What is the goal of marketing? To attract customers and generate sales. While each marketing initiative probably has a more specific focus, they will all generally attempt to achieve those markers. How businesses choose to pursue marketing becomes a lot more complicated.
First of all, there are so many marketing channels to choose from. Should you focus on building up the website and investing in search engine optimization? Does your target audience live on social media and rarely listen to radio advertisements? Is direct mail still effective for some populations?
Then, once you have decided which channels to pursue, you have to come up with impactful messaging. How can you connect with the audience on an emotional level? What do they want to know about the product? How do they make purchasing decisions and what motivates them? Yes, marketing is complicated.
Promotional Product Marketing
Enter the promotional product strategy. Promotional items are physical products that contain your brand information. Examples of promotional products include custom pens, stress balls, sweatshirts, stadium cups, and flash drives. You purchase a few of these items with a custom design that includes your logo or company name and then give them away to your team members, loyal customers, or individuals from the public. Whenever the owner uses the item, they can expose your brand to others.
The main premise behind promotional products is that they are a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness. A one-time expense with the purchase of these items in bulk can create tons of impressions every time someone wears or uses them.
But running a promotional product marketing initiative on its own could be ineffective. The best way to maximize its impact is to promote it across various marketing media. This will increase your reach and result in greater engagement with the merchandise campaign. Let’s take a look at a few ways to integrate this initiative with other marketing channels.
If you are running a business in 2022, then you probably should be taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, and even Snapchat depending on your target audience. Even older populations are using some of these accounts to stay connected with friends and family, so your reach potential is high with the right marketing strategy. Just as you would want to increase the reach of your business’s Youtube channel, you should use social media platforms to share your promotional item campaign with more people.
Run a caption contest on Instagram and reward the winner with a t-shirt. Advertise a discount on certain promotional items with the purchase of one of your regular products on Facebook and Twitter. Social media are places for engagement with customers, so take advantage of these interactions to spread awareness of your campaign.
Printed advertising can also integrate smoothly with a promotional product campaign. Throw a QR code that leads to a promotional product page link on the flyers or brochures that you hand out at events. If you are sponsoring a local 5K, set up a booth to give away some branded items and advertise them with a big sign like “win a free t-shirt.” Is there a local sports team with a big fan base chock-full of potential customers? See if you can get a “visit our booth” sign in the stadium to funnel people toward your table where you offer giveaways that will promote brand awareness.
Whether you agree or not, email marketing is a very effective tool for many businesses. If you haven’t seen similar results, it could be that you are not doing things the right way. Think of all the gimmicky subject lines that you see in your inbox. Are you guilty of inundating potential customers with similar phrases? Either way, combining a merchandise promotion with a marketing email could be a great strategy for getting someone to open your email rather than delete it sight unseen. People love free stuff, and you can promote these items in the subject line, just be wary of coming across as spammy. If you do, it won’t matter how great the deal is because no one will ever open the email.
Plan Your Cross-Media Campaign
There are plenty of other marketing channels with which you can promote your branded merchandise items. Television ads, website landing pages, and referral programs are just a few others that you could take advantage of to give away more items and produce greater brand awareness.
As with any marketing initiative, success will partially depend on how well-planned the campaign is. If you start a promotional product campaign without laying down specific goals and KPIs, then you are unlikely to see success. Craft a specific plan, integrate the initiative with other marketing channels, and measure the level of success to inform future marketing.