Zero to Hero: 50 Free Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses

2September 2023

Promoting a local business for free requires creativity and resourcefulness.

Here are 50 ideas for free promotion:

  1. Google My Business: Claim your Google My Business listing to ensure you appear in local search results and on Google Maps.
  2. Local Directories: List your business in local directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.
  3. Social Media: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to reach and engage with customers.
  4. Hashtags: Use local hashtags on your social media posts to increase their visibility.
  5. Blogging: Write valuable content related to your industry to attract website visitors.
  6. Email Marketing: Collect email addresses from your customers and send them updates and promotions.
  7. Referral Program: Encourage your customers to refer a friend.
  8. Networking: Attend local events and network with other business owners and potential customers.
  9. Free Samples: Give away free samples of your product or service.
  10. Contests: Run a contest on social media for free promotion.
  11. Webinars or Workshops: Host free webinars or workshops to educate your audience about your product/service.
  12. Community Events: Participate in community events, festivals, and fairs.
  13. Local Media: Reach out to local newspapers, radio, or TV stations.
  14. Collaborations: Collaborate with other local businesses for joint promotions.
  15. Guest Blogging: Write a guest post for a blog that your target customers read.
  16. LinkedIn Networking: Connect and engage with potential customers or partners on LinkedIn.
  17. Pinterest Boards: Create Pinterest boards related to your business.
  18. SEO: Optimize your website for search engines.
  19. YouTube: Create video content about your business and upload it on YouTube.
  20. Quora: Answer questions related to your industry on Quora.
  21. Reddit: Engage in relevant subreddits to promote your business.
  22. Facebook/LinkedIn Groups: Join relevant groups and actively participate.
  23. Instagram Stories: Use Instagram Stories to engage with your followers.
  24. Local Partnerships: Partner with local businesses to cross-promote each other.
  25. Influencer Partnerships: Partner with local influencers for promotion.
  26. Business Cards: Give out business cards to everyone you meet.
  27. Public Speaking: Speak at local events or conferences.
  28. Community Service: Volunteer in your community or sponsor a local event.
  29. Customer Testimonials: Ask your customers for testimonials and display them on your website.
  30. Press Release: Write a press release about something newsworthy in your business and distribute it to local media.
  31. Local Meetups: Attend local meetups related to your industry.
  32. Window Displays: Create an eye-catching window display if you have a physical location.
  33. Flyers: Distribute flyers in high-traffic areas.
  34. Participate in Trade Shows: Although the booth may cost money, speaking at them might be free.
  35. Host an Event: Host a free event at your business location.
  36. TikTok Videos: Create engaging TikTok videos to attract a younger audience.
  37. Podcast: Start a podcast related to your industry.
  38. Local Business Associations: Join and participate in local business associations.
  39. Answer HARO Queries: Respond to Help A Reporter Out (HARO) queries for free PR.
  40. Participate in Online Forums: Engage in industry-specific online forums.
  41. Teach a Class: Teach a free class at a local community center or library.
  42. Public Bulletin Boards: Use public bulletin boards in community centers, libraries, grocery stores, laundromats, or coffee shops to advertise your services or events.
  43. Vehicle Branding: If you have a vehicle, use it as a moving billboard. Even a simple window decal could catch people’s attention.
  44. Cross-Promotion with Complementary Businesses: Find a business whose products or services complement yours and agree to promote each other.
  45. Charity Events: Sponsor or participate in a local charity event. 
  46. Offer Expert Advice: Offer your expert advice or comments on trending topics in your industry.
  47. Online Directories: Besides local directories, also list on free online business directories.
  48. Host a Local Meetup Group: Use platforms like Meetup to host events related to your industry.
  49. Create a Free Mobile App: If you have the skills, create a useful mobile app related to your business.
  50. Create Infographics: These are shareable and people love them. You can use free tools to create them.

Remember, it’s not just about promoting your business, it’s also about building relationships with your customers and local community. Offering value and being helpful can go a long way in building a strong customer base.

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