Often times a smaller company feels like it can’t compete with a larger corporation in regards to advertising.  While those bigger companies might have a lot more money to put into a marketing budget, not all promotion comes at a price.  There are still plenty of ways to market FREE and still create a huge upswell in followers, sales and raising awareness for your brand.

Yes, I said absolutely FREE.

There are so many endless possibilities to bring visibility to your brand or promote your products, especially online.  If an event has the potential for networking, chances are you can fashion it into a perfect marketing weapon for your arsenal.  There are so many free advertising ideas available today but let’s take a look at a few very important ones.

Free Marketing Avenues

Business Card Drawings – This is an oldie but a goodie.  Leave a fishbowl out near your register or reception desk and have people drop their business card in for a chance to win a prize.  Each month you can draw a card and reward that person with anything from a lunch to some of your own merchandise or even a gift certificate for your services.  This is a great way to build your email marketing list and keep an ongoing relationship with your consumer base.  By sending out email newsletters you can build brand loyalty and create an everlasting impression.

Online Contest – This is especially fantastic if you don’t possess a brick and mortar store to collect business cards or if you want to increase your social media followers.  Online contests are really just digital fishbowls – offering a prize in exchange for their emails or them following you on social media and interacting with you.  Again, the prizes don’t need to be fancy – some of your merch or a complimentary service will do just fine.  One of the most popular is on Instagram where you ask them to follow your page and then tag 3 friends in the comment section and they will pick a winner from that.  It’s a fabulous way to increase your followers organically.  You can even have them fill out a brief form so you have their email addy for your future marketing.

Charity Work – Donate some of your time by helping out with local charity events.  The public will start to associate your brand with doing good for the community at large and will form a positive image of your company.  You can also use some pictures from the event to create posts on your site or blog and spread awareness for the cause as well as your brand by sharing online.  A win-win!  Sometimes you might even be able to donate your products or services to a fundraiser or raffle as well.  You will feel amazing for helping others and help solidify your business image all in one shot.

Join The Team – Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce or other business organizations in your area to increase your business visibility.  There may be a small membership fee to start but the networking opportunities and interactions with the community more than make up for it.  Try and host a happy hour networking event through one of these groups where you can offer a raffle, apps and drinks and even trust building games to attendees.  This makes a lasting impression and is far more engaging than the traditional “stand around and possibly interact with others” meetups.

Free Press – Sign up for Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and obtain free press for your brand.  HARO is a platform where industry leaders and specialists can respond to story requests.  This is a great way to score free interviews for your industry or topics you are involved in and be seen as a thought leader while promoting your company.

Customer Appreciation Program – If you don’t have one, start one immediately.  This is THE most amazing free marketing tool you could possible have.  You are simply rewarding people for being loyal customers.  The wonderful thing about this is truly two-fold.  One, the possibilities are endless.  You could offer a monthly contest for customers to win prizes, feature them online, send them discounts or samples and even give them weekly merchandise like T-Mobile.  One of the greatest examples of a customer appreciation program is T-Mobile Tuesdays.  Every Tuesday, customers open their app and are rewarded with free food, coupons, services and even T-Mobile swag simply for being a customer of the the phone service.

The second reason this is amazing is because EVERYONE loves free stuff.  People actually get excited when they think they are getting a discount or cool merch.  It revs up their excitement to see what that week holds as well as to obtain items or use the free gifts.  What you can offer or how you implement a customer appreciation program, or customer appreciation day, is truly only limited by your own creativity.

These are only a few ideas of extremely effective free marketing strategies but the sky is the limit for what you can do or achieve.  Master the ones above and you will find more opportunity staring you directly in the face through these channels.  The most important thing to remember is to be completely genuine with your community and your audience.  Do these things because you truly appreciate your customers and want to help your community.  If you come from a place of simply running a marketing ploy to get more sales, consumers will smell it a mile away and steer clear.

Authenticity is the key to making all marketing a rousing success.


If you find yourself a little short on the time needed to launch a full scale marketing plan or feel like you might be missing something, give us a call and find out how we can help.


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