A few years ago, it used to cost thousands and millions of dollars to build a brand. Which usually involved spending entire marketing budgets on billboards, TV ads, and radio ads.
Only the big corporations, like Coca Cola and General Motors, were able to build their brands. But, not anymore. Things have changed. Today, almost anyone can build a brand with even the tiniest budget. All thanks to the Internet.
With access to over 2 Billion monthly active users on Facebook, over 700 million monthly active users on Instagram, and over 300 million monthly active users on Twitter, building and growing a brand is now easier than ever.
But, where should you begin you branding process when you have a new business and only have a small budget?
In this post, we tackle this issue to give you a few useful tips for building your brand online with a minimum budget.
#1 Find Your Target Audience
The first step in building any business brand is recognizing your target audience. Because if you try to randomly publish content and promote your business hoping to build a brand, you’ll only reach random people. Which will be a waste of your time and money.
The best way to learn about your target audience is to figure out who your ideal customer is going to be. Create a profile of your ideal customer, including their age, gender, education, likes, dislikes, etc. This is also known as a Buyer Persona.
Creating a buyer persona for your brand will help determine who your target audience is going to be. This will allow you to create effective content that directly targets the ideal audience. Which will guarantee to help grow your brand.
#2 Start A Blog
Reports show that businesses that have a blog receive 67% more leads than businesses without a blog. That’s exactly why you should start a blog for your business.
Blogging is a great way to build your brand and also improve your website SEO to bring in tons of traffic to your website. It is also known as one of the best marketing strategies with highest ROI (Return On Investment).
You can use WordPress to easily build and manage a blog all by yourself. It will cost you less than $100 to buy web hosting and a great looking WordPress theme to build your blog. And it’ll be the best investment you’ll ever make for building your brand.
#3 Leverage Social Media
When it comes to building your brand on social media, it’s important that you focus your marketing strategy according to your buyer persona. Don’t try to create profiles on every social network you can think of and promote your brand everywhere.
If you can afford it, go right ahead. But it’s best if you focus your efforts to promote your brand on the most effective social networks.
For example, different social networks have different active audiences. Instagram and SnapChat are populated with teens and younger users. Pinterest is mostly used by women. LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. So, you should choose appropriately and develop your marketing strategy to better support the social network where you target audience mostly spend their time.
#4 Create A Content Strategy
Much like finding your target audience, you should also create a proper content strategy to promote your brand. Most new brands make the mistake of following social media trending and try to populate their social network channels and blogs with random quotes, memes, funny videos, and click-bait blog posts.
This is a mistake you should avoid at all costs. Create a content strategy that revolves around your buyer persona. Develop content that appeals to your target audience. And keep them entertained.
Also, don’t reshare content. Create original content. Use your branding on each and every image you share on Facebook and Instagram. Use your brand colors and fonts when creating the content. And encourage your followers to engage with your brand through your content. For example, you can create polls, giveaway contests, and fun games to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
Keeping a posting schedule is another smart idea. Don’t expect to grow your following by posting one or two posts per week. Figure out when’s your audience is most active and schedule your posts accordingly.
#5 Use Influencer Marketing
Once you have established the groundwork for your brand, then you can start promoting. One of the most effective ways to grow your brand is by networking with other influential figures in your field. This process is known as influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing allows you to reach highly engaged new audiences in your niche through experts and popular people. For example, many brands now connect with influential users on social networks with large followings to get them to promote the brands to their followers.
You can see it in action on the below example where Hallmark connected with a family-friendly Instagram user to promote their new collection of ornaments.
This is an effective way to grow your brand and send your branding message across to new audiences. Of course, most of the time, you’ll have to pay these users to get them to promote your content. However, there are ways to get influencers to promote your brand for free, like giving them free access to your services or offering a commission on sales.
#6 Focus On Delivering Value
Last, but not least, the most important thing to remember is to always produce value through your brand. Because your audience will use the quality of the content you share and the way you treat your customers to judge your brand.
How much value you bring to your audience will determine how much you can grow your brand. If someone sees a valuable article on your blog, they won’t hesitate to share it. If people see unique content on your social media channels, they won’t think twice about following your page. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t expect to grow and establish your brand overnight. It takes a lot of work and time to build a brand that people trust and admire.
As time goes, don’t lose your focus. As long as you keep delivering value and be consistent, your brand will grow along with it.