[This article was written by Pravash Chamling Rai.]
It’s very exciting to own small business because as the key decision maker, you are responsible for coming up with ways to ensure your business success. The success of the business solely depends on the decisions you make. This can be both exciting and very challenging. You always have pressure to ensure that you make the right decision otherwise your business will fail.
The best strategy to enhance your business’s success is to go all out and create a brand for yourself. It can be challenging and costly to choose the most appropriate strategy to market a small business. Like many owners of a small business, you may also have limited resources.
Here are 5 affordable branding tools that can help you enhance the success of your small business:
Online and offline marketing are essential tools to market your business. A website is one of the key online tools to brand yourself. Based on how much you want to spend, you can either create a website yourself or pay a professional to do it for you. A website will be a very convenient avenue for clients to make an online purchase for your goods and services. In addition, you can have your blog on the website.
A blog is a valuable tool to enhance your credibility to your customers. Don’t over-emphasize on product promotion and reviews but focus on answering client’s questions comprehensively. This will differentiate you from other businesses.
To improve the communication of your key messages, use videos, infographics, and custom images. Your posts should be honest and authentic to connect more strongly with the audience. This is especially very critical because you will build trust with your customers, which is very important for business success.
You can reach out to other bloggers to add more content to your website. As bloggers post content, it will increase the audience for your website.
2. Social Media
You can extend the connection with your audience in a blog using social media. Social media tend to personalize brand connection with clients. Respond to customers promptly even when the questions and comments are negative. This demonstrates that you value your clients and are willing to offer a solution to their challenges.
Social media is less costly and very valuable. However, save time and resources by only focusing on more relevant networks. Focusing on many platforms can be time-consuming. Your audience may not be using some of these platforms hence not beneficial. Understand your audience preferences first. Do your research to know what time you should post and the type of posts that are more beneficial.
Explain the importance of your posts to the audience. Custom images will ensure your content stand out in other newsfeeds. Bold and bright colors like orange and red easily capture audience attention because they show urgency.
Connect with different influencers in the industry through social media. Their followers will see your brand and you will end up build credibility.
- Business Cards
A business card is one of the very important branding tools. A business card with useful and unique design has a longer shelf life compared to a standard one.
A business card gives the first impression of your brand and company to your audience. It should match all your marketing tools like social media and website. Build a connection between online and offline materials by including a QR code or social media and website links in the business card.
Give your business card purpose to ensure that people keep it. You can achieve this by using the back of the card as loyalty program punch card or if you are running a gift shop, put dates of holidays at the back. Your business card can be more functional by making it a ruler or a magnet.
- Mobile Billboards
When traveling to speaking engagements, you can turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard as a way of creating your business brand awareness. It can be a magnet, a bumper sticker, custom graphic, window decal or wrap.
Having your vehicle as a mobile billboard ensure that people in your locality regularly see your brand. In addition, you get a broader audience when you travel for long distance to conferences, speaking engagements, and trade shows. Your brand will be seen more where traffic is slow due to an incident or construction.
As with all your marketing materials, your mobile billboard should have the same branding color and logo as your website, business cards, and storefront. Include your website link and contact information too. You can create a competition where people post your vehicle’s photo when they come across it.
5. Business Vanity Phone Numbers
Vanity phone numbers have become one of the integral marketing tools for small businesses. Since the vanity numbers are alphanumeric, you can actually use your brand as your business phone number. For example, you own a flower shop; you can get a vanity phone number like 1-800-FLOWER.
These vanity phone numbers are super easy to remember, which is one of the reasons it is so important for small businesses. In a very competitive market, this will give you an advantage over your competitors as your possible customers will recall your number and are most likely to call you instead of your competitors when they need a service that you provide.
A small business can profit a lot by using their vanity number in an advertisement on TV, radio, newspaper or the Internet.
Starting your own small business requires determination and money. Ensure any tool of branding you choose gives the highest return on investment – money or time. Check out in different platforms and ensure your brand is same as your message. Growing a business takes time. I hope the 5 tools outlined above will be valuable to your business growth.
Pravash Chamling Rai is an online marketer and SEO enthusiast from Nepal. He is a founder of ProWizards (a digital marketing company) and writes about Internet Marketing on his blog seomandu.com. Die hard Arsenal FC fan and loves playing football.