Small businesses usually do not have the massive budgets that large corporations have to advertise their business. Small businesses must ensure that every contact they have with customers represents their brand so that they can build brand awareness. Here are five essential tools to use to brand and help grow your small business.
Business cards are a very versatile branding tool that will allow you to communicate your brand without breaking the bank. In addition to displaying pertinent information about your business like your name, job title and website, your business card can also showcase your creativity or provide additional access to your business. For example, if you want to emphasize your many followers on social media, you can add your channel to the card, or you can use a QR code that takes customers to a portal to explain the history of your small business.
To keep customers intrigued, work on creating a unique design for your card that makes it stand apart and keep it out of the trash. Some options include using a special cut to make your card a different shape than the norm, using special techniques like letterpressing or unique, adding aesthetically pleasing graphics, or making it a magnet so people stick onto it.
Having a blog can set you apart as an authority in the industry if you do it right. To make this a powerful branding tool, focus on creating great content for your readers. Do some research to find out what questions your target audience has and work at answering them. Provide an in-depth analysis of these topics that is better than any other blog out there. Make your blog dynamic with custom images that break up the content. Use headers and bullet points to carefully organize the content. Eliminate jargon and be sure that you edit your post multiple times to ensure your credibility is intact. Promote your posts by adding links from your social media accounts and your Google My Business page.
Most people use social media today, including young users to older generations. Many forms of social media are inexpensive and effective ways to share information about your business and drastically expand your reach. Choose the social media platforms that most resonate with your customer base. Thoroughly research your target audience and determine the social media channels they use the most and focus on these. It is better to have an active presence on just a few social media sites than to have accounts for most channels but not monitor them. The key to an effective social media campaign is to be engaged and accessible to your customers. Respond to comments, questions and reviews regularly.
Write a press release about your business and distribute it to your local media. Report big changes, such as a new location, milestones, important job openings or raising awareness for a cause. You need to have something important to talk about for reporters to release the story, so make it worth their time.
Another press option that can help raise awareness about your brand is to act as a guest columnist for a local news station or publication.
A big way to make a splash in your community is to host an event. If there is a charitable cause you support, you can be part of its mission by hosting your own gala or fundraiser. You can appeal to the community by offering free samples or taking part in a community barbeque. Make the most of your event by having participants snap photos and post them about your event with a unique hashtag.
These are just a few ways that you can grow your small business through effective branding. None of them will break the bank, but all of them have the potential to lead to significant growth in your business.