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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 17 June 2024
  • Public Relations

How to Advertise Your Business: 9 Free and Paid Ways to Reach More People

In today's fast-paced digital world, getting the word out about your business is more important—and more complex—than ever before. With countless platforms and media outlets vying for your attention and that of your potential customers, knowing where and how to cast your digital marketing net can make all the difference.


Whether you're the owner of a small startup or business account or the marketing director of a well-established company, finding cost-effective yet impactful ways on how to advertise your business is key to growth and success.

In this blog, we'll explore 9 innovative free and low-cost ways to help you reach a wider audience and create a lasting impression in the marketplace. From leveraging the power of social media and crafting compelling content to making the most of networking opportunities at local events, there are numerous ways to enhance your visibility and appeal to more people, and we’re here to show you how.

Importance of Advertising in Your Business Plan and Future Success

Advertising is not merely a component of business strategy; it's a crucial element that can significantly influence your venture's trajectory and prosperity.

A well-thought-out advertising approach can distinguish your brand in a crowded market, creating a compelling narrative that resonates with your target customers.

Here are a few ways how.

Brand Awareness

Advertising is critical to small businesses looking to build brand recognition. When small businesses advertise locally, they introduce and reinforce their brand's identity among potential customers, which is essential for long-term success.

Competitive Edge

Engaging in advertising can help a small business remain competitive. It can also help a new business gain visibility in a marketplace crowded with competitors, many of whom might have larger marketing budgets.

Customer Reach

Utilizing various digital advertising platforms extends the reach of small local businesses to a broader audience. This is because being visible in online searches is how you attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Market Presence

Consistent advertising contributes to a sustained market presence, which can influence consumer perception and buying habits favorably over time. This can eventually lead to an overall increase in brand awareness, trust and sales.

Measurable Impact

Advertising provides measurable metrics to assess the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, allowing small businesses to make data-driven decisions and adjust their promotional strategies for better results.

Free Ways to Advertise Your Business

Stepping into the arena of free advertising tools can drastically reduce your marketing expenses while still offering significant visibility. With a bit of creativity and effort, it is possible to amplify and promote your business brand's reach without tapping into your budget. Let's look into several effective methods that can give your business the exposure it deserves, completely free of charge. These tactics not only promote your business's presence in the marketplace but also allow you to connect with your audience in meaningful ways.


Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews is a powerful and no-cost way to boost your business's reputation and credibility. Here are a few other reasons why asking customers to review your business matters:

  • Credibility and Trust: Positive customer reviews can significantly enhance your business's credibility. Potential customers are more likely to trust and engage with a brand that others have had good experiences with.
  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Reviews act as a form of organic word-of-mouth marketing, with satisfied customers essentially promoting your business for you. This can lead to increased referrals and a stronger customer base.
  • SEO Benefits: Reviews, especially online ones, contribute positively to search engine optimization (SEO), improving your business's search visibility and potentially driving more traffic to your website.
  • Valuable Feedback: Reviews provide essential insights into what customers appreciate about your product or service and areas where you can improve. This can help you refine your offerings and enhance overall customer satisfaction.
  • Social Proof: In the digital age, social proof is vital. Reviews serve as social proof that your business delivers on its promises, enticing new customers to check out your brand with confidence.

Social Media

Speaking of social media advertising, having a strong presence on various social media sites is one of the best free ways to market and advertise your business. In fact, 83% of businesses use social media as an advertising channel. While you don't have to be on every platform, being on a few–whether it's TikTok and Instagram or LinkedIn and Snapchat–could allow you to capitalize on the following:

  • Wide Reach: Social media platforms house millions of users, offering a vast audience for your business to engage with. These platforms provide the tools to target your messages to potential customers based on demographics, interests and behaviors.
  • Increased Engagement: These platforms facilitate two-way conversations between businesses and consumers, allowing you to build relationships, gather feedback and engage users with your brand story.
  • Viral Potential: Content on social media has the potential to be shared widely and quickly, reaching an audience beyond your followers and leading to increased brand recognition and virality.
  • Market Insights: Social media channels offer valuable insights into consumer behavior, enabling businesses to tailor their marketing strategies and product offerings based on real data.
  • Brand Personality: They allow businesses to showcase their brand's personality and values, creating a more personal connection with their audience and differentiating themselves from competitors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

While reviews are one element of an SEO strategy, there are many other ways to optimize your business website for search engines. By using a dedicated keyword strategy, creating relevant content and keeping an eye on traffic, you'll be able to please search engines and accomplish the following:

  • Increased Visibility: By optimizing for SEO, your business's website becomes more visible in search engine results pages (SERPs), potentially increasing organic traffic without the need for paid advertising.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: SEO involves upfront effort but no direct costs for appearing in organic Google search results, making it a highly cost-effective advertising strategy over time.
  • Targeted Traffic: Proper SEO helps attract users who are actively searching for information related to your business, products or services, bringing you higher-quality leads.
  • Competitive Advantage: Ranking higher in search results can put you ahead of competitors who are not leveraging SEO effectively, giving your business a competitive edge in the digital marketplace.
  • Sustainability: Unlike paid ads, the benefits of SEO won't disappear immediately if your advertising budget runs out, providing a more sustainable approach to long-term brand visibility.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another powerful tool in your free advertising arsenal that allows you to reach directly into the inboxes of potential and existing customers with personalized and relevant messages at no cost.

