9 Successful Tips for Using Promotional Material
Using promotional material to expand your brand is a very effective means of branding. Some might say it’s a combination of branding and marketing. You want to promote your business but you also want to ensure that the item is a reflection of what your brand represents to the consumer.
* Buy Quality Merchandise – Unless you want to project “cheap” to your customers, don’t buy cheap stuff. You don’t want them to throw it away; you want them to get use out of it for a long time so that they think of you when they do.
* Make It Targeted – If your audience consists of pet lovers, make sure the items represent the knowledge that they love pets. Pet toys, pet clothing, and t-shirts representing their love of all things pets will go far. Similarly, if they love technology, you want to ensure your promotional merchandise reflects their love of tech.
* Make It Usable – You want them to use the item that you’re giving away. Otherwise it’s just a waste of money. This means that you need to know what types of things they need or will use. Will they use a magnetized refrigerator frame or pad for a list?
* Work with a Consultant – There are consultants who work with the companies that sell promotional materials or premiums. The consultants can help you figure out what your audience will enjoy receiving and also how to get them at the best price for the quality that you want.
* Consider Sponsorships – A good way to use premiums is to sponsor a child’s sports team or an event. This is a great way to get your name out there into the community and an excellent use for promotional materials.
* Think Experiences – One thing that a lot of businesses don’t think about is giving their customers experiences along with things. For example, give them a shopping spree and t-shirts to wear while on the spree.
* Don’t Go by Price Only – The biggest mistake people do when buying promotional materials is think there is a free ride. If you pick the cheapest priced items, you’ll get things that you cannot even use and that no one else wants to use either.
* Consider Customer Loyalty Programs – A good use of promotional merchandise is within a customer loyalty program. Let them use points earned by their participation, or expenditures for promotional merchandise like t-shirts.
* Surprise Customers – When you have a long-term customer who has an anniversary, birthday or other life event, surprise them with a commemorative item of value that has your logo and information on it.
Promotional items are a great way to brand your business and get your name known in the community. Plus, you can get known as a generous business if you send unexpected and surprising gifts to your customers, contractors and employees.
Branding Is Important To Your Over All Business Success
Branding your name (or your pen name) is very important on the Internet, no matter what niche you’re in. You need to establish yourself as an authority in your market, because people trust authority figures.
They trust their recommendations, they trust that their products will be of good quality, and they trust that they have integrity. It also lends credence to the buyer that you’re a real person – not just some nameless, faceless entity trying to sell them something on a static, automated website.
You should put your name on everything you create. Whether it’s a membership site, an eBook, or something as small as a PLR article pack for sale – you should put your name on it. Getting your name out there is so essential to your ongoing success.
Think about all of the marketing gurus you’ve heard of. Some of them you may not have heard of yet, especially if you’re new, but chances are you’ve heard of at least a few of these. Have you heard of John Reese, Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern, Dan Kennedy, Joe Vitale, Willie Crawford, or the late Gary Halbert?
If you’ve been in marketing long at all you’ve surely heard of at least one of these people. People know and remember the names of these people because they put their names on everything they put out.
Their names are all over the marketing forums, their eCovers, their headers, and everything else they do. They work very hard to brand their names, because their names become the brands. People buy their products simply because their name is on it.
Buyers think that the product must be good, because the person is so well-known. You should do the same thing with your name. Always use the same name on everything you do within a particular niche.
You may not want to use your real name for whatever reason, but your name needs to be a “real name.” A nickname usually won’t cut it in most markets, but sometimes it works – like in the case of Travis “The Bum” Marketer or the “Rich Jerk.”
If you’ve signed up for forums under a nickname, ask the moderators if they can change your name to your real name or pen name. You might not want to tell the moderator’s it’s a pen name. That’s up to you.
Keep getting your name out there any way you can. Host teleseminars, JV with well-known people if possible, and offer to help create content for well-known people in your niche in exchange for a Bio Box that hosts your name and link to your website.
Offer to be an interview subject for someone. Be a “guest author” for popular websites and blogs in your niche, and create 100% original content for them. Never stop branding your name. Even when you’re as famous as Donald Trump, the king of name branding, don’t stop.
Donald still puts his name on everything he does. His name appears in huge, bold letters on his books. He names buildings after himself. Think of Trump Tower, Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump Plaza. His name is all over everything.
Not only is it a matter of pride, but it keeps his name everywhere. You may never be as famous as the Donald, or even as famous as John Reese, but you might become known as the king or queen of your own little niche or for a particular slant that grows in popularity.
Do’s and Don’ts for Business Branding
One of the most important things you’re going to do as a business owner is create your brand. Your brand is a way to represent what your audience thinks, says, and feels about your products and/or services. Often, this has to be developed over time and is encompassed in not only the physical representation of your business, but also the feeling that develops in people over time when talking about or thinking about your business.
There are some do’s and don’ts you should consider when seeking to better brand your business. If you can remember that your brand is really all about your audience, and how you want them to feel than about you, it’ll be a lot easier. Branding is a long-term strategy that you’ll need to work on.
* Create a Plan of Action – You cannot properly brand your business without giving it a lot of thought in advance. While it may be something that is developed over time, it’s not done willy-nilly without a plan.
* Build Up Your Online Presence – Everything you do online represents your brand, from the colors you choose for your logo to the words you put on social media. In order to do that right, you have to set up a branding guide to help you and others remember what you want to represent.
* Build Up Your Offline Presence – While your business may be an “online business” today, it’s becoming more important to market your business offline too. If you truly want to be a brand people remember, don’t trap yourself into only being online. As the tools to get your products and/or services delivered to your audience change, you want to be ready.
* Watch Your Competition – You may be a step or two ahead of your competition, but you may not be. Checking up on how they’re doing things is essential to keeping yourself on track too. You want to do a little better than your competition and stay ahead of the game.
* Push Your Comfort Zone – It can be frightening to get your name out there, but you need to. Post articles, guest blog posts, and do interviews. Host webinars and teleseminars, and even publish a book. The more you can do to push your brand, the more people will start knowing who you are.
* Make Connections – Make connections that matter, both online and offline. Follow up with people you meet. Find creative ways to maintain the connections you make both online and offline. Consider sending a card in the mail, or a copy of an article you think they’ll enjoy.
* Blow Smoke – Don’t confuse branding with advertising. In advertising, a certain amount of smoke blowing is acceptable and legal. But, when it comes to branding, you don’t want to do that. You want to tell it like it is.
* Be Crazy on Social Media – You tell your kids that social media is dangerous, and one wrong picture will follow you forever; it’s true. Don’t post pictures of you living it up at that wedding, or hanging from the chandeliers at the bachelorette party. Keep your social media G-rated and appropriate for business.
* Lie – You need to be yourself and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Lying about how much money you make, or about your experience, or about how well your business is doing is wrong (whether online or offline), and has no place in business.
* Avoid Offline Activities – It can be easy to get used to doing everything online if you have an online business. But, you have to remember that tools change. What used to seem like an anonymous adventure is now bringing people together in real life more than ever.
* Forget Your Call to Action – If you don’t ask people to take action, they won’t. Most people need to be told what to do next to make that next step.
Following these do’s and don’ts will help you with your business branding experience. The main take-away is to be yourself, realize it’s about your audience, not you, and that branding is a process that takes some time and will not happen overnight.