So, you decided to use promotional products for branding and marketing purposes? Congratulations, this will be one of the best decisions you made for your business which is backed up by a survey carried out by the British Promotional Merchandise Association, which found that 79% of the recipients of promotional products think of doing business with the company.
But, merely having promotional products isn’t enough – you need to know how to use promotional products effectively to drive customers. No, don’t worry, it’s not that hard as long as you read all of our tips and tricks.
Customers and clients love to get promotional products, but you don’t want to simply give stuff away for free without an effect, right? Great, we wouldn’t want you to do that either. So, if you want to use promotional products with the most impact, these tips will prove to be more than useful.
To use promotional products effectively you should consider the following
1. Keep your target audience in mind
Before you order promotional products, stop and think about who you want to attract with them. Make sure the products you take are in accordance with your business.
You wouldn’t take a yo-yo to promote a dentist or a notebook for an IT company, would you? So, consider the interests of people who will get these products, and choose products they will like.
The more they like the products, the more they will use them and advocate for your company.
It’s that simple. So, do a little research among your employees and existing customers before you order, and choose based on their answers. That will exclude a lot of guesswork.
2. Make sure your message gets through to your audience
Do you want to print just your logo on the promotional product? An eye-catching design? Or a message? Maybe you should consider imprinting your address too?
Once you sort all of that out, make sure your message is simple and relatable. Find a good copywriter to make it memorable, and voilà! You get a promotional product that will speak for itself and intrigue your potential clients and partners.
Good promotional messages will communicate what you’re offering, what your company’s like, and what your customers and partners can expect from you. A bad one can make you seem aloof, out of touch with your customers, or even unprofessional.
So, don’t rush, think it through, and only when you’re completely sure, start printing.
3. Your promotional products have to stand out
If you take cheap promotional pens, or the simplest printed cotton shoppers and just put your company’s name and logo on them, you can’t expect extraordinary results. That’s not how advertising works. You need to choose products your customers will want to use again and again so that you get your personal walking billboards.
That’s why you need to choose interesting promotional products that people will remember. Stand out from the uninspired crowd.
A creative design on a high-quality conference folder always brings results. So does a promotional mug with an interesting message, a USB stick that has a creative design, or a different pen, as well as a unique shopping bag.
The right artwork plays a great role in this process. Find a good designer and work with them to create high-quality artwork for your promotional items. When the artwork is amazing, people love using and wearing promotional products. They look exclusive and interesting. But, you’re not doing it just to make the people who get promotional products happy. No. You’re also doing it because eye-catching products with a clearly visible logo will attract the interest of everyone who sees them. Double benefit!
4. Do the maths before you order
Estimate how many products you need for a successful campaign. Don’t print too many, or too few. Why? Well, if you want to use products as promotional trade show giveaways, you can’t allow falling short if people start rushing to your stand. That would be simply embarrassing. On the other hand, you don’t want to order too many and end up giving promotional products left and right just so they don’t sit around taking space.
5. Start working from inside out
Good branding and marketing start at home. So, before you start looking outside, focus on the people who are within your company. Get them branded mugs, printed T-shirts, bags, pens; maybe even organise in-house contests where winners get your branded promotional products.
That will be both a nice touch that shows your employees you appreciate them, and a good test, as you’ll get to see firsthand which promotional products get the most use.
Call it beta testing, or call it building healthy relationships within the company, but this tip is a win-win either way.
6. Don’t neglect existing customers
Yes, we know you want to attract new people, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep the existing ones. No customer and no partner are to be taken for granted. If your competitors start luring them with interesting offers, you need to have their loyalty.
That’s where promotional products step in. Your existing customers and partners love getting free stuff. By giving them your promotional products, you’ll increase their loyalty to your brand and make them your brand ambassadors.
7. Use promotional products to put your foot in the door
Your sales department can benefit greatly from promotional products. You’re wondering how? Well, imagine a sales agent who’s been having trouble getting a sales appointment with a potential client. Now, imagine that same agent sending a promotional gift basket – some branded notebooks, promotional pens, or promotional mugs – to that potential client who wouldn’t give him the time of day. Dropping off a few promotional products can help build rapport with that potential client. If your promotional items are fun, interesting, and useful, your sales team can use them to their advantage and leave a positive impression on potential clients.
8. Promotional products make your PR’s job super-easy
Now that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. You see, a public relations expert is amazingly useful when something goes wrong. However, when you want to reach the media and communicate positive news, your PR might run into closed doors. That’s why promotional products might oil the hinges. Send promotional products to editors or journalists when you’re announcing a new branch, a new product, an event, or a cause.
We’re not telling you to try and bribe the press. This is all about psychology. Firstly, you will surprise them pleasantly with a gift, as all people ever do is ask journalists and editors for stuff – they don’t usually give anything to them. And secondly, they will feel like they owe you a bit for that small token of appreciation.
This way, you will get a lot more journalists who will be prone to deliver good news about your business, not just the bad ones.
9. Maximise brand visibility
Promotional producs can increase brand awareness when aligned with the right marketing strategy. When your company sponsors an event, you can use it to get new customers. Simply distribute promotional products with your company’s name and message. That will keep your name in front of those potential new customers long after that event is over. People tend to keep those products for a year or more, and that’s a lot of cheap advertising.
10. Use products in social media campaigns
Your followers on social media can be great promoters of your brand and bring in new customers. You can organise contests where people have to share and comment on your posts or answer questions about your business in order to get promotional products. You can also give out promotional products to any customer who posts a picture of themselves with your product, or while using your services. That way, you can get new customers and award the existing ones who are willing to promote your brand.
11. Analyze the effect
When all is said and done, you want to know what you achieved with this form of promotion. So, when all your promotional items are given out, sit down and calculate, compare the investment you made, and the effect it had. Did people like your gifts? Was there any result within two months since you gave them free stuff? Did your sales team land more prospects since they got promotional items? When you put it all black on white, you’ll see how much of an impact this strategy has had and if you should repeat it or not.
If you do it right, you can expect overwhelmingly positive results.
How positive? We’ll let the numbers talk for themselves!
– 9 out of 10 people will remember your company for two years after they received your promotional product.
– Whether your target audience is young or old, research has shown that promotional products are the most effective advertising tool.
– 7 out of 10 brands claim that they achieved their marketing goals thanks to promotional products.
In the end
As you can see, the success of your promotional products doesn’t depend on one thing and one thing only. There’s a number of factors that can influence how your products affect your employees, clients, and partners. If you want to maximise that effect, use these tips, and you’ll understand why some of the biggest companies in the world today are still using promotional products as both a branding and a marketing tool.
Related: Why Promotional Products Work