How do you build a strong brand?
How can you consciously construct how people think of you and your company, without having a corporate advertising budget?
Here are a few smart ways of marketing your brand without breaking the bank.
If an ad’s rate card rate is $1,000 a month, there’s a very good chance you could get it down to a more reasonable price with some shrewd negotiating. With the increase use the internet local papers are more open to working with advertisers.
It’s important to realize that most newspapers struggle to get advertisers. When a newspaper goes to print, any unused ad space is basically money lost. It costs them the same amount of money to print the paper; they’re just not making as much money. So they’ll often be happy to take your money, even if it’s far below what they’d normally want.
Start by asking what their remnant rate is. Remnant is basically the price for unused advertising space. You can often get a 30% discount right off the bat this way.
Then ask if they honor the 15% in-house agency discount. Basically, ad agencies always get a 15% discount, which isn’t passed to the client (they take it as profit). In other words, by not using an ad agency, you can take the discount for yourself.
Now you’ve already saved 45%. Now try asking for their bulk rate for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.
The rest is up to you. The goal is to try to get the 12-month rate for a one or two month test to see if the medium works out for you. Using a combination of negotiation techniques, you can get as much as 80% off.
Small Businesses Need to Focus on Response First
A large business can afford to put their time and energy into just branding, rather than direct sales efforts. A small business, however, needs to focus their main attentions on building sales today and branding for tomorrow.
If you’re spending money on advertising, your goal is an action taken by your target market. Those can be email sign-ups, sales or phone calls, but branding just isn’t enough for a new small business.
Aim for sales and reap the benefits of marketing your brand as a side benefit.
Use a Variety of Media
Let’s say someone sees your banner ad on a relevant website. Then they see an article you wrote on an industry leader’s blog. Finally, when they’re searching for information on a related topic, they see your Google AdWords ad (because you did your keyword research properly).
By now, you’ve built up so much credibility just by appearing multiple times in different media that they’re likely to click just out of curiosity.
Where are your customers?
If you’re marketing a local business, try mixing local media like radio, newspaper and perhaps even direct mail or postcards.
These are a few smart ways to build your brand effectively. Take care of your bottom line first by generating sales, while being conscious of your brand. Use a variety of media to target the same audience.
What have you done to market your brand that work very well? What about something that didn’t turn out like you’d hope?
Please share your experience below. Thanks for reading.