Are you putting off your branding efforts due to low budget? Or, are you spending money on marketing and not getting returns?
If yes, you’re not alone. For most small and mid-size businesses, their marketing budget is limited and planning their cash flow often features on top of their agenda. As such, making correct estimations and proper decisions about investing on branding efforts can be challenging.
At the same time, branding and creating brand perception are critical activities that can help your business to thrive and grow. It has been found that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
It’s not hard to understand why — the more people that know about your business, what product/service you provide, and what value you offer, the more in demand you’ll be. This is where branding helps you stand out among your competitors.
“I’m doing everything but I’m not seeing results”
This is something that I almost always hear business owners complaining about. They tell me how they have been trying every marketing tactic in the book but still aren’t getting their desired results.
Often, businesses try to jump into doing everything — blogging, making branded videos, content marketing, and so on — in order to generate brand awareness. While these marketing tactics are effective, they are quite expensive. And, if you aren’t sure about the viability of your product/service or the actual need of your offerings among your target audience, you’re on the road to disappointment.
This is the biggest mistake most businesses make — they start pouring money into marketing activities without validating their business model first. As a result, they end up spending thousands without seeing the outcomes.
The truth is that when you’re on a tight budget as a small business, it’s even more important to spend it well. If you have Rs.10, 000 to invest in social media campaigns, how you spend it will determine your success or failure.
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That said, here is a 3-step marketing and branding strategy that will fetch you great results on a budget.
Step #1 Reach: Find Your Target Audience
Irrespective of the size of your business, before you invest time, money, and resources on social media, you need to know who your target audience is and where they are and what is the Strategy to collect their data. This exercise will help you to narrow down your choices of platforms and let you answer the following questions:
Activities in Reach Step are as follows
- Assume your Target Audience based on Social Media Customer Variables
- Design Lead Magnets and Show them (Lead Magnets Should Solve burning Problems)
- Collect 100% of the data (either Cookie or Contact Info) of the action Takers
- Use Email CRM to Store the Lead Data and Use Social Media Ads Platforms to Store the cookies
Reach Step will enable you to identify the ideal prospective customer for whom you can easily sell your product or services. Now the next step is to make them loyal to your brand, so that they buy from.
The free offering is also known as a lead magnet and it can be a free workshop, webinar, case study download, ebook download, a competition, or contest, to name a few.
The lead magnet serves as a hook to capture your audience. And, this is where you apply the customer insights you developed in the first step. Ideally, your lead magnet should address 1-2 of your customer needs and offer solutions.
Step #2 Register: Capture Your Audience’s Attention
Getting your audience to notice you among your competitors takes some extra effort and this is where you can truly make a difference.
Sales and marketing expert, Jill Konrath says:
“In order to get customers to consider changing from the status quo, you have to give them a good reason,”
In other words, you have to show them a promise of value. And, a great way to do this is by giving them a free taste of your product/service, which will convince themselves to buy from you. This allows you to pull them into your customer acquisition funnel.
Related Article– 6 Steps Customer Acquisition Formula
In this Step, activities are as mentioned below
- Data Segmentation (Visitors/leads/Buyers/Non-Buyers)
- Create 3 -5 Personalised Content pieces to convinces your audience to buy from you
- Reach at least 80% of the audience who you have identified in the reach step using email Marketing or Social Media Retargeting platforms
Step #3 Regain: Start Selling and Monitoring Your Process for Success
This is where you start seeing the result, aka the sales figures. So, how do you know this system that you’ve put in place is working?
Once they have consumed the lead magnet and the register content, it’s time to present your irresistible offer. A smaller percentage of the start becoming loyal after the consuming lead magnet and the register content. These loyal audiences will be ready to buy your offerings.
Show them irresistible offers and keep a track on CPA.
NOTE : An irresistible offer is, as the name suggests, an offer that your prospect can’t refuse. Some examples of this include limited period trials, free demos, inaugural discounts, prelaunch offers, free consultations, and so on.
Here’s the key formula to keep in mind at this stage to check if everything is on the track
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) Should be Less the Cost of the irresistible offer => Validation
Let me break this down.
Your CPA or Cost Per Acquisition is what you spend on digital marketing activities divided by the number of sales.
If your CPA is less than the cost of the Irresistible Offer (IO), it means that your product/service is being accepted and you have the license to reach more people.
Ideally, 5% of your lead magnet leads should convert into paying customers in this step. Less than 5% of conversions means that you need to tweak either your target audience or customer acquisition funnel till you arrive at a Point where your CPA is less than the cost of the irresistible offers.
Take one week at a time before you start investing more heavily in your social media and branding efforts. I recommend you start with a limited budget for the first week and target limited people. Do the math and calculate CPA and see if CPA is less than the cost of the irresistible offers.
If that’s not the case, then go back and tweak either your target audience or customer acquisition funnel. Observe the results over the next week. This process should be repeated till you hit the ideal CPA< less than the cost of the irresistible offers. When you approach your branding and marketing strategy in this way, you’re more likely to know where your money is going. But most importantly, it gives you a solid understanding of your business model’s validity and the viability of your product/service, so you don’t end up wasting your marketing budget without gaining market acceptance.
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After all, it just makes the right business sense to make sure that your offering meets your audience’s needs before going all guns blazing with your marketing and branding efforts. Even more so for businesses that run on low to medium resources.