In this age of social media marketing, it’s easy to forget that one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to get your small business in front of people is to give them a gift. According to an Advertising Specialties Impressions study, 84% of promotional products recipients remember the advertiser on the product they receive. And, given that you can get items for a lot less than you can get online ad space, promotional items are a great way to market your products or business in these tough economic times.
Here are some tips on how to use promotional items to make an impact for your small business:
Think Form and Function: One of the biggest challenges in using promotional items is in choosing a gift that will end up on someone’s desktop and not in the trash can underneath it. When choosing a gift for your clients and prospects, think about things that will stay with them.
While candy is always nice, what people are really going to remember you for is something useful. For example, although calendars may sound like old news in this digital age, people still really appreciate receiving a nice desk calendar. And a calendar is about the most powerful branding platform you can ever use – you can start it on whatever month you want, have separate brand messages on every single month.
Size Matters: One of the keys to promotional items’ success is being subtle about your brand. While no one wants to use a picnic blanket that has a loud logo on it, they will use a blanket with a subtle, embroidered logo. And they will tell their friends where they got it from when they ask.
Also, if you buy small gifts, you save money both on mailings and in storage. And if you do trade shows, you can easily transport your items-and your prospects can easily transport them home. A really unique and memorable gift that you can give your clients is branded seed packets. And to keep that relationship blooming over the years, you can keep sending them new flowers to help their gardens grow. Seed packets can be bought in bulk for prices as low as 17 cents a packet, so it’s a great investment.
Think Green: The hottest thing to hit the promotional marketplace is the reusable bag. Starting at as little as a dollar a unit, these bags are not only environmentally sound but they are multipurpose, taking your name everywhere from the grocery store to the beach and back again.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of useful items that you can use to make your brand pop. One final thought: when you make your order, don’t just buy for a specific event. You want your item to last forever, not just for a season or a passing fad. Think about practicality and longevity and you will find items that not only build your brand but also build your business.
Jerry McLaughlin is the CEO of Branders, the world’s largest online promotional items company. Branders.com has put more logos on more items for more people than anyone else on the planet.