Promotion, Marketing & Advertising


Why Your Brand Needs Face Masks to Stay Relevant

For many people, it’s no longer just the phone-wallet-keys check before walking out the door—face masks are now a part of that lineup too. With COVID-19 cases reaching around 3.9 million worldwide, some states, such as New York and Hawaii, now require essential workers and some citizens to wear face coverings when they’re commuting and visiting essential businesses.

Needless to say, the demand for face masks has skyrocketed and it’s nearly impossible to find them in stores or online. As a result, people are putting their DIY skills to the test and fashioning masks out of anything they can find—and for some, wearing a mask has even become a way to express their personal style.

An Opportunity for Businesses
Lele Sadoughi masks with coordinating headbands
Designer Lele Sadoughi creates masks to coordinate well with her stylish headbands.

The rise in demand for face masks has created a lucrative business opportunity for many companies. Even non-medical companies like Disney and fashion brands such as Lele Sadoughi are rolling out limited-edition face masks. Harper’s Bazaar lists 16 Fashion Brands you can shop (retail) to support independent designers, and Forbes reports on brands that have pivoted to join the #millionmaskchallenge. These masks give their customers an opportunity to express their interests and fashion sense through these essential pieces of personal protective gear.

Since face masks are a part of of what we’ll get to know as our new normal, selling them to your customers is one of the best ways to increase revenue and stay relevant during these volatile times. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of our reusable masks and mask accessories you can customize for your business.

Masks that Make a Statement
Our Colored Canvas Face Masks Shown In Peach, Cornflower and Mint-to-be

This Colored Canvas Face Mask is perfect for fashion and lifestyle brands to customize during the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes in 27 eye-catching colors, which will appeal to consumers looking for a more retro-feel alternative to the generic-looking medical face masks. These masks are made from canvas and only filter large particles, so they’re best for users who only need to wear masks during essential errands and in areas in which they can practice social distancing. You can also imprint these vividly-colored masks with your company’s logo or an uplifting message to make an even stronger brand statement.

Our Full Color Adjustable Face Mask
Our Full Color Adjustable Tripe-Layer Face Mask

Another wonderful option for fashion and lifestyle brands is the Adjustable Triple-Layer Face Mask – the entire surface area of this mask can be customized with full color, so you have the opportunity to get creative with the backdrop of your logo.

For those who have to wear masks for prolonged periods of time, comfort is critical. This mask is has three ear holes which allows this mask to fit nearly all face sizes comfortably. It’s constructed with two layers of polyester and one layer of filtering foam. Another option we’re loving? This full color mask with a step & repeat logo – you can’t go wrong!

Simple Yet Stylish Reusable Masks

If your business targets people who work in more professional environments, such as banks or corporate offices, your customers may be looking for masks that are stylish, but not flashy.

Our 100% Cotton Reusable Face Mask with Adjustable Straps

One of our more traditional-looking masks is the 100% Cotton Reusable Face Mask w/Adjustable Straps. These masks are washable, come in black and grey, and have toggle to adjust the ear loops for comfort and fit.

Another classic option is this USA made 100% cotton mask, which comes in black, navy and red. It’s sold in packages of 25 and can be purchased with or without a logo.

There are so many reusable mask options, some more fashion-forward than others. Still not sure what’s right for your brand? See the full-line here.

Mask Accessories
Our Ear Saver Mask Holder

If you wear a face mask on a daily basis, you know the straps can tug on your ears and make your head hurt after a while. Luckily, there are mask-wearing accessories popping up left and right that are designed to increase comfortability.

This Ear Saver Face Mask Holder will take the weight off the wearer’s ears, and instead distribute it across a small plastic piece that sits on the back of the head. This piece can be customized with your company’s logo and is a great little treasure to send out to your employees and clients.

Mask Buddy Pro Headband with buttons
Our Mask Buddy Pro Headband with Buttons

Another useful option great for both men and women are these Mask Buddy Pro Non-Slip Headbands with buttons. Also made in the USA, the entire headband can be imprinted so branding can be as busy or as understand as you’d like. Too thin for your taste? Here’s a thicker headband option that’s available as well.

Looking to add disposable masks to the mix as well? It’s always a good idea to have them on-hand and they pair well with these accessories.

