Business owners of all sizes can benefit from the power promotional items, none more than small businesses. Quality promotional items help businesses market their companies and also build customer loyalty. After business owners invest in the product and give it away, advertising becomes free for as long as customers wear the promotional items. Many business owners use promotional items as an effective marketing tool. Whether you are looking for a personalized duffle bag or a t-shirt, there are many companies to help you get started.
Here are 10 simple ways small businesses can effectively use promotional items:
1. Give Promotional Items to Employees to Use/Wear
Employees should be a company’s biggest advocates. If employees wear promotional items in their daily activities, they will advertise for the company. This form of marketing can be very effective. If employees are knowledgeable about the products, and customers see them sporting a promotional item, customers may ask questions, and employees can facilitate a sale.
2. Give Promotional Items at Trade Shows
Promotional items at trade shows are essential to help a company gain exposure. When companies gain exposure, lead capture and sales conversions are more likely. Sales generate the revenue business owners want. T-shirts, duffle bags and pens are all effective forms of promo items for trade shows. Don’t settle for the cheapest items. Instead focus on something unique, and have special t-shirts that attendees can “earn” for doing certain things. This will stick your business more firmly in their mind if they earn a quality giveaway instead of just racing past your table to snatch up all your freebies.
3. Give Promotional Items at Public Relations Events
Public relations events help companies monitor the business’s reputation and ensure the company’s brand image is preserved. At a positive and proactive public relations event, promotional items may be given to make a greater impact on the audience. Impressed customers may wear the t-shirt or carry the duffle bag and promote the company.
4. Give Promotional Items to Customers
Customers love free merchandise. Personalized t-shirts, duffle bags, pens or jackets will score big points with customers. If they like the product or service, customers will be major advocates for the company. Business owners usually have a huge return on investment when customer advocates promote their product or service.
5. Give Promotional Items Online
Social media followers are advocates for your business and appreciate free promotional items. Companies can give away free personalized promotional products to keep customers interested in the product or service. Many of my clients have contests where they give away free, high quality, t-shirts, mugs and binders to
6. Give Promotional Items as Incentives
Promotional items can be used as incentives for sales people. Jackets, for instance, can be incentives for sales people if they reach a particular sales quota or goal. This is an effective use of promotional items that will also generate business. When jackets are given to top sales people, business owners know the person is an advocate for the company. You’ll need to spend a little more on these items, but the investment is often worth it for the long term return it will give your small business.
7. Give Promotional Items at Team Building Events
Give promotional items at team building events to identify and locate all members of the team. This also builds camaraderie and can serve as an effective marketing tool after the event.
8. Use Promotional Items to Build Brand Loyalty
Customers must trust companies to become loyal customers. When promotional items are given to customers, they know they are appreciated. This helps to build brand loyalty.
9. Use Promotional Items to Close Deals
Sales people often give customers promotional items just before they are about to close the deal to give the customer a reminder of why they are better than the competition. This is an effective use a marketing budget if it wins more deals.
10. Use Promotional Items at Company-Sponsored Events
At company-sponsored events, such as sales cruises and family day picnics, promotional item give-aways are effective. Promotional items can be given as prizes or given to everyone at the event to show appreciation.
Studies have shown that promotional items are effective forms of advertising. These items can generate leads, potentially help to close sales, and are effective marketing tools. So if you are looking for a way to further your brand, consider investing in a few promotional items. If you want a recommendation from me, my buddy Robert James is one of the most creative people to offer promotional items. Check out First Priority Printing for all your promo item needs. I’ve worked with Rob and every time I do, I find a new cool way to do a promo item that I never would have thought of without his help.
YOUR TURN: Does YOUR small business utilize promotional items as part of its marketing mix? If so, what are you using, and how effective is it? If not, why (other than cost) are you not trying it?
Ph.D., Fortune Magazine Contributor
Ph.D., Fortune Magazine Contributor
Dr. Tammy Lenski
Dr. Tammy Lenski