Whether you're running a small business or working in marketing for a large company, running a successful promotion is always a challenge. It can be difficult to find the right promotional item, but it's an essential part of getting people interested in what your business has to offer. Often, the best promotional items are items people will use over and over again. Items should have broad appeal, be functional, and contain your brand's logo. A well-designed promotional item is the best way to get your brand noticed. Incorporating such items into your overall business plan isn’t just beneficial for your customers. It’s good for your bottom line. Here’s how to pick the perfect promotional items for your business' promotional needs.

Determine Your Budget

Before looking at promotional items, you should determine your budget and the scope of what you want to do/accomplish. Doing so helps narrow your options and focus on your promotion's financial/budgetary constraints. Break down your advertising costs into categories and assess what you need. Are you going to buy it in bulk? What costs are you expecting for imprinting/screen printing on your promo items? These factors determine how cost-effective your promo items will be. You also should consider whether you're giving these items away or selling them at a premium. Either way, defining your budget (and sticking to it) is crucial to running an effective marketing campaign with promotional items at the center. The next step is determining which promo item will best serve your goals and how they'll fit into your budget. By asking these questions and spending time researching your options, you'll have a better overall decision-making process and narrow your options appropriately.

Consider Your Target Audience

Another critical aspect of ensuring your promo items do their job effectively is considering your target audience. Defining your target audience starts with looking at your business and asking yourself who you want to reach. That's the basic version of it. Once you determine this, you must find a way to reach them. Billboard ads, social media, your website, TV, radio, or online ads all offer different returns based on their purpose and your target demographic. Custom promotional items, especially free items/giveaways, tend to appeal to a broad audience. Keep that in mind as you figure out who your target audience is or who you want to be your target audience. Not everyone likes the same things, and your messaging should also appeal to your target audience—especially when advertising with promotional items like pens, cups, or mugs.

Put Your Logo On The Items

It should go without saying that to get the most out of custom promotional items, they need to contain your logo. Your logo (and relevant contact information) is like a beacon for your brand. People will see it each time the customer uses the item, generating impressions. Those impressions might pique a potential future customer's interest and send them your way. A custom logo is an opportunity to personalize and get creative with your branding. Your logo should be the center of attention on the item and be big enough to see clearly. You may also want to consider customizing your logo to match the product's style. Spend time tweaking, analyzing, and studying your logos before settling on a design. Once you do, buy some custom promotional products in bulk and start distributing them to your customers as soon as possible.

Figure Out A Distribution Plan

Regarding distribution, you must determine how to get your products into your customer's hands. Are you going to sell them? Include them as gifts with a purchase? Do you plan to make them part of a loyalty program? There are so many options it can be daunting to think about sometimes. Giveaways are one of the most effective methods of getting your promotional items out into the world.  A significant percentage of consumers will keep an item with your logo on it for three months or longer. In the grand scheme of things, that's a pretty good length of time for a promo. However, you need to ensure that you have a clear distribution plan before ordering any items. Failure to distribute them properly will make your marketing campaign fail, and worse, you'll lose money. That's not an ideal outcome, so make sure you do your best to get it right.

Give Your Customers Value

Now that you've figured everyone else out (at least regarding promo products) there's only one final step of the process: giving your customer something of value. Essentially, don't skimp on ensuring the promotional products you use are of the utmost quality. If you're giving out pens, buy them from a reputable distributor who offers quality products. Whether they be ball points, fine tip pens, or metal pens. If you're advertising with cups or mugs, you'll want durable drinking vessels to provide for your customers. No one wants a ceramic cup that chips easily or a dented stainless steel drink cup. The same goes for any other item from flash drives to tote bags. Provide value for your customers not only in the quality of the item but in how you promote it. Doing so will guarantee not just a good return on your investment, but happy customers along the way.