15 Underrated Free Advertising Tips/Ideas for Small Businesses

  • Andre Kay
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There are many reasons why a small business should advertise. Advertising is necessary for every business, whether small or large, new or established. It persuades potential customers to purchase the product or service you’re offering by placing your business in front of your target market.

However, advertising can be costly, particularly for small businesses. It can be frustrating when your budget limits how many people you can reach with your business. Small businesses with tight advertising budgets may find it difficult to spend $5,000 on an email marketing campaign or $104,700 on a 30-second TV ad. 

Although experts advise most small firms to spend about 7-8% of their total income on marketing activities, it can seem like a lot, especially if you’re starting. 

Even though advertising refers to paid marketing, such as newspaper ads or Google ads, you don’t have to spend thousands on paid ads, work with influencers to promote your business, or employ a top advertising firm. Many free advertising options are available to assist you in obtaining an optimized and cost-free online business promotion and various social media platforms to market your products and services effectively. 

Are you still trying to figure out where to begin? The following ideas and tips will help you spread the word about your small business. 

Before we proceed, check out some of our case studies

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About Sociallybuzz:

Sociallybuzz is a leading social media marketing, management, and digital advertising agency for small and medium-sized businesses. With over 12 years of experience, we know how to create and execute marketing campaigns that will help you grow your business. Our social media agency specializes in using the power of social media to create highly targeted campaigns designed to get you more customers and sales.

Check out some of our case studies

Free Advertising Tips for Small Businesses 


Attend networking events 

Face-to-face interaction and word-of-mouth marketing continue to rank among the top advertising kinds. One of the most effective ways to meet prospective buyers or business partners is through in-person networking for small and local businesses. 

Networking, especially for small businesses trying to make their first contacts, is a way to spread the word about their business, identify prospects for growth, and meet potential partners and customers. 

Networking events create opportunities of meeting potential customers in a setting where they are keen to talk about your business. Additionally, it will keep you informed of trends in your industry.

Speak at a local event

Look for chances to speak at conferences or local events and participate in panels. Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a subject relevant to your industry is another approach to demonstrating your expertise, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and reaching an audience suitable for your business or product. 

An engaging and impactful speech can grab and hold people’s attention, boost brand awareness and prove your company’s suitability to address customers’ problems.

Start by coming up with various ideas, then volunteer at forthcoming trade organization conventions and networking events.

Utilize direct mail 

People desire genuine and palpable connections with your brand in a world where everybody is going digital. Direct mail gives you just that. You can be sure that the right people in your local area are seeing your ads. 

In this era of personalization, direct mail is much more likely to be opened than email. The reward is worthwhile.

You’ll be distinctive and produce more lifetime value. Additionally, you’ll generate more recommendations, great reviews, and devoted customers. 

Even if you might need more than just sending out a single batch of mailers to generate a lot of revenue, running frequent distribution campaigns will enhance the number of impressions you have on your audience, promote brand recognition, and keep you in their minds.

Send email newsletters 

Email marketing continues to be the most affordable marketing strategy available to small business owners. 

Advertising doesn’t always have to look like advertising. Instead of just promoting your business, think about utilizing content marketing by developing an industry-specific newsletter where you can inform your audience about helpful resources, tips, or even job openings.

With the right amount of time and effort, an email newsletter can establish you as an expert in your industry. It can be a helpful tool for sharing great content, disseminating business-related news, building your brand’s reputation, and fostering closer ties with prospective and current customers.

Do a giveaway or host a contest

A product giveaway or contest is an easy approach to encourage new people to visit and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Giveaways and contests function as forms of advertising that you can use to reach a large audience via their participation.

You don’t need huge money to do an effective giveaway. Giving low-cost branded items like t-shirts or mugs can be an excellent approach. But you have to make it attractive and trendy.

Contests work best when the prize is directly tied to your business. Consider a free product.

Create a partnership with another business 

Small businesses that pair up to support one another can benefit greatly. It is cost-free. Identify a product or service that other businesses want and exchange in kind.

Forming partnerships will offer your business great advertising opportunities. Your partner will direct their customers needing your services to your business, as a result enhancing consumer satisfaction.

Your business will determine how the partnership is set up. Seek a partner whose business doesn’t compete and has an audience that overlaps yours. You can split expenses and increase your exposure by co-hosting conferences, workshops, or webinars. 

For instance, a photography company can partner with a make-up artist and stylist. Doing this means neither party has to pay the other to receive advertising revenue.

Design and post flyers and brochures

Designing and posting brochures or flyers at nearby coffee shops, libraries, and businesses is a distinctive way to advertise your business in places where people spend a lot of time physically. 

Of course, you’ll want to abide by any local laws regulating the posting of bills or the distribution of solicitations. Also, consider distributing flyers yourself. If people encounter you in person, they are more likely to read your marketing materials, and you will get to know your audience better. You can also request a close student you know to display your fliers on notice boards at nearby colleges.

You can design free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint or Canva.

Free Online Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses


Claim and optimize Google business profile

Nothing is more crucial for small businesses nowadays than having a strong online presence. Investing your advertising effort elsewhere without taking the step of creating and maintaining an online presence will send your potential customers that are online to rival businesses.

