You don’t need to hire a branding firm if you’re trying to build your brand or spend thousands on branding efforts. Building a brand can be done on the cheap if you understand a thing or two about it and are willing to be patient. You also must be willing to think out of the box and use alternative branding methods. The more methods you use, the more chances your brand will eventually get discovered. Let’s take a look at some budget-friendly branding tactics all small businesses should consider.
Hold a Small Event
Community-oriented events are one of the cheapest and most efficient branding tools you can use, especially if your business is highly local. Something as simple as having a picnic day could be more than enough. Or you could organize community softball games.
These can be tons of fun and a great way for you to advertise your brand. You could officially sponsor the event and have some of your employees play against community members and give the proceedings to charity, for instance.
The beauty of events is that they can get you some visibility with local news outlets. This will increase the number of brand mentions you get, which will not only boost your profile but also improve your results with search engines.
Improve Your Local SEO
Speaking of search engines, you should spend some time working on your local SEO strategy. If this is something you’ve been neglecting, then you might want to check your Google My Business account and see if everything is in order there.
The most important thing is comparing the NAP (name, phone, address) you have there with the contact info on your website, social media, blog, and any piece of real estate you have control over or own. If you notice any discrepancies, make corrections right away as Google puts a lot of importance on NAP consistency. This is one of the things that will allow you to be featured in the Local Pack.
Once you’ve verified that your NAP is consistent, you need to work on optimizing your listing and improving your ratings. Try to use local high search intent keywords in your business description but be as natural as possible. Make sure that you fill every section with the relevant information.
The one section you need to pay special attention to is the “from my Business” description. Google has full control over the description that will appear right under your name in the Local Pack, but people can scroll down to the description from the business owner. This gives you an extra area where you can include relevant keywords naturally.
When it comes to reviews, try to ask all of your customers if they would be willing to write a review either by asking them to join a loyalty club or following up on them. You could also prompt them to leave reviews by adding a note to your packaging and invoices.
Stickers can be used for branding in many ways. You can use professional name tag stickers to help people identify workers if you’re in the retail business. You could add stickers on products to encourage people to follow you on social media. Or you could make your own stickers with your brand on them and give them away to people when they check out. If the stickers look good, then you can expect people to add them to things like backpacks, notebooks, or their vehicles.
As you can see, there are plenty of very affordable ways to boost a brand’s awareness and recognition. The most important branding tool remains the quality of your service, so make sure that you focus on that part first if you don’t want all the other efforts to be in vain.
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