41 Ways To Promote Your Business Locally for Free: No-Budget Advertising Platforms in 2024

April 23, 2024

41 Ways to Promote Your Business Locally for Free

Some of the ways to promote your business locally for free include:

  • Leveraging local lead generation
  • Optimizing local search with Google My Business
  • Attending local networking events and mixers
  • Speaking at local association or industry events
  • Offering exclusive promotion for local residents
  • Active involvement in your local community
  • Partnering with complementary local businesses
  • Distributing local brochures and flyers
  • Answering relevant Quora questions
  • Writing guest posts for niche blogs

Promoting a small local business comes with many challenges. This includes a limited marketing budget, lack of resources, and finding the right marketing channels. In 2021, a Semrush survey saw 59.8% of small business owners say that their biggest marketing challenge was a lack of budget. 

However, promoting your business locally is critical. Since there is less competition in the local scene, you won’t be up against giant corporations right away. This makes it much easier for you to get customers early on. It will also give you valuable feedback on ways to improve your business before taking it to the global stage. 

The great news is that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars - or even a single penny - to be able to promote your business locally. Take Julie Moir Messervy, founder of Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio (JMMDS) located in Saxton Rivers, VT. Messervy promoted her business and vision of “bringing nature back to people’s lives” by doing public speaking engagements at industry events. Today, the JMMDS business is now a big name that inspires many landscaping and architecture businesses. 

In this article, we’ll go over 41 ways to advertise your local business for free. We’ll look at marketing strategies that range from online to local. This way, there’s something for everyone.

41 Ways to Promote Your Business Locally for Free 

1. Leverage Local Lead Generation

Leveraging local lead generation involves creating a website for your business. The website should be optimized for local search terms by including the business address and contact info. It should also feature products or services that resonate with local customers. Since Zippia discovered that 99% of people use the internet to find local businesses, this strategy is said to work wonders for promotion. 

If you use this strategy, you'll initially need to invest about $100 to $500 to build your website. After that, you won’t need to spend more to achieve a high ranking in Google’s SERP and start attracting local customers. All you need is a good local lead gen strategy:
  • Conduct keyword research

  • Optimize website structure

  • Perform on-page optimization

  • Create high-quality content

  • Improve user experience

  • Optimize for mobile

  • Implement internal linking

  • Build high-quality backlinks

  • Monitor your progress regularly

  • Stay updated on SEO best practices

  • Address technical SEO

If you’re spending $500 anyway to create a website, you can decide to rent a website that’s already ranking from a local lead generation business. This will cost you around $500 to $1,000+. It isn’t free, but it will take away a lot of the legwork. 

Rescue Air, an HVAC company in Dallas, TX, is one great example of a business using local lead generation to target customers in the area. If someone researches “HVAC company in Dallas, TX”, Rescue Air will appear on top. According to Search Engine Journal, over 25% of people click the first website in Google SERP. Today, Rescue Air enjoys 3,900 website visitors every month. This number is estimated to provide $31,100 for the company, assuming all visitors got the service.

2. Optimize Local Search with Google My Business

Optimizing local search with Google My Business can increase your website’s visibility. This is a great advertisement for business since Google displays relevant Google My Business listings at the top of the SERP. When users search for businesses in their local area, these listings appear with all the business information, including location, website, services, and contact info. If you want Google advertising for free, you need to create a Google My Business account. You can do this by following the steps:

  • Create a Google business account with Google My Business
  • Add your business
  • Choose the business category
  • Add location
  • Provide contact details
  • Verify your business
  • Complete your profile
  • Add photos
  • Collect reviews

  • Post regularly

  • Monitor insights

  • Keep information updated

  • Optimize for keywords

  • Build local citations

  • Engage with Q&A

Google My Business is totally free. You don’t need to spend anything to grab the attention of local customers and become BIG. Your business can be just like the Glamorous Owl, a small gift shop located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Clair Chapman, the owner of the shop, created a My Business Account to bring locals to her brick-and-mortar gift shop. Today, the once-hidden Glamorous Owl is now a tourist destination for many who visit the area.

3. Attend Local Networking Events and Mixers

Attending local networking events and mixers can either build your network or find new customers. Networking connects you with industry peers, organizations, and community influencers. Building a relationship with these people will bring valuable insights, opportunities, and support. You can even work together to promote each other's line of business. Besides that, you will also directly find new customers in local networking events and mixers. One LinkedIn survey saw 40% of customers obtained through these events make a purchase. 

In a way, you are the free ad. Plus, you don’t need to pay an admission fee if the events are organized by community groups, professional associations, or local chambers of commerce. You can simply find relevant events in your area, attend them, and talk to the other people there about you and their businesses. 

Tasty Bites Catering used this free advertising to become a very well-known wedding catering service in Detroit, MI. The company owners always made sure to participate in wedding expos, food festivals, and networking mixers. While there, they met potential clients, showcased their services, built relationships, and gained referrals.

4. Speak at Local Association or Industry Events

Speaking at local association or industry events is a proven way how to promote your business locally for free. It involves sharing your expertise to establish credibility and network with peers. When there is a local association or industry event, you can volunteer as a speaker for free. There, you can discuss industry trends, insights, best practices, and technology. Don’t forget to mention the name of your business, too. The people who are impressed by your takes will either want to network with you or want to check your business’ services or products. 

This works hand in hand with Google free advertising. If the person can’t approach you during the event, they can simply research your business and get all the details in Google. For this strategy, you should:

  • Identify relevant local industry events

  • Research the event's theme and audience

  • Develop a unique topic or angle

  • Contact event organizers for speaking opportunities

  • Create a compelling speaker proposal

  • Prepare your presentation content

  • Design engaging visuals or slides

  • Practice your speech for clarity and timing

  • Plan audience interaction or Q&A

  • Promote your participation on social media

  • Network with attendees and organizers at the event

  • Gather feedback post-event

  • Follow up with new contacts

Julie Moir Messervy promoted her studio business by speaking about her vision of landscaping in these types of events. She was not only able to grow her business and name, but she was able to network with people that allowed her to write and publish 9 books.

5. Offer Exclusive Promotions for Local Residents

Offering exclusive promotions for local residents will encourage customers to go to your store and grab the offer while it lasts. So even if they weren’t planning on entering your clothes shop, the local-only discount can make them choose it over Zara. When the customers try on your high-quality clothing, they may plan to come back or recommend it to their family and friends. However, this strategy isn’t completely free. You may have to spend a bit on promotional materials. Also, you need to consider potential revenue loss from offering discounted products or services. If you can afford that, here are the steps:

  • Identify what tailor-made promotion will resonate with local residents. You can offer discounts, coupons, promotional codes, BOGO (Buy One, Get One), or membership programs with perks

  • Decide on promotion channels (online, in-store)

  • Print promotional materials for discounts, coupons, etc

  • Utilize social media platforms to get the word around

  • Leverage local events for promotion

  • Use email marketing to reach local customers

  • Advertise in local media

  • Optimize for local SEO

  • Track and analyze the promotion's effectiveness

  • Collect feedback from participants

  • Adjust strategy based on feedback and results

One successful business that used this strategy is Main Street Books Davidson. The bookshop owners created a local loyalty program. This program offered exclusive perks to any resident who signed up. This provided members with discounts, early book access, book signings, and birthday rewards. It encouraged all the book lovers in Davidson, NC, to go to Main Street Book Davidsons instead of bigger bookstores.