When your logo is front and center, make sure it's on brand.

All in all, the important thing to remember is that when your logo is front and center, make sure it’s on brand. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can walk you through the many options you have for healthcare and branding.


5 Tips to Connect Coworking Employees to Your Brand

Your standard office job: high-level execs behind closed doors and lower-level employees grouped by department in cubicles, separated by partitions. Except… not anymore! More and more companies are adopting non-traditional work spaces. This includes everything from changing up the flow within the office itself to remote employees and coworking spaces.coworking space

What are Coworking Spaces?

Coworking spaces in particular are on the rise, and with so many benefits to both employees and employers, it’s no wonder.

For those not familiar, a coworking space is an office building that shares work space between multiple companies. Business owners have the option to rent the space based on their needs with short-term or even monthly lease options. This allows companies to have a base for their remote employees where they can collaborate (both personally and on behalf of their company) without a long-term commitment. This type of environment also appeals to freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs who want an affordable alternative to a traditional office space.

Coworking spaces, such as WeWork and Buro come fully furnished and often stocked with a variety of office-type amenities such as high-speed internet, dedicated mailboxes and storage, private meeting rooms, printing and copying capabilities, kitchens, coffee and cleaning services as well as perks such as snacks (and sometimes beer), networking opportunities and social spaces. Companies can choose shared or dedicated work space within an array of private offices and desk-type of layouts.

Many companies are turning to coworking spaces to allow them to decrease office-space spending and overhead while increasing their talent pool. With remote employees, businesses are not limited by location, so you can see why this option is on the rise. According to CBRE, “The Fortune 500 is engaged and intrigued.” You can expect to see a lot more of this strategy popping up in all types of different businesses’ portfolios.

Challenges of Coworking Spaces

This all sounds pretty exciting for the creative team as well as the head of the company. But while coworking spaces do have undeniable advantages, they also come with a few drawbacks.

Non-traditional work spaces such as a coworking environment are not for everyone. Some employees have a hard time focusing with the open office floor plan. Because spontaneous collaboration is encouraged in these spaces, the noise from different groups of conversations can be overwhelming to some. There is also a lack of privacy unless individuals are in a private office. And because coworking spaces come fully furnished, there is little wiggle room to customize the space to your particular style and comfort.

However, the biggest challenge for both the employees as well as the employer can be staying connected to the company and the brand. Due to the nature of the environment and the physical disconnect to the rest of the company, it can be difficult to keep coworking employees in the loop and make them feel they are part of the team. Fortunately there are many things you can do as the business owner to meet these challenges head on.

5 Solutions to the Challenge of Disconnect in Coworking Spaces

If you think a bit outside the box, you can find many solutions to help make your coworking employees feel part of the team. Keep them connected to your company and your brand with these five tips:

1) Engage Strong Telecommunication

Keep your remote employees in coworking spaces connected by keeping them in the loop.Share data and progress often. Include them on office emails. Have them participate in video conferences and your content management system. Having these tools at your disposal will make it seem as if they are just a few feet away from the rest of their co-workers, even if they’re on the other side of the country.

2) Promote Community

A sense of community is a very strong draw for many people. When employees are isolated, they may not care as much about the work being done, but if they feel as if they’re part of the work community, it becomes personal. Include your coworking crew in company-wide gatherings, events and retreats. Not only will this help foster positive collaboration amongst your coworking team, but also connect them to the rest of the company.

3) Be Present

Communicating often through email and video conferencing is a great way to show your presence and availability to your coworking employees, but being physically present really helps them sense they are part of the bigger picture. In addition to your weekly meetings and daily check-ins, be sure to make an appearance at the coworking space a few times throughout the year. This will not only help them be connected to your company and brand, but also help you understand where they’re coming from in their work by experiencing the environment first-hand.

4) Recognize & Share Accomplishments

It’s easy to feel disconnected when the rest of the company can’t share in your victories. Make your coworking team feel enjoy being part of THE team by recognizing and sharing their accomplishments with others in the company. Not only will this boost morale for your coworking team, it will also help foster team spirit and collaboration between them and the in-office team.

