With more than 89% of consumers using search engines to make their purchase decisions it’s easy to see why more small businesses are going online to build a presence for their brands. Yet, for the newbie startup or small business owner with little to no capital getting noticed online can be a challenge for two main reasons:
- It is a noisy world out there (there are more than 2 billion active internet users)
- Building a brand can be somewhat expensive
Online Branding Essentials for Small Businesses The following post covers 5 low-to-no cost tips and essentials that you can use to brand your business online inexpensively:
- A company or personal blog.
Blogging is an excellent way to brand your business online for the following reasons:
- You can use your blog to establish yourself as an authority in your niche
- You can use your blog as an educational platform that helps your target audience solve specific problems; This will help attract more targeted customers to your business and brand
- 81% of online consumers trust information and advice from blogs; I can vouch for this statistic. The majority of the visitors that stop by the Small Business Sense blog are there because they discovered the brand through a blog post that I’ve written. Just goes to show you how powerful blogging is for building brand visibility online.
- Your Email Signature.
Yep It’s true! The folks here at Wisestamp make it super easy to brand your business with an email signature. This resource is one of my personal favorite online branding tools and one that I recommend all the time to small business owners. With Wisestamp you can easily brand and market your business with every email that you send. This tool allows you to create professionally designed email signatures in minutes that include:
- Your company’s contact information
- A professional picture of yourself
- Live updates from your social media profiles
- Links to your latest blog posts
- Links to Freebies or Incentives that you are offering from your blog or website
- Social Media Platforms.
There are over 1 billion users active on social media– which creates a great opportunity for you to use these platforms to brand your business. Best of all, the majority (if not all) of the social platform media platforms online are FREE to use. Social media gives you the chance to:
- Connect with peers in your community online and get them engaged with your brand online
- Gives you the opportunity to gain more brand visibility by reaching a larger audience
- Share useful information and tips with your community on a regular basis. This will keep your brand in the forefront of your followers and will help you gain influence with your community.
A few important considerations for branding your business with social media:
- Post to your active social media channels every day
- Use a consistent branding (color schemes etc,) on all of your social profiles
- Add a photo of yourself or your team on your social media profiles (Remember…you are your BRAND)
4. A professional Logo. Your logo is an essential part of “brand identification” for your business both online and offline. It’s the brand image that you will use on all of your marketing materials, website, social media profiles, and other business collateral. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that you invest in a professionally designed small business logo. For cash-strapped entrepreneurs, there are a few services that you can use to get a professional logo designed what will not cost you’re a fortune. Check out:
Again, I cannot reiterate how important a great logo design is for branding. When you are getting your logo designed, please remember the following:
- Keep it simple
- Use colors that complement one another
- Use a limited number of fonts
- Content Marketing. One of the best quotes that I’ve heard in reference to blogging and content marketing comes from content marketing experts Hubspot and states the following: “One Blog Post = Lifetime of Value for Your Customers”.
The good folks at Hubspot went on to state that they have written blog posts years ago that still attract customers to their brand—Amazing, Right! Therein lies the true branding power of content marketing. So What is Content Marketing Exactly… Simply stated, content marketing is writing content then using various online marketing channels such as your blog and social media to share that content. A few principles that are tried and true that has worked very effectively for marketing my brand has been to:
- Write Attention Grabbing Headlines for your content
- Publish and republish your content multiple times to your social media profiles
- Publish/share your content on all of your active social media channels to increase brand recognition and visibility
As you can see, it doesn’t cost a fortune to brand your business online. The five inexpensive tools, resources and branding essentials mentioned in this article will give you a running start. Good luck! Which of these low cost to no-cost solutions are you using to brand your business? Do you have any other secrets to share? Let us know in the comments.