Google My Business is one of the most effective free marketing tools available. It allows businesses to control their visibility on Google Search and Google Maps.

Claim your free Google Business Profile and add details about your company, such as its locations, phone number, and operation hours. When local customers search for businesses like yours, an optimized profile will appear on both the search engine results page and Google Maps.

Create a website 

Think you don’t need a website? A website equates to additional free advertising for your business. A website enhances SEO and gives your company a more professional appearance. 

As a small business owner in today’s crowded market, creating a website for your business is necessary for sustainable business growth. The good news is that you may easily make one using various great resources, such as WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix, which offer simple, free website-building templates. There are free tutorials available on YouTube. 

While creating a website is free, if you know how to use HTML or other types of code, hosting your website will cost you a small amount of money. However, since every company requires a website, the relatively little cost of web hosting is an essential expenditure.

Ensure you optimize your website and, ideally, put up new content frequently. 

Start blogging

If you still need to start putting your website to good use, you should start. Your website’s ranking in search results is significantly influenced by how frequently you provide relevant material. 

A blog post is one of the best free ways to increase online visibility, connect with new customers, and reach your target audience. Post articles frequently to keep your website at the top of the search results. The likelihood that customers will find you increases with page rank, and you will benefit considerably if your website comes up first following a keyword search that is relevant to your business.

Blogging also enables you to use affiliate marketing to generate passive income. If your blog is successful, you can provide advertising opportunities to other businesses through affiliate partnerships. 

Write articles or blog posts for other blogs

Seek opportunities to write guest posts on websites or blogs relevant to your industry. Pick a blog that draws readers who are your potential customers. Find the site’s contact details, and then send a short message inquiring about the blogger’s interest in the guest blogging. 

There are benefits to writing a guest article for an established blog. When you engage with a blog’s audience, you gain exposure and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. 

Since you have access to an established audience, linking to your website from your article gives you an inbound link that raises your domain authority and can improve the search engine rating of your website.

Make use of user-generated content 

The popularity of user-generated content is rising, and for a good reason. A free and simple technique to generate word-of-mouth advertising is to ask your greatest customers for online recommendations. Many people won’t think to deal with your business unless a friend or an online influencer they trust recommends your business. 

While user-generated content includes online reviews, try and make it an important duty to encourage your customers to write and share personalized content about your business.

Your biggest marketers should be your customers. User-generated content gives prospective customers confidence to spend money with your business by demonstrating that current customers are satisfied with your product or service.

Host a free webinar

A free way to advertise your business is to host a webinar. Decide from the outset what your objectives for the course are. Are they to raise brand recognition, generate leads, or turn a profit? You can generate some extra cash depending on how you go about it.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an authority in your industry, host an expert or a friend who is knowledgeable and engaging. 

If you have a physical store, hosting a free webinar brings customers who might not otherwise visit your location and spreads the word about your business.

For example, a social media management company could offer a free webinar about a developing social media platform to educate customers and create new leads. 

Create a YouTube video 

Over two billion people who use the Internet are active YouTube viewers. Signup on YouTube and utilize it as a sales funnel. 

One of the most effective methods to advertise your brand or business is by making YouTube videos that are easy to share, interesting, and educational. Make instructional videos for your products and services. About half of all YouTube searches begin with “how to.” 

A recent survey found that people are twice as willing to share videos with their friends than any other content, with 84% of respondents saying that watching a brand’s video convinced them to purchase a product.

If you do it rightly, viewers will want to share your video and get in touch with you. Provide your website or email address in each program description.

Build a robust social media presence

Social media is a key component of most modern advertising strategies. The good thing is the majority of social media platforms and posts are free, including for businesses.

Many people first discover businesses through social media platforms.

A report showed that 25% of Millennial customers go to social media rather than Google or the business website when researching a business. 

Decide which platforms best serve your audience. Regardless of the social media platforms you choose, ensure you are present and that your profiles are complete.

Post links, images, videos, or text updates about your business, upcoming product launches, or any other event you’d like to publicize. Be genuine, be captivating, share funny content sometimes, and most importantly, avoid turning every post into an advertisement.

Social media platforms allow you to engage and foster relationships with current and potential customers. Many will likely share your posts and content when you engage with current and potential customers on social media. 

For most small businesses, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are good places to start. They all have sizable user bases and provide a platform to share postings composed of text, photos, videos, and links. 


No cost doesn’t translate to no returns. Even though having a million-dollar advertising budget would be good and can guarantee a prospect for widespread exposure for your business, not many small businesses can afford to invest that much in advertising.  

You don’t necessarily have to spend money advertising in a competitive and oversaturated market for your small business to stand out. Before you try paid advertising, exploring all available free options will be worthwhile.

The free advertising suggestions in this article will be useful for promoting your business, whether you want to utilize free strategies completely or combine them with paid advertising.

About Sociallybuzz:

Sociallybuzz is a leading social media marketing, management, and digital advertising agency for small and medium-sized businesses. With over 12 years of experience, we know how to create and execute marketing campaigns that will help you grow your business. Our social media agency specializes in using the power of social media to create highly targeted campaigns designed to get you more customers and sales.

Check out some of our case studies