5) Nurture Brand Awareness

Our Elevate Crane Half Zip Jacket

Promotional products are more than just free stuff people love; they help your company nurture your  brand’s presence in and out of the office. For remote and coworking employees, this is crucial. Your employees are going to need office supplies such as notebooks, pens, markers, desk caddies, etc. You might as well take advantage of the opportunity to nurture brand awareness and be connected at the same time by providing them with these branded materials. It’s simple, easy, and effective. And if you really want to go the extra mile, provide high-end items that will come in handy for their unique coworking environment such as branded apparel, blankets, water bottles and even noise-canceling headphones.

Get in touch for more ideas on how to make your coworking team utilize your brand’s connection!


Under $1 – Big Impact at Low Cost

While it may feel like you can’t get much for $1, reality says otherwise. Because, since day one, we’ve been focused on creating amazing custom promotional items for a fraction of the cost.

These are the must-haves that will help your business gain serious name recognition – and drive serious customer engagement at every meeting, every trade show and every get-together.

These are the products your clients, customers, vendors and employees will use daily – and, each time, be reminded of you and your brand messaging.

And these are the modern promotional classics your contacts will start to associate with you – premiums they’ll not just want and expect when you pop by, but that they’ll share with their peers, colleagues and friends…and maybe even on social media.

Best of all, many of them clock in at well under $1 each. That means you can make a serious impact with your customers without a serious impact to your budget. It’s the ultimate win/win, and it all starts with these high-impact, low-cost premiums.

#1. Colored Sunglasses, $0.76

These super-cool sunglasses hit on two powerhouse trends: they’re sleek, chic and 100% go-anywhere, do-anything shades and they’re made from recycled materials. Bonus.

Beyond the trend-worthiness, these sunglasses also offer UV400 lenses for UVA and UVB protection. Brand the wide temple band and you’ll be front-and-center every time someone slides them on – which, judging from the feedback on these, will be constantly. Choose from 11 colors or mix-and-match so people can pick their fave and you’re ready for any outdoor event – or, simply, to have a perfect premium for the sunnier months.

#2. Water-Resistant Tote, $0.99

The BYOB (bring your own bag) trend is growing by the second. In 2017, for example, just 5% of people brought their own bags to the grocery store. One year later, that number had climbed to 26% and it’s continuing to rise. And this portable, durable, water-resistant tote is perfect for your clients, customers and vendors who want to hop on the sustainability train.

That isn’t the only use for bags like this sub-$1 tote. We love it for the beach, the park, the playground, even the gym. With a flat bottom, it’s easier to fill and tote, and the 13” handle makes it comfortable to carry.

#3. Beach Ball, $0.82

There’s literally nothing that says “Summer” more than these classic beach balls. Made from durable vinyl designed to withstand the sun and sand, these 16” inflatable beach balls include a large printing area for you to tout your message and, even, key info such as your URL and hashtag. Best of all, these are super portable – while they inflate to be the perfect beach or pool go-to, they come deflated so they’re easy to toss in your tote and go.

#4. Color-Changing Cup, $0.91

Not only is this color-changing cup perfect for your next event or summertime get-together, but it’s the perfect promotional premium for customers and clients whether they’re bellied up to the bar with you or not. With a solid 22-ounce capacity, people will love these hold-everything cups – and, as soon as cold liquid hits them, they turn color, no doubt turning heads and driving even more attention to your business.


#5. Luggage Tag with ID Tag, $0.55

Already a Best Value product, these branded luggage tags are perfect, especially as your clients and customers head into the warm weather months – warm weather that’s synonymous with vacations, weekend getaways and other pack-it-up experiences. Now their luggage will never get lost in the shuffle and, with every adventure, your brand will stay top-of-mind.

Pick from eight colors or offer a few so clients can easily differentiate their luggage on those never-ending airport turnstiles…

#6. Webcam Cover, $0.43

When the FBI says it’s time to cover your webcam for “security reasons,”you listen – and, now, millions of Americans are getting in on this added privacy trend. Mark Zuckerberg covers his webcam. So does James Comey. And, with these branded webcam covers, your staff, clients, customers and partners will, too.

Not only do these slick-on covers offer a little pop of color (choose from 10 fun hues) but they’re super-functional. When you aren’t using your webcam, slide the cover across the camera. When it’s time to hop on a video call or take a quick pic, slide it open and your webcam is good to go. It’s privacy plus total usability – not to mention the fact that recipients will be looking right at your brand message every time they hop on their computer.

