Helping Your Small Business Move Forward: 5 Tips On How To Create Brand Awareness

Having a great brand is knowing how to market it. Creating and developing your brand, from finding the right name, designing the right logo, symbols and slogans is the key to making your brand standout. Brand awareness is important because it’s what helps and drives customers into the business. Without a smart marketing plan you won’t have a business. Being smart is being active. Brand loyalty creates a level of security for the business, you want to make sure that the guests that are walking into your store are coming back. Making sure that you and the team are providing great customer service is a huge key to success and will help your business, but it’s not enough on its own.

Once a customer has purchased from you, you need to ask yourself what you are doing to make sure they come back. Customer newsletters, surveys, and weekly promotions are all great ideas to keep them coming back. Here are a few ideas to help you create awareness and to get your name out there. Customers want to come see you, but many may not even know that you exist.

Creating A 30-60-90 Day Marketing Plan

You can’t move forward with a business without having a marketing plan. Writing out your plan helps you keep track of how the business is moving. First month, you should create a trade area map. This helps you have a clear picture on what’s around you: schools, shopping centers, hospitals, competitors, etc. You can get a free map of your area on LSM Guide. Color code the map and post it somewhere prominent so other employees can see it. If you don’t have a website for your business, you will need to create one.

On the second month you want to reach out to nearby schools. Schools are always looking for help or sponsorships. Now that you’ve got the ball rolling and have a better understanding on steps to move forward, by the third month you want to now start looking into things like direct mail, mail inserts, newspaper ads, digital advertising, mobile offers. Valassis has some great pricing and are there to help. You should have a marketing budget for each month to keep you on track. The more money you make the more you have to spend on marketing. Make sure to never go over.

Social Media

We live in a digital world now, and an average person spends 8 hours and 41 minutes on media devices. From checking emails, reading blogs, keeping up with today’s news or like myself, watching The Golden Girls. This is the way in. Facebook and other social media sites are a huge opportunity for you to increase brand awareness and drive new customers to you. First thing is getting your business a Facebook page, you want to advertise the number of “Likes” you have. Ads on Facebook are as low as $5.00. Target by geographical area, gender, age or interests. Twitter also has cheap ads that you could buy. This helps get the brand seen. When using any social media outlets you want to make sure that you are being consistent. Posting once a week does not help the brand, in fact it hurts it. People don’t want to follow or “Like” something that’s not consistent. Make sure you set up goals for your social media and measure your success. Create monthly reports and figure out which day/time gets the most interaction.

Local Store Marketing

As I mentioned earlier, sponsoring local schools and/or sport teams increases brand awareness and shows community support. Have banners made for nearby schools with your logo and address on it. Everyone likes freebies, other fun things you can brand are: pens, koozies, frisbees, notepads, water bottles, etc. All great things that remind people of your brand. Give them away at local events, and give them to your staff to take to when they are networking.

The holidays are here and that means everyone is at a shopping center. Contact the management company to see if you can sponsor something like a tree lighting ceremony or the day that Santa comes to the center. Do they mail or email a booklet for the holidays to their customers? How can you be included? Shopping cart advertisement could help increase awareness with captive audience, while coupons on the back of the receipt increases awareness and helps drive sales with an offer.

In-Store Fundraiser

Create a sense of community support by having an in-store fundraiser. You could hold two fundraisers (with 2 different schools or charities) to see who raises the most money. You would do this on two different days and announce the winner after both fundraisers are complete. The winning school will have bragging rights. Donate 15% to 20 % of the sales from the fundraiser to the schools. Announce the winning school on Facebook.

Make two flyers for the schools. The flyer should have the name of the school, date, time, who’s hosting it, and phone number and most importantly, your logo. Give the school a PDF file of it and have them make copies to pass out. You are going to want to post this on the schools Facebook as well as yours. This will help make it bigger and better. They move people who come in the more money you will make.

Location Is Everything

You’ve heard the old phrase “location is everything”, and it’s true. Obviously, having an accessible location makes it easier for clients to find you. But location also has an impact on your brand awareness. Moving to a high end retail strip next to well-known brands can build trust, while moving closer to your competitors can help create an “industry hub”, a place where people know they can shop around and definitely get “X” product. Of course it depends on your industry and your budget, but a general rule is to avoid low traffic, out of the way locations. Moving your business can be expensive but it can be worth it, and there are plenty of free tools on the web that will give you a free moving quote to stay on budget.

Getting your brand known, seen and heard isn’t always an easy thing. But, you can make it fun by doing this. That’s what this should So get ready and be part of the community!


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