Okay, it’s not a secret that marketing budgets globally have taken a hit over the last couple of years due the economic downturn or ‘credit crunch’, however that shouldn’t mean you stop advertising your business, why not take advantage of free advertising!
You may have already subscribed to the idea that free advertising is a waste of time and phases like ‘you get what you pay for’, ‘no such thing as a free lunch’, or even ‘you don’t get anything for free’ are true. Well perhaps they are in most things in life, however, not so in terms of business advertising.
For the first time in business history the Internet has enabled all businesses regardless of size, brand, and profit margins to compete for customers on a level playing field. For example, if you type in ‘kids toys’ in Google you’ll see the big well-known brands like Hamleys are towards the bottom of the page, whilst some smaller online toy shops are above. Then when you consider this keyword phrase achieves over 368,000 global and 74,000 local searches in the UK every month (source: Google Keyword Tool External) it really does give smaller businesses significant opportunities, i.e. without having to spend multi-millions on TV campaigns.
So how can you take advantage of free advertising?
Simple, just start with the basics. Make sure you have a well designed and constructed website with unique content that people will find useful and informative, and remember to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Next thing is to promote that website. This is what a lot of people miss and don’t spend time on, however, launching your business on the net is just like opening a shop in the high street, i.e. you need to promote its existence to get customers to visit you and make that all important purchase.
Online business directories are a key part of any free advertising strategy. But there is a health warning with this, i.e. you must make sure you use trusted, reputable and human edited directories like Wampit, Yell, Free Index, Qype and My Local Services. There are lots of other directories out there but if they aren’t trusted then they could actually harm the promotion of your website. Just follow these simple steps to start your free advertising campaign:
- Sign up to the top 5 directories (Wampit / Yell / Free Index / Qype / My Local Services)
- Write a unique business description for each directory (don’t duplicate content)
- Include as much information about your products and services as you can
- Keep updating the listings regularly with new information and any offers
One key element is to make sure you link to your website from these directories – this will drive traffic directly to your site and increase your conversion to purchase ratio.
James Stevens works for Wampit® as a freelance writer and blogger specialising in the media and advertising sector. You can add your company profile to the Wampit® business directory today to take advantage of free advertising on one of the UK’s premier advertising service.