How To Determine What to Keep in Your Brand Strategy with a Limited Budget

ChicExecs VP of Global Strategic Accounts, Lydia Vargo, shares five effective ways you can communicate your brand strategy on a shoestring budget on Forbes blog.

As businesses plan for a “new normal,” the first thing they’re reviewing is quarterly budgets. In these tough economic times, there are sure to be some deep cuts in spending. What companies often struggle with is how far to cut back on their marketing allocation. In the case of small businesses, marketing is crucial. It’s the lifeline building their brand awareness.

What do you do before reallocating your budget? First, you need to analyze the market and what you can do within your own team bandwidth. Make no mistake, social media is a game-changer for brands. Having an enticing and professional feed is very important in establishing trust and potential sales; not to mention, it’s free to build up organically.

Make sure that best practices are a top priority, such as streamlined messaging, quality images, engaging content and conversation (and no bots). Remember, your followers are your community. They can either unfollow or become the best advocates your brand could hope for.

Some brands turn to professionals outside of their business to help them develop a social media strategy. (A number of companies, my own included, offer these types of services.) But what can you do when hiring a third-party team isn’t an option? In this digital age, you have more options than past turbulent economies.

Five options to consider:

1. Get press for your brand. There’s a metaphor that states your website/marketing material is your resume, and media press is your reference page. Having press coverage serves a critical part of the consumer decision-making process.

2. Build your online presence through blogs. Blogs not only build your expertise and credibility but also expand your community. To drive traffic to your site, however, you want to make sure your blogs are optimized.

3. Implement a call-to-action campaign. A strong social media presence comes in handy for a well-executed campaign in the digital age. Calls to action are key, and you can use them to entice your community to take action with a reward in sight via sharing or posting, for example.

4. Focus on a socially responsible brand message. Many people are passionate about supporting a charitable cause, especially millennials and Generation Z audiences. Offer a give-back scenario.

5. Opt for social and paid search ads. This last option takes some investment, but ads are a relatively surefire way to grow your following, as well as ROI, if done properly.

Read Lydia Vargos’s full blog for more on how you can communicate your brand strategy on a limited budget.

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