When you’re first
starting out in Knowledge Commerce, you likely don’t have unlimited means. You
need to market your business if you’re interested in growing your brand, but
you have to pinch your pennies in the process.
That’s not impossible. In fact, there are lots of ways to grow your brand on a budget. Following are the six most cost-effective ways to increase brand awareness without blowing your budget.
1. Get to Know Your Target Personas
Who does your business serve? What qualities do those people possess?
A buyer persona is a fictionalized biography of your ideal customer. It describes that person’s goals, habits, struggles, problems, demographics, and other details so you can more effectively market to them.
Imagine how you would describe a character from your favorite television show. Where does he work? What are the main sources of conflict in his life? How does he spend his time? How much money does he make? Where does he live?
Answering all of these questions will help you get to know your ideal customer more intimately. Consequently, every piece of content or copy you write will speak directly to that person.
For instance, if your target customer is a young single mother with a full-time job and a small apartment or house, you would approach content differently than if you were targeting a middle-aged family man with kids in college and a low-stress job. You have to think like your customers if you want your products to appeal to them.
2. Develop Your Unique Brand Voice
A brand voice defines how you sound to other people. It makes you memorable and recognizable.
Your voice should resemble the way you’d talk to a friend or family member. Are you naturally funny? Do you tell lots of stories? Can you express complex ideas in easy-to-understand ways?
In other words, go with your strengths. Amplify them in your writing and speaking so you come across as relatable and genuine.
3. Build a Consistent Social Media Presence
You might have heard that social media is the new blog. We don’t quite agree with that — there are lots of benefits of blogging — but we don’t discount the benefits of social media, either.
Lots of your customers and prospects hang out on social media. They catch up with friends, participate in memes, and scroll for inspiration.
You want to be there for them when they arrive.
According to a MarketingSherpa study, 58 percent of respondents reported that they follow at least one brand on social. Clearly, consumers don’t just use social media to check in with people they know.
Start by choosing the best social platforms for your Knowledge Commerce business. Do lots of your prospects hang on on Twitter? Do they congregate on Facebook? Are they sharing photos on Instagram?
Then start building up your presence on those platforms. Follow influential people in your industry, engage with people who discuss your niche, and make your profile as professional as possible.
4. Start a Blog — And Keep It Updated
Blogging isn’t dead. Not even close.
You might have noticed that we blog regularly here at Kajabi. There’s a reason for that. Blog postsattract readers who might become customers.
In fact, you might have joined the Kajabi platform after discovering one of our articles. Show of hands?
The point is that content marketing should serve as the cornerstone of your branding process. It’s what demonstrates to the world who you are and why you’re in business.
It’s also a great way to show off your knowledge and skills.
Start a blog today if you haven’t already. More importantly, keep it updated. Lots of entrepreneurs start blogs, then ignore them for weeks, months, or even years.
If someone stumbles across your blog and discovers that you haven’t posted in six months, what might they think? They could assume that you’re no longer in business, for one.
And then you lose a customer.
Blogging is essential for Knowledge Commerce professionals, so don’t just start a blog — keep it updated. Share news about your business, start a blog series to introduce a new online course, or share little-known tips with your audience.
5. Devote Yourself to Customer Service
Customer service matters in every industry. When you don’t offer great customer service, you lose customers. It’s that simple.
Your brand should revolve around how you treat customers. Demonstrate that you’re willing to answer questions, resolve complaints, and share your knowledge with the rest of the world.
Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? Did you consider never patronizing that business again?
Maybe you decided to boycott it entirely. That’s not what you want from your customers.
6. Partner With Other Knowledge Commerce Professionals
Think back to your high school days. You might remember that relationships and associations often solidified your place in the social hierarchy.
If you made a single friend in the “popular” crowd, you were in. Other people treated you with more reverence.
It works like that in business, too. If people see that you’re associated with another strong brand, your brand becomes stronger as a result.
That’s why companies often post the names or logos of their customers on their websites. It’s a form of social proof.
You can do that with your Knowledge Commerce business. Partner with other professionals who have more customers or stronger brands than your own. Find ways to help those professionals.
