Posted Jun 25, 2020 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

How to Promote Your Brand Outside of Social Media

Promoting a business can be a draining fulltime job even without worrying about organic reach and your follower count. “How do I get customers without social media?” — you might ask? This question concerns lots of merchants, and we get it. Luckily, there are many ways to market your products, and social media is just one of them.

Check out 13 ways to promote your brand without social media and you’ll find there are plenty of options to get the word out about your business.

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Does My Business Need Social Media?

When you’re just starting out, you should decide: “Is social media necessary for a business?” Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” solution. But we can give you insight to help build smarter marketing strategies.

One thing is sure though: social media is a great asset only if you have a strong message to connect with your followers. Posting about topics unrelated to your niche and inconsistent content plan will do more harm than good. Think how you can showcase your brand’s value, what helpful information you can share to be seen as an expert in your niche.


Ecwid merchant Selena Robinson uses Pinterest promote her digital goods for homeschooling

Here’re the resources that will help you to present your brand on social media:

As you see, we have lots of materials on building your social presence. Still, it’s important to build your brand beyond these platforms, so let’s talk about how you can promote your business without social media.

How Can I Get Traffic to My Website Without Social Media?

Some methods below require almost no effort, while others need more time and investment. But all of them will drive visitors to your website without social media, so choose what makes more sense for your business at the moment.

Get your brand in the news

Every business has something special and worth talking about. Determine your brand’s story: what makes your brand unique and why is it the best alternative to the competition? Then pitch your brand story to relevant publications for coverage. Think about local blogs and news sites, newspapers too. Focus your efforts on local reporters for TV and radio.


An article about Cuprum Distillery’s initiative on local news

Think what ultimately makes your business interesting and use that to leverage an attention-getting story. Remember, the best pitches are short and to the point, but they still have enough room to make your idea intriguing to the recipient.

A great example for a small business focusing in product distribution could go something like this:

Hello John Smith of Metropolitan News,

Here at Joe’s Snacks, we want to be able to provide affordable snacks for our customers while making an impact in the community. When we set out to do this, we decided that we’d set up our business to be an opportunity for former convicts, so they can get back on their feet while learning about operating a business. We’d love to talk to you more about this if you’d like. Feel free to contact us at 777-777-7777 and.

Also: Sell the Story: How to Get Started with Storytelling for Your Brand

Use content to market your business

If you’re ready to invest a bit more time and effort into promoting your business, think about content marketing. In a nutshell, it’s attracting an audience by creating and sharing free valuable content. It might be any content that answers specific questions people have, for example, educational articles, e-books, videos, webinars, infographics, podcasts, how-to guides, photos, or blogs.

By the way, social media posts can also be a part of content marketing. Creating content is just a start, to make it work for your business, you need to share it. The easiest and cheapest way to do that is social media. In this case, combining content marketing and social media can provide better results than using them separately.


Ultimate 5 Squad offer free downloadables for teachers and parents

Important thing to remember is that content marketing isn’t about direct selling of your products or services. It’s about your audience and what they want to know about. You as a brand owner have valuable knowledge to share with others in your field. Focus your content on this knowledge, and you’ll be able to build trust with potential customers by showing your expertise. For example, if you sell bikes, shoot a video about fixing a bike yourself. Or, if you’re a fitness instructor, partner with a wellness influencer to make a livestream about exercise you can do at home.

Remember that сontent marketing is always strategic. If you are sharing your knowledge, it must be consistent and relevant to your audience.

Podcast: Content Marketing and Brand Story

Send out email newsletters

Effective email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customers while simultaneously offering them deals to incentivize their return to your store. As an email is easily forwardable, your subscribers can become your evangelists when you give them something interesting to forward to a friend.

Here are the main things to remember when creating your newsletter:

  • Make sure your email doesn’t look like spam
  • Stick to short and strong subject lines, and when in doubt, use subject line testers. There are tons of them online, for example, this one from CoSchedule.
  • Make sure your email content is human, useful and informative.


Add a signup block to your site to collect emails (Image: The Letter Box)

Don’t spam the readers with needless information. It will eventually get caught in filters that keep it out of people’s inboxes, and it will be ignored by everyone else long before that. Instead, make sure that readers find the content useful.

For example, if you sell home decor, send people ideas on how they could incorporate your product into their home. What works for any brand is telling a compelling story about how the item you’re offering uniquely serves its purpose and will change its owner’s life.

More: 10 Smart Ways to Grow Your Newsletter List

Partner with other entrepreneurs

Reach out to local entrepreneurs with a spirit of finding new ways to team up. It’s an incredibly cheap and efficient way to generate referrals and create awareness for your brand. Partnering with another business owner may make you their direct recommendation whenever a need for your product comes up.

A great example would be to visit the local ice cream truck and offer to promote them at your next local event, or on your online shop, in exchange for their putting out your fliers by their menus.

Ecwid merchant Jaeleen Shaw joined a local entrepreneurial group and it delivered great results:

“We became a part of that community early on, and all the people involved in that are a core part of the creative community. They all shared with their friends, and we blew up really quickly.”


