Here's a handful of small business advertising ideas that you can use to get free advertising for your business. Today's tough economic climate has made us all pull in our belts and trim the fat, especially from our advertising budgets. The money saved this way can be put to better use in your business.
There are a number of ways to bring buyers in without having to spend a lot.
The local classified section usually has a section for free ads. This is a bonus to the small business, as hundreds of potential buyers see your ad. Use as many free classified ads but keep a record of sales from them. Once you find which works best you can gradually cut down on the ones not bringing in the business and only use the sales generating ones. This tracking of ads takes some time at first but it'll be well worth it at the end.
Message boards and local shops
Most malls and larger shops, even some small ones have a message board for customers to post messages. If you regularly use certain shops, ask the owner or sales person if you could leave some flyers or business cards on the counter, put up a flyer on the board, a small message/notice in his window, and you could advertise his business in the same way if he is not a competitor.
Any public and social venue you attend, leave your business cards for the public. Especially if the social gathering is related to your line of business, is an industry event, or in a public building. One person I know leaves cards in public restrooms on the counters, and within minutes (not hours) they are gone.
This one is not entirely free but it is a small price to pay for the exposure it gets your business. Offer a local charity, fire department, police station, or any public service a new product or related service of yours, then let your local paper know about it as an item of interest for their readers. You might be pleasantly surprised by the response and interest of the public. This is a good way to advertise and it's free.
Word of mouth
This is the very best and most effective free advertising any business can have. If your service/product is great, people will talk about it. Networking at social events can work wonders. If you are an "online person", Twitter can create buzz for your business. Make lots of friends on Facebook and tell them about your business, but don't spam or give them a sales pitch. Join in discussions on forums and give other members value first before discussing your business. Blogs are great for giving and getting feedback. Also, writing or paying someone for an ezine article about your product/service (discussing or reviewing your product) can lead to sales as long as you don't hard-sell.
There you have it. These small business advertising ideas can save you some hard earned money and boost your business at the same time. Almost forgot: consider creating your own blog about your business.