Every brand wants to raise awareness of what they do amongst their target audience, however while big brands have the budgets to carry out large campaigns, smaller businesses are left to find more cost-effective avenues.
If you’re looking to promote your brand and want a few cost-effective ways of doing it then you’re certainly in the right place. We’ve listed 4 ways you can raise brand awareness and also looked at how integrating these methods into a campaign can reap even greater rewards.
Embrace social media
Social media has proven to be a fantastic way of raising your brand’s profile and can be done without incurring many costs. Although as time has progressed a greater onus has been paced on monetising the service for businesses to reach their audience, engaging with your audience can still help you achieve wide organic reach and there’s always the chance of a hit piece of content going viral.
With so many social networks around, there’s now a platform suited to businesses from any sector. For example, B2C companies would be better suited to using the likes of Facebook while B2B businesses will most likely find more use from Linked In. In similar fashion, a cosmetics brand is likely to benefit from the visual nature of Instagram while news sources can release quick timely updates on Twitter. In addition to this there are also a countless number of niche social networks which are dedicated to users and businesses within a specific industry.
Sponsor an event
Sponsoring an event can really help to grant your business exposure but you should do so with care. There are 4 things you need to consider to ensure that you’ll get the most from it.
01) The package – make clear exactly what you’ll be getting for your money. Sponsorship packages can vary greatly so you’ll be wanting to get as much exposure as possible. Additionally, if you have cashflow issues then you might want to look into providing your goods/service in exchange for sponsorship exposure.
02) Location – keep in mind of where the event is taking place. If own a local business then you might want to sponsor an event closer to your location. On the other hand, if you’re looking to grow your business or have an online store then sponsoring events outside of your local vicinity could be a worthwhile move.
03) Target audience – while getting your brand known is all good and well, for it to actually pay off you need to make sure your target audience is seeing and hearing your messaging. Do your research into who the event is targeted at and what the turnout was like for events held over previous years.
04) Messaging – a final thing to take note of is to ensure that the event itself doesn’t contradict your brand values as this can simply turn into a PR nightmare. For example, the likes of Macdonald’s and Domino’s Pizza have had issues with sponsoring events related to health and physical wellbeing since their products aren’t seen to be conducive to improving physical health.
Exhibitions have proven to be a great way of raising awareness of a brand and also granting an opportunity to engage with customers. There are a whole host of exhibitions being held around the UK with something to cater for businesses from a wide range of sectors. They’re great to not only enlighten those who are attending the exhibition, but handing out things such as branded bags can help to also raise awareness of your business amongst their friends and family.
The price of attending an exhibition can be costly, with prime stands at major events costing £000’s. However, there are a few ways to work around this to keep the cost as low as possible. For example, book your exhibition stand as late as possible. Exhibition organisers always look to fill out the available floor space so any unsold stands are usually offered at a discounted rate closer to the event. Granted, this doesn’t leave you with as much time to prepare and limits your choice of stand location but can be decisive for businesses with smaller budgets.
Offer promotional products
Promotional products come in a range of forms with virtually any item now granting you the freedom to have your brand printed on it. Having such a large range of items to choose from is beneficial on 2 fronts. Firstly, it means that businesses from all sectors can find items which are relevant to what they do. Readily available promotional items range from traditional products such as mugs, to items themed for Christmas like advent calendars, to the latest tech such as VR headsets. Secondly, it means that businesses of all sizes also have access to promotional products. For example, at the lower end of the scale you have promotional badges which start from as little as 10p per unit to premium items such as leather laptop bags which can start from £150 per unit.
Giving items away to customers can help to increase brand exposure in a number of ways. For example, items such as branded pens and USBs are likely to be used for work which will see them carried around the office and inevitably catch the eyes of co-workers. Alternatively, branded clothing used for things such as charity events will once more have people nearby catching a glimpse of your branding. There are an endless number of ways in which promotional products can be utilised.
Bringing it all together
Your promotional activity and general communications should ideally work in tandem with everything you do, and that includes all of the individual marketing actions working alongside one another. The integration of some of the ideas listed above can help you generate far greater results than simply opting for one of the methods alone.
Here’s an example of how they can be brought together, starting with exhibiting yourself. While the core purpose of an exhibition is to get the attendees to learn more about your business and what you offer while generating leads in the process, there’s also the opportunity to ensure they don’t forget who you are once they leave. How do you achieve this? Simple, offer promotional products as free giveaways. Items such as pens and mugs are commonly kept and used at home and work and help to keep your brand in their mind. As we also mentioned above items such a branded bags (which once more are a form of promotional product) also play their part in reminding the attendee of your business once they get home.
Now your efforts can be more engaging if you pursue things a little further. You can offer promotional products which are unique and create a social media buzz through this. Instruct attendees to take pictures of their products and share them on social media using a brand related hashtag designated by you. A great example of promotional products being used on social media is Guinness’s ghost coasters. It was a simple idea but the unique nature of them meant that people instantly fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to share them with friends and family on social media.
Doing this will not only have the attendee engaging with your social media accounts long after the event, but there’s a good chance that their social media contacts will also become aware of you through this.
A final word
We hope this blog has provided you with a quick insight in to the many ways that businesses can promote themselves with minimal marketing spend. The beauty about the ideas suggested is that virtually any business from any market sector can take advantage of them. So if you’re looking to get your business well known then don’t waste time, get your creative cap on and start raising your brand’s profile.