It is the dilemma of small brands or new brands that – unless they have an investor – their media budgets are non-existent or very small.
But, the brand obviously needs to get their product or service in front of people to get a chance to sell these. And then to keep these crucial monies coming in to further invest in the business to keep growing.
While zero or low budgets require a slower and longer journey it is not an impossible journey.
The key is to keep talking to potential new customers and to maintaining a relationship with your existing customers as they are the ones spreading the word about you. The more you are present the more people will get to know your brand, buy it and potentially spread the word for you. With consistent exposure users get familiar with your brand and will memorise it the more often they will see and hear about you.
I have put together my key tips to stay visible with no or limited budgets:
First, get to know your audience.
You don’t need to have (huge) budgets in order to gather data. If you have subscribers to a newsletter or if you have buyer/visitor data from your website (i.e. Google Analytics) and sales, do a survey to understand their motivations for your category as well as their media consumption ha
bits to build a comms plan off the back of these insights. Understand their pain points, what they value or missing in the category and tap into these insights in your messaging. Furthermore, learn where and how they consumer media to then show up where they are to bring your message across.
Make the most of your social presence.
Keep posting regularly on social channels relevant to your target audience. Use the right hashtags to allow your brand to be explored by potential new customers. Do your research about the hashtags to identify the ones relevant to your category, brand, product and target audience. Build a schedule for posting that suits your resources (time, money, ideas etc.). To give you some head-space use posting tools such as Buffer, Sprout or Hopper. Sit down once a month to write and schedule your posts for the upcoming month. In that way you avoid the mad scramble and can rest assured you have a continuous presence.
Your website data
Your website is one of your first interactions with a potential customer. Keep it simple and give the user to the information they are looking for. Putting yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t know your brand and comes to your website for the first time. Build the customer journey for this person. By customer journey I mean, what do they see very first thing when they get to your website, how do they learn more about your service or product and how do they get to the information they need and finally how can they buy your product or service, schedule a call etc. Make product pages and background stories easy to find and navigate and use clear language.
Give your subscribers what they want
If you are selling products through your website or are getting subscribers to newsletters, use that data for email marketing. People have already bought into your brand and are looking for updates. Give it to them. These regular updates don’t need to be just about your product. Tell them more about the care of the product or tell them more about the background of your brand (if it is relevant to your audience) or send them an after-sale email with useful tips about caring for the product or making the most of the service just purchased.
Make the monies you have work as hard as possible
If you have some budget to invest, take the insights from your survey for example (key pain points, problems, desires). Plan your messaging around key moments for your brand to address these insights with your brand. That can be a launch, a key seasonality or a new announcement such as a partnership. Be where your audience is. And show up continuously for potential customers to get familiar with your brand, to discover your product or services. This will give your brand the chance to be considered once a consumer is looking to buy in your category.
Get visibility over the long run without getting into a spending spiral
SEO can help you get visibility over the long run and will avoid you tapping into a spending spiral with paid search, especially when you are in a highly competitive market where you will be outbid by the big ones. SEO requires some investment but it is an investment that is worth in the long run as you improve your presence on a platform where people look up your category when they are in market to research or close to purchase.
Look for a partner in crime.
If your new in the market find a partner that talks to the same target audience and who already has a footprint within that target audience for you to tap into that. The partner should add value and be relevant to your brand in an authentic way.
To start with limited means there are ways to get a presence out there. Make use of the data that is available to you. It might be small but it is better than guess work. While your brand grows ensure you check the insights regularly if they are still true. Adapt where needed as your brand and the market around you evolve.
The key is, keep showing presence. Don’t stop talking to potential and existing customers. You want to become a familiar face so when the time comes for users to buy in your category they have your brand in their mindset. The chances of being picked are much higher than targeting them cold in selected moments when they are in market but don’t know who you are.
Need some help finding out more about your audience, helping in defining or refining your target audience and building a comms plan get in touch.