How to Promote Your Business Online with No Marketing Budget

You have a great idea and business strategy in place. You’ve opened up shop, but your business hasn’t started to boom yet. If you are considering online promotion for your new business, here are a few successful online marketing tools that won’t cost you a dime.
Create a Website
Look for an online site that allows free website hosting. While there are several sites available, such as www.wix.com, www.buildyoursite.com and www.godaddy.com, I personally like www.webs.com. While the free version’s website URL includes webs in the URL title, i.e. www.yourbusiness.webs.com, the site is user friendly, offers a lot of templates and even offers site statistics with the free version. The great thing about this site is that you can test it out, build your site, and if you like it, you can transition to a paid account to get a vanity URL, i.e. www.yourbusiness.com.
Create a Yelp Business Profile
Yelp is a great site to gain search engine optimization for your business. Yelp allows you to create a website advertisement separate from your hosted site. You can enter information like business location and contact information, hours, reviews, etc. Yelp also launched a deal system similar to Groupon that allows you to create a coupon for your business. Check out the business profile site for more information.
Advertise Through Groupon or Living Social
Depending on your business offering, you can submit a request to advertise through a website like Groupon or Living Social. Both sites have an application process, and it often takes time to get called back, but it’s worth a shot. It is important to view these sites as advertising, not as a way to gain additional profit. Depending on your cost structure, you may just barely break even after the site takes their fees and slashes your cost of service, but your word of mouth traffic and repeat customers should more than pay for the initial break even.
Promote on Social Media
Beyond creating a Facebook and Twitter page for your site, consider creating a Pinterest page. This specifically is a good idea if you have a visually appealing business portfolio. Businesses in the food industry, photography, arts and crafts, etc., have a strong success rate on Pinterest. Make sure each post has information on your company, such as company name, website, contact information, etc. It’s smart to link each pin back to your company website.