No-Cost, Low-Cost Ways to Boost Your Brand

We’ve previously discussed the challenges many companies face when trying to calculate an ROI on their marketing efforts. For small and medium-sized businesses, this can make it difficult to justify increasing spend on marketing efforts.

But, just because you feel like you can’t spend more money on marketing doesn’t mean you can’t invest in your brand.

In an article for Forbes, Kalin Kassabov discusses some low-cost options for promoting a company’s brand. He starts by distinguishing branding from marketing or advertising. Essentially, your brand is how the market perceives your mission, core values and goals. Marketing and advertising are how you attempt to influence the perception of your brand. Marketing and advertising also offer tools to help you pursue shorter-term sales goals.

Kassabov points to some ways it’s possible to leverage these opportunities in low-cost/no-cost ways.

Networking

Attending industry events and reaching out to 2ndand 3rd degree connections can be a great and, certainly, cost-effective, way to spread the word about your organization and its values. Networking can pay big dividends.

Social Media

Most major social media platforms are free or at least offer a free version. Even vehicles that require payment for premium services are relatively inexpensive. The channels vary and the ones you choose will depend on your target audience’s habits. Social media, though, is proving to be a very cost-effective way to raise awareness and generate preference.

Content Marketing

A strong social media presence is an excellent way to leverage self-generated content to position yourself as a thought-leader or even a convenient source of information and a relevant player in your field.

Content marketing is all about sharing your expertise in ways that offer value to your target audience. Think of it not as sales but as education, and relationship-building. Done well, it works!

Monitor Yourself

A fundamental truth about branding is that businesses don’t control their brands. The market does. It’s crucial—and inexpensive—to keep an ear to the ground for mentions of your company, whether good or bad. Especially bad. And, if you see negative reviews, get engaged. Address the complaint and try to find a resolution.

Referrals

Particularly for purchases that require a big expense or long-term engagement, potential customers want to know what they’re getting into. Having referrals in the form of testimonials, case studies or even just references is a great way to give an idea of what business life with your company will be like as well as a sign that you have at least some happy customers.

Influencers

Influencers may often put themselves out there as independent voices, but their endorsements frequently come at a cost. Tread carefully with influencers. Not all are relevant, or brand supporting. But, sometimes an influencer can help tap into an otherwise difficult to reach market and lend some instant credibility. Knowing how to find and work effectively with the right influencers for your market and objectives is key.

 

Marketing and advertising can certainly have long-term goals, but they are typically for more temporally focused than the concept of branding, which gets to the very heart of who you are as a company. That may be a daunting thought for companies who find it hard enough to identify money for the relatively short-term tasks of marketing and advertising. But branding doesn’t need to involve a huge financial outlay. There are many ways to promote your brand long-term without breaking the bank.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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