your business, how will they be able to purchase the products or services you offer?

What then are the ways to bring your business to the attention of your prospective customers? We will be looking at this mostly perspective of a business that is internet-based. However, the same methods can be easily used to advertise an ‘offline’ business. We will be looking at four different ways of advertising your business to get the attention of customers

Pay Per Click (PPC Advertising)

Since Google came out with their search engine in the late 1990s, PPC advertising has never been the same again. With PPC, your text advertising is displayed to online searchers on the particular search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) and you pay for each click made by the searchers. Early on PPC was a very profitable means of advertising your business. However, in recent times, it has become increasingly challenging to run profitable PPC campaigns using the search engines. Many business owners have found out that running a profitable PPC campaign is better left to professional PPC management companies,

Facebook PPC

With the introduction of Facebook PPC in 2008, PPC advertising underwent another revolution. Users have found Facebook PPC to be more relevant and profitable because of the high levels of targeting that is possible. Users can target their audience by various attributes such as age, sex, interests etc. Facebook PPC has really exploded in the last few years. As a result many online business owners are moving their PPC campaigns from Google & Bing to Facebook PPC to experience the high Return On Investment (ROI)

Online Classifieds

Based on the format of traditional newspaper classified advertising, online classifieds are also useful for generating leads for the business owner. This method of advertising has also become an increasingly popular method of advertising your business. There are various online classified advertising websites all over the Internet. You can find relevant classified websites through a Web search. Make sure to include your niche to get more targeted results.

Press Releases

Press Releases are also useful in advertising your business. Press releases are especially suitable for new product launches and/or new services. There are a large number of Press Release agencies. It is highly advised to have an expert write your first release to you so that you can have good idea how PRs are written and formatted. One great thing about Press Releases is that you can continue to receive referrals and traffic for a long time from the same Press Release. This is due to the fact that for a fee Press Release agencies will help you distribute your Press Release to a massive database of Press Release Agencies sites and other news sites.

Advertising Any Business Offline With Business Cards And Fliers

If you’re promoting any online business with out utilizing business cards then you are doing yourself a disservice of fairly significant proportions. It really is an easy comfortable way to communicate with your potential leads. It is also very cheap in comparison to other methods. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to distribute you business cards. You can give them out to just about anyone you come across. Most people are agreeable to taking and reading a business card if it is just handed to them. Also, you can leave them in conspicuous places where peoples natural curiosity will cause them to pick one up and take it with them.

What are some of the resourceful ways you can get busy with business cards? Well one creative method though not to pleasant to talk about is to leave them in public rest rooms. I leave a few anytime I am in one. In my own business Infinity Downline I find activity to my sales funnel following such placements. You can also leave your business cards in book stores in magazines or books that have to do with the nature of your business. You can leave business cards in cafes and eateries under the salt shakers or such where patrons following you can find them. Or you can leave one with your tip to give to your server if you think your business has appeal to them.

Another good method I like are drive throughs. Think about all of the drive throughs you zip through. You have fast food restaurants, banking institutions ATMs to name a few usually busy situations where people drive through in their vehicles. What you can do is place a couple of your business cards where they can be discovered by the next few people behind you. I have never found yet a drive through where you can’t locate a slot, crack, nook or recess to secretly leave some business cards in.

These two preceding methods if you think about it requires no extra time in your schedule or activities than what you are already doing. All advertising is, whether it be online or offline is communication. If you do these easy methods methodically and every time, it can add up to hundreds if not thousands of eyeballs looking at your business per year from no more effort than what you are already doing. If you have your business websites URL on your card this can create another easy stream of traffic to your website.

Sometimes with business cards rather than putting information on them about my business I put a small appealing contextual ad on them instead. This is designed to get a person curious enough to check out my website later when they are at their computer. On these kind of business card ads I usually only list my business websites URL anyway so if they are curious they have to go online to my website to find out about what it is I am marketing.

I typically like to generate a sense of urgency with my text ad in who ever is looking at my cards. This is accomplished by stating there is a bonus listed on my website that is soon expiring. This lets them know they had better visit my site soon before it is too late and they lose the chance to get my bonus. Often people will visit just to satisfy their curiosity and find out what the bonus is all about if nothing else.

Another thing I do with my business that can be applied to any business is to promote it with colorful or black and white fliers, or circulars as they are sometimes called. These fliers can be placed in local businesses that have bulletin boards. You may need to get permission from the owner first though. If you have any doubt you should definitely ask them before tacking them up. If they do not want them their, they will just throw them a way, and that can be a waste of your time and money.

Often local business establishments have their bulletin boards located right in the entry way of the store and are usually open to the general public. You see all manner of ads from people from furniture sales to home based businesses. Walmart use to have public bulletin boards here in Oklahoma, but they ceased the practice and now entry store boards are only utilized by them and not open to use by the public.

Occasionally businesses have display boards that are only their for their local patrons business cards. Old fashioned Mom and Pop cafes are famous for this practice and these types of boards are usually smaller than the typical bulletin board and are plastered with local businesses business cards. They are usually placed near the cash register where people can look at them while they are waiting to pay their bill.

You can if you have enough aggressive boldness, personally hand out your fliers in community areas like busy city sidewalks. This is effective when large groups of people are using the sidewalks in their daily activities. To give you a good example of this, think of how many movies you have seen depicting hoards of people all transversing the avenue sidewalks of New York City. You could probably pass out a thousand in an hour with hardly any walking on your part just letting people pass you by and handing them one.

A great deal of your evening night clubs and popular bars have bulletin boards as well. These are usually good places to place your fliers. If you are one of the bars patrons and frequent it often, you can do some low key networking as well while you’re out having a good time. Word of mouth is still a very effective low cost offline method to communicate your business. In a social situation it can be done in a manner that generates curiosity and questions where you do not have to chase a person to tell them about your business. People are naturally curious about what other people do for a living so the nature of your business can easily come up in a conversation.

While on the topic of mixing it up socially. College students are notorious for getting out and about with their friends and meeting new people. A great number of college students have a social networks that transverse their personal sphere of influence many times over. Another thing in relation to college campuses is that there are many many bulletin boards to be found on them. In my area the University of Oklahoma is prevalent and they have bulletin boards not only inside in most buildings but outside on public walk ways too. An additional tip, you can add little tear off strips at the bottom of your fliers that each contain your contact info, whether that be a phone number, email address or the URL of your website.

By the way if you are going to use a phone number as your contact, you might consider using a voice mail that is toll free to your prospect. In this method you can have an outgoing promotional message of 2 or 3 minutes in duration that is really there just to garner interest in your business and to possibly elicit to your prospect into leaving their own contact details where you can call them back. This is a good way to pre-sell your business where you do not have to waste time doing it live over the phone.

If you choose to do a toll free voice mail make sure you include a call to action for your prospect to leave their name and phone number as often they won’t unless asked or told to. Then you want to call them back as soon as you can. In this way you might catch them before their enthusiasm has started to fade and it may be you find when you call them you have a new customer to your business. Or in my case a new member to my affiliate business.

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