Engaging posts. Short-form video content. Paid digital marketing campaigns. Catchy billboards. These are just a few of the puzzle pieces that make up a great marketing strategy. But there’s one piece of the puzzle that even the most experienced companies can miss or undervalue, and that is branded merchandise.
How can you incorporate swag into your marketing efforts to increase exposure, gain more followers, and grow your brand? Below are some tips for maximizing your return on investment (ROI) using branded merchandise.
Get (Almost) Free Attention
Of course there are costs to creating branded swag for your company, but there are some really affordable options depending on your goals. If you’re new to the world of branded merchandise, we suggest starting small — but don’t think small can’t also be impactful.
If you give swag to customers that enter your store, or include a branded item in a shipment to one of your online customers, that’s basically free attention for your brand. Stickers, pens, lip balm, and totes are all examples of budget-friendly options that give your customers a little hit of dopamine from an unexpected freebie. Plus these are items that people will carry around and display — at no additional cost to you. And if you offer someone great customer service on top of that unexpected freebie, your customers might just go the extra mile to post about their experience on social media — also at no additional cost to you.
Influencer Swag Marketing
Speaking of social media, influencer culture is a trend that’s not going away any time soon; if you’re not participating in this trend, you may be missing out. The influencer marketing industry sat at around $1.7 billion in 2016, but has now grown to $13.8 billion.
You have two options here — pay influencers to do a paid ad or review for your company or send out your branded swag for free. This doesn’t guarantee that everyone you send swag to will post about your company, but you’ll still be increasing your visibility. In the same vein, consider sending some higher end branded merchandise to bloggers, journalists, and influencers without anything but a card inviting them to enjoy a free gift. You never know when your name or brand could show up in an article or in a post.
Consider Your Marketing Swag Picks
Like every other part of your marketing strategy, the branded merchandise you choose should be aligned with your goals. To drive attention to your brand, think outside-the-box. Be original and think about how to stand out. Even products like reusable water bottles, socks, hats, journals, and sweatshirts, which may seem boring, can be repackaged, rebranded, or rewrapped with a twist to make an impression.
There are so many things you can do with swag, all of which can enhance your marketing efforts and put you in front of great new customers. Do you want to start incorporating branded merchandise into your marketing? Our team can help you put together some one-of-a-kind product.