As a small business, the idea of putting a large amount of money into non-product advertising can be a daunting thought. After all, if the results aren't reflected in direct conversion and product sales, are they worth it at all? While specific product marketing and PPC certainly have their place in your overall marketing strategy, there are more things to focus on than simply pushing a small percentage of your audience to buy.
Exposure is a vital element to consider in any business's marketing strategy. For small businesses, even more so. We take a look at why it's so important to budget for brand advertising, how exposure can greatly help your business, and why awareness is just as important to your brand as immediate sales. Read on to find out more now:
What is marketing exposure?
To understand the benefits of exposure, you need first to have a solid understanding of it. In relation to marketing, exposure refers to how many people can see your brand and how many people are aware of your business in your specific niche. When you think of biscuits or sticky tape or cereal, there's likely one brand name you think of. That's because that brand has exposure and awareness in their specific niche.
By increasing your brand's exposure, you're putting your brand front and centre in front of more people. As for awareness marketing, this exposure isn't always about making a profit as quickly as possible. It's about fostering longer-term relationships, improving your brand's reputation, and increasing your visibility overall. Not everyone will buy from you immediately – but with enough consistent exposure, they may do so further down the line.
Why do I need to budget for exposure advertising?
If your marketing is based solely on immediate Return on Investment, you might just be missing out on one of the most critical marketing areas. While advertising for exposure doesn't necessarily provide immediate results, it's a slow burn that can give far more success than small scale direct sales ever could. But when it comes to your budget for exposure, how much should you be putting in?
Many small businesses make the mistake of underfunding their advertising. In times of difficulty or when trying to cut costs, the marketing budget is often the first thing to be reduced – but a small budget can put you at a disadvantage when it comes to getting your brand out there. Most likely, your competitors are investing heavily in their awareness marketing. This makes them the first brand your audience sees in your niche and greatly reduces your reach and brand awareness in the process.
Exposure marketing makes you appear bigger and better
Small businesses regularly have the issue of their business looking or feeling undersized compared to other options on the market. While there's definite sway towards shopping small and consumers opting for homegrown over large-scale brands, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use marketing that makes you look more professional, more reputable, and bigger in your specific market.
There will always be a company that's bigger than you – but your audience doesn't have to know that. With effective and powerful awareness marketing, you can increase exposure and make your business look larger. If you're everywhere that your potential customers look, from search engines to social media, it's far more likely that they will perceive you as an industry staple. As a small business, that's precisely the kind of perception you want to maintain.
How can I use brand marketing to connect with customers?
Brand marketing and exposure marketing provides a unique and effective way to put your business at the forefront. Instead of just targeting those ready to buy today, this kind of marketing aims at producing long-term customers through consistency and visibility. The longer your audience sees you, the more authority you'll build – and with that authority comes loyal customers and repeat custom.
Brand marketing isn't just a tool you can use to lure potential customers in for the first time. It's a full strategy covering every stage of the sales funnel, from first attracting interest to retaining existing customers. By investing appropriately into brand marketing as a small business, you can set yourself up for success now, shortly, and in the distant future – all with one successful, long-running brand campaign.
How can you make your marketing budget stretch further?
Money can be tight for small businesses, and often there isn't the marketing budget there to achieve everything large-scale brands are doing. But by being smart with your advertising, you can achieve professional-grade results without blowing your budget entirely. Re-marketing and re-targeting can provide an effective way to renew brand interest, using existing assets to enhance your marketing and reach.
Brand marketing doesn't have to be complicated. If done well, it should establish your brand within your niche and get potential customers talking about you. If you're the brand that people think about when it comes to your specific industry, it's a successful campaign. All it takes is one effective, distinctive, and creative brand awareness marketing campaign to make all the difference.
Why exposure marketing improves customer perception
Customers like brands they know. But, contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of your audience doesn't like being sold to directly. Exposure marketing bridges the gap between direct sales marketing and being an unknown small business, allowing your audience to get to know you and your brand before they ever get to know the specifics of your products or services. Forming a positive connection through branding is incredibly valuable to businesses of any shape and size.
Not only does exposure marketing make you better-known, but it also helps to make your business more reputable. If your brand and name are always popping up on their social platforms, Google searches and more, that customer is far more likely to see you as a go-to option in your field. That perception can mean the difference between a long-term customer relationship and a single, small purchase.
Are you thinking about investing in brand marketing and exposure for your small business? If not, the time to start is now!