How to Manage an Online Brand when Money is Hard to Come By
Social media marketing costs so little in some cases, you might as well consider it free. You’ve probably heard people bring this up hundreds of times, but there’s a good chance that you’ve run a social media campaign firsthand and found you had to sink quite a bit of money into it before you got anything out. With spiraling costs and sinking budgets, you might be questioning whether or not you can afford to run your own campaign any longer.
As prices drop in the consultancy industry, there’s a good chance that you can get the kind of help you need for much less than you might have previously imagined. That being said, you might not even have much if anything to invest in your company’s brand.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can dramatically reduce costs while increasing your company’s visibility in the market.
Presenting a Decent Image to the World
According to experts from DesignBro, every business needs a logo regardless of their size and their market segment. Strong visual identity is important to help consumers differentiate between your brand and countless other ones that they see every day. You might not want to invest a great deal into developing one, but you still need something to stand out from the crowd. Consider this an investment in your brand’s future.
Nearly every social media post and promotional piece you put out in the near future is going to have your company’s emblem on it, thus it pays to put together something worthwhile. If you’re seriously strapped for cash, then consider working with an online service before you simply say no to professional logo design. You’ll be able to find an affordable piece of intellectual property this way without forgoing it completely.
In fact, you might want to consider the fact that consistent overall branding is vital to your company’s ultimate success.
Consistent Branding without Breaking the Bank
Small business owners need to present a cohesive brand image to the world, but this has become increasingly difficult because of the fact that templates and advertising designs sell for so much money. While it’s obvious that artists and typesetters need to earn a living, design firms have often priced themselves out of reach of smaller businesses who really need their services. As a result, you often see people who make their own lackluster designs by using whatever defaults shipped with their favorite desktop publishing package.
Fortunately, a number of affordable templates are available from online sources, and these may prove to be helpful to be helpful for those who might have particularly tight budgets. A set of professionally made guidelines and templates can help to dramatically improve the look and feel of a company’s online presence. All it takes is a few clicks to take pre-existing content and move them into templates that have blocks for storing text and photos you’ve probably already collected.
Not everyone has the time to write articles and product descriptions on a daily basis, however, and there’s a good chance that you might find that prospect remarkably difficult if you’re already struggling to keep up with the demands of running a business. Content creation services once priced themselves out of the reach of small business owners who wanted to stock their sites full of something that adds genuine value to their readers.
Over time, this too has changed. A number of services now provide more affordable content that’s still written by professionals, so you can trust that what you’re receiving is still going to be usable. If you budget yourself right and create at least some portion of your own content, then you should be able to stretch your marketing dollar fairly far.
This is especially true if you focus almost exclusively on social media promotions as opposed to traditional marketing techniques. Before you start promoting your firm, you’re going to want to make sure that your products are worthwhile. People won’t buy into a brand that doesn’t offer them something that they couldn’t get elsewhere. Check to make sure that you’re working with certified international wholesale dealers, who only provide real products that you can then resell to your customers.
Considering just how many fakes have made their way online in the last few years, this is an especially important issue for those who sell primarily on Amazon or eBay. Once you’ve taken the opportunity to clean up your product selection, you’ll be in a good position to start promoting it.
Managing an Effective Social Campaign
You’ve probably seen claims regarding the effectiveness of traditional marketing practices like direct mail. While you might be surprised to hear that direct mailings are probably more popular now than ever, they still only offer around a 4.4 percent response rate even in the best of times. Emailing everyone on a list is even worse, with some experts saying that the response rate is something around 0.12 percent for these campaigns.
If you’re finding it hard to build your company’s brand image using whatever technique you’re currently invested in, then there’s a good possibility that it’s time to cut your losses. Don’t continue to pour money into a program that simply isn’t working. A far more effective way to promote yourself might be to increase the number of followers you have on social media.
Chances are that you’re looking at that statement and thinking it sounds entirely too obvious, but there’s something that many people miss when comparing social followers to other types of engaged consumers. Unlike people who receive direct mailings or cold calls, people who interact with your brand online are doing so because they want to.
Those who are looking for a creative way to attract more people to their social media campaigns might want to consider promotions that aren’t going to cost much in the way of actual money. For instance, the upfront costs of your existing merchandise was probably quite high. Now that you have it, however, you can use at least some portion of it as part of your promotional efforts.
Promoting new products through effective social media giveaways can help to further increase the number of followers you have while also getting your products into real consumers’ hands. While sending out products freely can be effective, it can also make them look less valuable. Some consumers will assume if they’re getting something for free it must be of lower quality, even if the offer is for a limited time only.
Giving a product away through some sort of competition or contest makes it look like it’s something to be valued, which will therefore increase the probability that people will want to continue to buy into your brand image in the future. In a best case scenario, their affections won’t wane even when they have to start using their own money.
Getting followers in the first place can be a challenge, but there are a few free ways that you can do so with relative ease.
Promoting Your Small Business’ Brand Image without Spending a Dime
Depending on the specific type of product or service you provide, you might have a chance to become a guest on someone else’s promotional channel. People who professionally post videos to YouTube, LBRY, Instagram and nearly any other social sharing site often need to attract guests to keep their shows going. Some of these content creators are pushed to post hours of video every month, and it can be quite a challenge to get enough people to be on to keep a show like this profitable. With the growth of alternative video services, you’re perhaps more likely than ever to find a place ready to give you a voice. Some of this has to do with the way these sites are set up.
Since social sites often pay content creators by impression, they’re often required to split their videos up into multiple segments. All of this can translate into a big opportunity for your brand. Reach out to as many content creators in your market as possible. If you’re running a service that sells organic foods, then ask if you could be a guest on a fitness channel. Financial advisers and attorneys can appear as experts on legal shows. Technology service providers might appear on a channel that offers repair, maintenance or coding advice.
By getting yourself on someone’s social video channel, you’re getting an opportunity to showcase your level of expertise as well as promote your brand. Viewers who might never have otherwise heard of your company might become intimately familiar with it, and you won’t have to spend a single penny to get them acquainted with you. Content creators often do everything over the internet now, so you wouldn’t even have to travel.
Those who are interested in promoting themselves in this fashion may also want to reach out to podcast hosts in the same fashion. You may remember when Spotify started gobbling up a number of podcasting studios. This might help to illustrate just how popular podcast listening is. Over half of US-based consumers listen to podcasts, according to one piece of research from the Infinite Dial, which should further drive that point home.
By putting your brand into a podcast that’s geared toward the kind of consumer you want to reach, you can be sure that you’re getting something back without putting much in.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics.net disclosure policy.