Whether you’re starting a new business or have been around for a while, it’s important to advertise your company. But even more important is knowing how to advertise wisely. More than likely, you need to stick to a predetermined budget for professional print and digital advertising, which doesn’t allow for a lot of wiggle room. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to get the word out about your products and services at little to no cost. All you need to do is find the right combination of tactics. If you need inspiration, here’s a selection of alternative advertising to promote your business.
You should always be networking to find new clients. But are you also networking with your fellow merchants about promoting one another? Your best advertising comes from satisfied clients, but recommendations and references from local business folks are just as important. Form connections with businesses that relate to your area of expertise. Work in real estate? Establish a relationship with a real estate lawyer. If you build homes, get to know local plumbers, electricians, lumber yards, and hardware stores. Put in a good word for these businesses, and they’ll put in a good word for you.
No matter your occupation, you’ve likely had a hundred or more conversations about what you do. Even if you’re not an internationally known expert, you still know your stuff. Share that knowledge through a vlog. Smartphones and video platforms such as YouTube or TikTok let you produce and post short films about your workday, various projects, talks about different subjects, DIY lessons, and more. Vlogs put a face and voice to your business’s name and can attract people looking for a local expert. If you’re lucky, an especially entertaining or informative video can go viral!
Ever notice how many digital signs are out there now? You’ll find dynamic screens in hotels, office buildings, elevators, and beyond, winking and blinking at thousands of potential customers every day. You can even find digital signage benefiting hospitals by sharing up-to-the-minute information and wayfinding. Many institutions allow you to advertise on their digital signage through banner ads, chyrons, and static images for an affordable fee. It’s an excellent way to connect with customers already looking for information. For example, hotel guests searching for a good restaurant or someone waiting at the body shop who suddenly needs a good attorney may seek out recommendations from these types of signs.
One last form of alternative advertising to promote your business is press releases. Local newspapers and magazines, bloggers and vloggers, influencers, and other people with online audiences are always looking for content to share. Periodically craft and send out letters and emails to these folks detailing why your business is worth a story. Celebrating an anniversary, holding an event, hosting a fun contest, putting on an interesting demonstration, working with a celebrity guest, or unveiling a new product or service: it’s all newsworthy, and even a short article can draw more attention to what you’re doing. Don’t forget to showcase your credentials—journalists are always looking for quotes and insights from professional sources!