Make a free advertising video
According to the Animoto’s stats, 95% of marketers use video advertisements to promote products and 93% of them have managed to engage new customers, as a result. And the best thing is that you can shoot a video for free.
Here are the best free advertising tools to make a clip with. Biteable is a drag-and-drop service offering plenty of animated, live-action or photo scenes, as well as royalty-free music. Renderforest comes with many high-quality customizable templates, infographics, commercials, slideshows, and the opportunity to upload a voiceover. Motionden is a flexible online video editing tool that allows you to change the text, upload photos and many other features.
What should an advertising video feature? First, it should grab viewers’ attention and maybe create intrigue that motivates them to watch the video until the end. You can start by describing an issue that people might face and then present your product as a solution. Briefly show in which ways it is advantageous and add a call to action in the end.
Where should you display your advertising video? Consider placing it on YouTube and video partner websites and apps across the social media platforms and networks such as Taboola or SpotX, for example.
Google My Business
You can add your blog as a company to Google My Business. This is how your website will be displayed when someone searches for your brand on Google.
Google My Business allows you to include your business logo, photos, backlinks, customer reviews, and more. Below, you can see an example of a business profile built on the platform:
Participate in discussions and forums
Establishing your presence in relevant forums is a good way to promote your blog for free. You get a chance to represent yourself, share links, get professional advice, collect feedback and glean useful ideas.
Forums aim at giving people space to speak and not simply promote, so a clever strategy would be to engage in conversations, share valuable information, ask questions and link back to your website, but only when it suits the context.
Here is where you can start:
- TripAdvisor features dozens of forums to choose from, with hundreds of threads on each one. For example, Greece Travel Forum covers 263,629 topics.
- Thorn Tree travel forum is a part of the Lonely Planet brand, targeting backpackers, long-term travelers, and those who look for cheap travel destinations.
- Travellerspoint features various travel forums on different topics, with over 950,000+ participants worldwide.
Comment on blogs and articles
When looking for the alternatives of how to advertise for free, pay more attention to exploring your niche. Subscribe to the most reputable blogs and leave comments to show your expertise and interest in the topic, inserting links to your blog every now and then. It’s a good way to attract attention and network.
However, your comments shouldn’t resemble direct advertising. Always start by answering the question or addressing the topic to be relevant. Or, say something nice to show your validation of the material and how useful it was for you. You can add a backlink to your blog to your bio, so if other people want to find out more about you, they’ll see it in the profile. Here are a few examples of well-thought comments, attracting attention but not directly advertising their websites:
You can share experience, just like Amanda Formaro did it:
Post on Reddit and Quora
Reddit and Quora are mega-popular platforms with user-generated content where it’s possible to advertise your blog for free. There, you can ask questions, publish your answers in a different format (post, articles, reviews, etc.), and place links to drive traffic.
How to advertise and not get banned? For example, Quora doesn’t allow you to answer your own questions, offend those who disagree with you, team up with other participants for cross-brand promotion, etc.
On Reddit, people fight for the chance of being featured on the front page and attract everyone’s attention. To do so, you should get as many upvotes as possible. Remember that topics quickly become outdated, as users move to fresher discussions.
Start an email newsletter
One of the free ways to advertise your business is through email marketing. This solution is only possible once you’ve persuaded people to leave their email address and subscribe. To that end, it’s necessary to take the following steps:
- Fill your blog with valuable content to generate readers’ interest.
- Create a captivating signup form and place it in a visible position.
- Offer incentives like a free product or trial in exchange for subscription (guide, checklists, gift cards, etc.)
- Present social proof.
Your newsletter should be relevant to your blog niche, feature valuable information and an attractive design.
For example, the AirBnb newsletter contains a scrolling carousel.
If you don’t have your own newsletter list, you can mention your blog in other people’s newsletters. Reach out to newsletter senders and offer them to exchange the promotion. For example, you can promote their product on your social account in exchange for getting your blog mentioned in their newsletter.
You can also write a free guest post for another reputable blog to get more exposure and increase brand recognition. Guest post authors usually place a backlink to their blog in the bio field below the post.
Guest posting is very popular today in different niches, especially in the travel market. Here is an example of a guest post on ANew Traveller. The article features the author’s name right under the title and at the end of the post. This particular bio doesn’t include any backlink, but you can add one.
GlobalGrasshoppers is another place to publish your guest post:
Paid guest-posting is a normal practice, but if you write a lot of emails and offer quality content, you can definitely find free posting options.
Infographics are a good way of presenting data and telling stories in a visual way, because they help process the information fast. Bloggers resort to infographics to present complex research results and communicate them to readers and also to increase brand recognition, because people tend to share such materials and link back to the original source.
Run contests and giveaways
These marketing campaigns are some of the best ways to advertise for free. Bloggers use it to attract followers’ attention and increase their activity. They ask to refer or tag a friend, share the page on social media, sign up for a newsletter, etc. To achieve your goal, offer valuable but cost-effective prizes in exchange for followers’ activity. Here is how to prepare for a giveaway:
- Set the objectives (collect information about the audience, build an email list, increase brand awareness, etc.).
- Create a great user experience to provide participants with easy interaction with the contest.
- Choose a reward that would motivate people perform an action and is cost-efficient for you at the same time, for example, a free trial of your product, etc.
- Promote your offer on social media and other platforms.
You can find numerous examples of travel contests and giveaways on The Balance Everyday. On the screen below, you can see one of their Instagram giveaways:
Ask for referrals
Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. Many bloggers use this strategy because of an extremely high lifetime of the referred customers.
If you have a large and loyal audience, you can offer them some bonuses for recommending your blog. For example, access to content and so on. Large companies, like Airbnb or Kiwi.com, do the same things with referral programs on a large scale:
Another example of a smart referral campaign can be found on Airbnb, which is beneficial for both the user and their referral. Airbnb grants $18 for referring a friend who completes a qualifying stay and offers a $34 discount to the new invitee.
Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization is not just an advertising technique, it is a way to improve your website performance in many ways. Here are the basic steps to follow:
- Research keywords and find the most relevant words and phrases that people use in their search queries.
- Use those keywords in the title, description, heading and subheadings, as well as the post itself.
- Write a meta-description for each article.
- Edit snippets.
- Optimize images (use keywords in the file name).
- Build a high-quality link profile (use only relevant links and references). Use both external and internal links.
- Place the most important materials one-click away from the homepage.
- Only post unique articles free of any grammar or spelling mistakes.
- Make use of special tools to automate SEO
These are just a few ideas on how to improve your website performance, so to keep up with the competition, explore relevant resources.
If you are looking for free local advertising ideas, customize your website for each target location and don’t forget to update your profile on Google My Business.
Social proof is a great way to make your offer more attractive. To receive as much feedback as possible, provide a reward in return – discounts, bonuses, exclusive information, etc.
You can conduct a survey or send emails with the request for reviews. It’s also possible to set up a customer panel where you can ask customers to join the community.
You can create a separate page for feedback, just like Tourism Northern Ireland did:
You can also engage in conversation with readers by replying to their comments and asking for feedback. Naturally, you need to gather only positive reviews, but don’t despair if customers express negativity.
In such a case, ask for detailed feedback, think of reimbursing if a customer has suffered losses, and analyze the information to improve your business.
Where to find free business advertising opportunities
With the free advertising techniques mentioned in this post, you can easily leave the competition howling. Some approaches are really simple, such as leveraging the power of social media or engaging in conversation with website readers, while others demand more substantial investments of time, for instance, making an advertising video, running a giveaway, etc.
Briefly, there are many free ways to promote your blog online, and in order to increase your exposure as best you can, try to combine various strategies.