Marketing is an integral part of every business. Marketing describes a set of activities that a company undertakes to advertise the sale or purchasing of a particular product, service, or just about anything. This includes advertising, selling, promotion, and public relations which ensure that people will know your brand.
Building your brand takes a lot of work and a good strategy. The power of branding is undeniable in today's business environment as it connects its products and services to its customers. Marketers must learn how to create a strong brand image to increase business value and ultimately, be successful.
Small businesses may struggle to boost their brand because of competition. Aside from that, competition might also spend a fortune advertising and promoting their brand to increase brand visibility and awareness in the market. However, there are many ways small and large businesses can boost their brand without having to spend too much money. Read more below to understand what is branding is and know the ways on how to promote your brand in the market without spending a fortune.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is an identity, term, logo, design, or any other characteristic that represents a product or service as different from the products or services of other companies. Branding provides an identity for a company and helps customers to perceive and relate to it. The brand's identity may be in the form of a slogan, design, color scheme, or corporate messaging. It’s established by a perception of familiarity and affinity with the brand.
How Do You Promote Your Brand?
Large companies have an intensive digital marketing campaign to promote their brand in different channels. Paying for online ads and crafting professionally designed marketing tools can cost these businesses a fortune. Many small businesses can't afford these things to increase brand awareness and online visibility. Small businesses need to be creative with their strategies in promoting their brand. If you own a small business and want to boost your brand without spending too much, here are some things you can do:
1. Create A Customer Loyalty Program
One way a business can boost its brand is to strengthen its relationship with its current customers through a customer loyalty program. When your existing customers are happy, they’ll put a good word about your brand to other people.
A customer loyalty program is a reward program that gives motivation to your consumers and encourages them to keep on buying from you instead of competitors. Customers give you their full support when they purchase from you.
There are many different things you can offer your customers, and some ideas of these loyalty incentives can be in the form of freebies like customized promotional items like hoodies, mugs, and pens. You can also offer them discounts or coupons to affirm the customers that they're getting something back in exchange.
Gamification is also an essential factor when it comes to implementing points programs. By using points systems like Sephora, customers can earn points that they can accumulate. These points can then be converted into free products or discounts. If they visit your website and sign up for your customer loyalty program, they can earn additional points toward future purchases.
2. Advertise On Social Media
Advertising on social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand and introduce it to a large online audience. When done correctly, a social media campaign can result in a measurable increase in the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. If you’re willing to implement an effective marketing strategy to take advantage of these platforms, you could potentially see a noticeable positive return on investment within a brief period.
With this in mind, you can use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to expand your reach and develop your brand recognition. Both platforms allow users to chat live, comment, or send messages. You can see how interacting with your audience can help build a relationship and brand recognition that can then be leveraged in other forms of marketing.
3. Work With Influencers
Many small businesses benefit from working with people who have a large following on their social media accounts. These people are called influencers.
Influencer Marketing is a highly effective method for online business owners to increase exposure and traffic to their websites through the help of influential users of the internet, including users with an equivalent or very similar market share. Influencers are typically individuals with an authoritative social influence that can provide helpful information on a particular subject matter. They’re usually active on blogs and other forums and often willingly share advertising links on their pages. This allows small businesses to gain visibility to get a link from an influential source, which can significantly boost their search engine rankings.
For Example: ExitAdviser's Influencer Program
Companies that want to take advantage of influencer marketing can do so by investing time and energy in finding the right influencers aligned with their target audience. This is an essential step because it increased their chances of being noticed by the customers who are more interested in their products and services
4. Optimize Your Website
One way to promote your brand online and create credibility and a good reputation is by building an optimized website. What’s an optimized website? Optimized websites are those which are made in such a manner that they rank high in search engine results pages.
Organic traffic is one of the most significant benefits of an optimized website because this type of traffic is free. Free traffic comes from various sources, including search engines, social media, article submissions, press releases, blogs, and more.
An optimized website also ensures that you provide a positive user experience to your target audience. The process of user experience optimization has to do with knowing who your target market is, what kind of technology they use, and how accessible they are to your website.
Next, you need to know what they expect from your website. This will largely depend on the demographic and country of origin of each particular clientele. This would include the kinds of services or products they’re looking for and the level of satisfaction they expect from your service or product. This would also involve knowing what your competitors are doing to optimize their websites and offer similar products.
With that in mind, how can you ensure that your site is fully optimized to earn organic traffic and increase your brand's online visibility? Here are some things you need to do:
- Keyword Research – everything begins with finding the right keywords to use in your website URL and content. You can use tools like a keyword planner to have a rough idea of the most searched words relating to your field and the competition over these keywords.
- Content – after identifying the right keywords to use, you should create high-quality content with these keywords.
- Website Speed – One way to ensure your target audience has a positive user experience on your website is to optimize your site's loading speed. If your site takes too slow to load the images or content, your audience might close the window and find another website that's worth their time.
In addition to these tasks, you’ll also want to work on link building, directory submission, blog commenting, blog promotion, press release submission, and web analytics. Combine all of these tasks to ensure that your site ranks high in search engine pages and provides your target audience's needs.
5. Create An Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is an effective way of reaching out to prospective customers which has been proven time and again. When put into the proper setting and with the right content, it reaches a significantly broader audience than most other promotional methods. When done effectively, it builds brand loyalty as well as new customers.
One way to make your email marketing strategy more effective is to make sure that you send informative emails to your subscribers. Choose carefully which ones you send and take care to stay away from spamming. Avoid sending sales pitches and be as detailed as possible in teaching your subscribers helpful information. Your subscribers will appreciate it knowing that they’re not receiving any more advertisements from you and receiving valuable information from you. They’ll be more likely to return to your newsletter and buy products from you.
Why Is Brand Important?
Unless your customers recognize your brand visually, in terms of a logo, signage, advertising, packaging, color, and so on, there’s virtually no way of knowing or understanding what your brand is and if it exists. Just imagine how many times people walk by and think, 'I don't know anything about that company' or 'I could never be sure of that brand'. Without visually "knowing" your business, other businesses and people can’t distinguish your brand from your competition's.
A strong brand gives the company the ability to build a perception of lasting business value and credibility. Branding provides an edge over competitors and helps to build a perception of quality, superiority, reliability, and commitment. It creates a long-term perception of the company that customers hold.
Boosting your brand and introducing it to a broad audience doesn't have to cost a lot. Small businesses can do many things to increase the value of their brand by focusing on their target audience and finding the right tools to reach them. One way to do this is to strengthen the relationship with their current customer base by sending helpful information through email marketing and having a customer loyalty program.
Building an optimized website is also a must to rank higher in search engine pages and improve the user experience for their audience. Lastly, it's also beneficial to work with influencers because they have a huge following, and they can help your brand have a positive reputation or review out in public.
About the author: Alexis Xavier is a brand merchandise specialist. He has a knack in designing custom print shirts and hoodies. Alexis shares his expertise in graphic design through blogging and video tutorials. During his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, chess, and video games.