As a business owner, it’s incredibly likely that you’re investing time and money into your marketing budget and the world of online marketing. In fact, it’s likely that your online marketing budget is one of the only budgets that increases year on year and this has a profound impact on other company-wide budgets, such as offline marketing material.
You’re not alone.
Over the last decade, online marketing has eclipsed that of offline marketing and it’s easy to see why this is the case. Online marketing methods are generally cheaper to set up, cheaper to embark upon and it’s also easier and quicker to see a return on your investment. It’s clear as we move into the year 2017 that online marketing is one of the most essential parts of any business, no matter how big or small that business is. But with this comes a problem, as more and more companies focus solely on an online-only based approach there’s less and less room for offline marketing and more of a general “marketing-mix”.
While this transition might work well for some businesses, it’s highly unlikely that it’ll work well for every business. Also, while online marketing might deliver an instant return on investment, by ruling out other marketing opportunities you’re not capturing all of the business that your company craves. For example, if you’re not investing any of your budgets into then you will more than likely be missing out on the incredible return on investment that can be achieved when printed marketing is done well.
While it is understandable that some companies shy away from printed marketing material – after all, you have to design the material, decide upon the exact material that you’re going to use (T-Shirts, tote bags, flyers, banners etc), and finding a reliable printing company to create all of the material that you need – it’s important to remember the amount of advertising that can be done by getting it right. After all, with such a rewarding return on investment at stake, your business simply can’t afford to neglect printed marketing completely. So, to help you make decisions quicker and in order to understand what printed marketing materials deliver the best return on investment, I’ve come up with this list of what I consider to be the best marketing materials for your business.
The T-Shirt is one of the oldest and most respected items of clothing in the world. All companies around the globe take advantage of the simple T-Shirt to get their name and their message out there. The reason the T-Shirt is so good is because of the amount of real estate you get to include your image and your message. It’s not just the front either, you have the back and the sleeves to include all of the logos that you need.
It’s incredibly common to see businesses using printed T-Shirts for their staff uniforms and there’s more than one reason for this. This can range from protecting your employee’s clothing, building team spirit and ensuring that their employees are easily identifiable when approached by potential customers. But one of the biggest reasons for using printed T-Shirts is the advertising space that it gives you. By encouraging your staff (and even your customers) to wear your own branded clothing, you’re exposing your company logo to thousands of people each and every day. This kind of advertising reach can be incredibly important to a company in helping them achieve a bigger reach and to also increase brand exposure.
The beauty of T-Shirts is that you can design them however you want. Whether you want to simply include a logo of your company embroidered on the left breast, or if you want to create an artistic all over print that’s eye-catching and stands out – the versatility of T-Shirts is something that you can’t help but admire.
Printed tote bags:
Similar to T-Shirts, tote bags are excellent for advertising due to the size of the print area that you have but they also have an added advantage over their rivals – Their ability to be seen all year round. While a T-Shirt is excellent during the summer months, as soon as the weather starts to turn and the clouds start to form, you’ll notice that more and more people don a jumper and a coat combination which means that the T-Shirt gets covered up and your valuable advertising space is taken away until the sun reveals itself again in the summer. Tote bags, however, don’t suffer from this problem as they’re not items of clothing. Instead, the tote bag is perfect accessory for many people which makes it perfect advertising for many companies.
The reason for this is because the tote bag is essentially an all-purpose bag which means that they can be used over and over again and at any time throughout the year. Also, as they’re a bag, they won’t be covered up by additional items of clothing when the weather does start to change.
The beauty of the tote bag is that they’re literally an all-purpose bag for anybody. They can be used to carry home the shopping, carry your spare clothes with you to the gym, carry your towels with you when you go to the beach – literally, the tote bag is perfect for all these occasions.
Printed USB flash drives:
These aren’t used often as promotional giveaway items but they should be. They’re excellent ways of providing other companies with all of the information they need about you and your company. If you’re giving away printed USB flash drives, you can store your catalogue, links to your website, important information about your company and anything else that you think is necessary on the drive so it can then be viewed by the customer when they take this away.
As more and more work is based on a computer and the need to save documents to carry around with you grows, the USB flash drive becomes more of an essential item which means that the potential customer is more likely to keep the drive with them just in case. This means that they’ll always have a constant reminder of your company and the conversation that they had with you.
This potentially gives the USB flash drive more longevity than the majority of take home items as it’s an essential item which is used within the office.
Printed notepads have been used as merchandise for years now and they’re still one of the best items to giveaway. This is because they’re still popular items and used regularly by the receiver. Whenever I’ve attended an event or a presentation, I’m usually handed a printed notepad and a pen with the contact details of the event organiser or the host. I then use this notepad and pen during the event to take down notes and important information while I’m there which gives the notepad instant value – especially if you’ve left your own notepad at home.
This instant value means that they’re instantly appreciated by the receiver and it guarantees that the notepad will be used on more than one occasion – whether it’s referring back to the notes that you’ve previously made or if you continue to use the notepad in future. By giving out a notepad you’re ensuring that your company name and contact details are easily visible and easily remember if the potential customer wants to use your services again in the future.
Printed business cards:
Business cards have been around for a long time and they’re showing no signs of going away any time soon. This is because they’re the quickest and easiest way to pass on your contact details to potential clients without having to fumble around with your phone or trying to scribble the details down on a piece of paper which could easily get lost of binned afterwards. By keeping business cards you’re ensuring that you’re always prepared for when a potential client approaches you and it also gives you more of a professional persona,
With advancing technologies, including smartphone applications such as Evernote, you also have the ability to scan the business card and store all of the details in your phone, ensuring that your details will always be with the potential client in case they need to refer back to them at a later date. The beauty of having business cards also means that you can also target specific customers as well, ensuring that you’re getting maximum return on investment by handing them out only to the relevant people.