6. Active Involvement in Your Local Community

Active involvement in your local community is a form of advertising your business for free. If you let the business participate in clean-up days, food drivers, or community fundraisers, it will foster trust among the locals. It will also build authentic connections, which are so important for promoting your business. 

People love it when a business does more than sell products or services. A 2017 Cone Communications and Echo Research found that 87% of consumers would purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. Even if you don’t have world-solving products or services, you can boost your business name by helping out in the local community. Here are some active involvement suggestions:
  • Participate in local clean-up days

  • Organize or contribute to food drives

  • Volunteer for community fundraisers

  • Sponsor local sports teams or events

  • Join community improvement projects

  • Collaborate with local charities

  • Offer free services or products for community events

  • Participate in holiday-themed community activities

  • Engage in local school support or mentoring programs

  • Lead or support environmental initiatives

  • Organize or join local health and wellness events

  • Contribute to or organize community art and cultural events

  • Provide support for local emergency services or aid efforts

  • Engage in town hall or community planning meetings

By giving back to the community, Dr. Bronner successfully promoted his organic body care shop. His strategy was to create high-quality, environmentally friendly products to make the community healthier and safer. More than that, Dr. Bronner used some of the profits to support causes like community healthcare and human rights. Through his efforts, the Dr. Bronner shop is now well-known all around the USA.

7. Partner with Complementary Local Businesses

Partnering with complementary local businesses can increase your brand visibility and customer reach. When you partner with another local business, you can choose several paths. You can go for B2B sales, where you collaborate with a business to sell products or services to them. You can do cross-promotion, where you promote each other's products or services to their respective customer bases. 

If you want to be involved in the local community, you can also go for a community engagement partnership. This is where you supply another business with their projects. For instance, a bookstore could team up with a nearby school to organize reading events for kids.

However, you should know that, though it is completely free, it may take time to find a complementary local business. It will take even more time to convince them to partner up with you. To help you, follow these steps to get started:

  • Identify potential local business partners

  • Research and understand their business values and customer base

  • Develop a partnership proposal

  • Reach out to the potential partner

  • Arrange a meeting to discuss partnership possibilities

  • Negotiate terms and mutual benefits

  • Draft a partnership agreement

  • Define roles and responsibilities

  • Launch a collaborative marketing campaign

  • Co-host events or promotions

  • Share resources and networks

  • Regularly communicate and review partnership goals

  • Adapt and evolve the partnership as needed

If you and the team can come up with a great plan that will benefit both businesses, this is great free advertising for small businesses. This also proves the point that networking is super important. One big example of two businesses working together to get people talking is Taco Bell and Doritos. Both companies partnered up with each other to create the famous taco Dorito shells. This allowed Doritos to have a huge supplier for their products and helped Taco Bell create unique tacos for everyone to enjoy.

8. Distribute Local Brochures and Flyers

Distributing local brochures and flyers is still relevant today. This is because around 50% of people read the mail and over 60% read door drops, according to the Digital Marketers Act (DMA). So if you distribute brochures and flyers, you can be sure that people will read them. However, it needs to be convincing enough to turn them into customers. Also, this marketing strategy isn’t free. You’ll have to spend around $0.10 to $0.50 per brochure/flyer. If you want your small investment to come to good use, you should: 

  • Define your target audience

  • Develop a clear, compelling message

  • Design visually appealing layouts

  • Include a strong call to action

  • Use high-quality printing materials

  • Distribute in high-traffic locations

  • Leverage community bulletin boards

  • Incorporate them into direct mail campaigns

  • Hand them out at relevant events

  • Track response and engagement

  • Gather feedback for improvements

  • Regularly update content and design

One Redditor said that they hired a tree service company simply because they hung a flyer on the door hanger. But the person admitted that they made sure to check Google if the tree service company was legit. Another Redditor commented that his power washing service became popular in his neighborhood thanks to the flyers he left in their mailboxes. On a much larger scale, Apple also used brochures during its beginnings in the 1970s. This helped it to become the company it is today. 

Apple flyer

9. Answer Relevant Quora Questions

Answering relevant Quora questions can advertise online for free because helping people will generate trust. When there is trust, they are more likely to grab your products or services. However, if you want to promote your local business, it’s best to find questions that are related to your location. So you can answer questions like, “What is a good house cleaning service in Dallas?” or “Is it a big adjustment moving from San Diego, CA to Davidson, NC?” 

Now, you shouldn’t make your Quora answers an obvious ad. That could turn people away. You need to genuinely want to help the person. If your product or service can solve their questions or concerns, then you can tell them about your business. You can then direct them to your website, where you convince them even more about why they need what your business offers. Here are the steps you need to consider if you want to promote this way:

  • Create a comprehensive Quora profile

  • Identify relevant topics and questions

  • Provide detailed, valuable answers

  • Include personal or professional experiences

  • Occasionally reference your business where relevant

  • Engage with follow-up questions

  • Follow topic-related spaces

  • Avoid overly promotional language

  • Build a reputation as an industry expert

  • Monitor new questions regularly

  • Engage with other users’ answers

  • Keep updated with industry trends

Is answering Quora questions going to give you a flock of new customers? Maybe not. However, it’s a great way to build brand authority, establish expertise, and foster a positive online reputation. If that’s what you’re aiming for, take the time to answer several Quora questions per day. It may take you 5 to 20 minutes to give a detailed answer. 

There are several big companies that actively participate in answering Quora questions. This includes Google, Facebook, and Amazon. They let their employees answer questions concerning the platform or any related field. Because they took the time to help you out, people become more loyal to these companies.

10. Write Guest Posts for Niche Blogs

Writing guest posts for niche blogs will help target a specific audience. Since niche blogs focus on a narrowed-down subject, they effectively gather a small, specialized audience. Promoting your related business on these blogs allows you to reach this audience. So if your business is a travel agency located in Bali, you may want to write a guest post in a blog focused on Bali travel. If you’re looking for how to promote your business online for free this way, follow these steps:

  • Find relevant niche blogs

  • Research content guidelines and audience preferences

  • Pitch a topic idea to the blog owner

  • If they agree, create quality content that follows their guidelines

  • Include a link to your website or an author bio at the end

  • Submit the guest post for review

  • Promote the published post on your channels

  • Engage with comments on the post

  • Build ongoing relationships with website owners

The company Moz uses this strategy to get people in the digital marketing and SEO space to their website. They offer to write helpful content for big industry websites such as Neil Patel’s blog, Search Engine Journal, and more. By guest posting on reputable blogs, Moz increased its brand visibility, established itself as a leader in the SEO industry, and attracted potential customers interested in its software tools and resources. With this strategic approach, Moz now generates 952,400 organic traffic each month!

