While crafting your marketing plan for 2018, you might be looking for more creative ways to promote your brand. In addition to social media and other more traditional marketing methods, there are seemingly endless ways to inexpensively create brand recognition. And this includes promotional products, opening all sorts of creative avenues.

“The promotional items that you choose are limited only by your own creativity,” according to the staff at AllBusiness. “They can range from market-proven goods — such as calendars, coffee mugs, and baseball caps — to innovative items like candy and nuts, stadium blankets, toy cars and trucks, and first aid kits. Whatever items you pick, all should bear your logo and contact information.”

But selecting these items is not enough. You must then learn to use them effectively. To really advance your promotional items, consider the following tips.

  • Have a clear purpose.
    Enter your promotional product marketing strategy with a goal and have this guide you. Perhaps you simply want to create brand recognition, or you might want to encourage people to actually contact you. Design the items accordingly with this in mind.
  • Choose practical items.
    About 53% of people own a promotional item that they use at least once per week. By choosing items like bags, pens, electronics, and mugs, you can give your customers a clear reason to use the items. Then others will see them using it, increasing brand exposure.
  • Consider style in your design. Even if your logo is not the most wearable design, find ways to integrate it in a stylistic way. This could mean putting the logo on a small portion of a shirt rather than the entire front. You may also want to play with logo color to change up your design options.
  • Get creative on social media.
    About 93% of marketers use social media for business, but you can use it more creatively to promote your branded items. Giveaways, contests, and sponsored ads can be great ways to get your items out there. In addition to giving products away in person, you can boost the strategy’s effectiveness through online resources.
  • Only buy what you need.
    Remember that many items will age out eventually, so you don’t want to buy too many of a certain product. Only buy what you realistically will need and remember that you can always buy more later. By doing so, you can efficiently conserve resources.

While designing and selecting your promotional products, remember to have fun with it. This is an exciting opportunity to promote your business, so make the most of it. Your customers’ enthusiasm might just follow.