Promoting a business can be a tedious task, but it’s always a worthwhile one since it can increase the number of your first-time customers. Regardless if your business has been around for years or if it’s just been newly setup, it will surely benefit from activities that raise brand awareness. Advertisements and promotional activities can be a significant cost for any enterprise, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. If you know what to look for and how to do it, you can make your local brand more visible without having to shell out a large sum. Here are a few cost-effective ways to raise awareness for your local business:
- Giveaway items that bear your brand. Giving away items might seem like the complete opposite of saving money, but it’s not. Sure, you have to buy items to give away, but you don’t have to lose a lot on it. Besides, if the money you spend on freebies will earn you a few loyal customers, then it’s all worth it right? The key to getting the money back is investing in the right kind of giveaway. The item has to be useful and inexpensive but high quality, and it should bear the name of your establishment. There are a lot of items that can be used for this purpose, such as pens, keychains, magnets, or embossed silicone wristbands. These can be customized and bought in bulk for a reasonable amount. Make sure to look around for good suppliers who can give you high quality items at a great price.
- Be active on social media. Social media is a powerful tool that you can use to promote your brand to a wide audience. It costs almost nothing, but you can use it to reach out to people of all walks of life. Build up your brand’s social media pages by posting regularly about your ongoing promotions and contests, new products, accomplishments, projects, or events in the communities near you. You can even encourage and engage your customers and followers online. Make verified accounts for your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and pepper your posts with relevant hashtags. Maximize your social media accounts and you’ll be sure to attract the right attention without paying a dime.
- Run a referral program. A referral program can help make your business more visible to your client base. This is how it works: a customer is offered a freebie or a discount whenever they get someone they know to avail of the brand’s product or services along with them. The referral program incentivizes current customers to get their friends and family to try out your company’s services or products. In this way, the brand’s loyal customers are turned into brand ambassadors, and the ‘freebie’ your business will be giving away for this program will be immediately compensated with more business and new customers.
- Partner with other local brands. Forming a partnership with other local brands—those that aren’t directly competing with your business, at least—can also be quite beneficial to your company. Choose a partner that you can refer clients to and that can refer clients to you. If you’re managing a photography service, for example, you can team up with a floral shop or an event organizer. Look at your brand and see what kind of businesses and industries are related to it as a start.
- Look into print advertisements. Advertisements are a worthy investment if you’re planning on really expanding your customer base. TV and radio commercials can be quite pricy, but you can always look for alternative channels if you want to save on money. Think small scale – perhaps put up posters or billboards advertising your brand, or check out local newspapers. You can also ask or pay other establishments to display or put up your printed ads on their premises.
Give a good, long thought as to how you want your business to be known for in your community and plan your promotional activities around that idea. At the same time, set aside a reasonable amount of resources to execute your plan flawlessly. Remember that the money, time, and effort that go toward raising awareness for your brand are an investment that will sustain the growth and success of your business.