When modern businesses think of ways to promote their brand, they almost exclusively think of the digital space. After all, it’s true that viral videos, eye-catching online infographics, and sending out personalized promotional materials via e-mail have done wonders for many new businesses.
However, the laser-focus on online marketing efforts have caused widespread neglect of traditional marketing methods. This is a shame because most brick-and-mortar promotion strategies actually provide unique benefits that digital marketing could only hope to chance upon.
Take promotional giveaways, for instance. Many business owners dismiss it as a costly and obsolete way to reach potential audiences. What these entrepreneurs don’t know is that in choosing not to invest in promotional merchandise, they’re missing out on several benefits one just can’t put a price on.
Here’s why giving away branded products for promotion remain a relevant and effective marketing strategy in this day and age of almost-purely digital content:
High Retention Rate
Digital marketing experts found that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 online ads daily. How many of these ads do you think an ordinary person would remember 24 hours after seeing them?
In contrast, a 2016 study by the Advertising Speciality Institute (ASI) estimated that promotional products are kept by their recipients for an average of eight months. Some branded merchandise like umbrellas remains in the possession of their recipients much longer, at an average of fourteen months.
This means a company logo printed on a promotional giveaway stays with an audience far longer than if it were placed on an online pop-up ad. Even better, the same ASI study found out that about 63% of Americans give away promotional products when they’ve outlived their use. This means another eight months of retention in the hands of another potential customer, and even more, if your merchandise is of good enough quality for another hand-over.
Easy Distribution Process
One of the most obvious benefits of promoting brands through branded merchandise is how easy it is to distribute free stuff. It is estimated that about 65% of people skip Youtube ads after watching only 5.5 seconds of a 15-second commercial.
Now, it’s pretty easy to surmise that the number of people who refuse to receive free products is much, much lower than that. So instead of spending all your ad money on huge online campaigns that people are likely to ignore or actively avoid through the use of ad-blockers, try allocating a portion of that budget on promotional giveaways.
One good tip in choosing the right promotional product is finding something that your target audience would both need and enjoy using. While it’s true that most people will be happy to take anything for free, keep in mind that your goal is for them to repeatedly use your product (and hopefully in public), to increase the visibility of your brand. So first, identify the main target audience for your business and think of a product that members of such demographic are likely to use frequently over a long period of time.
Positions Your Brand As A Problem-Solver
When done correctly, your promotional merchandise can help potential customers think of your company or brand as a problem-solver. This is why it’s important to think of a product that is timely, relevant, and highly valuable.
For example, giving away hand fans or promotional novelty sunglasses would be a great idea if summer is fast approaching or even right smack in the middle of the hot months. By giving people something they can use right away, you are encouraging them to recognize you as someone who helped them in a timely manner.
It helps potential clients gain a favorable opinion of your company so that the next time they are faced with the decision to either patronize your business or go with one of your competitors, they are more likely to pick your company.
Developing such a personal, emotional connection with your audience is definitely something that is much harder to achieve by purely digital means.
Look around your own home and check how many coasters, calendars, hats, tote bags, and other merchandise you’ve kept from free giveaways. You will then realize the retention value and unbelievable ROI a company can get from investing in giving away promotional products.