Many online businesses think that marketing is an expensive venture.
It can be if you’re buying online ads or spending money on mailers, but there are plenty of free ways to market your online store.
There are hundreds of high-impact advertising opportunities available online for free.
Online tools to promote your online store for free
Here are ten online tools to promote your online store without paying for ads:
Pinterest has over 100 million active users, which means it offers an excellent opportunity to promote your online business.
Once you’ve set up your account, make sure you fill out all the information about yourself and what you sell; this will help people find you when they search on Pinterest.
You should also link back to your site in the ‘About Me’ section. Add as many interesting images as you can to your online store, and encourage people to share them on their own Pinterest accounts.
LinkedIn is a great online tool for reaching other businesses and professionals, as well as potential customers.
The online marketplace allows you to add information about your company, including a link URL to your online store.
You should also post regularly on the site’s newsfeed, and try to get involved in discussions related to your online business: this will help you improve search engine optimization (SEO), and give you links back to your online store from relevant pages and groups on the site.
3) Twitter posts
Twitter posts are a great online tool for promoting your online store because they can be limited to 140 characters.
This means you’ll be able to share links and information about your products without going over the character limit – always a good thing!
Try writing short but informative tweets that give people a reason to visit your online site.
4) Facebook updates
You should already have a Facebook page set up for your online business – if not, go do it now! Once this is done, make sure you post regular updates on the page letting people know what new items you’ve added.
You could also create an event related to your business and invite all of your online friends to it.
Remember, Facebook users are more likely to have their guard down when interacting online, so they’re more likely to buy from you than other social media users!
Blogging is a great way to promote your online store and attract new customers who might not otherwise be aware of your online business.
Use blogging as an opportunity to write about topics that relate closely to your online store; then, post links back to your site in relevant places within the content of the blog posts themselves.
You could also create free tutorials related to your online store and upload them to video-hosting sites as YouTube or Vimeo videos.
6) SEO optimization
There are plenty of online tools available that will help you optimize your online store for the online search.
If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, have a professional optimize it for you instead! This will provide another inbound link to your online site, which is useful for increasing visibility in online searches.
Make sure any online marketing company you work with knows what they’re doing when optimizing online stores though – otherwise, their efforts could actually have the reverse effect!
7) Email marketing lists
One of the most cost-efficient ways to market your online business is through email marketing lists.
There are online tools available that allow you to build up email lists of potential online customers, then send out regular emails to those subscribers about your online store.
Make sure these emails contain interesting content that people will be excited to receive! Remember, never spam people with marketing emails – it can put them off your online business for good.
8) SEO directories
If you’re struggling with online marketing efforts, or want an extra boost for your online store, then these are a great option!
Just make sure you include relevant keywords in your online directory descriptions to attract new customers looking for what you offer online.
9) Discount codes
Discount codes are a great online marketing tool that you can use to promote your online business without actually spending any online marketing money.
Simply provide online customers with a discount/ voucher code to encourage them to purchase items from your online store.
People love special offers, so be creative with these codes and make sure there’s something in it for them!
10) Online forums
You should already have an online community built up around your online store – if not, then start one now!
Forums are a great way of connecting with people who share similar interests or needs as you do, meaning they’re more likely to be interested in your online store.
There are forums available online that allow you to advertise your online store for free, but make sure you contribute positively to the online community first before opening up your online marketing efforts there!
Techniques you can employ to promote your online store for free
We’ve talked about the platforms you can use to promote your online business even without an advertising budget. Now, we want to explore the techniques you should use to promote that business with zero or little cash.
1) Social media marketing
We’ve mentioned a number of social networking sites as platforms to advertise your e-commerce business without spending money.
You should, therefore, already be aware of the power that social media has for online marketing, but it’s worth bearing in mind that your online community is there to support you online.
This means that you should share content online that might be interesting or relevant to them, without any ulterior motive other than trying to provide value online.
People are more likely to buy from you if they feel connected with your brand online – so work hard on building up online communities using social media marketing platforms like Facebook and Twitter!
