Marketing and branding are not always cheap for small businesses. While it is very essential given the very early stage of a business, branding and marketing a new business is an effort that has to compete with several other efforts in the startup. Nonetheless, there’s no other way around running an effective marketing strategy for your business.

Whatever says a new business cannot take advantage of the exceptional possibilities that effective branding and marketing can attract to business? While you do not have to go overboard with your spending like an already established business would, there are strategies that you can implement with effective results.

Let’s look at the top branding and marketing strategies you can use to stimulate the growth of your new business.

Design with Your Audience in Mind

Your first step in branding, and indeed marketing your business is to create a logo. This is where you have the first opportunity to captivate the minds of your audience and quickly win your way into their hearts. A good looking logo that is able to captivate your audience will earn the trust of your customers better.

While larger companies with bigger branding budgets can afford to create different reiterations of their logo and not worry about the cost, for a small business it’s very important that you get it right on the very first attempt.

A good way to make this happen without having to break the bank is to partner with a designer who has great work portfolio. Another alternative is to use cheap freelance service like Fiverr to outsource your design tasks to highly talented graphic designers who are ready to work on the cheap.

To highlight the methods that will be most effective in helping you get a well-branded company logo that won’t cost you a fortune, try the following:

Partner with a designer: the idea is to offer them your services in exchange for theirs. And if the deal is huge such that it involves the total branding of your business, including your website design — then offering them part of your business in exchange might be considered.

Run a Contest: Running a contest is still one of the most effective ways to attract high-quality talents without having to spend so much.

Win on Social Media

The ultimate aim of branding and marketing your business is to attract customers. With social media expanding every day and users increasingly interacting with businesses and brands via various social media channels, there’s never a better time to take advantage of this huge opportunity than now.

An effective social media strategy can help to optimize almost every other aspects of your marketing efforts. According to Guy Sheetrit, founder of a digital marketing company, having an effective social media strategy will bridge the successful customer acquisition barrier that many small businesses face. “Not only does the inclusiveness that social media cultivates encourage small business growth, it’s also very cost effective to acquire customers,” he says.

While social media may be cost effective, it may require some form of expertise which you can achieve through study and practice.

Own Your Online Presence

The power of using the internet to reach new customers cannot be overlooked.

Many business owners only consider an internet marketing strategy as an afterthought and do not put much consideration into developing their marketing skills. This is why so many small businesses begin and end their internet marketing strategy with owning a website.

The following strategies should be considered in owning your online presence:

• Get on Google places: Google places and local listings makes it easy for your business to be found on the internet through local listings. This is free advertisement for small business owners.

• Get a blog: Business blogging is now an effective customer retention and acquisition strategy. Does your new business have a blog? If not, you should reconsider your strategy.

• Search Engine Optimization: Ranking high on the top pages of Google for your best selling keywords can help you attract ready-to-buy customers for almost free. All that may be required is your effort. There are many ways to fail with a SEO campaign but with a consistent approach, your business can be wildly successful.