The value of business branding cannot be emphasised enough, especially when it comes to small businesses.
When you’re starting out, scraping together enough coins to cover branding can seem like a stretch, however it’s definitely worth bending the budget for.
A new business is like a blank canvas; you need to paint a picture for the world to see.
If you’re ready to invest in business branding, the following strategies will give your venture a mighty boost for free, and if not for free, with a great ROI at least.
Build a Brand Portfolio
When you’re clear on exactly what your business is about and who your target audience is, it’s time to build a brand portfolio that reflects these elements.
A DIY brand portfolio on a platform like Canva could be free, otherwise, a professional’s fees will vary from affordable to crazy pricey. In any case, a brand portfolio should include:
- A simple, memorable name that captures the essence of your business.
- A distinctive logo that catches the eye and will stand the test of time.
- Additional graphics (for everything else like emails, social media, and brochures) that stick with your chosen colour palette and fonts.
Be sure to maintain consistency across all platforms, as it creates a better customer experience, solidifies messaging, and elevates professionalism and credibility.
A Marketing Plan is a MUST
Running a business without a marketing plan is like flying blind. Do yourself and your business a favour by taking the guesswork out of it.
There are plenty of free marketing plan templates available online, so… no excuses.
A marketing plan will help you to:
- Identify what your business goals are i.e. increasing revenue, doubling product sales, or acquiring millions of members, for example.
- Figure out how you’re going to reach your goals.
- Stay accountable by tracking your progress and results.
Have a Functional and Optimised Website
Having a functional website that is optimised with SEO plays a key role when it comes to branding for small businesses.
If you want your small business to succeed and grow, your business needs to be seen – simple as that.
The cost of building a website is dependent on many factors, least of all is whether you’re building it yourself or outsourcing the task. Either way, keep these notes in mind when it comes to your website:
- Having an SEO-optimised website is probably the most important aspect of your online presence, as it helps potential clients to identify that your business is legitimate.
- Not all websites are created equal. SEO done well will increase the amount of traffic to your site.
- A quality website with SEO means you can track analytics that will help you better understand consumer behaviour and gauge your website’s success.
- Website hosts like Squarespace have built-in optimisation and are simple enough to use these days. But if you’re not tech-savvy, you can always outsource to a website builder – a good option if you’re also time-poor.
Dive into Digital Marketing
With more people than ever before jumping online to search for products and services, having a strong digital presence is a non-negotiable for any business owner who wants their business to reach its maximum potential.
There’s a whole suite of digital marketing tactics, but you’d be wise to tackle these:
Social media is not just a trend, it’s here to stay, and it’s an important marketing tool. Reach new audiences and build your business profile with engaging content.
Social media is an expense-free opportunity (excluding paid advertising) that shouldn’t be missed. It allows you to reach a broader audience for less, when compared to traditional marketing.
Email campaigns are a powerful form of direct marketing and are a proven strategy for increasing leads.
Build an opt-in list and create content that is promotional – showcasing your latest products and services – but also valuable and offering valuable information or expertise to your market.
A Worthwhile Investment
Parting with your precious funds to invest in business marketing may seem overwhelming when you’re facing competing costs associated with launching a new business.
Thankfully, some of the free options create a big impact, and the branding strategies that you must pay for have a great ROI and are proven track record.
New business owners do well to set aside some of their budgets to invest in their business branding while also saving on costs by taking full advantage of the many free options available.
Dana Da Silva is a freelance writer and journalism graduate who has spent that past decade working in PR within both the public and private sectors. She writes sharp copy for a broad range of clients and topics, and has a flair and passion for storytelling and creative writing, including novel writing, blogging and penning poetry. Dana considers writing to be an exquisite art, free therapy and a form of meditation.