11. Engage in Local Online Forums

Engaging in local online forums allows you to interact with a geographically specific community. This is a free way to get your business’ name out there. Since you’re a local just like them, the people are more likely to trust your answers and advice. Even if you help them in areas unrelated to your business, it’s still a good promotion. When these people need a product or service you offer, they may turn to your business without hesitation. 

Some of the most popular local online forums are Nextdoor, City-Data Forums, Local Facebook Groups, and Local Subreddits. You can sign up and start actively engaging with others without any registration fees. Besides that, you can also use the forums to ask for business feedback, offer special deals, and promote your workshops. This is how many small local businesses spread the word about their campaigns to the whole community. To begin, here are the steps:

  • Identify relevant online forums

  • Create a detailed profile

  • Read forum rules and guidelines

  • Engage in discussions genuinely

  • Share expertise and insights

  • Start new, relevant discussion threads

  • Avoid overt self-promotion

  • Respond to inquiries about your business
  • Offer exclusive deals to forum members
  • Monitor feedback and respond appropriately
  • Measure the impact on your business
  • Establish and maintain a consistent presence

Bella’s Pet Grooming used this strategy to get local dog owners to get her grooming services in Sarasota, FL. Bella was always seen in the local community forum to share tips, answer questions, and offer exclusive discounts. She also posted about her pet grooming events with a local animal shelter in the forum. Because people saw her as an expert in the field, they turned to Bella’s Pet Grooming whenever their pet needed good grooming. The business now has a faithful following, allowing Bella to hire a whole groom team.

12. Publish Local Content on LinkedIn

Publishing local content on LinkedIn involves tailoring your posts to the unique aspects of your community, such as news, needs, and interests. This shows that your brand knows and cares about what’s happening. If your online presence resonates with people in that area, they may want to check out your local business. If you want this marketing campaign to see success, you must follow these steps:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile

  • Join local LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry

  • Understand your audience’s interests, needs, and pain points 

  • Create helpful content to show your expertise in the matter

  • Include local keywords in your posts

  • Use LinkedIn’s location tagging feature

  • Strategically promote your business in a subtle and non-intrusive manner

  • Engage with other local businesses and professionals

  • Post consistently

  • Use LinkedIn’s analytics tools to evaluate the effectiveness of each LinkedIn post

Drew Griffin, the co-founder of LeadBubble.io and Delicious Marketing, constantly posts on LinkedIn about relevant industry topics. Because of this, he now hosts Livestreams on LinkedIn to his 1,893 followers and 500+ connections. His popularity has drawn many people to check out his two businesses and immediately made them trust the tools and services offered there.

13. Participate in Business Podcast Interviews

Participating in business podcast interviews can reach a wider audience for free. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase how much you know about your industry. You can even join a podcast to talk about how you started your business and what its core values are. When people listen to the podcast, they may be intrigued to check out your brand. One shocking report from the BBC in 2019 saw brand consideration go up by 57% when mentioned in a podcast. Even better if the brand is a local one. For this promotion, follow these steps:

  • Research local podcasts relevant to your industry

  • Listen to several episodes to understand the style and audience

  • Develop a unique value proposition for your participation

  • Contact the podcast host or producer. Or, you can network with them and wait for them to invite you

  • Pitch yourself or your business as a guest

  • Prepare key messages and talking points

  • Schedule and confirm the podcast recording

  • Promote upcoming podcast appearance on your channels

  • Participate in the podcast recording

  • Share and promote the podcast episode once published

  • Engage with listeners who comment or reach out

  • Follow up with the host for future collaboration opportunities

Norah Ginty from Galway, Ireland promoted her alcohol-free lifestyle coach business by guesting on several local podcasts, including the Business Buzz Podcast and Euphoricaf. She talked about her 15-year battle with alcoholism and how she was able to overcome it. With her inspiring experience and words, many addicts turned to her for lifestyle coaching consultancy.

14. Promote Your Website in Email Signatures

Promoting your website in email signatures can result in an influx of leads or sales for your business. According to 42.2% of business owners, email marketing ranks in their top 3 most effective marketing channels. But what exactly are email signatures? This is either a block of text or an image added at the end of your emails to give more information about your business and link to your website. Even if the email recipient ignores the signature, it will at least make the email (and whatever you’re saying there) stand out.  

The best type of email signatures are short and sweet. So if you’re making an email signature to promote your business, you can simply include your full name, company, job title, and link to your website. Other successful email signatures have business phone numbers, social media icons, company logos, and registered addresses. If you don’t want to spend a single dollar, you can create your own signature in Canva or a free email signature creation website. Just note that you won’t be able to get too creative if you go for the free option.

Ikea is one of the big names that uses email signatures to land people on their website and, hopefully, buy their products. With the help of this effective promotion strategy, the Ikea website now boasts 101,600,000 organic traffic and a $14,600,000 traffic value. 

15. Send Local Email Newsletters

Sending local email newsletters will keep people informed about your business’ products and services, news, and events. You can use the newsletter to foster engagement and loyalty with your brand, too. According to Hubspot, 81% of small businesses rely on local email marketing. This is because it's a free yet very effective strategy. 

If you’re doing a local email newsletter campaign, you first need to acquire a list of emails from local residents. You can do that by making it easy to subscribe to it on your website. You can even ask customers to provide their emails for the newsletters face-to-face. When you have your list of emails, you need to send out newsletters that catch their attention right away. 

One business that does local email newsletters very well is Yard & Coop, a restaurant located in Manchester, UK. They draw immediate attention to the email by mentioning the local area and the reason for the newsletter. The newsletter then provides all the information in an easy-to-digest manner, with a special perk. Here’s one example of Yard & Coop’s local email newsletter that encouraged Manchester residents to help out in the community - and receive a delicious drink from the restaurant. 

Local email newsletter

16. Conduct Local Product Giveaways or Contests

Conducting local product giveaways or contests is a fun way to get locals talking about your business. Besides that, it can garner lots of website traffic and social media engagement. It will also allow the winners to try your products firsthand. If they’re impressed, they will become enthusiastic advocates for your brand. OutGrow says that the average percentage of new customers that come in due to giveaways and contests is 34%. 

