You’ve worked hard to create a new product or maybe you just opened the doors to a new brick and mortar store. Everything is ready, but how do you get the word out about your business?

One of the trickiest parts of starting a business is getting customers.

Marketing is the act of telling people about your small business and giving them knowledge so they know what you offer.

Marketing used to involve billboard ads and TV commercials that cost a lot of money — and if you didn’t get the results you hoped for, you couldn’t instantly stop the commercial from airing or tear down a billboard.

The new age of marketing has brought innovative strategies that you can start with that won’t cost you a penny. So with a budget of $0, you can get your name out today. Take a look at these 3 free marketing ideas your small business can try.

Free Marketing Idea #1: Create Educational Content

Marketing used to involve “pushing” information to your target audience. However, it’s not as easy to do that today. Instead, marketers use tactics to bring the target market to you, like through quality content.

Content is any valuable information found online – infographics, blog posts, e-books, and more – that provide value to your audience.

According to Mashable, Google gets more than 100 billion searches each month, so the content should match what your customers are searching online.

You don’t want your content to strictly advertise your business. Instead, it should educate them. This is one of many ways to build a trustworthy website. Your customers might read numerous articles of yours before they choose to make a purchase. It’s good to know that content strategy doesn’t work overnight. You’ll need to publish articles daily and if you can do that yourself, it won’t cost you a penny! If you want to get a personal loan online or use another source of funding to outsource the project, rest assured that content marketing will help get you new business and boost your bottom line.

Free Marketing Idea #2: Engage on Social media

Social media has exploded as a new marketing frontier. Today millions of people own smartphones and use social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn daily. The result? Social media has turned into a popular place to advertise. If you want to engage your audience for free, you can! If you own a restaurant, you can post pictures of your meals on Instagram. If you offer products for moms, you can share childcare and organization tips on Pinterest and Twitter. If you have a handyman company, head to LinkedIn to post how-to guides.

Each social marketing platform attracts different members of your audience. Take some time to research where your target audience spends their time online.

Creating social accounts and posting is free. If you want to learn how to increase sales on a tight budget, know that the key is to craft compelling posts and share high-quality images.

Free Marketing Idea #3: Encourage Referrals

Organic marketing should always be number one – it’s ideal to avoid extra work and still gain new customers. Through referrals, your customers are doing the work for you when they spread the word to their family and friends.

This free marketing strategy is most effective if you have a referral program in place. Tell your customers about it, and respectfully ask them to tell other people about your business. Make sure your website has a button that people can click on to share and invite friends to like your page. You should offer incentives too – reward customers that refer the most people with a one-time discount. Make sure to thank your customers.

If you don’t have much cash to spend on your business, don’t worry. These free marketing ideas will help you reach your target audience no matter how small your budget is.

What low-budget marketing tactics work best for your small business?