We’ve armed you with six
steps to help you set the stage for growing your brand. But what do you do
Having a brand-awareness strategy in place can help you grow faster and manage your reputation more easily. We’ve come up with 22 brand-awareness strategies to stimulate your imagination.
1. Host a Webinar
Both live and pre-recorded webinars can prove extremely beneficial to your brand. They put you in front of the camera and allow you to interact with your audience.
You can use webinars to answer customers’ questions, demonstrate a particular skill or process, provide a tutorial, introduce new digital products, or generate excitement about your business. Don’t be afraid to try new formats and to engage with your audience in real time.
If you host a live webinar, consider making it available as a recording on your blog or website. That way, it will continue to drive traffic and conversions long after the event ends.
2. Start a Referral Program
Referral programs encourage your customers to share your business with their friends and other acquaintances. They might get a discount on your online courses, a free month of membership to your membership site, or some other benefit.
As a result, you get a new paying customer who might refer friends of their own. While referral programs might seem like they cost you money, they can actually multiply your revenue many times over.
Make sure to share the details of your referral program on social media, your blog, and other online presences.
3. Offer to Guest Blog
Content marketing doesn’t just work on owned media. Guest posting on other publications’ blogs can give you access to new audiences and generate backlinks for your Kajabi website.
Think of guest blogging as Internet marketing’s answer to visiting a brick-and-mortar business and handing out your own business cards. It’s even more effective, though, because you get the chance to demonstrate your credibility and your knowledge.
4. Create and Share Infographics
Infographics are highly shareable and engaging. Use data and information that you have collected on your own or that you source from other websites.
The best infographics tell a story. They help the viewer better understand the subject or learned information that they can apply to their professional or personal lives.
Data-driven infographics are among the most popular. After all, wouldn’t you rather view dry data represented in graphic form than read a list of numbers?
5. Get Social With Your Customers
Social media isn’t just for linking to your latest blog posts or announcing the launch of the new online course. It’s also — or perhaps mostly — for engaging with people on a personal level.
When your customers follow you on social media, engage them in conversations. Ask them questions, thank them for their patronage, and answer their questions. When you share stories and otherwise socialize with your customers, they feel more entrenched in your business. Consequently, they will be more likely to buy your future digital products.
6. Surround Yourself With Influential People You Admire
One of the best ways to grow your brand is to pay attention to how others do it. As they say, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Additionally, if you surround yourself with influential people, consumers will begin to associate your name with tears. As we mentioned above, your brand can grow exponentially simply by association with a stronger brand.
7. Take Advantage of LinkedIn Publishing
When you first start a website and a blog, you won’t have many readers. Nobody knows that you exist yet.
You can depend on organic traffic to drive potential customers to your content, but that will take time. Speed up this process by publishing content on a platform that already has a built-in audience.
LinkedIn publishing is one prime example. Everyone in your network will see your posts and can share them with their own audiences. Plus, people you don’t know can find your content more easily and find ways to connect with you.
8. Start Your Own Medium Account or Publication
Another great way to find a broader audience is to publish on Medium. It’s a blogging platform that allows anyone to have a voice.
Just sign up for your own account on Medium, click on your profile icon, and click “New Story.” You can then write your own article in the interface or paste an article that you’ve written elsewhere.
Medium has a large audience of highly engaged consumers. You can easily build a following and drive customers to your website so they can check out your digital products.
9. Create a Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to add more variety to your content-production strategy. Consumers can listen to them on the way to work or while they perform chores around the house.
A podcast should center around a specific theme. You can talk for 10 minutes or more than two hours, depending on your audience’s preferences, and you can also host guests.
10. Try PPC Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising offers a faster way to build your brand and gain exposure. You get to set your budget, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank, and you can refine your audience so your brand message only gets seen by people in your target demographic.
Keep in mind that PPC advertising works best for consumers at the bottom of the funnel. Provide a can’t-miss offer that will encourage consumers to click and, ultimately, buy your products.
11. Don’t Neglect Content Marketing
Content marketing should become the epicenter of your brand-building activities. Without content, you have no way to bring in organic traffic.
Keep in mind that content doesn’t just have to be articles. You can optimize infographics, videos, quotes, and plenty of other content types for SEO (which we’ll cover next).
