You don’t need to spend millions of dollars on your marketing. You can grow your business with these 10 free marketing ideas.

People do business with brands they trust. But how can you build lasting trust among your audience? It starts with marketing. 

The reason is simple: If your audience doesn’t know about you, how can you begin establishing that trust in the first place?

If you’re marketing your business, kudos. You may already have an edge on your competition. In fact, 58% of small business owners spend less than 5 hours a week on marketing. And 50% of SMB owners do not have a marketing plan.

You may be familiar with the marketing funnel, in which marketing drives awareness, consideration, conversion (an order), loyalty (repeat buyers), and advocacy. So why would you not dedicate more time to marketing?

Even if you don’t have a large marketing budget, experience with marketing, or a lot of  time to devote to marketing, you don’t have to worry.

This list of 10 free marketing ideas will help you worry less about the time, money, and know-how it takes to effectively market your business.

Create Online Business Directories

An online business directory is the digital version of the Yellow Pages phone book. It’s where people can find information on your business. Some business directories also allow people to leave reviews.

There are several online business directories such as Google, Yelp, Manta, and Apple Maps.  Setting up your online business directory is a great way for people to find your business and learn about your products and/or services.  There are over 100 of these directories, however, some are industry-specific such as Zillow (Real Estate), TripAdvisor (Travel), and AutoTrader (Automotive).

Find the ones that are general and specific to your industry and either create a business listing or claim your business. Yes, you may have a presence on these directories without even knowing it.

Free Email Marketing Services

Email marketing is ranked as the top most effective marketing channel, beating out social media and search engine marketing — making it one of the best ways to build strong relationships with your customers.

There are email marketing platforms that offer free services, additional free tools, and are structured to help you do your email marketing more efficiently.

AWeber, for example, is a powerfully-simple email marketing platform specifically designed for small businesses. And now, you can get started with AWeber for free to quickly & easily create amazing looking emails and landing pages.

AWeber mascot showing everything you get with AWeber's Free Email Marketing Services

So whether you’re new to email marketing and need some hand-holding or you’re a seasoned marketer, AWeber has the tools, resources, and expertise to help you grow your business through email marketing.

Free Email Marketing Tools

When you use AWeber Free for your email marketing needs, you get more than just the ability and knowledge to send emails. You get everything you need to start growing your business, including:

Free Email Marketing Templates

AWeber’s mission is to make email marketing powerfully-simple for you. We understand that not everybody is a graphic designer and knows how to create emails that convert. That’s why we have designed 100s of email templates for you.

Are you feeling a little creative?  We make that easy, too. AWeber’s easy-to-use templates will set you up for success. Simply drag and drop your content into a message — no coding skills necessary!

Use the Power of Social Media to Promote Your Business

Social media can be a powerful tool to increase awareness, create customer loyalty, drive sales, and find influencers for your business (more on this later).

The first step is understanding your customer demographics and which social media platforms they’re using.  Are you targeting business? If so, you may want to consider being active on LinkedIn. If you’re targeting consumers, you will have more work deciding which platform(s) to consider.

Once you’ve determined your target social media platform, be active, and encourage customers to like or follow you. 

Then comes the fun part: post to your social media page. But make it interesting and interactive when possible. The more people who interact with your post through likes, comments, or shares, the more people will see your post both in your network of followers and outside. 

Keep in mind people are following you because they had a good experience with your brand and want to learn more about you. Social media isn’t a place to force a hard sell. It’s a place to share.

Tips on what to post:

  • Creative pictures of your products
  • A new product or service
  • Any interesting news about your business
  • Special offerings or coupons

You can even use specific social media platforms, like Facebook, to increase your email subscriber list. You can create a sign up form for your page, which will allow your Facebook follows to subscribe to your email list. Then you can email them newsletters, advice, and offers.  

Need help setting up this email marketing feature? If you’re an AWeber customer, our award-winner customer service team can help you.

Use the Press to Help Spread the Word

A press release is a great way to boost your business. A well-written press release can give your company media exposure through news outlets (TV, print, and radio), influential bloggers, industry-specific publications, and more.

A press release can bring you instant exposure, grow your sales potential, increase your brand awareness, improve your search engine results, and expand your target audience.

Writing a press release isn’t difficult. Once you find a structure that works for you, use that same format with every PR.

The most time-consuming part of issuing a press release is finding journalists who might be interested. To build this list, you’ll need to research and find a journalist who has previously written about your industry or topic. 

Build Landing Pages to Collect New Leads

The main purpose of a landing page is to collect more leads for your business.  And more leads can lead to more sales. 

The AWeber landing page creator allows you to develop highly converting landing pages which can drive more potential clients to your brand. 