Like your social media accounts or positive reviews of your product or service, email marketing is a great medium to repurpose content and other advertising efforts you may have invested in already.

Here are some ways email marketing campaigns could help drive business:

  • Direct Communication: Similar to traditional direct mail campaigns, email marketing allows for personalized communication with your audience, increasing the likelihood of your message resonating with subscribers since it lands directly in their inboxes.
  • High ROI: It is known for delivering one of the highest return on investment rates among marketing strategies; targeted emails can drive sales at a low cost to your business.
  • Audience Segmentation: You can segment your audience based on various criteria like past purchases, location or engagement level and tailor your messages to different groups for more effective campaigns.
  • Brand Loyalty: Regular newsletters and updates help keep your brand top-of-mind, nurturing long-term relationships with customers and fostering brand loyalty.
  • Analytics and Feedback: Email marketing platforms provide analytics such as open rates, click-through rates and conversions, allowing you to gauge your campaigns' success and optimize future emails.
  • Permission-Based: Subscribers have opted to receive your emails, which means that they have a preexisting interest in your business, making them a highly receptive audience for your marketing efforts.

Host Webinars and Events

Webinars and events can be a powerful way to connect with customers, showcase your expertise and provide value to your audience while promoting your business.

While there can be some minor costs associated with using digital platforms or event spaces, these are generally low compared to the potential reach, making webinars and events a highly cost-effective marketing channel.

Here are a few reasons webinars and events could be beneficial to your bottom line:

  • Expertise Showcase: Webinars and events provide a platform to demonstrate your business's expertise and knowledge in your industry, which can significantly boost your brand's authority and credibility.
  • Engagement and Personal Interaction: Hosting events, digitally or in-person, allows for real-time engagement and interaction with your audience, creating a personal connection that can translate into improved customer relationships and loyalty.
  • Lead Generation: Hosting webinars and events can be an effective way to gather contact information from potential leads who express interest in your topic or industry.
  • Content Repurposing: The content from webinars and events can be repurposed into various formats such as blog posts, podcasts or video snippets for social media, extending the life of your original content.
  • Collaborations and Partnerships: Collaborating with influencers or other businesses to host events can expand your reach to their audiences, leading to new networking opportunities and prospective customers.
  • Flexibility and Convenience: Digital events, in particular, offer flexibility for hosts and attendees, as they can be accessed from anywhere in the world, removing the geographical barriers of traditional in-person events.

Paid Ways to Advertise Your Business

While the strategies mentioned above rely on organic methods to enhance and retain customer engagement, investing in paid advertising can significantly boost your business online or brand's reach and ability to convert prospects into customers.

The upcoming section will delve into various paid advertising channels that can be customized to meet your marketing requirements and budget.

From creating video ads to influencer collaborations, mastering these techniques can provide your business with the added momentum it needs to thrive in a competitive market.

Boosting Social Posts

Boosting, or paying for a few of your social media posts to be placed in front of more people or a different audience, can return a lot of benefits to your brand. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Enhanced Reach: Boosting your social posts means more people see your content, amplifying the message beyond your existing followers, potentially reaching a whole new audience interested in what your small business offers. This is particularly true on platforms like Facebook, the largest social network online, where millions of users engage daily.
  • Precision Targeting: With tools provided by platforms like Facebook advertising, you can tailor your boosted posts to target specific demographics, interests and behaviors. This ensures that your advertising dollars are spent on reaching the people who are most likely to engage with your brand. Whether you're promoting your business to specific age groups, interests or locations, social media advertising allows for incredibly precise targeting.
  • Increased Engagement: When you boost a post, it's more likely to spark engagement—likes, comments, shares—creating a ripple effect that can organically increase the post's visibility and drive further interaction. By leveraging online communities and targeting customers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services, you can foster meaningful engagement with your brand.
  • Improved Brand Awareness: Boosted posts contribute to higher brand visibility, which can be especially valuable for small businesses looking to establish a presence and become recognizable in a busy marketplace. By consistently promoting your business on social media platforms, you can increase brand awareness among your target audience and stand out from competitors.
  • Cost Control: Even with a modest budget, small businesses can strategically boost posts, controlling costs while still achieving desired outcomes, be it website traffic, lead generation or sales. By setting a budget and monitoring performance metrics, you can ensure that your advertising dollars are being used effectively to promote your business.
  • Speedy Results: Unlike some organic strategies that take time to gain momentum, boosting a post can lead to immediate results, offering a quick way to test new ideas and measure engagement instantly. By promoting your business through social media advertising, you can quickly assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make adjustments as needed to optimize results.

