Organisations in all sectors and of all sizes need to devote time and resources to marketing their brand if they want to build up a loyal consumer base. But smaller businesses and charities in particular might be concerned that they don’t necessarily have the resources to promote themselves as much as they would like.
However, there are plenty of simple marketing methods that don’t have to break the bank, yet can still be just as effective in raising an organisation’s profile as techniques that cost a lot more money.
So what cheap and easy ways of marketing are on offer to smaller groups and are highly likely to deliver the best results?
Branded promotional products
Organisations can get the best returns on their investment in marketing if they go for an approach that has a long-term impact, without breaking the bank.
Giving out promotional merchandise could therefore be a good option, as it requires just a one-off investment yet can lead to a brand name being seen day after day by lots of people.
Items such as branded pencils, diaries, mouse mats and keyrings are genuinely useful things to have, so recipients of free promotional items will keep hold of them and use them both at home and at work.
As a result, these people will essentially be showcasing a company’s name and logo on its behalf.
This means it can be far more cost-effective than putting money into something that could be forgotten within just a minute or two, such as a TV commercial.
Plenty of organisations have embraced sites like Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools, as they are a great way to gain insights into their consumer bases and target them with relevant, interesting content.
But perhaps one of the most notable aspects of these sites is that they are free to use, so businesses do not need huge marketing budgets to set up an account and use it to promote their brand.
Of course, they will have to spend time monitoring their pages and engaging their followers so they can respond to comments, complaints and feedback straight away, as well as ensure they are putting out a regular stream of interesting statuses and content to get their audience engaged.
But the returns on investment can be considerable and organisations can find social media a hugely effective and – crucially – a highly affordable way of spreading the word both to existing and new customers.
Sites such as YouTube and Vimeo allow anybody to upload video content to the internet. Businesses and charities have both been keen to embrace these platforms as a way to raise their profile and generate a buzz among the online community – and they have seen plenty of successes.
After all, videos don’t have to be straightforward adverts. Organisations can be as creative as they like when it comes to producing video content, so they can project their brand image in new and imaginative ways.
These videos can then be seen by a wider audience if they are shared on social media outlets like Facebook, where they could possibly go viral and get shared by a huge number of people.
Imagination and simply knowing the audience can be much more important than money in determining the success of a marketing campaign, so smaller organisations should not find themselves at a huge disadvantage if they are on limited budgets.