If you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity, you need to plan your local product giveaways and contests properly. The most popular way businesses do this is to let the contestants follow their social media, provide their emails, and share the page/website. Nice and simple. To make it free, you need to remind everyone that it’s for locals only. However, you still have to consider revenue lost and expenses for promotion materials (if you’re advertising it offline). As for the prizes, they can be gift cards, free meals, exclusive products, etc… 

Goods for the Study, a small stationery shop in 8th St. New York, regularly hosts giveaways for journals, pens, gift cards, and more. This marketing strategy has garnered them 36,100 followers on Instagram. Even if many followers from the giveaway weren’t from New York, it has inspired many of them to visit the city to check out Goods for the Study.

17. Encourage Local Customer Reviews

Encouraging local customer reviews will boost the credibility of your business. If you already have a small number of faithful customers, it’s a good idea to ask them to leave a positive review on your website or review sites. This is because a Global Newswire report saw a whopping 95% of people read online reviews before buying a product or getting a service. Yes, even for small local businesses. 

However, customers tend to only leave reviews when they have something negative to say. So to encourage local customer reviews for happy customers, you can simply ask them to leave a review so you can reach a wider audience. You should also make it super easy for them to do this. One way is to display a tablet in your store so that customers can leave a review on the spot. Another strategy is to give away a freebie if someone leaves a review or posts about your business on social media. 

Greenvelope, a business that makes online invitations, says that they encourage customer reviews by simply asking them to review. Their logic behind it is that if the customers were really satisfied, they only need a slight push to make the review. Because of this simple yet effective encouragement, Greenvelope now has both 4.9/5 stars from 9,310 reviews in TrustPilot and 201 reviews on Google. Whoever is considering Greenvelope’s services, only needs to check out these reviews to know that it is a great business.

18. Leverage Existing Customers for Local Referrals

Leveraging existing customers for local referrals involves encouraging them to recommend your business to family and friends. This word-of-mouth promotion accounts for $6T in consumer spending each year. Yes, TRILLION. The reason is that 92% of consumers trust personal recommendations over traditional ads (Nielsen report). 

If you offer quality products and services, this local referral will come naturally from your existing customers. So you don’t even need to do any marketing campaign to get this type of promotion. However, it’s best to be sure. This is why it's a good idea to ask customers to recommend your products and services to local residents. You can also offer incentives, implement referral programs, and always follow up with a thank-you note or email. This is a very effective and low-cost (or even free) way to get your local business out there. 

A company that saw success through this campaign is In-N-Out Burger. The first few customers of In-N-Out Burger loved talking about the “secret menu”. From word-of-mouth, the small burger stand turned into a stellar burger chain with 400 locations in the USA. Someone from Referral Rock commented, “When I visited California for the first time, I knew I had to try In-N-Out. Why? Because everyone I knew who had been there couldn’t stop raving about it!”

19. Localize Your Social Media Posts

Localizing your social media posts will make your content relatable. The Global Marketer did research and discovered that 72% of brand engagement occurred in local pages. What’s more, many social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, allow people to search for businesses in a specific area. 

If this is one of your ways to promote your business on social media, always have a location-focused approach. You can use location-based keywords, share local content, interact with local users, utilize geotagging, partner with local influencers and businesses, etc… It’s also best to have your location on your social media handle. 

Instagram user lavish_raleigh is a good example of a business that localizes its page. In their handle alone, you’ll know the company name and where it’s located. When you click on their page, you get all the details about the company in the bio. If you scroll down to their posts, you’ll see that they name locations on their photos. 

Localize social media posts
Localize social media posts1

20. Encourage and Share User-Generated Local Content

Encouraging and sharing user-generated local content is an easy and free way to promote your business. As the business owner, you need to give back to the people who share reviews. For example, if a local resident loves your makeup brand and posts a story about it, you should repost that story on your page. You should also add the reviews to your website. This will boost customer loyalty, as well as show others that your business is legit.

Besides sharing, you should also encourage them to post any type of media about your brand - photos, unboxings, or testimonials. To do this, you can create a unique hashtag and encourage customers to use it for a chance to be featured on your page. If you’re willing to spend a bit, get people to post about your business through Instagrammable products, packages, or interiors.

Rainbow Toastie, a small cafe in Melbourne, AU, went viral because of its Instagrammable toasties. It was just a regular Korean cheese toastie, but the rainbow-colored cheese made the cheese pull extra bright and exciting. Both locals and tourists now flock the small cafe thanks to user-generated local content. 

21. Offer Localized Valuable Content

Offering localized valuable content can ignite interest and trust in your business. One way to do this is to create local guides and directories related to your business. Publishing local ebooks is also becoming a favorite marketing campaign for small businesses. The 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report saw that 67% of B2B purchase decisions are based on business ebooks. 

If you offer your localized valuable content online, it won’t cost you anything. However, you need to do lots of planning. Of course, the most important thing is your content. So take time to choose what type of valuable content you want to offer. If you’re aiming for new customers, the local guide and directory is a great idea. If you want to partner with other local businesses, then local ebooks are more suitable. When that’s completed, you will need to promote it through social media, email marketing, local lead gen, and more. 

The well-renowned HubSpot creates a free, downloadable ebook every year to showcase a State of Marketing Report. Lots of big and small business owners download this ebook to check the stats. This shows that they trust HubSpot. In the same way, you can get customers or other businesses turning to you for information. Only this time, your content is focused on the community. 

22. Publish Newsworthy Local Press Releases

Publishing newsworthy local press releases will help you reach an audience both offline and online. Local media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations, and magazines are still relevant in areas with loyal locals. In fact, a 2022 survey by Statista saw 71% of these people say they trust local news more than national news. 

If you want this local advertising to work, you need to research whether the local customers still read press releases or not. You can put up a survey on your social media page or talk to the press release outlets about their viewers. If you get the ‘go’ sign, you can publish press releases about new products that can fill the gap in the local community, involvement in the community to help others, special events or promotions, and expert insights and tips, to name a few. 

Publishing your business news with a local media outlet isn’t typically free. You may have to spend $50 to $500. So it might not be worth it for your business, especially if the press release reach is low. However, some outlets agree to publish your news for free if it’s a community event or interesting news that aligns with their interests.

Long Island Bagel Cafe was discovered because they published their menu in Newsday’s Hometown Shopper newspaper. The cafe owners saw that this local newspaper reached 920,000 households every week, both in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Today, the cafe has many faithful customers who vouch for the great food and atmosphere online.

23. Create a Nextdoor Profile for Local Reach

Creating a Nextdoor profile for local reach is a good idea because it allows you to connect directly with neighbors. You can use it to stay informed, as well as discuss events and issues that impact your local area. As you build relationships on the platform, you foster a feeling of trust. Forrester reports found that how customers feel about a brand has 1.5 times more impact than how they think. 

