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Promotional Products – 6 Tips to Step-up Your Game

Are your promotional products actually effective in bringing in more business?

Give-aways may have no problem with popularity, but well thought out strategy can take your  ROI  to the next level. Thoughtful campaigns, quality materials, and sophisticated themes have moved this type of marketing beyond the simple “freebie.” If you’re not developing a game plan, you’re missing out on the surprisingly powerful potential of swag.

In a study by The British Promotional Merchandise Association, or  BPMA   87% of participants  said that they kept a promotional item for longer than a year. We’ve created a list of simple things you can do to take this love of free loot and turn it into a lead-driving powerhouse.

1. Take Your Logo off Center Stage

It might be counter intuitive, but chances are you could get better exposure with a smaller logo. This applies to any product, but it’s especially true for clothing. If someone doesn’t already have personal pride in your brand, they’re not as likely to turn themselves into a walking billboard for you.

However, if the main attraction is a  catchy tagline  and  cool graphics, suddenly no one can wait to show it off. Hook your audience with eye-candy and you’ll start to hear everyone asking “where can I get one?”

2. Create a Theme

People will click with clever themes. Well-thought-out sets of promotional products can be super fun, memorable, and put a spotlight on what makes your brand special.

This is especially powerful for events, where you can cultivate a complete atmosphere surrounding your brand. An essential part of marketing is getting your audience to associate you with the kind of lifestyle niche they love.

3. Partner with Local Businesses

Dare to be a welcome surprise in unexpected places. When advertising in the same place as your competitors, you may be overlooked. Find a location where your voice is alone, and soak up all the attention for yourself.

Reaching out to local businesses brings your message into your audience’s everyday life. Get a boost from another business’s popularity by sponsoring an event, offering free food and coupons, or sending in friendly representatives with plenty of swag. Pair with a theme that complements your business partner for double the impact.

4. Break the Ice

Don’t just toss your logo at strangers. It’s essential to create messaging that is inviting and enticing. You might already know to strike up a conversation while you have the chance, but after someone leaves, your product is your representative.

Your future customers need a clear reason to come back. Avoid “action paralysis.”  Make sure your audience understands what to do, and give them an easy way to do it. Or better yet, make them really want to. Incentives and a straightforward call to action will keep them moving in the right direction.

Try leading in  without too much commitment. Usually a new lead won’t be ready off the bat to “buy now,” but they would really like to “learn more.”

5. Let Them Choose

You can never be sure that the exact promo product you’re distributing will appeal to your entire audience. However, if you offer a few selections, everyone will find something they want.

A person who could use a mug (and hates the color red) will come away more satisfied with their blue mug. Someone who would really use a pen will opt for that. The idea of choice will personalize the interaction with your customers, and they will feel more connected with the item they picked.

6. Know Your Goals and Evaluate the Results

Don’t confuse promotional marketing with simply handing out freebies. There are plenty of occasions that call for a little awareness building, but don’t loose track of your ultimate goals. It’s not just the buzz that you want, but what happens because of the buzz. Identify a concrete way your business will be positively impacted, and that will be the guiding force behind a successful campaign.

Marketers often overlook collecting data on results, dismissing it as too difficult. However, you will never be able to identify mistakes if you don’t have a clear indication of success. Know what returns you’re expecting, and what constitutes a win. For most campaigns, that means making sure you stay profitable.

In order to maximize your costs vs. benefitsfind a way  to measure the effectiveness of your promotion. Use that information to improve your action plans in the future.

Go-time people. Step up to the plate and bring your promo game into a whole ‘nother league.