There are times every business needs to market on a tight budget. The businesses that weather this national crisis have already faced countless decisions. And we’ll all face difficult decisions moving forward, too.
No matter the crisis, economy, cash flow or seasonality of business, HenkinSchultz marketing agency offers these creative marketing solutions to build awareness when dollars are tight.
10 Tips for Building Brand Awareness with a Low Budget
1. Set a Budget
Setting a budget for branding expenses is crucial. Even if that number is closer to zero, a budget gives you discipline. It helps you avoid spending on whomever salesperson may come-a-knocking.
It also makes you think. “Perhaps I need to freeze spending now, but what will my cash flow look like when the weather changes, competition closes its doors or new markets open up?”
2. Identify the Things That Cost you Nothing
While on the topic of budget, it’s a great time to identify doing the things that cost you nothing. Such as:
- Are your on-hold messaging, voicemail or personal voicemail up to date, friendly sounding and professional?
- Are all your operational staff or administrative staff, positive and at their best when interacting with a customer?
- Is there a relevant topic in the news you can speak credibly on? Are you an expert the news media may contact during spring flooding for example? Or pothole repair and tire damage? Whatever it is!
3. Advocate Something
There is no better way to earn public trust and good will than to advocate for something. Many leaders instinctively do this. But if volunteerism and activism is not a priority part of your work culture, now is a good time to start.
Taking on a service opportunity in a food kitchen; lending materials or employee resources when you can; and sponsoring events or fundraisers are not only a kind thing to undertake, they give you and your employees purpose. They’re also a networking opportunity in the community, while you’re doing good for the community.
4. Freshen Up That Network
Maybe you haven’t updated that LinkedIn page for a while, reached out to talk to vendors or old customers. If that person is you, you can change that. While social distancing has changed our lives, our phones and email are readily available and tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts are being deployed more and more for work, social and networking functions.
You’re likely in business because at one time you saw “a better way” of doing something. And while that model may have served you very well, now is not the time to rest on it.
A bright spot of our current crisis climate is innovation. Private industry and innovation is rising to the task in places where the government simply isn’t equipped to. Wineries making sanitizer. Designers crafting masks. Auto plants building ventilators.
What skill or product do you have at your disposal that you could deploy and use in a new way?
6. Give your Vehicles or Exterior a Makeover
Most businesses use a car, van or truck of some kind for work. In construction, realty, delivery of business of any kind, your vehicle can be a moving billboard for very little cost. A window cling, or more expansive vinyl wrap is less costly than you may think.
The same is true for any exterior or interior space your office or building may have. If people drive by it, wait inside it, or journey through your workspace, there is an opportunity to tastefully brand it.
7. Optimize your Website Searchability
So many companies put a lot of work into building a website, getting the right photography, content and other information, they forget to share it with the world.
Being found by search is an ever-evolving animal. Do you have:
- Title tags
- Working links
- Good meta descriptions
- Alt tags
If you’re not doing these things or do not know what they are, you’re probably not taking the best care of your website SEO and it may be time for a tune up.
8. Get Really Social
Social media is a powerful tool when used correctly. Slower advertising times are great opportunities to really think about your social media presence. And we’re not necessarily talking about quantity, but quality.
Are you doing more than just sell or advertise specials? Are you telling a story? Engaging your audience in feedback? Or demonstrating a fun product item? Giving away valuable tips as they relate to your business? These are all thoughtful ways to maximize your social media account.
9. Blog About What’s Happening
In business, you know it takes a network of people, partners, vendors, customers and others to make things happen. It’s extremely helpful to talk to others about what they’re doing with their marketing efforts and how they are responding to your marketing.
Armed with this information and insight, you can blog about your personal experiences in business. It’s a cathartic way to discuss your own operations, adjustments and aspirations. But it also keeps your business on people’s radar as a thought leader. And it makes you more discoverable in SEO.
Remember, your blog shouldn’t just be a sales tool. Informing people on how your product or service solves a problem and telling a story about your business connects people. When people are connected, they will more likely think of you when it’s time to purchase.
10. Consider Google Ads
Investing even a little in Google Ads can pay big dividends. It’s a cost effective way to highly target very specific audiences in your area.
When you know your audience, you can anticipate the things new customers may be searching for. For example, “affordable home insurance” or “in-home exercise equipment.”
Another advantage of Google Ads, is that it’s not a contract commitment. You can turn the budget spigot on and off, test different search terms, and set a limit on your investment. All of these features help you spend money wisely and conservatively.
No Matter What You Do for Marketing, Tell a Good Story
No matter what tactics you choose during tough times, remember to tell a good story. HS recently posted a blog on that topic and we encourage you to check it out. A great story can really stretch any media investment.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. And if you need to know more,contact us! Our marketing agency is ready to help.