It’s so easy to create a Nextdoor profile for your business - and it’s totally free, too. The platform also supports business promotion through local recommendations, engagements, and deal ads. The best strategy to promote your business here is to answer questions and comments. Let everyone know you’re the go-to person for what you offer. You should also ask at least 3 of your customers to recommend you so that your business will appear on the Nextdoor searches. 

According to several business owners on Reddit, the Nextdoor local deal ads are not worth it. 

The Reddit user chaseoes says he saw more success through building trust and letting neighbors know his expertise. Whenever someone needed his products or services, he was the go-to guy.

24. Run Geo-Targeted Facebook Ads

Running geo-targeted Facebook ads is highly effective for reaching the right audience. You can also hit the specific user interest, demographic, and behavior. With this, the ad will appear to users who will likely click on it and make a purchase. SocialPilot says Facebook ads have an average conversion rate (CVR) of 9.21%, with fitness and education topping the ranks. But, it’s important to know that geo-targeted Facebook ads are not free. WebFX gives an estimate of how much you’ll have to spend for these ads:

Facebook ads

You can set up your geo-targeted Facebook ads in a few simple steps. You first need to plan out your campaign - how much budget you can allocate, ad approach and focus, and which target audience segments to prioritize. From there, access the Facebook Ads Manager and create a new campaign. Input all the details. After you launch it, monitor it closely to see if it is worth it. 

Church’s Chicken is a business that saw success through Facebook ads. In 2017, the restaurant owners wanted more foot traffic. So they ran several geo-targeted Facebook ads. However, their ad call-to-action was ‘Get Directions’ instead of something like ‘Check Out Our Menu’. Through this, they achieved 592,000 visits with an ROI of 800%. If you know how to promote your business locally on Facebook, it will generate so much foot traffic.

25. Offer Free Local Trial or Consultation

Offering free local trial or consultation demonstrates confidence in your products and services. It will also allow the customers to experience its value firsthand. This increases the chances of them going back for more. What’s more, the Journal of Marketing says they're 20% more likely to talk about it to others. So you’re gaining a new customer while spreading brand visibility. 

Yes, offering free local trials or consultations has no upfront cost. However, it's important to consider the impact on revenue and ensure that giveaways don’t exceed budgetary constraints. Otherwise, you might end up losing more than earning. As for distributing these free items, you can post about it on your business website, social media accounts, or local online forums. The offline approach is to hand out the free items near your store or at an industry event or workshop. 

26. Invest in Local Direct Mail Campaigns

Investing in local direct mail campaigns will see an increase in business interest. A WARC report showed that 70% of people feel valued when they receive direct mail. They also discovered that the percentage goes even higher if the mail is personalized. This may prompt them to buy the products or services offered by the business, especially if it's irresistible. 

But for this content marketing campaign to work effectively, it’s crucial to know your audience first. This will help you tailor your messaging and offers to resonate with their needs and preferences. It’s also a must to design eye-catching mail pieces with a clear call-to-action. Now, you may have to spend around $1 to $5 per material print. So it’s good to track response rates, conversion rates, and ROI to see if it's an expense for your small local business. 

27. Ensure Listings in Local Online Directories

Ensuring listings in local online directories is crucial if you want to be found in local searches. Google reported that searches for local businesses have increased by 500% from 2015 to 2024. And the top directories that people used were Google “near me” searches, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages. You’ll be able to reach so many more people if you include your business in these popular online directories, as well as other local directories. 

Putting your business on these listings is free. If you want to boost your presence without investing in paid advertising options, you need to keep your profile updated. You should also verify your business, optimize for local keywords, encourage reviews, add photos and videos, include detailed information, and engage with customers. 

Ovolo Hotels, based in Bali and Hong Kong, became super popular thanks to their promotion on TripAdvisor. They added eye-catching photos, videos, review snippets, easy-to-spot contact details, and a Favorite Review section. This caught so many locals’ and tourists’ attention that Ovolo Hotels was awarded TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best in 2023. This only proves that online directories are one of the best ways to promote your business locally.

28. Develop Local-Focused YouTube Content

Developing local-focused YouTube content allows you to delve deeply into the products and services you offer with engaging videos. This is important because the video marketing stats are much higher than text reviews. A Wyzowl survey saw 73% of customers opt to watch a short product review video rather than read a blog about it. Moreover, it was discovered that 96% of people want to watch an explainer video before buying a product or service. It’s no wonder why YouTube is the second most effective social media platform for marketing with a total of 86% overall vote from marketers. 

But what kind of videos do you upload for your local business? You can do YouTube shorts for a quick product or service review. Make longer videos to get more in-depth about your business or expertise. If you’re hosting local webinars or events, you can choose to livestream it through YouTube. 

To make sure your videos reach an audience, always implement local SEO with relevant keywords in the title, description, and tags. You should also create compelling thumbnails and shareable content. Although YouTube is all free, you may want to spend on a good camera and mic to improve the video quality. 

Jae Bayer uses YouTube to promote his strategy consulting business Convince & Convert. To prove he’s someone to trust, he regularly uploads 5-minute videos talking about different business strategy topics. When people see that Bayer knows what he’s talking about, they won’t hesitate to grab the consulting services he offers. Today, Convince and Convert has some of the biggest clients, including Adidas, Hilton, and even the United Nations.

29. Create a Local-Focused Facebook Business Page

Creating a local-focused Facebook business page helps increase brand visibility and engage with potential customers on a more personal level. The messaging app is especially popular when people want to find out more about the products and services you offer. Additionally, customers can now buy items directly from your page through Facebook Shop, reflecting the growing trend of social media e-commerce. In 2023, a recorded 37% of Facebook users made a purchase through the platform.

The best part is that it’s super easy to create a Facebook business page - and totally free. You just have to make sure that you optimize it for the local customers. To do that, highlight your contact information, location details, business hours, and a compelling description of your products or services. The content you post should appeal to the community, too. You can get an even wider reach if you join local Facebook groups and engage with others there. 

One great example of a business going up and beyond with its Facebook business page is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although the museum was already known, it was only ever advertised in a more traditional way. Wanting to increase visitors, they decided to promote the museum on Facebook with an easy chat feature. Through this campaign, the company says that their audience size grew by 81%.

30. Grow Local Followers on Pinterest

Growing local followers on Pinterest is a good strategy if you’re offering a visually pleasing product or service. This is because Pinterest is a visual discovery tool. Unlike other social media marketing strategies, Pinterest content remains relevant and discoverable. So much so that businesses that uploaded catalogs and products there saw 30% more checkouts (source: Hootsuite). 

If you want to use Pinterest to promote your local business, one of the most important things to consider is your pictures and graphics. Although the platform is free, you may have to invest in a good camera. However, it’s not just about the picture quality - you have to have an aesthetic if you want to grab attention and get pins. Of course, you need to use relevant keywords and hashtags to reach the people that will benefit your business most. It’s also wise to take advantage of the link-back feature, where you can link each pin to your website.  

