Advertising your business for free
When it comes to advertising your business there are valuable and relevant platforms that you can be using that won’t cost you anything other than your time and creativity. Granted some of these platforms do offer paid advertising as well but you can get plenty of reach and build trust with customers by using the free versions as well. Depending on your business goals and target market, you would choose and prioritize your platforms based on the user demographics.
As a rule of thumb, every business should be using the below mentioned platforms as they have the greatest reach and benefit to your business.
- You will need a Gmail account to create one.
- Make sure you complete all the fields, the more relevant information the better.
- If you don’t have a website, Google MyBusiness gives you the option to create a free one (while limited to what you can do, it’s still better than not having a website)
- Register your business location on Google maps – when you go through the steps it will ask you to verify your address so you will need a physical location where you can receive a postcard from Google. This can take up to 21 days. Once verified you will be officially “on the map” and you will appear on Google search page results when customers are searching nearby for your services.
- Download the Google MyBusiness app onto your phone and share photos, posts and important information. Activate messaging so that people can contact you directly from Google. Make sure you respond to every message and every review that is posted to your business.
Social Media Platforms are all FREE to use – It doesn’t matter if you don’t use Facebook yourself, your customers do!
- There are over 21 million Facebook users in South Africa – evenly spread male and female with the bulk age group being 18 – 45 years old
- Create a Facebook Page, make sure you monitor it
- Try post at least 4 times a week sharing relevant information. Useless info will drive people away.
- Make it easy for customers to contact you and make sure you respond to all enquirers and reviews. Encourage people to review you.
- Use Facebook to generate traffic to your website.
- Run paid ads to reach more of the right customers.
- Join Facebook Group pages as and share free ads for your business.
Use “WhatsApp for Business”
WhatsApp for Business is another amazing free service that allows you to set up a business profile for WhatsApp which is separate to your personal. Allow customers to WhatsApp you during reasonable hours to ask questions, place orders or gather more information. This is a CTA (Call to action) that you can add to all your social media posts as well as your website.
“The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business”
There were 21 260 000 Facebook users in South Africa in March 2020, which accounted for 36.1% of its entire population.
The majority of them were women – 50.6%.
People aged 25 to 34 were the largest user group (7 500 000).
The highest difference between men and women occurs within people aged 13 to 17, where women lead by 180 000.