Brand marketing plays a huge role in the success of your business. How much are you investing in it? If you don’t have the necessary funds to put toward your marketing efforts, that doesn’t mean you need to watch it fall to the wayside. Here are a few ways in which you can cut back in other areas of your business so you have more money to put towards marketing.
How many employees do you have? How many of those employees had previous work experience relevant to your industry? Depending on your business, that number could range from very few to almost all of them. If you have fewer skilled employees, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on training, but you’re not just spending time—you’re spending money.
Try to entice more experts to come work for you. Whether you’re looking for people with a Bachelors in Marketing or an MBA, that expertise will pay off. According to WGU, 98% of employers are satisfied with their employees with higher education (and therefore more expertise). Think about those superior results and what it will take for people like that to work for you. With the right perks, they’ll come, and once they’re there, your employees will be able to tackle more of the workload with fewer people.
Whether you are intrigued by modern technology or you've been fighting against it for years, now is the time to consider converting. Moving your company information and files to the cloud can save you money because you no longer need to allocate as much of your budget toward printing materials. You might even express surprise at the amount of money paper and ink cost you each month.
Evaluate the Break Room
The ability to provide your employees with snacks and drinks is great, and doing so can help boost the morale of your employees. If you’re struggling to allocate funds to important tasks like brand marketing, you might have to cut back on some of the snacks and treats or the frequency of them. Maybe instead of restocking the break room every week, you restock it twice a month. Make an announcement in advance so employees know things might get a little sparse towards the middle and end of the month.
While some traditional forms of advertising are still advisable, especially if the members of your target audience seek to consume material in this way, advertising online helps you to save money. For example, when you use free social media accounts, you are getting to advertise without spending a penny.
On top of that, you get to save even more money in the budget for printed items, and you don't have to worry about spending gas to drive around town to hang up flyers. You may also discover that advertising online takes less time than advertising in traditional methods. When you can save time, you also generally save money.
Develop Your Own Workshops and Seminars
The thought of bringing your team members to an outside location for a seminar or paying for everyone to attend a conference sounds like a way to build the skills of your employees. However, these methods of company improvement also cost significant sums of money. Instead of allocating funds toward travel, take the time to develop your own workshops and seminars.
You don't even have to rent out a space when your business building is large enough. With a creative mind, you can develop activities and instructional guides to bring the same information to your employees without spending all of that money. You may even ask employees to contribute ideas for the workshops.
When you are look at your budget and realize you don't have enough money to increase your brand marketing efforts, you may need to cut back in other areas. These decisions can be difficult to make, especially when they directly affect your employees. In the long term, however, these moves can be for the benefit of your team.
Don't risk negative information appearing in Google searches for you or your brand. These tools have you covered. Managing your personal brand and online reputation is not an easy task, but here are 10 free tools that can help.
If you’re building your business brand in today’s marketplace, you need to stand head and shoulders above the crowd of other businesses competing for your customers’ attention.
Furthermore, you need to track how effective your brand building is, by monitoring it closely and reacting accordingly.
Your brand could well be your most valuable business asset and can mean the difference between a lifetime of loyal and avid customers, or simply being lost in the crowd of other brand marketers on Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s look at five ways for you to measure and track your brand in today’s online world.
1. Are Your Fans Engaging With You?
Social media and the internet has changed the way we do business. Gone are the days when you marketed to your customers. These days marketing is a two way conversation, with social engagement taking place between the business and consumers. Relationships are built by being responsive to your customers needs.
A great example of fan engagement is the French telecommunications company, Orange, who used Twitter to engage their fans. Followers were asked to use the hashtag #thissummer to tweet about the plans they had for summer, which were then broadcast on Orange's blog, with a Voice Over. This had the twofold effect of both creating massive traffic, and enabling people to identify with Orange around an interesting and enjoyable topic.
2. How Much Real Value Are you Adding To The Conversation?
The content you offer needs to be the sort that people enjoy and encourages them to share with others, just like Healthy Choice did. They increased engagement with their followers, and gained an extra 10,000 fans by offering a low value Facebook coupon, which increased in value as their fan base grew. This not only reinforced their brand image with existing customers, but the majority of new fans also subscribed to their newsletter.
3. Are You Trying To Take More Than You're Giving?
Social media is about building a loyal and responsive following, by giving often, and taking infrequently. Think of it as a savings account. You must put in regular deposits, so you can reap the benefits when you need to make a withdrawal. Giving freely without asking for something in return will translate to massive positive response from your fans when you do decide to ask for something.
4. Are You Actually Listening To The Online Conversation?
Today’s customer is a powerful being, with the ability to impact your business in a matter of minutes. It’s therefore essential that you’re listening to the conversation that’s going on all around you, so you can respond to any negativity before it wreaks havoc with your business. Learn from U-Haul’s mistake, who suffered long term damage to their well established brand, as well as lost thousands of dollars, because of a negative conversation about them which they weren’t listening to. Even negative feedback can turn into a positive experience because it shows others that you’re concerned and responsive to their issues.
5. Is Your Website Active With Engagement, or Is It Silent And Stagnant?
Just having a website, no matter how flashy or attractive you think it is, simply isn’t enough anymore. Build it and they will come is an internet myth. Customers want to visit websites and blogs on which they can find interesting and engaging information, and which they want to bookmark and return to often because they look forward to your new content. A simple way to encourage your website visitors to engage with you is to end your articles and blog posts with a question that encourages the reader to respond.
What do you want most out of your marketing efforts?
Ask yourself these questions:
Over 85% of people contact businesses they find in local searches. That's why 100% of businesses need to be online! Your local business has many options, to remain current online such as a website, business facebook page, social networks, videos, blogs, online ads, etc. Even for businesses with a limited marketing budget, there are ways to promote your business online. Here are 10 free ways to promote your business online:
Can a small business brand itself? What exactly does that mean?
Branding is a term that dates back to ranchers adding a symbol onto their cattle and other livestock in order to claim ownership. If your bulls had a Circle K on their backsides and wandered off, then anyone who found the bull later could identify it by its brand. The Circle K became a recognizable symbol that signified the ownership of an asset.
Today, business branding has come to mean the same thing with regard to particular products, services, intellectual property, and business processes.
What do you think of when you hear or see the words McDonald's, Coca Cola, ExxonMobil? Can you picture their logos? Does the Golden Arches immediately come to mind when you think about McDonald's.
Your small business can enjoy the same benefits of branding. Create a logo or an image that is associated with your company name. Put it on all your marketing collateral - both print and digital - and use it to claim ownership of all your business assets. Over time, you can plant that symbol into people's minds and "brand" yourself upon their conscience. Branding is good marketing no matter what size your business.
Talk to some online marketers and SEO is everything. Talk to others and they know nothing about it. My philosophy is somewhere in the middle.
I think SEO is important. It isn't everything, but it is important.
Let's look at domain names, for instance. Many successful online companies have built solid brands without keyword-based domain names. Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, Bing, eBay, Facebook ... just to name a few. Have you noticed that all of these companies are in the top 10 most trafficked websites online? Facebook is No. 1 and Google is No. 2.
That's not to say that these websites aren't SEOd. They have certainly considered SEO in their overall marketing plan online, but they don't put SEO as the point to emphasize against all other points. There is something to be said for branding as well.
When you build your online presence, think about SEO, but don't think about just SEO. Think about your overall marketing goals and how SEO can fit into that.