For most of my years I have always preached out the importance of going outside the box when coming up with your marketing campaigns – and all of this outside the box thinking has led me to the introduction of promotional products into almost all of the marketing campaigns I work on. As surprising as it may sound, physical products are sometimes the best things to mix into your digital marketing campaigns. Allow me to explain.
Promotional products go a long way towards helping to establish brand presence and awareness, and can be a great way to attract new leads and increase your audience – especially when these promotional products are tied-in with a strong online marketing campaign. Check out some of the key statistics from the 2019 PPAI study:
But Mike, how is giving away free things going to help my business!? Ah – probably the most popular question I get asked by business owners when I mention giving something away. Allow me to explain.
The Example: A Simple Bagel Store
Let’s pretend we own a bagel store and we want to increase our local communities awareness about our bagel store. We’ve been around for 6+ months now, and we have done our due diligence in creating our social media profiles and a basic website. We maintain an active online presence, and our community is slowly starting to interact with us. However we want to kick things up a notch. We want make sure that everybody really knows about us. A great way that we can go ahead and get our name out there while also giving something back to our loyal customers and patrons happens to be with promotional products! Chances are if you run a bagel shop you also serve coffee, tea or hot cocoa. Furthermore a big part of your clientele takes their order to go, it’s just the nature of your business.
So that means that these customers could really benefit from a travel coffee mug, and the bagel store would greatly benefit from having their customers walking around with custom branded travel mugs that feature the store name and some attractive graphics of their offerings! However to really get the most out of promotional products – we aren’t just going to give away these travel mugs to everyone. We’re going to ask people to subscribe to our newsletter to get a free travel mug. This can easily be accomplished with various point of sale systems like Square, or can be done via a simple notebook at the register. To really tie things together, we’re going to also run an online promotion, asking our customers to upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram featuring one of our bagels, or our custom travel mug. In return – we’ll pick the best photo once every two weeks and the winner gets a free $25 gift card.
So now this custom travel mug that cost $2.50 is going to accomplish a few things:
- First off there’s the obvious physical presence of your brand walking around. Going to work with people. Taking the train, the bus, etc. With the right design on your custom travel mug, people will notice your brand. This creates brand awareness, might just be what tells John from 3 streets down that there’s a new bagel shop in his neighborhood.
- As people get the travel mug, the newsletter audience grows. This means that email marketing can now kick-off. You can email your list regarding upcoming holiday packages, special offers, etc.
- The associated marketing campaign that ran asking people to upload and tag us in their photos has grown your social media audience as more and more people make a post and their friends see it. Plus you now get user-generated-content which can be utilized throughout future marketing campaigns – and it really only cost you $25 every 2 weeks.
This same method can be applied to dozens of different businesses in countless of different ways. Even a doctor’s office can give away a magnet calendar or a magnifying glass once a week to a random subscriber of their email list. As such I think it’s extremely important to remember the physical, when thinking about the digital.
As always leave any questions or thoughts you have in the comments section below. If you need help formulating an online marketing campaign and/or sourcing promotional products feel free to get in touch with me here.