Focus on putting out content on a consistent basis. That way, your audience knows when to check back for new stuff.
12. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
SEO is an essential skill for any online entrepreneur. Learn how to optimize your blog posts and other content for the search engines.
Use long-tail keywords in your titles, meta-descriptions, and body content. You can add them to subheadings, as well, to boost your SEO.
Make sure to add alt tags to your images so the search engines can understand them in context. Additionally, take the time to make sure your article structure is solid.
13. Try Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing helps boost brand awareness by displaying your brand to people who have already encountered it before. It’s like seeing a television commercial, then seeing the same one (or a similar one) the next day. You’re more likely to remember the brand.
14. Test Paid Social Advertising Strategies
Advertising on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms can work just as well — if not better — than PPC advertising. It’s also less expensive in many scenarios.
Test social advertising using a small budget. See if you get a decent ROI and if conversations about your business become more common. The goal is to get people used to your brand image so they remember what you do and how your business can benefit them.
15. Hold a Contest
A great way to get more people excited about your brand is to give something away for free. Maybe it’s a free month of access to your membership site. Perhaps it’s free access to your latest mini-course.
Whatever the case, encourage people to spread the word about your contest, especially on social media. You could offer double entries, for example, to people who retweet about the contest. Just make sure that the giveaway directly relates to your business.
16. Tell Your Brand Story
People connect to stories. Why else do they check in on their favorite television shows every week, buy novels to read in their spare time, and relate personal anecdotes to their friends?
You can elevate brand awareness by telling a compelling brand story. How did you acquire the knowledge you share? When and why did you start your business? What event in your life inspires you to share your knowledge with the world?
It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering story. Your goal is simply to share an emotion-driven story to which readers can relate. Focus on experiences that your audience members might share.
17. Create Interactive Content
People love to give their opinions and interact with websites. It creates what feels like a conversation even if the dialogue doesn’t happen in real time.
Interactive content, such as webinars, polls, surveys, and quizzes, are excellent ways to drive user engagement. You can use them to give your audience a say in what product you create next or what types of content you distribute.
Just make sure that interactive content is easy to use.
18. Optimize Your Email Signature
Every time you send an email, you’re given an opportunity to grow your brand. Think about the times you’ve seen an email signature on an incoming email and clicked on a link to see what it was about.
Optimize your email signature for clicks. Don’t just include a link to your website — add a call to action (CTA) that compels people to check out what you offer.
19. Offer Early Access
Everyone likes to be part of the inner circle. You could give your existing customers or a random sampling of your audience early access to one of your online courses.
For instance, you could post on Facebook that the first 30 people to email you will receive early access. Alternatively, you could use a contest that involves sharing with other people to gain more entries for access.
Whatever the case, your goal is to create an exclusive bond with a smaller group of people. You’ll strengthen your brand as a result.
20. Establish a Members-Only Section of Your Website
Membership sites have become increasingly popular, especially since the display ad model broke down several years ago. Knowledge Commerce professionals can’t stay afloat just by running ads. They need a better way to generate income.
A membership site provides exclusive content to people who pay the monthly or annual fee for access. You’ll send the message that you have valuable information to share, which can enhance and grow your brand image.
21. Start Your Own Language
Do you and your friends have inside jokes? Probably. You might even have made-up words that only members of your inner circle recognize.
Some of the strongest brands come from companies that establish their own language.
For instance, here at Kajabi, we found that all the words people were using for our industry just didn’t reflect its potential and culture. Consequently, we came up with the moniker Knowledge Commerce. It suits us well and has strengthened our brand.
You can do the same thing.
22. Stop Trying to Please Everybody
Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that a brand needs to have as many followers as possible. This is true for certain industries. For example, car manufacturers need to have massive followings to maintain their businesses.
It’s different in Knowledge Commerce. You can benefit from a small pool of loyal customers who buy each of your products and engage with your brand online. That’s much better than a huge social media following, for instance, that never generates any cash.
You can’t please everyone. Instead, focus on pleasing the people who share your values, beliefs, ideals, and interests. You’ll grow your brand with a group of intensely engaged consumers who want to know everything you know.