by John Eberhard

I wrote a couple of articles several months ago about the need for businesses to keep promoting during touch economic times.

Despite this I have seen a number of businesses cut down on their promotion in the past six months, some drastically. This is unfortunate because I think those businesses will be harder hit by the current economic climate than others who manage to keep promoting during this period.

Of course I understand that the economic situation has a ripple effect throughout the economy and may be impacting your business in multiple ways. Many small businesses are strapped for cash.

So here are some things you can do online to keep promoting your business that don’t cost a lot of money:

  1. Email Newsletter: If you have built up an email list of customers and people who have inquired about your services, you need to be emailing to these people on a regular basis. Any list of 1,000 names or more can be a significant resource and you shouldn’t ignore it. I recommend emailing to your in-house email list at least twice a month. I send to mine once a week.
  1. Blog: Have a blog created for your business, and then post to it once a week or more. Once the blog is created, it is free to post to it. Each time you post, it is vital to go to www.pingomatic.com and fill out the form there to send a notification, called a “ping,” to all the blog search engines. This ping will drive traffic to your blog. It is important when having your blog set up so that it has contact information placed prominently right on the blog, and to have sidebars with multiple links to various things on your main site, things you’re selling, etc.
  1. Optimized Press Releases: These are press releases that are optimized to contain keywords that you are targeting and trying to get your web site to rank well for. Once written, post these on online PR sites of which there are many, many of them free, and most of them ranking well on search engines. My book gives the details on how to write an optimized press release. In today’s world these releases are mostly viewed by consumers, not by media people. You can write a release that simply talks about your services and announces that you deliver a certain service or sell a certain product. It does not have to be news per se.
  1. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and many other social media sites can be very helpful in getting the word out on your business. You just have to be kind of careful about two very important things: a) Sign up on each of these services and observe for a while before you start promoting, because there are definite good ways and bad ways to promote, and if you overdo it, you’ll offend people and they will turn you off. And b) Be careful not to get too addicted to these sites, because it is easy to do and they can be a big time-sucker. I recommend getting on Facebook and putting up a corporate page, which is free, then promoting it to your friends.
  1. Article Directories / Content Hubs: Article directories, also called content hubs, are great ways to promote your business and build up links to your site. Write an article of 500 words or more, then post to the directories. Include a “bio box” that has your name, company name, a brief blurb about you and the company, and up to 3 links to your site or sites. Each one counts as a link to your web site.

I realize I’m dating myself by reference to the old Fleetwood Mac song in the title of this article. So I’ll admit I’m not in my twenties anymore. Still young at heart though.

As you can see from the list above, the Internet gives you multiple opportunities for promoting cheaply, and for keeping your outflow high during this tough economic period.