2) Online reviews
Online reviews have greater credibility online these days than ever before, which is why they can play an important role in promoting your business.
Always respond actively to positive online reviews posted about your online business online, and even consider asking satisfied customers for online reviews if they don’t offer them online.
Never get drawn into online arguments or disputes with online customers – simply thank them for their feedback online and move on.
Make sure you stay up to date with analytics data that tells you about the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts.
If any particular techniques seem to be under-performing, then stop using them and try new things instead!
Always track how much money is spent online marketing your online store, as well as what results in it gets in return; providing useful data on which methods are working best for your business.
4) Use social media widgets
The rise of social media has meant more people than ever online are using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to promote their online business.
You can tap into this popularity online by placing social media widgets on your online store’s online pages – they will automatically post links to your latest online marketing efforts as soon as you make them online!
If you have a blog online, then try adding share buttons so that people reading your content can easily spread the word about it too.
ALSO READ: 12 Tips for eCommerce Product Photography
5) Create video content
People love watching videos online – which makes it a great way to promote your online store for free!
Video is an entertaining way of building trust with potential customers, making them feel more comfortable buying from your online store.
It may also be worth investing some money online in professional video production, especially if you’re planning on using your videos online as part of a large online marketing campaign.
6) Email marketing
Offering online customers the opportunity to sign up to an email list can help you stay in regular contact with them – which means they will be more likely to return online and potentially make more online purchases from your online store.
Make sure you always provide potential customers with something valuable when they sign up, such as discounts for signing up or even free content like an e-book.
This trust-building exercise has many benefits for your business online – so don’t simply use online lists as a way of pushing online promotions!
7) Loyalty programs
You can encourage people who have shopped at your online store before to come back online again by offering loyalty programs for repeat customers.
These may be in the form of, free gifts or even special online discounts online.
The more online purchases that are made online, the more online loyalty points your online store can accumulate online – so try to keep providing incentives for people to return online again and again!
8) Ask for feedback
If you’re still struggling to promote your online store online it may be worth asking previous online customers for their honest feedback on what kind of promotional techniques have worked best in the past.
You could get them involved online by asking free panels of satisfied customers to provide ideas about how you should advertise your business moving forward.
Not only will this help you get valuable information for free, but it also shows current online customers that you care about what they think!
9) Fix problems quickly
As soon as online customers realize your online store has a problem online, they will begin to look online for a better alternative instead.
This means you always need to be on the lookout online for any potential problems online and take steps to fix them immediately – before more damage is done!
If you’ve already made an online promotion but it hasn’t worked out as expected, then make sure you apologize online where necessary and offer solutions moving forward online.
10) Think of creative marketing initiatives
As well as using standard free online marketing techniques like social media widgets, there are dozens of other ways that you can promote your online store without spending money.
You could start offering deals or discounts exclusively online; reward your best customers with VIP status; develop original online content like online reviews; host special online events, or even create an online competition!
The possibilities are endless online when you think outside the box, so get creative with your online marketing initiatives.
11) Run online promotions
Many online businesses run online promotions to promote their online store for free because it’s a great way to get noticed by potential customers.
Make sure these promotions target the right type of customer online, otherwise they will simply attract people who aren’t actually interested in buying from your website.
You could offer coupons for discounts on future purchases; offer exclusive deals and discounts on social media sites; or provide free samples if someone has never shopped at your online store before.
12) Start conversations online
One online marketing technique that many online businesses don’t consider online is simply asking their fans and followers online for advice about what they would like to see online.
There are millions of online users online at any one time online, so if you can create a post online that encourages them to leave feedback then it’s bound to lead to an increase in sales as well as free promotion!
You could also use your website or blog to start conversations with current online customers – just make sure you monitor comments online for inappropriate content online first.
So there you have it. There are an array of alternatives for advertising your business, regardless of budget.
It’s always a good idea to have a marketing budget, but taking these free actions is the best place to start.
Implementing the ideas in this blog is likely to pay off, especially if you conduct thorough evaluations and rewritings of your plan on a regular basis.
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