Jaeleen Shaw runs a flower business and believes in the idea of “community over competition”

Check out our podcast to learn more about Jaeleen’s tips and experience.

Advertise with Google Smart Shopping

If you’re looking for a “set up and go” solution, consider running automated Google Smart Shopping ads. Your products will appear on Google Shopping, YouTube, Gmail, and more than 2 million partner websites. Best of all, ads run, test, and optimize automatically, all you have to do is to set up a campaign in three simple steps.

If you’re new to e-commerce advertising, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to get great results with these ads. For example, Ecwid store Soundwave Art got a 415% return on advertising spend when using Ecwid’s Google Smart Shopping integration. Impressive, isn’t it? Learn how they did it and repeat their success.

Get a referral program

When you run a referral program, you reward customers for spreading the word about your business. For example, you can reward them with points that they can use to get a discount, exclusive gifts or free shipping.

Referral marketing puts a new spin on a good old word of mouth. Using a referral program is effective because you leverage your customers and people typically trust recommendations from their friends.

If you don’t know where to start, we have not one but two special episodes of the Ecwid E-commerce Show. Tune in and learn how to start and promote your referral program:


An example of a referral program you can set up for your store with the Gratisfaction app

How Can I Promote My Business Without Social Media?

The methods below will help you strengthen your brand and make your business more visible. Combine several strategies to get more attention to your store.

Sponsor events and support charities

One of the easiest ways to get your brand’s name out in the community is to be a part of the community in the first place. Help sponsor local events and get your brand’s name on event flyers. Look into sponsorship opportunities for local junior sports teams. It’s a great idea to support charities, as it helps tell the story of your company’s values.

For example, you can offer a percentage of your site’s online proceeds each week to a specific charity of your choosing. There are plenty of charities out there, look for the ones that correspond with your audience’s values and brand messaging.


Simple Swell’s shoppers can support the foundation by making a purchase

Participate in events

This option is also about events, but it’s about sharing your expertise rather than sponsoring. You can participate in all kinds of online and offline events to get the word out about your business. For example, speak at a conference, organize a master class, or join a webinar as a guest expert. You can host events yourself or partner with other entrepreneurs, depending on how much time and effort you can offer.

Place outdoor ads

Traditional outdoor ads are still a great form of marketing that you can use. Location is what matters most here. If you offer catering or deserts, finding an outdoor ad opportunity close to the local business park will help you build toward becoming the go-to storefront whenever an office worker needs a problem solved. It’s also incredibly important to focus on making sure your message is delivered creatively, while ensuring that contact information for your brand is easily located and identifiable.

Use print ads

Don’t underestimate print ads, as they are still a quick and easy way to get your business out there. They worked like a charm for Ecwid merchants Donna and Andrea that sell FlipZees, original glasses for putting on makeup:

“We sent a letter with the product to print magazines, and one came back. They did it like a little help section: ‘Mrs. J can’t put on her makeup but how can she be helped?’ and then they featured our FlipZees glasses and offered a discount code. We have had a lot of sales straight there. And it cost us nothing, just a pair of glasses and we’re still getting repeat sales.”

A surefire way to make print ads work for you is to offer a discount based off of the outlet the customer saw the ad in. Print different coupon codes in different papers and magazines to test the waters and see where you get more orders from.

Start a pop-up shop

There are lots of reasons why it’s a good idea to open a pop-up shop. You get to reimagine your business as a temporary store in a new or unusual space, interact with people face-to-face, and better serve as a missionary for your brand. Not sure how to organize that? Check out this article on the nuances of finding the ideal place for your pop-up store.


You can set up your booth at markets and festivals like Beckley Candle does

Brand your car

Why not take your vehicle and turn it into an ad on wheels for you too? All it takes is a visit to your local auto detailer; get some advice on who offers the best vehicle wraps, then offer to promote their business in return for you to do the same.

Your car will become a billboard that works for you every time you turn the key in the ignition. Make sure to retain a professional look that also displays the contact info for your brand on both the front and rear of your vehicle.

Give away merch and free samples

One of the ways to market your business without social media is to put a physical item in someone’s hands. It shouldn’t be too big or expensive, and you should be able to use it to meet a direct need in that immediate moment. At an event for a little league sporting event? Hand out branded water bottles. Swing by the local farmer’s market and drop off tote bags with your logo. Visit a convention center and hand out branded bottle openers. Or, you can just offer free samples of your product without having to make your merch.


Artist Jimmy Craig makes stickers with his comics

Promotional items also make great gifts to your loyal customers. Offer free samples or merch as a thank you gift. It helps promote your brand a little, while also building brand loyalty.

Do You Promote Your Brand Outside of Social Media?

While we’ve touched on a few different methods to promote your brand without social media, no single idea by itself is the silver bullet to cure your marketing worries. The best plan is to try a little bit of everything until you have enough data on where to refocus your efforts. With a little practice, you’ll be able to find a perfect solution and make your efforts work for your brand.

Now, your turn to share your opinion on marketing products without social media. How do you promote your business? Is social media a big part of your marketing strategy? Let’s discuss it in the comments!

About the author
Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.
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