By Taylor Moore

When it comes to marketing, small businesses often lack the finances to compete with the more established competition. But there is good news: you don’t need money to advertise your business. There are countless inexpensive marketing ideas that don’t require you to invest anything but your creativity and some time. Let’s explore 10 of them.

1. Leverage the Power of Facebook

With over 968 million daily users, Facebook is an amazing platform for free marketing. If you don’t have a business page there already, go ahead and create one. Regularly publish content and utilize the Insights tab to know which type of content is the most engaging. Explore Facebook communities and join relevant groups or start your own. And whatever you do, make sure you find the right balance between being salesy and non-salesy.

2. Tap into Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective means of promoting your business. Before you can start using it, you need to build your own email list. Do that by creating a valuable piece of content such as a tip sheet or an e-book, posting it on your website and giving visitors free access to the resource in exchange for their email address. Don’t limit yourself to emailing only the subscribers. Contact friends, family, acquaintances and past customers with a request to make referrals to people in need of your product or service.

3. Start Blogging

Start a blog on your website and regularly post great content. Share the content with the audience on your social network profiles to generate valuable traffic that can convert into sales. Try to guest post on popular blogs as well, or invite established bloggers to post on your blog or review your products. Another great practice is to regularly leave insightful and detailed comments on blogs related to your website as this will earn you recognition and build connections.

4. Attend Events

Networking events and industry conferences are great opportunities to build a number of connections. Socialize with the attendees and distribute your business cards. Remember to keep it real: the more engaging and authentic as a person you are, the more likely people will remember you. And if you’re comfortable with public speaking, then giving a talk at one of these events is another great way to let people know about yourself and what you do.

5. Pin Things to Pinterest

Pinterest is another incredibly useful social networking site that works by pinning images to boards. Pin photos of your products, services, business locations or even tell your business’s story through pins. Pinterest also tends to rank well in search engines so make sure you include relevant keywords and links to your website to fully utilize its marketing potential.

6. Utilize Media

To be mentioned in the media, you just need the right connections. Contact local media outlets with information about your business, products and services or inform them about unique, interesting or unusual things your business is trying to do. You might also want to subscribe to HARO (Help a Reporter Out), an online service through which you can be a part of press articles and earn free publicity.

7. Get Listed in Online Business Directories

Business directories are often the first places prospects go to search for your business. Ensure that you have a listing on free directories like Yelp, Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. Each listing needs to have accurate information. This means a working link to your website, an address and a phone number at a minimum.

8. Host Free Seminars/Webinars

Information is as valuable as gold. By teaching customers something for free, you can facilitate business, develop invaluable relationships and establish yourself as an authority within your niche. People will also trust you more, which means more customers will be likely to purchase your products. Choose a topic or a skill people would normally pay to learn something about.

9. Create Infographics

Rework your most popular content into infographics or do market research about your niche and present the results in the form of an infographic. They are a quick, compact and oft-enjoyable way for people to learn something. The best part is they can easily be reposted on social media networks and generate a lot of traffic. Tools like Piktochart can make the process easy while requiring minimal graphic design skills.

10. Answer Questions

Customers always want to know how to solve their problems. By providing answers to their questions, you can establish yourself as an authority in the field. Remember, people who find your answers particularly useful will want to learn about your business more. Go ahead and join question-and-answer websites like Quora and Yahoo Answers or try starting a discussion on Reddit.

What other inexpensive marketing ideas would you add to this list?