Influencer Marketing

On average, businesses make $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. So while you may invest a bit of cash up front, it usually makes itself back...and then some. Here are a few reasons why influencer marketing works:

  • Authentic Promotion: Influencers often have a loyal following that trusts their opinions, which means when they recommend your products or services, their audience is more likely to consider it a genuine and trustworthy endorsement.
  • Targeted Exposure: Influencers cater to niche markets, so by partnering with the right influencers, your brand can reach a highly specific audience that's already interested in the type of products or services you offer.
  • Creative Storytelling: Influencers are seasoned content creators; they can tell your brand's story in a way that's fresh and engaging, thus resonating well with their audience and making your campaign more effective.
  • Boosted Credibility: Having an influencer associated with your brand can lend an added layer of credibility and social proof, which can be incredibly beneficial for small businesses looking to build a reputation.
  • Flexible Budgeting: Influencer marketing offers collaborations with personalities ranging from micro-influencers to celebrities, which means businesses of all sizes can access influencer partnerships that align with their budgets and marketing goals.
  • Measurable Impact: With the use of promo codes, dedicated landing pages and tracking links, you can measure the effectiveness of influencer campaigns and get tangible data on their contribution to your sales and brand awareness.

Retargeting and Paid Advertising

Retargeting and paid advertising are powerful tools in the realm of online marketing that can significantly boost your business's visibility and engagement with your target audience. By strategically utilizing these tactics on your business website and web pages, you can effectively promote your business to potential customers who have already shown an interest in what you offer. Here are some ways retargeting and paid advertising can help boost your business:

  • Higher Conversion Rates: Retargeting ads remind users about products or services they've shown interest in, dramatically increasing the likelihood of conversion as you're engaging customers who have already interacted with your brand.
  • Personalized Experience: With ad retargeting, you can tailor the messaging based on the user's previous behavior on your site, providing a personalized experience that feels exclusive and relevant, while addressing their unique interests and needs.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Paid advertising, especially when retargeting, often has a higher ROI as it focuses on prospects who are closer to making a purchase decision, maximizing your ad spend by targeting those who are most likely to convert.
  • Brand Recall: Continuously appearing on different platforms ensures your business stays top-of-mind. When customers are finally ready to purchase, you want your brand to be the first one they remember.
  • Insightful Analytics: Retargeting and paid advertising come with powerful analytics tools that help you understand your audience better, refine your marketing strategies and consistently improve based on solid data.
  • Flexibility in Advertising: Paid ads are highly flexible, allowing you to quickly adjust your campaigns based on performance, trends and customer feedback, ensuring that your strategy remains agile and effective.

Sponsor Events and Webinars

Sponsoring events and webinars in your local business community can be a powerful way to promote your business. By supporting local events, you not only gain visibility among potential customers but also show your commitment to the community. Here are some other ways this can help bolster your business:

  • Valuable Networking Opportunities: Sponsoring local networking events and webinars positions your business within a network of industry peers and potential clients, giving you a platform to form solid connections and fostering relationships that could lead to future business opportunities.
  • Enhanced Brand Visibility: When you sponsor local events you can significantly increase your brand's exposure to relevant audiences, as your business name and logo are often showcased in marketing materials, event websites and social media channels related to the event.
  • Positioning as an Industry Leader: By aligning with important industry events and webinars, your small business can be seen as a thought leader and go-to resource within your market, which enhances credibility and consumer trust in your brand category.
  • Access to Targeted Marketing: Events and webinars typically gather an audience that's deeply interested in the subject matter, providing your brand with a prime opportunity to market directly to a concentrated group of potential customers.
  • Lead Generation Potential: Sponsorship often comes with the ability to collect leads through event registrations and attendee interactions, giving you a pipeline of prospects who are already engaged in related content and more likely to be interested in your products or services.
  • Tailored Audience Interaction: Events and webinars offer unique ways to interact with an audience, such as branded booths, speaking opportunities or sponsored sessions, which ensures meaningful engagement with your brand in a context that highlights your expertise.

Whether you're looking to advertise a sale in your local community or need promotional material for your event, The UPS Store is here to help you print any and everything you need. Find a store near you today.

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