Custom bags: You see them everywhere. They’re one of those perpetually useful promotional items that can spread the word about any brand.
And at an average of nearly 6,000 impressions (more than any other promotional product, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute), promo bags get marketers some seriously impressive exposure.
For our client, Nicole, aka DC Thrifty Mom, the extraordinary brand exposure at an affordable price point made custom logo bags an ideal giveaway to promote her blog, DCThriftyMom.com.
Blog Promotion In The Bag
Nicole created the blog, which is geared toward families in the DC Metro area, last year. “I started the blog to offer a free resource to my community by highlighting free, cheap and discount happenings,” she says.
Meet Nicole, the creator and owner of DCThriftyMom.com.
The blog attracted about 1,200 frugal-minded followers within the first six months, and today generates an average of 20,000 views per month.
Did Nicole ever dream the blog would take off the way it did?
“No,” she says, “but my Thrifty Friends (my blog followers), always tell me: ‘Who doesn’t love free and cheap?’”
As the first anniversary of DCThriftyMom.com approached, Nicole wanted to give her audience something she knew they’d appreciate: a family-friendly event and useful freebies.
“I noticed it was customary for bloggers to celebrate their blog’s anniversary,” she says. “I wanted to acknowledge the occasion by offering the type of event I highlight [on my blog].”
And so the 1st Blogiversary Celebration was born.
The family-friendly bash, held at the National Children’s Museum (NCM), an interactive children’s museum in the DC area, featured local businesses, organizations, performances, interactive exhibits, and, perhaps most appealing to the 1,000+ attendees, promo bags filled with free stuff.
Why Promotional Bags?
Go to almost any event – tradeshow, conference, festival – and there will likely be swag bags filled with goodies. The 1st Blogiversary Celebration was no different.
Nicole contacted ePromos to order promotional tote bags to distribute during the event. In classic black with a white imprint, the bags were bold, eye-catching promotional giveaways that helped spread the word about DCThriftyMom.com and the blog’s sponsors.
Nicole selected these particular bags for a number of reasons: they’re reusable with a large, double-sided imprint space, they have reinforced handles with a sturdy bottom, and they were priced to fit her budget (many totes are priced under a buck a piece).
Promotional bags were perfect for attendees to sling over their shoulder and enjoy the event.
There’s another reason Nicole chose to hand out custom bags: Plastic bags are taxed in the DC area.
“If you go to the grocery store and don’t have your own bag, you get taxed five cents per plastic bag,” she says. “Reusable bags are the thing here, and I knew they’d be useful for moms in our area.” (Here’s a list of all the cities with plastic bag bans in the U.S.)
Of course the custom bags weren’t handed out empty. Inside were all kinds of freebies geared toward budget-minded families: discount sporting tickets from the Washington Nationals, free foreign language classes for kids, information from various mom support groups, and other giveaways.
Nicole says there’s no doubt the 400 custom bags distributed at the event were well-received by attendees. “Everyone was excited to receive a bag,” she says. “The quality and attractiveness made them sought-after items.”
Like anyone promoting with bags, Nicole is always thrilled when she sees her custom bags out in the community. “I definitely feel like they’re accomplishing their purpose,” she says, “especially when I see them being used at the grocery store.”
How Bags Can Work For Your Brand
The great thing about custom bags is that they’re effective for bloggers and mega-brands alike. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or what you’re promoting – bags keep your logo visible and get your brand exposure time and time again. In fact, studies show bags get used an average of nine times per month.
Here’s a quick tip list on how to use custom logo bags in a promotion:
Consider your audience.
What type of bag is most appealing to your target market? Are they, like DCThriftyMom.com’s readers, busy moms who need a way to transport groceries? Are they college students who could use a great backpack? Business travelers who could benefit from a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag? The most important factor when deciding on promotional bags is determining who will be receiving them.
Define your purpose for handing out bags.
Why are you giving bags in the first place? Are they swag bags on which you want your logo to be bold and noticeable? Are they client gifts where perhaps a more subtle logo is a better choice? Think about your objective when using the bags. Do you want to get your name out to the masses? Provide a luxe gift for loyal customers? Clarifying your purpose is another key element when using bags.
Know what’s going inside the bags.
Custom bags are designed to tote stuff around, and it’s important to consider the size and weight of what may be placed inside. If you’re using custom bags in place of single-use bags at your business, for instance, you’d want to opt for a bag sturdy enough and sized right to carry contents. Here are a couple examples: See how bags were used in a retail setting, and see why tote bags are great for takeout.
The key to using custom bags is selecting the right bag for your audience and purpose. You want recipients to appreciate receiving the bag and actually get to use it. In the case of our client, DCThriftyMom.com, tote bags turned into swag bags fit perfectly with the blog, the event, and the audience.
Want more on how to use bags in a promotion? Check out our Slideshare on what you need to know about custom tote bags.
Let’s hear from you: Have you promoted your business with custom bags? Tell us about the promotion in the comments!
Photo credit: Bright Life Photography