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10 Creative Ways to Market Your Brand for Next to Nothing

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As a small business owner, the success of your enterprise depends largely on how your brand is perceived. If your brand has cache and widespread appeal, finding new clients and retaining existing ones may not be much of a problem. But if your brand has a bad reputation, or none at all, finding customers could be a huge— and expensive — challenge.

Many small business owners think that building brand awareness means hiring a public relations firm and spending big bucks on flashy advertising campaigns, but what if you do not have the cash to spend on all that glitz and glitter?

Luckily, there are some creative ways to build brand awareness and enhance your brand marketing efforts. Even better, many of the most effective brand building techniques cost next to nothing, and some will not cost your business a dime. Here are 10 out-of-the-box strategies for building brand awareness and jump-starting your marketing efforts.

  • Set up a referral program. Your existing customers can help you find some new ones. A referral program is a great way to reward your most loyal customers—and spreading the word about your business.
  • Establish partnerships with other local business owners. Partnering with fellow business owners can raise visibility for all involved, as can offer freebies and incentives aimed at building on those partnerships.
  • Reach out on social media. Social media outreach is an integral part of brand building and brand marketing, so look for ways to share your story and showcase your expertise.
  • Tell a compelling company story. Everyone loves a great origin story, and sharing yours can be a great way to build brand awareness. Every business got its start somewhere, so talk about how your company came to be.
  • Participate in local charitable events. Giving back to the community feels good, but your charitable endeavors can also be good for business. Look for ways to participate in the community while spreading the word about your business and its products.
  • Reach out to local media. Local TV and radio stations have a lot of airtime to fill, and they often fill that time with showcases of area businesses and business owners. Reach out to the production managers at local media outlets and let them know you are available for an interview any time.
  • Attend a trade show. Small trade shows can be surprisingly affordable, and these business showcases are custom made for building brand awareness and enhancing you brand marketing efforts. Come armed with lots of freebies, all bearing the company logo, phone number and website address.
  • Use video marketing to build your brand. Making and posting online videos is a great way to showcase your expertise and build awareness of your brand, your company and your products. So grab your camera, smile and get ready to build a powerful brand.
  • Nominate yourself for business awards. Many business award programs allow self-nomination, so do some promotion and get some free publicity for your business. If self-nomination is not allowed, ask one of your business partners to put in a good word.
  • Hand out business cards. They may be low tech, but business cards are still surprisingly effective. Always have a stack of business cards in your pocket, and hand one out to everyone you meet.

Effective brand marketing does not have to be complicated, or expensive. There are some simple things you can do to build brand awareness, create a solid brand identity and get more bang for your marketing buck. The 10 ideas listed above can get you started, but the rest is up to you.

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