How to Effectively Use Marketing Swag At Your Next Trade Show
While you might think of impressions as worth a fraction of a cent, if you're offering high-quality swag at a trade show, those impressions are worth much more.
When you're choosing what marketing swag to give out at your next trade show, you should choose cool promotional items over cheap ones. Well branded swag ends up being tossed around at a company for years rather than thrown in the trash.
Here are five ways to use marketing swag better.
1. Make a Game
If you're trying to make the most out of your marketing swag, you don't want to just leave it in a bucket. You need to add value to your swag by making it a challenge to get it. The best way to do this is to make it a game.
When you make it a flashy and exciting game like competitive beanbag tossing or basketball shooting, you can get attention at a trade show. However, this isn't always possible at a trade show. You can play a game, but you might have to scale things back.
If you want to engage people with your brand, you should keep people around as long as possible. One of the best ways to do that is with a game, but if you don't have room to throw things around, how about trivia?
If you have really good swag, you can quiz people on your company to see what people already know.
When you only have a limited amount, you can run something like a lottery. Give people a ticket or a number and text them when you choose them. They'll come back to your table and will feel extra special parading your swag around.
2. Get Contact Information First
When you have something people want, it's perfectly okay to ask for something you want in advance. One of the most valuable things you can get is contact information from your potential clients. While you should be happy that people want to walk around with your swag, you need to get something in return for it.
All that exposure offers a reward, but it's hard to measure. Just because someone loves your tote bag or your umbrella doesn't mean that you've turned them into a lead. In fact, to turn them into a lead, you need to get them into your sales funnel first. The best way to do that is to have their email or their phone number.
Once you have this information, you need to treat it like the precious resource that it is. You can't just start inundating your clients with spam or asking them for their business. You need to continue to offer value, even if it takes them a while to get back to you.
It takes a while to win a lead over into a convert, but the only way to do that is to give people what they want. Sometimes that's a blog post and other times it's a cool knit cap.
3. Give It Out After a Sample
If you have some killer swag that people at a trade show love, you might have people lining up to get what you've got.
However, it's vital that people know something about the brand behind the name. The best way to get them to learn something more about your brand is to make them take a sample before they get the swag.
If you're not a consumable brand, have them a test drive your system, download your app, or play around in your VR world. Whatever it is that you offer the world, make sure your audience gets a taste before they walk away with your swag.
When you have people at your table trying out your product or platform, you'll have people lining up. This helps to build hype for your brand. When you're able to build hype, you'll get people talking about you before they even see what you have to offer.
Building hype by using your swag as bait is what the game is all about. When you're able to get people psyched about your brand with swag, you've won the trade show swag game.
4. Offer a Variety
If you really want to wow people with your marketing swag at your next trade show, make sure you offer a variety of things to give away. If you have just one thing to give away, you won't have people fighting over which of your swag items is the best.
You also give your visitors the chance to see all of your items and trick out their entire desk with them. If you have a hat, make sure you also have a pen and some sticky notes. These items are inexpensive, so you should never pass up the opportunity to pad your table with them.
5. Don't Be Cheap
While lots of swag items are inexpensive, it doesn't mean that they have to be cheap items. If you offer high-quality pens or notebooks, people will carry them around for years. They'll covet those items and associate you with giving out high-quality items.
There's no need to be cheap when you're buying small giveaway items. For just a few cents more, you could get cooler looking pens, more durable keychains, or bottle openers that last longer.
While you might not like the initial investment, the fact that people might carry them around for years should be incentive enough to buy better stuff.
Marketing Swag Might Last a Lifetime
While you might not think much of the case of bottle openers you bought for your latest trade show, that marketing swag might be worth its weight in gold.
If you buy some swag that ends up lasting users for years to come, you might end up building lifelong loyalty. Even just a cool t-shirt could end up in someone's drawer for years, building brand awareness all along its journey.
If you're wondering why promotional clothing works, check out our guide for more.