No business is small enough to not have a branding and marketing strategy. You often must have heard from small business owners that they will start marketing when they will pick up the pace. However, it is not completely incorrect but if you can invest in any kind of marketing in the initial phase of your business then you should not wait for the right time.
The right time to start marketing your business is always ‘now’.
It is different if you do not have a budget for marketing. But if you can and you are delaying it then you are making a mistake. Here are some basics of marketing for your business which involves no cost or at least very minimum cost.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media platforms are where you start your organic online product promotion. We all know the power of social media. These platforms have become a thing for entertainment and promoting your business. There are many social media platforms present in the market with a huge customer base.
Some platforms may not be available in a country. There are majorly 5 platforms that come into your mind when you talk about social platforms. We will talk about how we can leverage the most engaged platforms and from which your business can gain a social presence:
The social media giant is one of the foremost used social media platforms used by businesses of any scale to advertise their products or their brands. With the new developments and new updates, the platform has introduced new features to advertise a business.
Businesses used to focus only on Adwords before as there were no other online platforms to promote your business. Adwords generally require a huge budget to generate sales but with the Facebook advertisement you can get more even on a low budget.
We will share a few tips and tricks for Facebook ads but before talking about how you can leverage the platform without investing chunks of money.
Social Media Post
Yeah we know it is not something new and we are pretty sure you already are doing it. But there are a few things if kept in mind while managing your business page, you can see wonders. Let’s cover important points:
- Stop selling business by just talking about your products
- Be creative in creating post
- Be more humane than being another business who is trying to sell their products
- Focus on latest features such as: Stories, Reels, Carousel posts etc. they have better engagement rates
- Facebook algorithm pushes content which has more comments on it
- Algorithm prefers showing content from friends, pages & groups than brands or business pages
- No timing does not matter, it was all about how you can get the audience talking about your content
- Collaborate with Facebook pages & groups in your niche to target specific audience
- Focus on communicating with your audience than just selling
These are the few points to keep in when working with organic. Now let’s talk about paid marketing on Facebook, but remember below-mentioned points are general learnings from our spendings but there can be more which can give you better results in Facebook ads.
Tips for Facebook ads
- For e-commerce try using carrousel ads. You can show range of products in the same ad. Carousel ads can be used to show range of products or variation of single products
- Try leveraging story and reels ads, for some products these placements can do wonders
- Keep you ad short and message clear
- Dimensions must be appropriate based on the placements your choose to run ads. Read Facebook ads specs before asking your designer to create your content
- Learn from your ads. This is the most important aspect to optimise your ads
- Be patient sometimes algorithm takes time to learn whom to serve your ads for best results
- Read the Facebook ad policies before hand
This platform is also owned by Facebook but any content receives a better engagement rate on Instagram. The tips and tricks are similar to Facebook. But still, there are a few things to keep in mind when your plans are to get the most out of it
- Use hashtags: You will notice that there are post on Instagram which do not have hashtags and yet they have high engagement rate. It is because they have been doing activity for many years now. But when you are new to the platform you should use Hashtags to increase reach of your posts. You can use upto 30 hashtags
- Carrousel posts: Use this type of post to share a story about your brand. They are more likely to get high engagement rate on Instagram
- High quality images: The platform is all about the images and the quality of images
- Collaborations: You surely can collaborate with influencers. There are plenty of influencers which you can find on the platform which can benefit your business. The collaboration can be paid or barter (you provide a product in exchange)
- Promote: Yes, this involves spending money. But these promotions are very cheap and you can get a lot of eye balls for your posts
When collaborating you must be updated with a few influencer marketing trends which can help you gain better results.
Second largest search engine after Google. People all over the world visit this platform to watch videos. There are many content creators who create content and make living from it. You must be wondering how can YouTube be used to promote a business? The platform can be used in 3 ways:
- You become content creator and start creating content which gives a good and resourceful information to the audience. Grow your viewer base and leverage that get more business
- Collaborate with content creators: As mentioned above there are plenty of YouTubers who make their living from the platform and they are enormous pool of subscribers. You can always collaborate to these to gain reach and brand advocacy
- Paid promotion: Well this option is always available and if you have a budget to spend. YouTube is best for branding for a business. There are very low chances that you will get a sale from there but hey it is possible if the message is clear and you are offering what your viewers are looking for
Another platform works better with images. Yes, a lot of businesses do not indulge in the platform as it is difficult to identify what content works best for Pinterest. We may have an answer to this problem. We have worked closely with brands that have used the platform and have seen good results.
As said above Pinterest is an image-based platform but also a source of some good information. People tend to visit the platform for creative ideas for a product or posts. You get image-based tutorials which are really helpful now the platform also has features of the video so there it is.
Other things which have worked for brands are the ‘Infographics’. Infographics are a source of great information that one is looking for. The brands have leveraged it to provide information about how their products and service can help users.
This microblogging site is difficult to crack. Your social media team needs to be on its toes when trying to make an impact on this platform. The shelf life of Tweets is low. Again if your tweets are receiving engagement, the shelf life increases.
Just like other platforms, simply selling products does not get you desired results. For this platform, you need to be highly active, creative, and witty at times. Twitter is a platform where communication between your audience and news works the best. There are several brands where they talk to each other not direct competitions but other recognized brands.
CREATE BRAND IMAGE
Brand image is very important for any business to thrive. Your brand image is what a person thinks about when she/he hears your brand name or sees your brand logo. It does not matter if your business is at the beginning or intermediate stage. Think of it as somebody’s perception of you. If they have a good perception of you, then they trust you. Similarly, it works for a brand, they trust or value your brand depending on how they perceive it.
You can use social media to create a brand image, remember brand image is different from creating brand identity.
Creating a logo and brand name, choosing color templates, selecting a brand motto and tagline helps you in building brand identity. You can also work on brand values and purpose if it suits your product or service.
COLLABORATION AND GIVEAWAYS
People will buy your product only if they know about it. The initial stage of your marketing strategy as a small business owner should be to spread awareness.
Spreading awareness of your product needs community engagement. To let people know of your product, you can collaborate with some established small-scale businesses of artisans. It will let the word spread. You can also ask them for reviews and testimonials.
A free giveaway is the best way to make everyone used to your product. A huge giveaway is always applicable for any business but small giveaways can surely help you gain some customers too.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
It is a very common mistake to think of random people as your buyers. However, this is not true. People buy specific products. They have different interests and behaviors. You need to target the audience which will be interested in your product.
Choose a niche for your business. You need to put constant effort into appealing to the audience of your niche. Understand their problems and provide them with the solution.
Choosing a niche will help you manage your budget and small-scale production.
You have a long road ahead for your business. These small steps taken now will help you establish your presence in the market. You do not need to hesitate to invest in marketing. Invest your time and money and see results.