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Businesses often bemoan the cost of marketing, and there’s no denying it can be an expensive exercise.  However there are several low-cost branding and marketing opportunities available to every business that are often overlooked.

Here are 7 easy-to-access opportunities to get your business out there, without breaking the bank.

(1) Social Media Profiles

Social media marketing is a strategy unto itself, but not every business really puts thought and effort into their social media profiles. Each has visual branding opportunities, plus an About section that lets you communicate your brand personality to interested visitors.

So don’t set up your social profiles half-heartedly. Make sure you get across the most valuable information and key points about your business in the various areas of your social media profiles.

(2) Email Signatures

How many emails do you send out each day? Even a small percentage of these are to people who are already, or could become, your customers.  Use your email signature not only to communicate your contact details, but also include links to your social media profiles, and even a call to action to a new product, service or opportunity.

Wisestamp is an easy-to-use tool that creates professional, eye catching email signatures. You can add profile pictures, social media links and calls to action such has Like Us On Facebook or Connect on LinkedIn.  You can also add text to link people to your latest blog post, free download or a special offer.

The free version of Wisestamp has many features but it does put a link to Wisestamp on your email signature. (It’s not too overt, but it is noticeable).  There is an Upgraded version for $48USD which removes the branding and lets you create unlimited signatures, premium signature templates and custom social icons.

So for those of you who thought custom email signatures were too tricky (and trust me, I was one of you), this is a fabulously simple solution.

Image of Email Signature

(3) Packaging or Proposals

Your branding and marketing job isn’t done when someone buys from you or makes an enquiry.  The post-sale opportunity is equally valuable to embed your business in your customers’ memory and to inspire them to share their experience of your business with others.

For businesses who sell or deliver products, using eye-catching, memorable packaging extends the experience. There are a lot of opportunities, from the swing tags on clothing to the wrapping / packaging itself. Instead of just having a picture of your branding, consider being creative and really showcasing your personality. Make it memorable.

Service businesses – just because you don’t have “packaging” as such, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Think about how you present your proposals, quotes, statements of advice, training manuals.  Any  document can be well-designed and presented to express your brand and its values.

(4)  Email Sign Up Process

For most businesses, capturing your customers and potential customers on your email database is an important part of the marketing strategy. Moving them from the uncertain “rented land” of Facebook, Instagram and other social media to your own database is important.

However many business just use the default emails from their email provider (such as Mailchimp or Aweber), when this whole process could be customised to really reflect your branding and personality.

The marketing opportunity and experience doesn’t end with deciding which free offer to use as an incentive to sign up. From the words on the sign-up page to the Opt In emails and Confirmation Emails to the page they land on once the sign up is complete, there are opportunities to capture their attention, create a story or experience, and form a relationship with them.  So rather than simply use the default emails, go through each step of the process and customise them to reflect your brand.

Most of the email service providers have instructions or tutorials on how to customise these processes.

Email of Customised Email SignUp Process

(5) Receipts / Invoices

Your invoices and receipts are another branding opportunity. Of course, it depends on the system you use and how much customisation is available, but at least try to include ways to stay in touch with your business on your receipts and invoices. Again try to inject a little personality, rather than relying on the default text.

(6) Facebook Cover Photo (and other social media image opportunities)

Change your Facebook Cover Photo regularly. Use it as an opportunity to communicate seasonal changes, special promotions or new representations of your brand.

LinkedIn also allows you to put a background image behind your profile, and Twitter does the same. Each of these opportunities lets you stand out a little from the crowd, and more importantly, communicate something about your business and brand.

Using a tool like Canva makes it easy to create these images.

Image of Social Media Cover Images

(7) Social Media Image Templates

On the topic of Canva (or PicMonkey), creating templates for your social media and blog images is another way to create consistent, memorable branding.  Whether it’s tips to do with your business, inspirational quotes or other messages, having a consistent look and feel about the images makes them easily identifiable and lets them stand out in busy social media feeds. It might be as simple as a watermark of your logo or a specific design theme that you superimpose over photos. You don’t have to use these templates EVERY time, but they will stand out when you do use them.

To see examples, check out the Instagram accounts of Nathalie Lussier, Socially Sorted and my own at KOG Marketing to see image templates in use.

Social Media Templates

ACTION: Try implementing even one of these tactics this week. If you’re already using them, review your efforts to see if they could be improved.

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