Looking at the million-dollar branding strategies of successful companies can be incredibly demotivational if you are faced with the task of building your brand on a shoestring budget. But you don’t always need a big budget to build a great brand. These tested and proven steps are your magic wand when establishing a brand on a tight budget.
1. Publish great content
Articles, blogs, videos, and white papers build authority for your brand. However, whatever topics you will write have been reproduced dozens of times, and you want to have content that ranks above these competitor sites. So you will need to approach content creation with creativity and innovation to put your content in the lead. Still, that creativity doesn’t necessarily need to be your own.
If you’re not a wordsmith, you can delegate writing tasks to a member of your team. Many companies outsource their content marketing to freelancers, freeing up their internal teams to work on other projects. Even if you are outsourcing, content marketing is still cost-effective, as you only need to pay for the social media sponsorship fee if any.
2. Get visual
After defining your brand’s ethos and establishing a target market, you can now design your brand visuals. Before you can begin designing, you will want to establish a style guide for your brand. Style guides provide guidelines for your brand’s visual communication, including fonts for written content, color palettes, and do’s and don’ts. By establishing and following your style guide, you will be able to enhance your brand’s visual consistency over time.
As part of your brand’s visual communication, you will also want to consider your brand’s logo. A logo is a brand’s identity card and the first thing your customers notice. You can easily design a professional logo using free logo options or outsource services from a qualified logo designer.
3. Work on networking
Networking is one of the few traditional marketing techniques that have survived the wave of digitalization. You can spread brand awareness by attending industry events, hosting workshops, and handing out business cards. If you have a team of employees, it is wise to get them involved in marketing as your brand’s ambassadors. Even if it’s something as passive as asking employees to wear company-branded apparel, adding a human element to your brand can grow your name and reputation rapidly. Of course, you’ll need to provide a few talking points so employees stay consistent, but the real beauty of networking for brands is the unique spin every employee adds to your brand’s story.
4. Recruit micro-influencers
Influencer marketing has peaked with the age of social media. However, working with established influencers and celebrities is costly. Not only is it cheaper to work with micro-influencers who are just getting started, but these small influencers also tend to have more targeted, active audiences. This means you can drive better engagement—and get a bigger bang for your buck.
Getting an influencer in your industry to market your products delivers your brand right into the fans’ hands, as most of them will be keen to try out the same products as their idols. If you are targeting a local market, then you should work with a local influencer. Local influencers will be able to provide the kind of cultural nuance and geographical relevance that international influencers can sometimes miss.
5. Gather testimonials
Having a section for testimonials on your website is a good way to build customer trust in your brand. After service delivery, ask customers for testimonials and reviews on how they felt about your service or product.
Letting customers speak about their experiences also has the added benefit of adding a deeper understanding of your brand. While you might think you know your brand’s selling points, speaking to customers can help reveal what those selling points really are. Using customer testimonials, you can refine your brand’s messaging to better resonate with what matters to top customers.
6. Monitor reviews
Customer reviews are a great source of feedback on your brand. Review sites such as Yelp, Google, Angie’s list, and social media comments are great sources for getting client feedback. It is crucial to stay informed and responsive when it comes to social media marketing. This is the only place where you can engage your customers and get full feedback on your brand—both positive and negative.
Negative reviews should not discourage you but should be remedied if possible. As you look through negative reviews, be sure to look for trends that could point to inconsistencies in your customer experience or miscommunications in your brand’s messaging.
Whether positive or negative, watch out for fake reviews and report as soon as you notice them or, better still, use them to your advantage.
You can establish a successful brand with a meager budget and still make a breakthrough, as there are many cost-effective branding strategies you can implement. Networking with influencers in your niche, creating top-notch content to make your brand stand out, and increasing client engagement via social media are just some of the ways that you can solidify your brand presence with little capital investment.