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10 Ways to Grow Your Local Business for (Almost) Nothing

Most local businesses don’t have big budgets. But that doesn’t mean that their marketing efforts have to stay small. There are plenty of strategies that local businesses can use to drive customers to their stores while getting the most out of their marketing dollars.  We launched our first list of free and cheap marketing tactics back in 2017. Now, we’re updating that list with the most powerful and cost-effective ways to grow your local business today and beyond. Be Active in Online Communities Being helpful was a tactic we talked about back in 2017, and it’s still relevant today. Online communities like Nextdoor are now even more popular and filled with thousands of people who could be looking for your expert advice.  Online communities that are specifically related to your industry are a great way to establish your authority, as the editorial team at WPBeginner notes. Some of these communities are obvious. If you run a hospitality business, Tripadvisor is a must.  Don’t join just any community, however. It’s important that you only invest your time in places where potential customers are active. Bean Ninjas’ Meryl Johnston recommends trying out several communities to get a feel for which ones suit you and your business. When you’ve found one or two communities that work, focus your attention on being as helpful as possible to other members of that community.   When it comes to posting, our advice hasn’t changed since 2017: Be as helpful as possible without expecting anything in return. Just make sure you link back to your company’s website in your profile.  Create a Business Profile on Facebook Facebook remains a pivotal platform for local businesses today. In fact, it's possibly even more important now than in 2017, given Facebook's increased emphasis on local communities. Facebook visibility can also improve your business’ rankings in Google, writes entrepreneur Alyssa Gregory. All of the content that you post to Facebook, including your page itself, can be indexed by Google and show up in results pages.  It’s essential that you create a separate page for your business, says social media strategist Saige Driver. You won’t be taken seriously as a local business if you’re posting from your personal account.  Filling out your business profile as much as possible is also important. This includes photos of your business, contact information, a link to your website and your operating hours.  Then, Post Interesting Content to That Account As we said back in 2017, it’s not enough to create a Facebook account. You need to keep posting high-quality, engaging content that your audience loves.  Writer Christina Newberry recommends that business owners take a quality-over-quantity approach to content creation. Focus on helping customers and building a relationship rather than trying to hammer home a sales message. Your audience will be much more likely to engage and share your content if it offers value.  You don’t have to create all of the content yourself, however. Curating content from other interesting voices in your space can be a great [...]