One company that thrived with Pinterest is Forty Winks, a mattress store located in Melbourne, AU. The company’s marketing campaign was to reach Millennial and Gen Z customers. They turned to Pinterest as one trend showed that there were 42% of Australian millennials on the platform. Forty Winks created a collection of both static images and videos for their marketing. They then used relevant keywords and direct links to their website. The owner claimed, “Within a few months, Forty Winks unlocked a new digital ads channel, engaged broader audiences, and drove more sales online and in-store.”

31. Use Social Media for Local Networking

Using social media for local networking can really enhance visibility and community engagement. As you build relationships with local customers or businesses, they are more likely to trust your products or services. And when there is trust, your brand is the first place they go to when they need your offers. One survey by WebFX saw 41% of small, local businesses rely on social media to generate income. 

Many times, businesses only use social media to post their flashy sales. Don’t do that - it might just annoy people. Instead, focus on cultivating a positive brand image by having more meaningful interactions. You can do this by joining local groups, answering questions about your expertise, and sharing content about the community. Some of the best places to network are Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn. 

Through social media networking, Herschel Supply Co is now a trusted brand to go for your travel accessories. Their strategy was simple - respond to as many questions as possible in various social media channels. Yes, they even responded to posts that were not related to their business. Herschel Supply Co now has 1M followers on both Facebook and Instagram. Plus, it’s a brand that many people recognize as having quality products and excellent customer service.

32. Collaborate with Influencers in Your Locale

Collaborating with influencers in your locale is a brilliant way to tap into their audience to boost brand appeal. You don’t need to pay the influencers to promote your products. You can simply send them free items and let them try, review, and recommend these through their socials. A Matter study discovered that 69% of consumers trust brands that influencers recommend. This number is said to increase even more if the influencer uses and recommends a local brand. 

For this marketing strategy, you need to find a local influencer that already has a good following. To make the campaign even more effective, it’s best to find one that has content related to your business or already uses your products or services. Another thing you should know is that influencers with less than 5,000 followers have more reach and engagement. This is because their followers will see them as a friend and not a celebrity with millions of followers. In turn, they are more likely to trust them. 

Through influencer marketing, Warby Parker was able to make their thick, granny glasses the "in" thing. Their strategy was to find influencers with a decent following who already wore Warby Parker glasses. This way, when they sent over a bunch of glasses for these influencers to promote, the followers already knew that it was a brand they wore. They weren’t just doing it for the money. This campaign was able to reach 800,000 people and got people wanting Warby Parker’s funky glasses.

33. Host Workshops or Classes Targeting Local Audience

Hosting workshops or classes targeting local audiences will engage and benefit your community. In turn, this will increase brand awareness and reputation. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you may want to host a fitness workshop. This type of business promotion can garner a 0.40% conversion rate and a 12.16% engaged conversion rate (source: BigCommerce).

Before hosting a workshop or class, you need to have a clear marketing goal in mind. You’ll also have to consider your target audience and what type of workshop or class they’ll prefer. Since you’ll have to spend on the venue, materials, and extra staff, it’s a good idea to have a cheap entrance fee to make up for your expenses. If you want it to be completely free for you and the local audience, consider hosting it online.

34. Develop Location-Specific Landing Pages

Developing location-specific landing pages is one of the free ways to market your business and see action. Let’s say someone is interested in your email or Instagram posts, so they click the link leading to your landing page. With location-specific content and strong call-to-action, they are more likely to make a purchase or schedule an appointment. A study by Grow and Convert found that welcome gates on landing pages achieved a conversion rate of 10% to 25%. Here’s how to get started:

  • Conduct local keyword research

  • Create a landing page on your website

  • Highlight your unique selling point 

  • Optimize the page for local search results

  • Include local images and videos

  • Embed maps and directions

  • Showcase local reviews and testimonials

  • Create a clear and relevant call to action

  • Ensure mobile-friendliness

  • Perform A/B testing for optimization

  • Track the page's performance with analytics tools

One good example of a location-specific landing page is PARRIS Law Firm. At one glance, clients will know exactly what type of lawyers the firm offers and in what location. More than that, the description focuses on why you should hire their lawyers. Finally, PARRIS ends with a call-to-action with a ‘Free Consultation’ button and a phone number. This effective landing page has garnered lots of clients, making it a now nationally recognized law firm in California.

35. Utilize Craigslist and Local Classifieds for Ads

Utilizing Craigslist and local classifieds for ads can make the people in the area easily find your business. Since Craigslist is known to have active users from 70 different countries, you can take advantage no matter where you’re located. Plus, this platform focuses on local listing hubs, perfect for your small local business. 

What you’ll love about Craigslist and local classifieds for ads is that it’s super simple and versatile. However, you may need to dish out a $5 to $10 fee. If you’re willing to spend that, here is how you can get started:

  • Identify your target market

  • Choose the right categories for your ad

  • Create a compelling ad title

  • Develop clear and concise ad content

  • Include high-quality images

  • Provide clear contact information

  • Post your ad in the ‘services offered’ section

  • Monitor and respond promptly to inquiries

  • Regularly refresh your ad

  • Track the performance of your ads

One success story through Craiglist ads is from Tiffany Mast, the face behind the blog The Together Traveler. Tiffany wanted to sell most of her belongings as she was headed for a months-long trip to Thailand. She decided to sell them on Craigslist through local classifieds. After creating a genius ad where she made it seem like her furniture was talking to the buyers, a flood of people wanted to buy everything she told there. She even had to laugh when someone tried to buy a broken lamp in the background of one of her photos. 

36. Engage in Local Meetup Groups

Engaging in local meetup groups could be the best way to promote a small business as it facilitates valuable connections and exposure within the community. You don’t even need to engage in a sales talk to the others in the group. As long as they know what your business is and see that you’re engaged in the meetup group, they will start to trust your brand. Whenever they need something you offer, you will be the first one that comes to mind. A Small Business Trends study said that 62% of customers trust small/local businesses more when they know the owner or see them present in local activities. 

