If you only had $15,000 a year to spend on marketing.

There are 3 things you could do today to kick-start your brand marketing even if you're not familiar with the latest marketing trends and strategies.

First of all, every company is obviously at different stages of their business and more importantly – they all have different business goals. All businesses have to start with what they want to achieve by planning out their short- and long-term goals. Goals can be defined in several areas of your business ranging from operations, planning a new product launch, growing sales, elevating your brand awareness and attracting new talent.

Now, $15,000 is not a lot of money to spend on marketing, but it’s not chump change either for small businesses especially for those who are just starting out. Everyone knows that you have to invest in marketing if you want to compete with your competitors and grow your business. The most common mistake business owner make is thinking too tactical and not looking at the big picture strategy. Good strategic planning will help you organize and prioritize to reach your goals. But you don’t have eat the whole elephant at once. Your $15,000 budget can definitely get you started.

Here are three fundamental strategies of where you could start.

1. Develop Your Brand Strategy

Hiring a branding expert will guide you on the best brand strategic recommendations you should take depending on where you are at with your business. If you are either a business that is just starting out or an existing business who’s needs a brand refresh, repositioning in the market, or a total rebrand, a brand strategist will help you determine the best strategic approach to take. When decided on the appropriate brand strategy to take, it is important to note that the scope of these different strategies and execution can vary immensely in time and investment.

Your brand strategy can be broken down into two defined stages; your brand’s core substance consisting of first developing, or redefining, your purpose, vision, mission and values. The second phase is creating your brand’s positioning, or repositioning, based on research to define your ideal audience, competitors and your brand’s differentiation in your market.

These are the fundamental components that make up your solid brand strategy foundation in which you continue to build your brand upon. Once your brand strategy has been developed you will now be prepared to advance into creating your communication portion of your brand that includes your brand personality and voice, core messaging and storytelling framework, potential brand or product naming, taglines and hooks.

The following are some other development tactics that are important to include to help lay the strategic groundwork for your solid brand strategy

  • Internal brand strategy discover session
  • Brand audit of current assets and customer touchpoints
  • Brand insights report
  • Internal and external stakeholder brand surveys
  • Define ideal customer and persona development
  • Competitive research and identifying opportunities in your market

2. Develop Your Brand Marketing Strategic Plan

A brand marketing strategy is the fundamental place to start and hiring a professional will in the end save you time and money. They will help you uncover the strategic alignment you need to connect your business, brand and marketing objectives with essential steps needed to develop a solid blueprint outlining your strategic brand marketing roadmap.

The most important elements of this processes would include:

  • Determine your business goals and objectives
  • Assess the current state of your brand and marketing to provide high-level insights
  • Define your ideal customer
  • Research your competition and reveal opportunities in the market
  • Develop clear and concise brand messaging that will resonate with ideal audience
  • Create a strategic brand marketing plan to put into action

3. Three Essential Foundational SEO Strategies

There are three integrated digital strategies that all small businesses should not be without and are fundamental to your brand’s online digital footprint. These should be planned and executed right away for any small business.

1.    Local SEO

Enhance your business’s online visibility through local SEO, a strategy that involves securing listings in online directories and listings. This practice establishes your business’s legitimacy in Google’s eyes. When your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistently and accurately represented across these platforms, Google can reward you with improved search rankings.

2.    Google Business Profile Optimization

Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google. It displays essential information about your business in search results and Google Maps, including your name, address, hours, and contact details. Optimizing your profile can enhance your SEO and higher page ranking by providing accurate, up-to-date information on your products and services, responding to reviews, and posting engaging content.

3.    Review and Reputation Management Service

Your online reviews and reputation are pivotal elements of your brand’s identity in the digital age. They serve as a reflection of your business’s credibility, trustworthiness, and the quality of your products and services. Positive reviews can be potent marketing tools, building consumer trust and attracting new customers. On the other hand, negative reviews can seriously tarnish your brand and drive potential clients away. This interconnected relationship between reputation and brand means that actively managing and cultivating your online reviews is essential.

Although I consider these more digital marketing tactics – combined they make an awesome foundational digital strategy that you can hit the ground running to jump-start your online brand awareness and digital marketing efforts.

Just to recap.

My 3 go-to fundamental strategies to start your brand marketing foundations are:

  1. Develop Your Brand Strategy
  2. Develop and Define Your Strategic Brand Marketing Plan
  3. Three Essential Foundational SEO Strategies: Local SEO, Google Business Profile Optimization, and Review and Reputation Management Services

Are you ready to start to biting off some of that elephant?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below which strategy you would be ready to invest in for your business.