Maximizing your visibility both locally and online is essential for the success of your business. If you have a small company, it is common to have limited funds for marketing. However, with the right techniques, you can effectively market your business for free. Use a combination of local Ottawa marketing and online methods for the most exposure.

Social Media Marketing

When you hear the phrase, “market business for free” you may think that such techniques will not be effective. However, marketing surveys show that social marketing has increased traffic for 75 percent of businesses and heightened their exposure by 90 percent.

You can create an account on several social media websites for free. There are no fees to use their primary elements. Ideally, you want to have accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Once you have these up and running, consider an account on Instagram.

Post one to two times daily, giving your followers something of value, such as an informational article or details on an upcoming product or service launch. Use photos or videos to make your posts stand out and to ensure that they are visually appealing.

Get the Local Community Involved

Another way to market business for free is to become an active member in your community. Just like when you move into a new neighborhood, you want to get to know the people around you.

Consider hosting a barbecue with food and games or provide a free seminar that teaches the locals something of value. For example, if you have a plumbing company, offer a free seminar that teaches people basic plumbing maintenance.

This method lets people know that you are there. However, more importantly, it helps to build trust. Doing some volunteer work in your community also further this trust. People are more likely to do business with a company they trust.

Host a Blog on Your Website

If you ask any Ottawa web design professional, they will tell you that having a blog is one of the most important website elements. A blog allows you to keep people informed and tell them who you are. It takes a personal approach that can help to develop a level of trust between your company and those who visit your website.

The following are common marketing benefits of blogging:

• It helps your website to rank higher on search engines so that it is easier to find
• You can promote specific products to drive sales
• Providing people with posts that teach them something make them remember your website
• Engage people for ideas on product development and to make them feel more connected to your business
• People can share blog posts to bring more exposure to your company on social media

Take Advantage of Free Canadian Business Directories

There are several websites that allow Canadian businesses to input their information so that people can find these. Many of these sites are free for you to use. Make sure that you fill out all of the details thoroughly so that the people reading the directories have all of the information that they need to contact you. Some free business directory options in Ottawa include:

• Shop in Ottawa
• Ottawa Free Bee
• Discover Ottawa
• Woo Rank
• FS Local
• Business Snap

Offer Incentives for Promotion

Word of mouth is one of the most effective methods for marketing a business. With strong products and services, you will get this automatically. However, you can further encourage past and current customers to talk to their friends and family about you. Common incentives include:

• Host a giveaway for those who share your social media profiles with their followers
• Give people a referral code and provide them with a small discount if someone makes a purchase using their code
• Offer swag to those who promote you locally and online

Take Advantage of Press Releases

When your business is making a major change or doing something new, let the world know with a press release. There are free public relation’s websites that you can submit your press release to. You should also share your press releases on your blog and all associated social media platforms so that you are providing this information to as many people as possible.

Start with one local Ottawa marketing method and one online method, such as Ottawa web design or social media marketing. Once these are up and running, you can add to your marketing strategy until you are seeing the results that you desire.