Fighting against more prominent brands within your industry always feels like a tough job. But with excellent branding, you might stand a chance of building your community.
Despite having a limited marketing budget, there are still many budget-friendly branding tips that you can follow.
1. Come up with a plan
Before you start working on improving your brand identity, you have to develop a plan first. Otherwise, you are taking things too lightly and might not get the results that you want.
When creating your business plan, you have to have a brief idea of how you want to make your brand strategy.
How you brand your startup can make or break the success of your business. You must have a brand strategy in the first place because it helps you become more consistent with your branding and positioning. In addition, creating actionable steps towards improving your branding is more straightforward when you have a strategy to back it up.
If you start doing unplanned publicity stunts, they will only waste your time, effort, and resources. Such a superficial way of establishing your branding will not stick and can even harm how people see your business.
Therefore, you should come up with a brand strategy before firing off.
2. Identify your brand identity
When people think of creating a brand strategy, they are too often caught up in the visuals of building the brand. However, branding is more than just your logo and web design.
When you are crafting your brand strategy, you have to think about what brand identity you want to have. Your brand identity will depend on how you would like your target market to perceive you.
Moreover, a clear brand identity can set the direction on how you should convey your message. This includes the channels you will use to get your message across.
It will help you dictate how you talk to your customers, present your ideas, and so many more.
Keep in mind that our visual identity is just a small part of your brand strategy. Make sure that you do not overlook your brand strategy that means something to your business’s growth.
3. Determine and stick to a budget
It will help if you put down a bit of investment when you want to level up your branding as a business.
Getting your cousin who’s good at drawing to make your logo is fine and dandy. However, you will need to polish the initial logo design and ensure that there’s the meaning behind whatever you projected to the world as a business.
It would be a mistake not to devote a budget to your branding efforts. Having an account will help you feel the legitimacy of your brand identity. You will have a different mindset on it and take it more seriously once you spend more money.
That said, being smart about managing your investment is essential. That’s because that fund can help your startup stay afloat. Once you have a range you want to work with, you can start planning your branding and stick to your budget.
4. Invest in content marketing
When your business is just starting, one of the biggest challenges you have to overcome is that nobody knows your business yet. That means that they can’t trust your business, and you do not have a reputation for speaking, which can hinder your success.
Therefore, you want to invest in something that will help market yourself as an industry authority. It can be a budget-friendly website builder like Boxmode and the content you’ll put in it.
There are several ways you can be able to have a better reputation for your startup. One of them is content marketing.
According to Techmagnate, it is one of the most excellent ways to start building your startup’s online reputation. For one, it allows you to set yourself as an industry thought leader. This is through using your content as a vehicle to impart knowledge and information.
Content marketing also allows you to be present in critical moments of your target customer’s buyer journey.
For example, you can produce content that helps solve your target market’s problem. And content is not limited to blog posts, e-books, and PDF.
Here are some content types that you can produce:
Infographics are great in simplifying complex concepts to your target audience. No wonder is commonly used when sharing statistics and scientific studies.
Through infographics, you can create a helpful visualization of your content’s critical points. Plus, it is a shareable piece of content.
So if you make one for each long-form content you have, you’d have plenty of material and content to share.
Another great content that makes complex ideas approachable is videos. This explains why videos do so well to get people to engage and stay engaged for a long time.
It is excellent in catching and retaining people’s attention, and it can also help reduce your website’s bounce rate.
Regardless, it would be best to know which types of content would work well with your audience. And you can do it with the help of a reliable web analytics tool. Another tip is to repurpose your top-performing content and turn them into a video or infographic.
5. Be active on social media
Now that you have thought about content marketing, it is time that you create a content strategy that fits social media platforms. It will be a mistake for you not to be active on social media just because of the number of people, including your customers, that are likely active on there.
In some cases, consumers will not trust a business if it does not have a social media presence.
A common mistake that startups make is being on every social media platform. The downside of such a tactic is that it spreads your brand too thin. It also prevents you from maximizing your time on connecting where the majority of your audience is.
That said, you have to choose which social media platforms to be active on carefully.
