If you run a small enterprise and have a limited inventory at your disposal, then it probably seems counterintuitive to give away free stuff. Your merchandise is your meal ticket, and by squandering it, you’re damaging your profit potential for the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, free giveaways can be a valuable tool for marketing your business. By exposing consumers to your product, you can quickly and easily generate awareness of your brand, and it might motivate them to come back for more. The second time a customer shows up, their purchase won’t be free.
There are definitely inherent risks that come with giving away merchandise, but the benefits are numerous as well. Here are a few ways you can benefit from trying out promotional giveaways.
A giveaway is just like any other marketing initiative – it’s a way to generate more exposure for your goods and services. Like it or not, all advertising costs money. Whether it’s a billboard on the freeway or a banner ad atop a website, you must be willing to spend if you want to create awareness of your brand. With that in mind, a giveaway can actually be a cheaper way to advertise than the traditional methods. If your product is cheap to manufacture and you have a surplus of it lying around, you might as well use it to generate more attention and hopefully win customers later.
Giving away information
The key is to go further than simply giving away goods – Frugal Marketing explains that you want to give away information, as well. For example, a fishing gear retailer could hand out lures and also provide links to videos on bass fishing technique. A beauty salon could give away shampoo and also hand out pamphlets on proper hair care. By giving people more knowledge of your product, you can impress them with your expertise and leave them intrigued, curious about what more your company has to offer.
Demonstrating a specific skill
Entrepreneur magazine notes that giveaways can be used to remind audiences of the specifics of what you have to offer. If you’re in food service, for example, give away free samples of a certain dish you think should be selling better. By reminding people what specialty products you have to offer, you can distinguish yourself from your competitors in the areas that matter most to you. Let your customers know what makes your brand unique.
Attracting new audiences
Free giveaways are a great way to appeal to specific demographics where your brand has room for improvement. If you think your product should be selling better with individuals between 18 and 24, then head to the local college campus and generate interest there. If there’s a certain town or neighborhood you’re after, then set up shop in a centralized location and start handing out products. Giveaways are a great way to sharpen your focus on the targets you really care about.
Starting small and ramping up slowly
Another plus with giveaway promotions is the freedom to customize their size and scope. If you can only afford to give away 100 T-shirts, or 500 air fresheners, or whatever it might be, then you’re free to pick a target number and stick to it. But you can also use that limited campaign as an opportunity to gauge the success of your initiative and consider ramping up in the future.
You might be averse to giving away free merchandise, but the truth is it might ultimately help your business in the long run. Consider a giveaway for your next marketing initiative. If you already have, then how did the strategy work for you?
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