Since joining a local meetup group is usually free, you don’t need to spend a single penny to get your brand name out there. You don’t even need to do long planning and preparation. All you have to do is:

  • Identify relevant local meetup groups that align with your business niche or target audience
  • Attend meetings regularly to understand the group dynamics and interests
  • Introduce yourself and your business in a non-salesy manner; focus on building relationships
  • Offer your expertise or services when appropriate, especially in discussions where your business can provide value
  • Engage in meaningful conversations, share insights, and be helpful to group members
  • Follow up with new contacts made during meetups to nurture those relationships

37. Collaborate with Local Schools or Colleges

Collaborating with local schools or colleges is a strategic approach for community engagement and brand exposure. For this, you can choose to provide the local school or college with supplies in exchange for promotional acknowledgments. Or, you can collaborate with the school or college to host an event. A Legend Web Works LLC case study saw that people already want to support local businesses. That want will become even greater when they see that your business is committed to the youth of today. If you’re going this route, here are the steps:

  • Identify potential local schools that align with your business's values and goals
  • Develop a clear proposal outlining how the collaboration could benefit all parties. If you want it to be free, you can propose shared expertise, volunteer time, or in-kind contributions. For resource donations or workshops, you may need to spend around $500 to $1,000. If necessary, you can come up with a plan to divide the expenses.
  • Arrange meetings with decision-makers at the schools to present your proposal
  • Negotiate terms and details of the collaboration, including roles, responsibilities, and contributions
  • Plan joint activities or events that align with the collaboration's objectives
  • Implement the agreed-upon activities, ensuring consistent communication among all parties
  • Evaluate the success of the collaboration and make adjustments for future endeavors

Subtero Underground, a fitness gym, took advantage of this promotional strategy. They partnered with a local public school to host a workout class for both teachers and students. Since many of these teachers, students, and even some parents were already looking for a way to stay healthier, this was an effective way to introduce the gym and encourage memberships.

38. Offer Free Local Workshops or Seminars

Offering free local workshops or seminars can get people talking about your business. This is especially true if the attendees learned something valuable there. So while you’ll have to spend a bit to get a workshop or seminar going, it may give you a quick return on investment. This is thanks to increased brand visibility that will see more purchases for your products or services. Marcus Sheridan, the founder of The Sales Lion, says that these campaigns achieve 300% more growth in traffic, leads, and new customers than businesses that don’t host anything. So to get started, follow these steps:

  • Define your target audience and workshop or seminar goals

  • Choose a relevant and appealing topic

  • Decide on the format and content of the workshop

  • Select a date, time, and suitable venue

  • Plan logistics like seating, equipment, and materials

  • Create promotional materials for the event

  • Advertise the workshop through various channels

  • Open a registration process for attendees

  • Prepare and rehearse your presentation

  • Host the workshop, engaging actively with attendees

  • Collect feedback from participants

  • Follow up with attendees post-event

  • Analyze the event's success and plan for future workshops

One inspiring example of this promotional campaign is Anders Ruff Design Company located in Charlotte, NC. The owners, Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff, promoted their small business by creating DIY tutorials on how to decorate a party. To boost engagement, they decided to host actual workshops to help people create charming decor from scratch. These became so successful that the Anders Ruff Design Company now has 50 workshops in 22 states. It also became a leading business to get custom decors and printables. 

39. Leverage Local Public Transportation Advertising

Leveraging local public transportation advertising gives your business constant exposure to local audiences. As people sit in traffic or walk on the sidewalks, they are very likely to spot and read public transportation ads since these are usually colorful and eye-catching. Transport Media did a survey to see how effective this type of advertising is. The results showed that 80% of customers responded to adverts on a bus, while 91% said they could easily recall adverts on public transport. If you live in an area where public transport is a big thing, you can follow these steps to promote your local business:

  • Research local public transit advertising opportunities. It’s a good idea to consider geographic targeting to target specific neighborhoods or areas that are most likely to benefit from your business
  • Set your advertising budget. It isn’t free, but it’s a lot cheaper than other advertising strategies. You’ll have to spend around $30 to $500, depending on the type of ad
  • Choose the ad type (interior cards, exterior wraps, bench ads, digital displays)
  • Design your advertisement to make it eye-catching and irresistible
  • Contact the local transit advertising department or agency
  • Negotiate ad placement and duration
  • Finalize and sign the advertising contract
  • Prepare and submit your ad for placement
  • Monitor the ad's performance
  • Evaluate the campaign's effectiveness post-run

Air India Express had a genius ad posted on a public bus to get people to fly with them. The ad grabbed attention by making one of the bus seat sections look like a plane. Below the window, a short but very effective catchphrase piqued viewers' interest. It stated “Air travel at land travel fares - Air India Express”. Their ads were so successful, that the airline company was able to upgrade to bigger planes, better services, and even broaden its international routes.

40. Host Local Podcasts or Webinar Series

Hosting local podcasts or webinar series is one of the best ways to advertise your business for free as it will show that you’re someone to be trusted within your field and in the community. This will naturally draw people to your business. A Get Contrast survey saw that 68% of B2B marketers tie their webinars to revenue. As for podcasts, insights from Ad Results Media revealed that another 68% of customers are open to considering a product or service they learn about through a podcast

However, to get people to listen in on what you have to say, your content needs to address the specific needs or interests of your local market. Here is how to start a podcast:

  • Define podcast focus and audience
  • Choose a catchy podcast name
  • Develop content and episode schedule
  • Select a podcast hosting platform. A free option you can consider is Anchor.fm. You can record, edit, and distribute it to major podcast platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts
  • Market your podcast through your social network
  • Analyze feedback and refine content

And here is how to start a webinar series aimed at B2B marketers:

  • Determine webinar topics and target audience
  • Come up with a great name for your webinar series
  • Plan webinar content and schedule
  • Choose a webinar platform. Some free platforms are Zoom or GoToWebinar
  • Prepare your presentation and any visual aids
  • Set up webinar registration and promotion through the chosen platform
  • Conduct a test run to ensure technical smoothness
  • Host the live webinar, engaging with attendees
  • Record the webinar for later use or distribution
  • Follow up with attendees, gather feedback, and market future webinars
  • Review webinar performance and adjust future plans

41. Participate in Local Charity Events

Participating in local charity events is one way to promote your business locally that has a significant impact on image and appeal. A study by Mailchimp discovered that 70% of consumers check if brands deal with social or environmental issues. So when locals see that your business is committed to supporting the community, they are more likely to support and recommend it to others. For this marketing campaign, here is what you need to do:

  • Identify local charity events aligned with your business values
  • Approach the local charity organizers about partnership opportunities
  • Plan your involvement - sponsorship, volunteering, or donations
  • Utilize your business resources effectively, such as offering products or services
  • Promote the event and your involvement through your marketing channels
  • Engage with attendees and community members during the event
  • Follow up post-event with participants and social media updates
  • Measure the impact on your business and community relationships

What Are Some Unconventional, Yet Effective, Free Promotional Strategies for Local Businesses?

