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How to Build Brand Awareness on a Shoestring Budget

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December 12, 2022
February 1, 2023

Many small business owners are willing to go the extra mile and invest their time to build a brand, but there are more efficient ways to get your name out there.

One of the more common things we hear from small businesses is that it’s really hard to get their name out there. And many of them go the extra mile to get in front of new customers by attending local networking events, hanging up flyers, and utilizing other grassroots tactics to get their business in front of new customers.

The problem with this approach is that many of these tactics are extremely time consuming and take the business owner away from their core business. I’ve spoken to business owners who attend 3-4 events per week, with each event being an average of 2 hours when you factor in commute time. So, this can be upwards of 8 hrs per week that the business owner can’t focus on their core business needs. In some industries, this may be an effective strategy. But there are other ways to reach thousands of new customers and save hours every week.

Most consider advertising to be something reserved for big brands because it can be expensive, difficult to track, and generally inefficient. Let’s first address the costs. Large brands generally spend 1-3% of their revenue on advertising. So, if we pick a large brand, like say, Cheetos, and assume it earns $1 billion per year, this would mean an advertising budget of $10 million to $30 million. To illustrate the point, let’s assume it’s $20 million per year.

While the Cheetos brand is likely targeting a very specific consumer group, for the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume they are trying to reach everyone in the US – all 330,000,000 of us. So, this comes to an advertising spend of about $0.06 person. Let’s now scale this to a small town of 100,000 people that can be serviced by say a fitness studio. If they spent $0.06 per person, they could achieve the same media saturation with a budget of $6,000 per year!  

Previously, it used to be challenging for a small business to find an efficient way to deploy $6,000 per year. With Awarity, small businesses could invest in advertising that’s efficient (highly targeted), affordable (campaign minimums from $299/month),and effective (we include world class banner ads that highlight the unique benefits you offer). And when you compare this to 8 hrs per week we discussed earlier for networking, it actually becomes more affordable.  Even if a business owner values their time at only $20/hr, this is $160/week in networking and adds up to over $8,320 in time lost!  And imagine putting that time towards other parts of your business strategy, like managing inventory, pricing, product assortment, new partnerships, and customer service! When all these things come together with an efficient advertising strategy, that’s where a business is really poised for growth!

Contact the Author

I've worked at Fortune 500 corporations like PepsiCo and Capital One, but also with several small businesses. Wherever I was, one truth stood out: The marketing and advertising industry is built around large corporations, leaving limited solutions for small business. But with changes in consumer behavior, and the explosive growth of digital advertising, we saw an opportunity to level the playing field.

We’re always available to talk about an approach to meet your goals and reach the types of new customers you desire. Just schedule time through our website, or you can always request a free proposal. We pride ourselves on offering high impact advertising at the most affordable price in the industry to help you engage with new customers, which is more important now than it’s ever been before.

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