Free is when you save money, but spend time. Everyone can promote an online store on their own and at no cost, but for this you will have to learn promotion methods and find convenient assistant tools.
Free promotion has other advantages other than just its price: in most cases you improve the site and invest in communication with customers. The results of these actions will work for you for a long time.
If you just opened an online store or want to cut the advertising budget, read on
8 ways to free promotion
The advice is obvious, but social networks are the main source of customers for small businesses. Some of them have more customers from Instagram, others from Facebook. Just start pages for your stores on social networks and start promoting.
What to do:
- tell about yourself, about your product and its features;
- post a video (about production, packaging, interviews with employees, beautiful promotional videos with goods, etc.);
- ask readers questions about the product (which one you like the most, what would you like to be improved, which design/color/shape to choose for a new product, and so on).
- respond to reader comments quickly and respectfully, especially if it’s negative.
What NOT to do:
- post memes and quotes;
- write “good morning” and “goodnight” every day;
- advertise the product in each post;
- spamming (post no more than one post per day);
- reply to all comments “answered in PM.”
Optimize your site for search engines
The basis of search promotion is the convenience of the site for the user. Here’s how to boost it:
- make unique and detailed product descriptions;
- take your own photos of the goods;
- consider the structure of the site so that the buyer does not wander in search of the necessary information;
- write meta-tags;
- remove non-existent pages and broken links;
- optimize the site for mobile devices (it’s better to immediately do an online store with an adaptive layout, it will look good on mobile phones and desktops).
Website optimization is a long and tedious task. Therefore, do it gradually, step by step. This is the case when even a little change is better than nothing. Our articles will help you:
Get a store blog
According to RefrigeratorFAQ, this is part of the search engine promotion, but it is so large and important that we single it out as a separate item. Think of the blog not only as an opportunity to fill the site with unique content with keywords but also as a way to communicate with potential buyers.
Write about the brand, production, suppliers, principles of work, goals, and plans. Or, as an option, create the personal blog of the store owner. Get your company off the ground so that customers fall in love with it.
This method is free for beginner sellers only. It’s all about the number of subscribers: mailing services can be used for free if you have few recipients of letters (for example, up to 2000 in Mailchimp). But when the base grows, you will need a paid plan.
In any case, it’s worth mailing newsletters. Test how newsletters work on a small base of subscribers, practice with it. If you still think that newsletters are spam, then you do not know how to do it correctly yet.
A good newsletter can do a lot: bring subscribers and customers, sell products and talk about the company.
Search for interesting partnerships
All types of business friendships will help you both save and promote the store. You can be friends even with competitors, creating a common product.
Go out to people and talk about yourself, your store and products. This method is shareware: you can take part, for example, in a fair where a trading platform will be provided to you free of charge, or you can open a temporary store and then you will incur expenses associated with its maintenance. Plus, you may need promotional stuff, such as flyers and souvenirs.
In social networks, in a blog, or offline, with partners or independently. A good contest or a giveaway can “reanimate” your store. The method is shareware, because you need to buy prizes for the winners.
Even if you haven’t spent a penny on promotion, it’s important to understand whether your efforts were beneficial or not. Therefore, for each promotion, make separate discount coupons to track how many people have used them.
Mark a link to the online store in the newsletters and social networks with utm-tags. With the help of all this, you will find out where the most customers come from.