Promotional products can be a pricey expenditure, especially when you’re trying to run a small business on a shoestring budget. But it’s well worth it to shell out for high-quality, desirable promotional items.

That’s because customers really appreciate promotional products. Free gifts encourage customers to give you more business in the future, and you’ll be getting brand messaging with staying power. Promotional products boost sales, spread brand awareness, boost sales, and can even help you promote your company values and generate social media buzz.

1) Increase Brand Awareness

Every time a customer uses one of your company’s promotional products, he or she will see your brand messaging. So will anyone who sees them using the product. Promotional products are a great way to get your brand message out to members of a customer’s household, or other members of the community who might spot your customer sporting a branded tote bag, sweatshirt, or cap.

Customers love promotional products, with 83 percent of customers using their promotional products more than once a day. Customers will use promotional products for an average of seven months — although they’ll hang onto the most popular items for twice as long. Once they’re done using their promotional items, 63 percent will give them away. That means the brand messaging on your promotional items has a wide reach, and a long lifespan.

2) Foster Customer Loyalty

Do you want your customers to keep coming back again and again? Promotional products can help you foster that kind of loyalty. Customers appreciate promotional gifts and feel more goodwill towards companies that give them high-quality promotional items. Promotional items are the most popular form of advertising, and they’re particularly popular with consumers under 55. Useful items, like USB thumb drives, outerwear and sportswear, pens, and drinkware are among the most popular promotional gifts.

3) Generate Social Media Buzz

Promotional products integrate perfectly into a cross-channel marketing strategy. Encourage customers to post reviews of your promotional items on their social media, using your hashtag. Ask them to share a photo of themselves wearing or using your promotional gift. Offer incentives, like giveaway tiers or digital rewards, to encourage customers to take to their feeds and show off your promotional items. This will boost your company’s online presence, get customers engaged in your digital campaigns, spread your brand message and bring in new customers — many of whom may simply be curious about your promotional items.

4) Boost Sales

People are more likely to buy from a company that’s already given them something. Eighty-three percent of customers say they’re more likely to do business with a company that has given them a promotional item. Giving a promotional gift strengthens the relationship with your customer, whether you’re handing them out at a trade event, giving them to clients during sales meetings, or sending them to customers as a “thank you for your purchase gift”.

5) Promote Your Company Values

Handing out promotional products is an opportunity to build bridges with customers and bring in new business, but it’s more than that. It’s also a chance to showcase your company values.

These days, customers expect more from their favorite brands. They want companies to take social responsibility seriously, to take steps to fight climate change, and to pay their employees well and treat them with respect. It’s easy to say that you’re committed to environmental sustainability or that you pay a competitive wage, but it’s harder to follow through.

You can practice what you preach in part by choosing promotional products that adhere to your values. For example, if you’re committed to sustainability, choose promotional gifts made with sustainable materials, or ones that will help your customers live more sustainable lives themselves. Customers will notice and appreciate your commitment to your corporate values, and they’ll reward it by giving you their business.

Promotional products are the most popular form of advertising among consumers, and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone loves getting something for free, and most customers won’t be able to help but feel more positively about your company if you give them a free gift. They’ll use it every day, and when they do, they’ll think of you.

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