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7 of the most overlooked but effective ways to drive brand awareness

July 12, 2021    |     5-minute read (853 words)

Branding extends beyond visual assets and elements such as a logo to include all other marketing materials that help translate your brand into an image. As a representation of your company’s identity to your consumers, branding encompasses your company’s vision, mission and values, customer experience, product proposition and voice. In short, it comprises the way you communicate with your target audience.

While large corporations can spend millions of dollars developing a strong brand, it’s a struggle for small businesses that must work with tight budgets and frequent cash-flow issues. In other words, building a brand with top-of-mind recall in the midst of the chaos that running a small business entails is not an easy feat.

While it may appear that building a brand requires a large slush fund, there are a plethora of low-cost resources, tools and platforms available today that can elevate the image of your brand. This is thanks to the rise of digital marketing!

Listed below are a few of the most-effective ways to create brand awareness on a budget.

  • Build a mobile-friendly website
A website is perhaps the most economical and powerful branding tool available. Every day, billions of searches are conducted online, mostly via mobile devices. According to a report by Statista, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, which is 59.5 percent of the global population as of January 2021.

Of this total, 92.6 percent, or 4.32 billion, accessed the internet via mobile devices. By creating a mobile-friendly website, you can communicate seamlessly with your target audience, and your small business will be on the same platform as Walmart, Amazon and other digital behemoths. 

Tip: Case studies, testimonials and reviews posted on the site will further add credibility to your brand.

  • Leverage social media 
One of the most affordable branding tactics is running an organic social media campaign on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. Use these platforms not just to market your deals, but also to inform your readers about the benefits of your product or service, and to share updates and useful tips. Don’t push your brand. Communicate its essence, while also encouraging people to align themselves with your brand.

  • Try mail marketing
As a direct marketing tool, email is one of the most effective low-cost brand building techniques for small businesses. When it comes to well-drafted, impactful and creative emails, the message captures the attention of the reader, keeps them hooked and includes a call to action. Email marketing is used by the most serious buyers and sellers for communicating their brand voice, without spamming mailboxes.

  • Prioritize content creation
Your brand's credibility and authority are built through blogs, articles, videos, case studies, white papers and various other forms of content. Content marketing can be done without breaking the bank as this branding technique doesn’t demand money if you choose not to outsource or use sponsored posts and paid platforms for content promotion.

  • Connect with the community
Small businesses are responsible for boosting local economies, reinvesting in the community and bolstering the overall business climate of a region. If you're a small business owner, one of your most valuable assets is your community. You can expand your reach and promote brand loyalty by forming collaborations with local schools, charities and other welfare organizations. Create hype and build a significant amount of local brand awareness by becoming more involved in the community. Remember, consumers prefer to associate with a firm that gives back to the community and supports philanthropic causes.

  • Network
Traditional networking has proven to be one of the best ways to raise brand awareness. Attending industry events, exchanging business cards, and participating in forums and group discussions are crucial for people to know you and your brand. It’s a key element of your branding strategy. After all, you and your employees are the face of the company.

  • Collaborate with influencers and the media
You can leverage an influencer’s image and credibility to represent your brand. Influencer marketing can be expensive, but you can start with micro-influencers who might not boast huge follower numbers but enjoy a strong reputation within a certain niche. Influencers come across as genuine and people can easily relate to them, but make sure to collaborate with influencers who are a good fit for your brand.

On the other hand, media mileage is equally important for building brand awareness. In the age of digital media, a backlink from a popular news site might potentially boost your site’s ranking in search results (organically). Alternatively, you can send out cold emails or a Help a Reporter Out / HARO to connect with journalists seeking expertise on a subject they are writing on. You can contribute to one!

Takeaways: Branding for your company or product is similar to building a public image. You need to ensure that your strategy is right. Although brand marketing and promotion still remains a top challenge for most small business owners, you can still establish a strong brand voice and a niche for yourself in the market by implementing these low-cost yet effective tactics.

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