Social-media shares are hugely valuable, but if you really want to make a connection with someone, like a (potential) customer, it needs to be in the real world. Ideally, there should be some element of personal interaction, followed by the giving of a promotional item.

At present, however, then the degree of personal interaction may be, at best, highly limited. This makes the effective use of promotional items even more important. Here are some tips to help.

Start by defining your budget

There are promotional items to suit all budgets as well as all needs and wants. Starting with a realistic budget will help to focus your attention on items you can afford and thus help prevent “budget-creep”.

Define your recipient group(s)

The first step in defining your recipient groups is to think about what they mean in terms of individual financial value. This is one of the two key factors which largely determine how you allocate your budget.

For example, recipients who generate minimal financial value should generally be gifted low-value items and vice versa. Please note, however, that there is a big difference between low-value and low-quality.

Define the nature of your promotion

This is the other key factor which largely determines how you allocate your budget. As a rule of thumb, if you’re using promotional items purely as promotional gifts, then the financial value of the recipient should effectively determine the financial value of the gift.

If, however, you’re using promotional items as competition prizes, then you may want to increase the value of the items to create a more exciting offer. Again, how much you increase the value of the items should usually depend on how easy or hard it is to win them.

This is more than just an issue of numbers. It also reflects how much effort it requires to enter the competition. You can leverage this to achieve different business goals.

For example, if you simply want to raise awareness of part of your business, say a new product, then you could run a competition which was very easy to enter with lots of low-value prizes.

By contrast, if you’re trying to identify your most enthusiastic customers, you could create a more challenging competition, typically requiring them to use your product, with higher-value prizes.

Choose the right promotional item(s) for your recipients

If you can clearly identify a target demographic, then you can look for items which most people in that target demographic are likely to appreciate. These tend to be practical items which people will use frequently.

There is, however, always room for a bit of fun. In fact, there are many promotional items which combine a practical element with an element of fun. The classic example of this is probably confectionery or chocolate in a reusable tin.

Think about the practicalities of storing/giving/sending the item

This has become more of an issue with COVID19. For the time being, at least, you want to avoid situations where multiple people could be touching items, even with gloves. Instead, you want to minimize the level of contact both between people and between people and the items.

This may mean having staff set out items and having recipients pick them up themselves rather than being handed them as would usually be the case.

Author's Bio: 

Adele Thomas is the owner of Distinctive Confectionery; a corporate confectionery company that's been supplying businesses with high quality personalised advent calendars, biscuits, sweets and chocolates for over 20 years.