AWeber also offers a landing page builder with AWeber Free

AWeber landing page building example

Landing Page Tools

Our landing page tools enable you to build visually-stunning landing pages.  A few of those landing page features include:

  • Pre-stocked image library
  • Professionally designed templates
  • Powerfully-simple design flexibility with our drag-and-drop editor
  • Automatically tag subscribers to manage and segment your list easily
  • You do not need a website

Free Landing Page Templates

Just like with AWeber’s emails, you will also have access to beautifully crafted landing page templates that you can easily modify with our simple drag-and-drop editor.

Utilize an Effective Search Engine Optimization Strategy

The great thing about an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is that you can be a small business and still own the top spot of a keyword search result.

Even if you’re a beginner to SEO, you can still structure your web pages to include targeted keywords you want to rank for.

5 Simple Steps to Improve Your SEO

  1. Keyword research – 
    • Determine what keywords will be the focus of our webpage or blog post. There are a few free keyword research tools you can use to help.
    • Target long-tail keywords as these keywords tend to be less competitive as such you stand a better chance to rank for it.
    • Identify the type of phrases your customers might put into a search bar to find the answer on the internet.
    • See what other keyword suggestions make sense to add to your webpage or blog.
  2. Optimize Your Content for SEO
    • Write your content to focus on these keywords. 
    • In your first paragraph, you should mention the  main keyword you want to target.
  3. Structure your page URL
    • Your page URL extensions should have your focus keyword.  For example, if your main or focus keyword is “How to paint a house”, your URL extension could be /how-to-paint-a-house/
  4. Add your title tag
    • A title tag is your display title that appears in a search engine results page.
    • The title page structure should contain the title of your page, followed by a separator, like a dash or a line, and finally, your company name. Putting your company name in your title tag is important for brand recognition.
    • The title tag is what the reader would click from the search engine to read your content.
    • The optimal length is 50 – 60 characters.
  5. Add your meta description
    • A meta description is the brief descriptive information shown below the title tag in a search engine results page.
    • The meta description needs to be an accurate description regarding the context of your page
    • The optimal length is no more than 160 characters.
Example of a title tag and meta description with an AWeber search

These simple steps are just the beginning. There are other aspects of an SEO strategy that you could be implementing to improve your chances of ranking further.

Let Your Influencers do the Work for You

Influencer marketing involves tapping into a group of individuals who are so passionate about your company that they actively push your product or service to their network. Essentially, an influencer can affect the buying decision of a potential customer due to their relationship with that customer. 

In today’s business world, companies are seeking out these influencers because of their potential impact. Influencer marketing is when a business is actively seeking out and working with influencers. 

A great place to find your influencers is through social media. See who is promoting your products and services with their friends, family, and co-works. 

Check Your Local Chamber of Commerce

A Chamber of Commerce could be a great way to increase your brand awareness within your community.

Becoming a member has some advantages, including being listed in their newsletter and website. Some Chambers of Commerce also offer free advertising opportunities for their members.

A Chamber member also comes with a certain level of credibility. Studies have shown customers are 80% more likely to purchase from a business who is a member.

Finally, you also have the opportunity to meet with other business leaders who can provide valuable business advice or potentially develop a partnership between your two businesses.

Grow Your Email List with Sign up Forms

You can use sign up forms to expand your email list by adding them to your landing page, website, blog, or Facebook page. Free sign up forms are yet another marketing benefit you get with an AWeber Free plan. Growing your list is the first step to growing your business. 

A sign up form is a marketing tool that collects a subscriber’s information via input fields so you can communicate with them through email.

AWeber's sign up form example

You can use a sign up form to collect subscribers for your email newsletter, registrants for your webinar or event, students in your online course, downloads of your ebook, checklist or guide, customers for your products or services, or lead generation.

Grow your email list with ease with 100s of ready-to-use sign up form templates. Create a professional looking sign up form in just minutes.

Don’t have a company website? Don’t worry, AWeber has you covered. You can add a sign up form to your landing page builder. We’ll also host the sign up form for you so you can also use it on your Facebook page.

Set up a Business Partnership

Do you have an opportunity to partner with a complementary business?  A business partnership can be as simple as a dinner and a movie plan between a restaurant and movie theatre. Or something a little more complex between two Fortune 500 companies.

Either way, a business partnership is a great way to expand your potential customer base and can potentially earn immediate sales.

Ready to start marketing your business?

As you can see, you don’t need a bottomless budget and hours of free time to effectively market your business. With the free marketing ideas above, you can begin to make a splash right away.

The great news is you don’t have to do it alone. Get started with AWeber Free and get access to

  • All the email marketing  
  • All the landing page features you need
  • Sign up forms
  • Our award-winning 24/7 customer service by phone/email/chat
  • Free migration services
  • And more

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