With so many new businesses popping up every day, building and marketing a brand has never been more important. But creating a winning brand identity on a budget is no easy task!
Whether your small business is brand new or well established, the identity you create impacts every facet of your success. Your brand presence can be a determining factor on how well (or poorly) your existing products sell, and even how your new offerings are perceived.
In many cases, your brand identity can be the single most valuable asset available to your company. Building your brand requires a sizeable investment of both time and money, and should be valued as equal to any physical equipment your business may have.
With your brand name on the line, it is important for business owners to not only safeguard their brand identities, but to also actively market them. Here are 10 smart brand marketing tips that can help your company stand out in a crowded marketplace.
1. Make smart use of social media
Social media is an easy way to build an online presence. It leaves a digital footprint of your business and serves as a reliable source of information for your clients and customers. Dependent on your social marketing plan, targeted or paid ads can be surprisingly affordable and do a lot for building your brand image for the right audience.
Used to its full potential, social media can build a solid foundation in your brand marketing. With a clever content strategy in place, you can utilise your free Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to appeal to your ideal customers and persuade sales.
2. Become a video star
The internet is now the first port of call for people eager to learn new things and acquire new skills. The good news is that you could be ground zero for that information! Creating and posting instructional videos is a great way to increase the visibility of your brand, showcase your expertise and build personable relationships.
3. Reach out to local media
From newspaper editors to local TV and radio stations, media outlets are always looking for interesting stories. Local media generally tend to focus on human interest stories, so reach out to those decision makers, and allow the personality of your brand to shine. What could you offer them? Perhaps you could share the origin story of your company? Or highlight a valuable talking point that gives you a competitive edge? Or talk about how your products/services are changing the lives of others for the better. Either way, the return in publicity earned from reaching out and offering a story, can make even more of an impact than the majority of your marketing campaigns.
4. Build up your online presence
Having a company website is extremely important, utilise your digital space to bolster your brand and take advantage of a strong online presence. Apart from benefiting you with SEO, a striking website can build up your brand image through blogs, social media sites, affiliates, video sharing and other suitable channels.
5. Set up a referral program
You’ve heard it before - 80% of our customers come from 20% of our referrals. This is the tried and tested 80/20 rule, a marketing fact that can be found across multiple businesses, across multiple industries. Existing customers can be your best source of new business, and a formal referral program is one of the most effective ways to harness them. Offering referral rewards, and encouraging existing customers to share their experience on social media, are just two ways to get new business from your already proven existing buyers.
6. Hold a contest
Everyone loves to win a prize, and hosting a contest is a great way to build buzz for your business and your brand. The prize does not have to be expensive or elaborate, it only has to be something that your audience values - feel free to experiment and find out for yourself what works best.
7. Team up with other business owners
As a business owner, you have plenty of company, so collaborate by reaching out to fellow entrepreneurs in your community. Look for synergies and complimentary product offerings that could work well for you and your fellow business owners.
8. Carry business cards everywhere you go
The classic face-to-face networking approach is still a solid business principle to master. Here, a simple business card can be your most valuable marketing tool – if you keep a supply on hand. Whether you are making a quick run to the grocery store or attending a networking event, make sure you have plenty of business cards in your pocket. You never know when you could run into a prospect!
9. Apply for local business and industry awards
Business awards do more than just stroke the ego - they can also be a tool to publicly sing your praises. Stay knowledgeable of business and industry awards in your area, and don’t be afraid to throw your hat into the ring. When you do receive an award, ensure you are appropriately promoting your achievements to your audience.
10. Host a class
You are an expert at what you do or sell, so why not pass that knowledge on to others? Hosting a class or holding a seminar is a great way to boost brand awareness and foster new business interest.
Building a great brand on a budget is no easy task, it won't happen overnight, but if you work at it you can create a brand you can be proud of. These budget friendly tips will help get you started, so you can start building your business into a solid brand.