Not really for free, but on the cheap. Or rather, you can market your company without having to pay for advertising. And no, I’m not going to push our SEO packages here. You know by now that we offer a great package of backlinks which can help you reach the top of the rankings. I don’t need to advertise that fact on the blog (okay, I just did, but hey, I’m not going to spend this whole post telling you about it). Instead, here are three ideas you can try to market your company for free or low cost and thus increase your traffic:
Pull a Publicity Stunt
When people running a small business here the term publicity stunt, they immediately assume it has to be something big, like Oprah’s stunt a few years back, handing out keys to new cars to every member of her studio audience. However, it is also possible to think creatively and market your company with a publicity stunt which costs little to nothing.
A great example of this is BeautifulPeople – they’re a dating website which specializes in working with well, beautiful people. They claim that they evaluate each person who registers and they won’t allow anyone who is “ugly” to sign up. Whatever – it’s an axiom that most people who go to online dating sites aren’t super models, but that’s irrelevant.
Anyway, they ran a publicity stunt a few months ago where they claimed that a virus had infected their servers allowing 30,000 ugly people to sign up. The virus was supposedly called Shrek (as in the troll – get it?). This was however just a publicity stunt and it worked – all they had to do was send out press releases and they got tons of free publicity.
Make a Deal with a Larger Company
Look, Microsoft, Apple, Dell and all the like have the gagillions of dollars needed to get their message out. However, you as a small business owner who runs a site which takes in a decent living for you and your handful of employees don’t have that kind of money. The thing is though, you can gain access to the money by making a deal with a big place.
Go to conferences where people from these companies are speaking and talk to them. Make an impression and get a meeting to pitch your joint venture idea. You may not succeed at first, but eventually, you’ll get your deal and be able to market your company for free (on the other company’s dime) since you piggy back on their name.
This kind of combines ideas number 1 and 2. In essence, this idea is to sponsor something, preferably something that sounds extreme. So for example, you could sponsor someone who is trekking across the Amazon rainforest or you could sponsor some kid in the Special Olympics. It gets you free publicity and makes your company look like a responsible corporate citizen.
Now, is it free? No. But it doesn’t have to cost you anything either. Or rather, it doesn’t have to cost you out of pocket cash. In essence, you can sponsor someone whose needs match what your company provides. So for example, if you were sponsoring the guy trekking across the Amazon, you might be a company makes hiking boots and you give the guy a pair of your boots.
Making this work for whatever you do can be a bit challenging, but it can work for almost any business. For example, if you were trying to find a way of marketing an SEO company for free, you might sponsor the SEO work for a major charity. It’s all a matter of finding a way to make an in kind donation which gets your name in front of the press.