5 Creative Ways to Use Promotional Merchandise in Your Marketing Efforts

April 27, 2023

5 Creative Ways to Use Promotional Merchandise in Your Marketing Efforts

Promotional merchandise, also known as "swag," can be an effective way to promote your business and increase brand awareness. The real key to success is using promotional merchandise in a creative and strategic way. 

It’s fairly standard to see a trade show booth filled with promotional pens , promo post-it notes and perhaps water bottles and other swag. But if you’re not tracking results, as opposed to simply handing out swag,  how do you know that your marketing budget is well spent? 

Solution: have a program (as outlined below). Know what your ROI is on whatever promotional merchandise you’re purchasing.

Here are five ways to use promotional merchandise to stand out from the competition and make a lasting impression on your target audience.

  1. Incorporate promotional merchandise into social media campaigns: Use social media to give away promotional items to your followers. Where is your tribe? If it’s twitter or instagram, don’t use Facebook for the campaign. You can create a contest or offer a discount code for those who share a post on twitter or tag your business on instagram. This will increase engagement and lead to additional brand exposure.  Additionally, It may motivate people to visit your website or follow your business if they don't already. This strategy would be more cost-effective than traditional forms of marketing.                                                                                                                                                             
  2. Use promotional merchandise at events: Attend trade shows, job fairs, or other events and hand out promotional items with your business logo on them. We are seeing many of our clients ditch their logo (gasp!) and go with a clever quote or saying in their brand colors. When your swag is useful and fun, this is an unbeatable combination! This will help you get your brand in front of new customers and increase your visibility.
  3. Create a loyalty program: Use promotional items as rewards for customers who make multiple purchases or refer new customers. This will encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing.This promotional merchandise should be a cut above your basic trade show giveaways in price and perceived value. You’re saying thank you after all.. 
  4. Use promotional merchandise as a lead generation tool: Offer promotional items in exchange for contact information, such as an email address or phone number. This can help you grow your mailing list or contact database. By acquiring contact information, you have an opportunity to market your business or school to people who have shown an interest in your brand. It's also a good way to follow up with people who have shown interest but may not have purchased immediately.
     You can send them further information, special offers, and other promotional material. Additionally, having a mailing list or contact database gives you the ability to segment your audience and personalize your communications, making them even more likely to engage with your brand.
     Using promotional merchandise to collect contact information can also be a cost-effective way to get leads, as it is often cheaper than traditional lead generation methods. This strategy may be effective for businesses that are looking to expand their customer base, or to increase their reach by building a relationship with potential customers.                               
     Since you may be mailing these items, consider postage costs. If it’s something you’ll hand out at an event, that’s obviously not a concern!
  5. Make it useful: People are more likely to keep an item that is useful, like a custom screen cleaner or an on the go phone charger. This way your brand will be exposed more often and for longer periods of time. Items that people commonly use on a regular basis and therefore are more likely to keep and use long-term are going to give your business or school the best exposure.
    Providing useful branded merchandise indicates that you care about your customers or prospects’ needs and utility, and this would make them more likely to choose your brand and/or refer it to others.

Incorporating promotional merchandise into your marketing efforts can be a cost-effective and impactful way to promote your business and increase brand awareness. By being creative and strategic with your use of promotional merchandise, you can make a lasting impression on your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.