Building your customer base on a budget
Businesses starting out will often be challenged by the need to generate brand awareness but with a limited marketing budget.
Minimising costs will often be at the forefront of business owners minds with uncertain revenue and copious amounts of capital expenditure; marketing is unlikely to be a top priority. However, new businesses need brand exposure in the early stages as potential customers or clients are unlikely to just appear.
Here are some ways business owners can cost-effectively create awareness:
Many small businesses are reluctant to use social media. Whether they are “time-poor” or “confused” by social media, there are ways to get involved without hassle. Social media could take as little as a few minutes each day and can be delegated to a staff member who is confident with using different social platforms.
Businesses selling tangible products can take advantage of platforms intended for sharing photos such as Facebook or Instagram, as visuals are a key selling point. For businesses such as professional services firms, utilising platforms that sell their knowledge and expertise is important, for example, creating a blog.
Communities of interest
Unlike well-established businesses, new businesses need to form brand equity to attract new customers and clients. When starting out, businesses need to present their brand proposition to target audiences and referral partners, also known as communities of interest. For example, a wine-maker would present themselves at a local wine and food festival. There will be a community of people interested in your product or service, so presenting and engaging in the places where they are gathering makes sense.
Partnerships and associations
“It’s not what you know but who you know” is a popular phrase and for good reason. Social connections and associations are everything. Many businesses will seek out partnerships or sponsorship’s with complementary brands to enhance their reputation via association. If a well-known, respected brand wants to associate with your brand, then people may conclude your brand must have something unique to offer.