Some unconventional, yet effective, free promotional strategies for local businesses include:

  • Flash mobs. T-Mobile organized a flash mob at Liverpool Street Station in London. This got people all over the world talking about it and the brand. 
  • Once-in-a-lifetime pop-up experiences. Glossier, a skincare and beauty brand, created a greenhouse filled with plants and flowers for a pop-up event in Seattle. This unique space was designed to display their products in an extraordinary and engaging way that gave people a sense of urgency to visit it while it lasted. 
  • Reverse graffiti. Puma used this unconventional yet effective and free strategy by cleaning dirty sidewalks. They then painted their famous Puma logo with their website name onto it to grab people’s attention to the brand whenever they walked over it. 
  • Interactive social media challenges. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” is one of the most popular interactive social media challenges by the ALS Association. The challenge became a global phenomenon on social media platforms. It not only raised awareness about ALS but also led to a significant increase in donations to the ALS Association. 
  • Contest with a unique prize. Lego hosted a contest called “LEGO Ideas: Build the Change.” What drew people to join was the unique prize - the winner got to have their structure turned into a massive sculpture and displayed in the original location in Billund, DK. The campaign reinforced LEGO's image as a brand that values creativity, innovation, and social responsibility, strengthening customer loyalty.
  • Collaboration with unrelated businesses. The partnership between GoPro and Red Bull got people intrigued. Brand reach increased significantly as Red Bull’s events provided a perfect stage for showcasing GoPro’s capabilities, while GoPro’s technology helped in capturing and broadcasting thrilling moments from these extreme sports and adventure events.
  • Mystery and scavenger hunts. The nonprofit organization Portland Downtown helped local businesses in the area by hosting a citywide scavenger hunt called “207 Day Scavenger Hunt”. During this event, participants explored the city, completed tasks, and visited local shops offering discounts and special items. This campaign significantly boosted local businesses, with some, like the Maine Souvenir Shop, reporting nearly a 100% increase in business compared to the previous weekend.
  • Infiltrate popular culture. Walmart created a TikTok dance trend called #DealDropDance. The dance showcased the store’s offerings in a fun, engaging manner. This approach resonated well with the TikTok community, and many more created their own dances in Walmart, increasing the brand’s visibility. 

These unconventional promotional strategies are so unexpected that they spark conversation and create a buzz. Since there are already thousands of businesses doing the usual Google ads or marketing ideas, you need to find ways to stand out among the crowd. That is what you want for your local business. 

What Is the Best Way to Promote My Business?

The best way to promote your business is through digital marketing. This includes website optimization and SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and free advertising sites, to name a few. This is because a whopping 96% of consumers find out about local businesses online (source: WebFX). What’s more, a survey by Gitnux saw that 66% of business owners say that digital advertising is more effective than traditional advertising. Plus, digital marketing campaigns usually cost you nothing or very little. 

However, there are some local businesses that do better with local events or business cards. This is if you’re located in an especially tight neighborhood. Face-to-face engagements with the community can leave a lasting impression on the local residents. Also, you can use the same flyers and brochures repeatedly, whereas in the online world you constantly have to keep your content fresh. 

If you want to know what’s best for your local business, then you need to consider your target audience. Look into where your prospective customers hang out the most. If you have a physical presence, always take advantage of Google My Business or Google Shopping as most people go to Google to find physical stores. If you want to reach both the locals and a wider audience, then why not combine both online and offline marketing strategies?

Since visitors and tourists always want to bring something back from beautiful Newcastle upon Tyne, the owner of Glamorous Owl used website optimization and Google My Business to help these people find the small gift shop. Today, it is now a tourist attraction where people go to get unique gifts and souvenirs. Rainbow Toastie knew that their rainbow sandwich would be a hit to the younger generation. Through their marketing efforts in Instagram and TikTok, the small cafe in Melbourne went viral and brought locals and tourists flocking the area to show their friends and family that they tried the viral “rainbow toastie”. 

User Voodoo330 from Reddit says that their local legal service business gets most of its clients through constant networking. They mention that their best referrals came from people they already knew or existing customers. Today, they no longer do much advertising, but the phone still keeps ringing from local residents who need their legal services. You can see how knowing your target audience can help in your marketing efforts.

Where Do You Find Places to Advertise Your Business on the Internet and Locally?

You find places to advertise your business on the internet and locally through:

  • Google
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Online local business directors (Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc)
  • Email
  • Local online forums
  • Blogs and articles
  • YouTube channels
  • Advertising sites
  •  Networking events and local business fairs
  • Local newspapers and magazines
  • Community bulletin boards
  • Public transportation ads

Google, through local lead generation, is the best place to advertise your business on the internet. In this day and age, almost everyone searches on Google for a specific business in a specific location. Plus, a SagaPixel study saw 86% of people search for a business location on Google Maps. Google will help you effectively reach your target audience. 

As for local marketing, the best place to advertise your business is through networking events and local business fairs. Building a connection with other businesses and potential customers will grow your business opportunity. A survey by Fit Small Business found that 70% of business owners get new leads through these networking events.

Top 10 Free Advertising Sites to Promote Business Locally

The top 10 free advertising sites to promote business locally include:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Craigslist
  • Yelp
  • ClassifiedAds
  • Bing
  • Locanto
  •  Yellow Pages

What Are Some Effective Online Platforms for Promoting a Local Business at No Cost?

Some effective online platforms for promoting a local business at no cost are Google, social media accounts, online local business directories, emails, and local online forums.

Google is by far the best way to promote your local business for free as thousands of people all over the world go there to find local businesses. Through local lead generation and other website optimization strategies, you can boost your website to the top and see a significant increase in website traffic. 

Promoting through social media is also highly effective. One user on Reddit said that they used Instagram reels to highlight their products. By using relevant hashtags and other strategies, more people were able to find the page and purchase the products. 

Online local business directories and emails might seem a bit outdated. However, they are still very much relevant. A Business Listing Trust Report saw 94% of consumers use an online local business directory to find information about a new or previously used business. As for emails, it was discovered that 6 out of 10 email subscribers purchase products or services when sent an email. 

Finally, you have local online forums. You might not be able to make a sale through this platform. However, you can build connections with your local community. This fosters trust. So the next time someone needs what you offer, you'll be the first one they think of. 

Why Local Lead Generation Is the Best Way to Promote Your Business Locally for Free


Local lead generation is one of the best ways to promote your business locally for free because 97% of customers go to Google to find local businesses (according to a study by Safari Digital). Plus, 91.5% of people click on one of the top five results that appear on the SERP. So if your website is at the top, your business will easily be spotted by your target audience. The best part is that local lead generation uses Google’s organic traffic, so you don’t need to spend big money on this very effective advertisement. 

Through local lead generation, small business owners can increase website traffic by an average of 33%. This can then generate an average revenue of $3,000+ per month. As you can see, the earning potential is great when you utilize local lead generation to get your website to the top. 

If you want to make the most of this promising and free promotion strategy, you should learn more about the local lead generation business. You can even do a side business with local lead generation by creating websites, ranking them, and selling them to other local business owners. With your local business and local lead generation business, your earning potential can come up to $100k a year.

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Ippei Kanehara

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Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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