Brands use promotional products all the time. It’s not uncommon to see businesses with mugs full of branded pens with company information on them. Events and expos often have brands sporting shirts and swag.
Distributors have the challenge of tackling how to market promotional products to those brands. They have to show brands what they offer fulfills the needs of the brand. So what’s the best plan of action to market promotional product offerings?
Grow the List
Inevitably, email will always be a part of marketing. Whether it’s a weekly/monthly newsletter, sales, or product promotion it should be a staple to keep base with current and potential clients.
Spend time cultivating your email list. Keep all contacts in one system. If you’re just starting out, organizing and record keeping in an excel sheet is perfect. We do recommend using a CRM software like Hubspot or Spiro. Or for a cheaper option Mailchimp. Make sure past clients are still included on your list. Upload all the emails from business cards received. Import connections from LinkedIn. Ask for referrals from current contacts; consider incentivizing them to get more responses. Trim out bad data. Attend networking events—connections can be everything.
It’s pretty clear that social media has revolutionized digital marketing. There is a plethora of platforms to choose from. There are even dozens of social media schedulers to help simplify the process. The question is: how do you choose which outlets to use?
Traditional platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are great places to start. Make a schedule for updating content and stick to it. Post once to a few times a week. Make your feed visually appealing with high quality photographs. Keep content diverse and engaging for your audience. Rotate through promotional product offerings, snapshots of the office, projects, or relevant current events; to name a few examples. Match content to the brand’s personality and keep it platform appropriate. You most likely are not going to use the same voice for LinkedIn that you would for Twitter. Get creative. Follow relevant hashtags for inspiration.
More than a Picture
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about video?
Humans are visual creatures, and if there is anything we love more than pictures: it’s videos. Creating video content for promotional products makes sense. It supplies distributors with opportunities to showcase products, focusing on their features and benefits. Go beyond just products, and talk about the brand, history of the company. Vlog about successful products for past clients. Do interviews with relevant people to the industry; including your own team. If you participate in events or trade-shows—document it.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a great place to start is by making a series that answers your 15 most FAQ. Video content doesn’t need to be long, or jam packed with information. Make it into bite-sized shareable clips. Post them on your website, blog, social media, YouTube, and consider even attaching them into your email newsletter when appropriate.
Go Old School
With the vast amount of digital bombardment, it can be difficult to stand out online. Consider going a more traditional route with direct mail. It can be personalized for the receiver with their name or an example of their business branding on potential products. Think outside the box; it can be more than a postcard.
Only a small percentage of first time visitors to a site make a purchase. This is where retargeting can make a difference. Retargeting follows users who visited your site, usually without making a purchase. It will then show the user online advertisements for your brand; keeping it current in the past visitor’s mind. Networks like Adroll, or GoogleAds offer options to create re-targeted ads.
And last, but not least…
We’ve all heard the age-old adage ‘Mind over Matter,’ referring to one’s ability to overcome limitations through will power. Essentially saying where you put your mindset can make a difference.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of the, “Sell, sell, sell” mindset, but if you shift away from ‘how can I sell more?’ to ‘how can I solve potential clients problems?’ you’re more likely to find creative solutions that are mutually beneficial for the potential client and you as a distributor.