The best way to determine which places you want to be is to figure out where your target customers are hanging out the most often. Once you have a good idea, you can narrow down the social media platforms to increase your presence.
6. Organize a contest or giveaway
To get more engagement and followers on your social media accounts, you might want to hold a campaign aiming to reach that goal for you.
One of the most effective ways to widen your reach is by organizing a contest or a giveaway on your social media platforms. It is simple to manage and, depending on your rules. You can even get people to create content to tag you in, which is suitable for engagement.
However, when you are organizing a contest or a giveaway, you have to be careful. You should read through any rules or regulations your chosen social media platform has regarding a game or a giveaway.
After all, you do not want the platform to ban your account for not complying with their guidelines.
7. Your logo is essential
As mentioned before, many people tend to focus more on their business’s visuals before any of the essential parts of it. Although this can be the case most often, it doesn’t mean that the company’s visuals are something that you should neglect.
If anything, your logo is a significant way for people to remember your brand.
There are a plethora of ways to create a logo for your startup. You can make one yourself if you can do that or hire someone more capable than you to do it for you.
Another affordable option is to use an online logo generation. The only caveat is that logo generators tend to use similar elements over and over. So, you risk your logo for being trite.
8. Highlight customer testimonials
While building your startup’s credibility, you should highlight existing customer testimonials. You can ask your existing customers for their feedback on your products or services and share it on your social media channels.
Other than establishing your reputation, it also helps attract and engage with your target customers. And by “engage,” we mean buying your products or hiring your services.
9. Create an email list
Although it might feel like an ancient technology at this point, email is still a powerful way to market and advertise your business. That’s why you want to build an email list to help streamline whatever communication you have with the people who sign up for it. After all, it is easier to market yourself to people who already know your brand than those who do not.
Importance of Branding to Startups
Finding ways to fund your startup can hinder you from turning your ideas into reality. This is followed by how you can distribute and promote your products or services.
But what about branding?
Branding enables your startup to identify your marketing message, how you should present it to the world, and what marketing vehicles to use. Thus, you are kept in the dark when promoting your startup and communicating with your leads and clients.
Thinking of branding for your startup early on allows you to reap a handful of benefits. Here are some of them:
Build a Unique Identity
When you’re pitching to investors to raise funds for your startup, you need to create an excellent pitch. One way to make your startup stand out is through unique brand identity.
Mind you; branding is what separated McDonald’s from Burger King.
Creating a brand identity helps make your startup easy to remember. And this is vital if you are in a fiercely competitive niche.
Branding also makes it easier for your marketing and advertising efforts to be traceable to you no matter what. Thus, it’s good to have your brand identity settled.
Since you don’t have much of a digital or physical presence yet as a startup, you need all the help you can get. That means you need to be recognizable and start building a way for the market to find you more familiar. You can’t do that without fleshing out your brand identity and strategy.
If you keep switching your brand identity, the market will be confused and may not realize which of your efforts are yours. That’s why you have to build your brand identity now before you launch your business to keep your marketing, advertising, and PR efforts aligned.
If you and a competitor are advertising a similar service or product, the one with the better and more familiar branding will likely succeed. That’s because a good branding strategy will help build trust in you within your target customers.
Even when you have the best product or service in the world, it means nothing if no one can trust you. But with branding efforts, you create a relationship between you and your ideal customers.
Cultivating customer relationships is integral in branding and making your startup grow. Because without your customers, you are less likely to sustain your business.
Once you have an established branding strategy, the ball will start rolling without you having even to push it.
Resolve Customer Issues
Your brand identity can dictate how you interact with your customers. Branding is about how you want your business’s personality to be, which issues you want to solve, and your values as a business.
That said, your branding guideline serves as the baseline of your relationships with customers. This includes communicating and resolving customer issues more straightforward.
It’s how you understand whatever your customers are going through and how you communicate to them how to solve those issues.
The nine branding tips listed above are easy to implement and will not break the bank. Plus, it ensures a positive brand awareness for your startup.
Keep in mind that you need to maximize every resource that you have. That’s because you are a startup and likely to have a limited marketing budget.
That said, try a branding tip or two from this list and let us know how it impacts your latest venture. Good luck!