How to Use Promotional Products Effectively (9 Tips to Share with Clients)
Your clients know they need promotional products as part of their business. But do they know how to best use them? Here are nine tips to share with your clients for how to use promotional products effectively.
1. Set goals and measure results
Sometimes, companies view promotional products as nice extras or one-offs needed during a sponsored event. Instead, they should be seen as a part of your overall marketing investment. Promotional products are important for businesses, especially small or local companies who want to be vested and active in their communities. It is important to track and measure ROI for these as you would any other marketing investment.
First, think about what goal you want to achieve by placing an order. Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Are you looking to generate leads and drive repeat customers? Or are you looking in-house and want to boost employee morale and satisfaction?
2. Know what gifts your audience will appreciate
One of the key components of business is market research, which allows companies to learn details about their target audience: their age, their education level, their income, their hobbies, and so on. Even if you haven’t invested in professional market research, you probably still know many characteristics of a person who is most likely to do business with you. Why not use that information when thinking about your promotional products investment?
Start thinking about what kind of person might be interested in your product or service. How old are they? Where do they live? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do for fun? What are some pet peeves they might have? How does your business fit into their career or personal life? Think of as many details to answer as you can to create your ideal customer persona. Then, share this exercise with your Kaeser & Blair Business Owner and ask them what promotional products this person would value the most.
3. Match the product and its quality to your business
Think about promotional products as an extension of your business and how they represent your brand message. Consider pens or other writing instruments—a very popular product category. Sure, everyone uses them. But are they the best choice when it comes to a physical representation of your product or service? If you own a law firm, yes. If you own a gym, maybe not so much.
What items come to mind when you think about your type of business or industry? Jot down anything you can think of. Things like flash drives and charging cables might make people think of technology. Spatulas and measuring cups bring to mind baking and kitchens. Checkbook covers and letter openers are typically equated with bills and finance. Guess what? All of these items can be turned into promotional products featuring your logo, hashtag, or slogan!
4. Match the product to the sponsored event
When sponsoring or attending an event, consider ordering promotional items that tie into the featured activities. These will usually already be related to your audience and business (you probably wouldn’t be involved in the event otherwise), but think out of the box. How can you reach people in the moment? At the same time, think about what the other businesses will already be handing out. What will be a need for people attending the event that you can fill?
5. Hand promotional products out personally
This can be a little tricky in this day and age, but try delivering your promotional items in person when you can. People appreciate putting faces with names and names with businesses. The idea is to get them to associate interacting with you whenever they use your product. The more you remain top of mind, the more likely they are to remember your business in the future.
6. Use as thank you gifts for clients
Your mama was right: people appreciate a thank you! This is when you really want to think about a promotional product with value. You aren’t buying in bulk for a mass audience at a convention. You’re taking the time to personally thank another person for trusting your company and choosing to spend their money with you.
BE SELECTIVE ABOUT USING YOUR LOGO
Don’t necessarily assume client gifts need to feature your company name and logo. Depending on the situation and relationship with the client, it may be better to personalize something just for them. Putting their name and/or company on something like a nice tumbler, ballpoint pen, or high-quality pullover can is very thoughtful—and much more memorable.
7. Use as employee gifts
Don’t neglect to show your hard working employees appreciation, too! Consider items with your company logo that employees will find beneficial. Part of this means thinking about the people who work for you, your business location, and your company culture. Adventurous creatives might enjoy camping-related gear. Tech-types may appreciate a laptop bag.
8. Feature them in your marketing efforts
Use your promotional products on company social media posts and more. Get creative. Instead of featuring products with your logo, come up with a unique hashtag or slogan and put that on your items instead. The added benefit of creating a hashtag? You can track its use and popularity—just make sure it hasn’t already been taken. This is easy to check by typing the hashtag into Facebook and Instagram search bars.
For example, maybe you own Cooke Dentistry and want to hand out toothbrushes with your company name or logo. Great! But why not come up with a memorable hashtag to put on the toothbrushes instead? Something like #cookeupasmile plus your company name and website or phone number would be much more effective. You can read more about the process for creating your own hashtag here. Or, hire someone who specializes in creating hashtags and slogans on freelance sites like Fivrr and Freelancer.com.
Again, be selective with your logo. Yes, it’s the visual representation of your product or service. Yes, it’s important for people to see it. But don’t assume it needs to be on everything. This is especially true for things like t-shirts and hats. Unless you are a truly recognizable brand (hello, Nike), chances are your customers aren’t going to don your logo wearables on a regular basis. It could wind up on the giveaway pile instead.
Now you’re ready to effectively put promotional products to work for your business! Talk with your Kaeser & Blair representative about which items will be best for your overall goal and budget.