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What's In Your Marketing Toolkit?

Posted on 23/08/2021

In a recent article, we said that to grow your business, you need to “PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE!”

Today, we’re going discuss various promotional tools in a bit more detail.

Of course, marketing is such a gigantic area that there are countless channels and strategies you can use to maximise your reach. And it would be impossible to cover it all here.

Let’s talk about some of the common ones for both B2B and B2C businesses.

SEO

If you’re promoting your business online, SEO is the marketing tool that keeps on giving. Yes, it’s a lot of work and can be quite daunting, but it’s free (if you do the work yourself) and your efforts are rewarded forever. And even if you need to pay someone else to do the work, the average ROI is 3X higher than other marketing strategies, so it’s worth investing.

The first thing to focus on is on-page SEO. This means that your website should be optimised: proper heading and content structuring, relevant metadata, internal links and fast-load times are a good starting point. You should also publish regular content to your website, like a blog.

You should have a strategy for off-page SEO too. This mostly means creating and encouraging backlinks to your website. If reputable websites are linking back to yours, search engines like Google and Bing will categorise your content as important, and therefore increase your ranking.

With some effort on your SEO strategy, you can attain a high search ranking for your industry keywords and, once you’re set, you could receive orders from customers in perpetuity without having to rely on expensive advertising and sales outreach. Passive orders are welcome orders.

Keep in mind there’s a big catch to SEO: Time. SEO is not an instant solution. If you’re doing a good job, it will take 6 months to 1 year, or even longer, to start generating the results that you should expect. SEO is a long-term game, so start today.

PR

Hiring a PR agency is a great way to reach a wider audience in a seemingly organic way. After all, who doesn’t want to buy the latest beauty product endorsed by top magazines and newspapers? PR retainer fees can vary wildly and you don’t necessarily get what you pay for. Recommendations from people you trust are the way to go.

As well as generating printed editorial content, PR is great for digital press. Online articles will feature backlinks to your site from highly authoritative websites, massively boosting your SEO. If your brand gets featured on, let’s say, FT.com… Bingo!

Social Media

If you can build an engaging social media presence and create great content that your customers connect with, you’re on to a winner. It’s free (if you do the work yourself) and, similarly to SEO, it stays on page forever so future customers will find you too.

But social media should not be treated as an afterthought. It’s not just about posting whatever comes to mind. Put together a strategy and make sure you’re telling your brand story through your posts. The brand’s personality should shine through. Give your audience a reason to follow you.

Finally, don’t forget the main premise of social media... to be social. Be sure to interact with your followers and the wider community and bring something of value to the table.

Influencers

This one is a bit tricky, simply because it’s hard to predict what the payoff will be. Can it work? Absolutely it can. If you find influencers that have a true audience that listens to their advice, this marketing strategy can pay dividends. My advice is to study influencers carefully and start small to test the waters. If you find the right one and build a relationship, it could be a game changer.

Paid Digital Advertising

“Paid” includes advertising on any platform that will take your money: Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Does it work? Definitely. If you put in the money and work, you’ll get the rewards. Digital advertising is not as cheap as it once was but, for many businesses, it’s a critical tool.

Make sure that you A/B test with different platforms, campaigns and creative to see what works best for your brand. Optimise your ads and your ROI will thank you for it.

When using paid advertising, it’s optimal to use dedicated landing pages to increase conversion. If you have a specific objective for a campaign, say, promoting a discounted product, you may want to send visitors to a page dedicated to that promotion, rather than the homepage of your site. Landing pages are known to increase conversion significantly. Research them!

Promotional Products

Now we get to our world.

There’s a myth that gets bandied about that promotional products are just tat destined for the bin. That’s absolute rubbish (pun intended). Using promotional merchandise is one of the most effective marketing strategies available and research has consistently shown that it performs very well for any sector. Why do you think all the big brands create merch? Because it works. That’s why.

Think about it. Have you ever been given a branded pen in a bank or USB stick at a trade show? I’m willing to bet every single one of you have. And I’d go further and bet that you still have some swag in your house or office right now. Because we know people keep promotional products for YEARS! Go on, have a look…

Let’s say you’re a company selling widgets and have a trade show coming up. You decide to create 500 promotional key rings with your company logo on it. The recipients of your gift may not need your widgets this week. Or next month. But if they decide to buy widgets next year, there’s a high chance those people are still going to have their office keys hanging from your branded key ring. That’s long-term promotion. It’s sticky. And that’s why we love it. It’s similar to SEO in that sense. Promotional merchandise is literally the gift that keeps on giving.

Promotional products also give you the chance to associate your brand with a helpful or useful product. Week in, week out your product will be used by the person who receives it. A mug for their morning coffee, an umbrella for when it rains, a pen for when they need to scratch their back! Whose brand do they see every time they get help? Yours. Positive association is a very powerful concept.

Our advice when browsing our range is to think less about how much you like a specific product and focus more on how useful it will be on a day-to-day basis to the recipients. A branded product that gets used regularly has huge promotional value.

What Else?

There are, of course, many other spokes in the marketing wheel: billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, TV ads, trade shows… The list goes on and on. There are even brands using dating apps to connect with customers. Quirky yes, but if it works, it works!

So How Do You Build Your Marketing Toolkit?

Our main advice is: Don’t wing it. Don’t just throw s…tuff at the wall and hope it sticks. Be strategic and put together a marketing plan.

And then…

Research. Test. Perfect. Repeat.

If you need a starting point, think back to building mind maps during your school days. Grown ups use them too, and they’re a great tool for sketching out your strategy and building out your marketing toolkit.

In future, we’ll take a deeper look at various marketing channels individually to give more concrete recommendations on how you can use them to promote, promote, promote.

In the mean time, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter below to be notified of our latest content.

And remember, if you’re looking to use promotional products for your next campaign, leave us a note in our Contact Us page or Request a Callback and we’ll…call you back.

Until next time!

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Top Promotions Ltd t/a BrandLogoHere
Ground Floor
174 Hammersmith Road
London W6 7JP
UK
Tel: 0207 861 4452
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