As a small business owner, you likely have a limited budget, particularly after what has been a strange and generally tough year for entrepreneurs due to a global pandemic, economic and political uncertainty, and other issues. However, it’s still vital to invest in your marketing efforts to grow your brand and achieve your goals.
Promotional products are one way many people get their business name out there more and build stronger relationships with clients, suppliers, and employees. Promo gear can also help you to generate leads. To get the most out of these items, though, it’s important to be smart and strategic. Read on for some top tips for using products effectively in 2021 and beyond.
Set Yourself a Budget Up Front
It’s always wise to create a budget for your promotional product purchases ASAP. Doing this ensures you don’t overspend on the marketing avenue and therefore find it difficult to achieve a decent return on investment. Plus, setting yourself a budget will help you narrow down the many choices you have to pick from. When you know what you can afford to spend, you’ll concentrate on those items that fall within your allocated price point.
Do remember, though, that you should also factor in additional expenses above the products themselves. For instance, you’ll likely have shipping costs to deal with. You may also need to pay for various graphic design needs.
Choose Products that Reflect Your Business
A key factor in using promotional products effectively is buying the right items in the first place. It’s essential to choose goods that reflect your business and its values, so they then make the right impression on recipients. For the most impact, products should preferably relate to what your company sells and adhere to your business mission and values.
For example, if you run an organization focused on sustainability, buy promo products that are eco-friendly and, preferably, help the recipients to live more sustainably, too. On the other hand, if you’re in the fitness industry, perhaps running a gym or personal training studio, you could gift people with a water bottle or exercise towel. If the prime audience for your chosen items is writers or business leaders, a suitable product choice could be smart engraved pens or beautifully embossed journals.
When coming up with product ideas, you also need to think about how you positioned your business and show that you are committed to your ideals. For example, if you built a brand around the premise of environmental sustainability, then you need to consider their carbon footprint. You need to think about sustainable business ideas that might be a good springboard for new products.
Understand Your Customers
It’s also crucial to understand your customers or the other gift recipients (such as employees or suppliers) so you select promotional gear that suits their interests and the way they live or work. The more you know who you’re targeting with your promo items, the better you’ll be able to find suitable gifts that make them smile and feel seen and valued.
Where possible, personalize things by handing items to clients face-to-face or at least writing a heartfelt note to go with goods if they’re shipped out. Even if you plan to give out promotional materials at public events such as tradeshows or conferences, make an effort to hand the freebies to those you meet.
When you merely point to items on a table and tell people to take their pick, there’s less meaning in the transaction. When you instead directly hand something to someone and make eye contact, especially after sharing a positive conversation, it feels more like a gift and has more of an impact in turn.
Use Different Items for Different Reasons and Customers
Another helpful tip is to consider buying multiple promotional goods so you can give out different things at different times. For example, you could purchase items in varying price ranges so you have something to suit different levels of customers, from your most treasured clients who give you lots of repeat business to brand new ones you’re welcoming to the “family.”
Also, you might like to hand out more expensive, special, even limited-edition items to celebrate bigger occasions, such as an employee being with the business for ten years or closing a huge sale. You could have lower price point products, too, to gift to larger numbers of people when trying to generate more leads at an event.
Some other ways to use promotional products more effectively include:
- Avoiding goods with a limited shelf life that you might have to throw out if not used in time
- Adding a call to action, such as a website or phone number, to gear to get a better return on investment
- Using social media to build more awareness and interaction by sharing pictures of promo products in use by recipients
- Analyzing results obtained from your promo product campaigns so you can see what worked and what didn’t
Investing in promotional goods can be a strategic move for your business, but these items come at a cost. Be smart about how you use them, so they work hard for you and help you achieve the results you desire.