Get in touch to get your summer premiums in motion – for less than $1 per piece!

Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture and what else we have to offer? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest!


12 Expert Strategies to Market Your Local Business

With the rise of e-commerce and the increased influence of global brands, many local businesses find it challenging to connect with customers even in their own backyard. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Data from Google shows that over 4 out of 5 consumers regularly search online for local services or products, while many customers are happy to pay higher prices to support small business. 

It may be tough to compete with international advertising campaigns, but there are still plenty of marketing strategies that organizations tend to overlook. ePromos reached out to expert marketers and small biz owners alike to get their thoughts and efficient tips that will help level the playing field when it comes to advertising a local business.

1. Yelp Marketing

Rodney YoLocal marketing is pretty much our entire marketing strategy since we cater only to Californians, so we heavily rely on ranking higher for local users. One strategy that has worked well for us is Yelp advertising. The key to succeeding on Yelp is having a complete profile, actively responding to reviews and doing your best to make sure customers are giving you five stars. Once you have that, you’ll start to rank higher organically, and you can pay for Yelp ads in your area. It’s hard to tell the difference between a Yelp ad and a listing which can work to your advantage.

Rodney Yo, Owner – Best Online Traffic School

2. Create a Solid Digital Foundation

Martin Watts


Whether you own a physical ‘brick and mortar’ store or are 100% online, there is no point spending precious marketing dollars driving potential customers to a website and digital presence that won’t convert them to a sale.

So, what makes a solid foundation for a local business? Here are my 5 steps.

1. A great website that loads quickly, has a valid SSL certificate and is optimized for mobile. Hire a professional or build your own via some of the major online website builders that take the hassle out of hosting for you.
2. Reviews, reviews and more reviews. To boost your business listing in local searches it’s about quantity. Encourage past and present clients to review your Google My Business listing.
3. A Facebook page that is set up as a ‘local business’. This allows people to tag your business page in the many local Facebook Groups when people are asking for recommendations on a daily basis.
4. Google Search Console & Analytics. Register your site on Google search console and link it up to Google Analytics so that you can fix errors and optimize your website content.

If you do these things, you’ll be setting yourself up for local marketing success and will be way ahead of your competition.

Martin Watts, CEO – 8Cats Automotive

3. Find Local Keywords for SEO

Although SEO is often seen by local business owners as difficult or a waste of time, I’ve found it to be a valuable source of leads (both international and local).

For local businesses, I recommend using a local keyword tool like KWFinder to help you choose keywords that your site can potentially rank for. Then, build a few quality links to your site by listing your business on local directories and guest blogging for local and/or relevant websites. In my industry, it didn’t take a ton of backlinks or content to start seeing results.

Chloe BrittainDon’t focus too much on search volume metrics when your website is still relatively new: You can generate a small but steady stream of leads early on in your campaign if you focus on quality over quantity and target a handful of low-competition keywords, even if the search volume is quite low (even 10 searches per month or less).

Chloe Brittain, Owner – Opal Transcription Services

4. Use Instagram’s Local Features

Use Instagram to do a location-based search on your business. So many brick-and-mortars have been surprised to know that customers – without any prodding from the business – are sharing updates and tagging their location in them. Spencer X SmithBy searching for those tagging your location and simply thanking them, you can show both your customers and potential customers that you’re listening and engaging. For those who respond positively, offer them something to come back so they have more to share on social media.

Spencer X Smith, Founder – AmpliPhi


5. Get Involved

Storytelling is more important than ever, as are visuals if you’re using platforms like Instagram. My area of expertise is branding and publicity for authors, professionals and small businesses. I advise clients to find a local nonprofit that’s aligned with their business objectives – or something they’re passionate about – and to get involved. Learning how to fundraise for a nonprofit, and working with others, is a great way to meet people and get exposure for your business. Taking photos or videos at nonprofit events where you’re a participant is free shareable social media content.

Tina KoenigHere are a couple of examples: a moving company helped a local library foundation on the day of its signature event by moving hundreds of silent auction items and decorations to the event venue. Also, an author who wrote a memoir about growing up poor in Guyana organized an international mission trip to provide dental assistance to residents of the town where he grew up. He applied for grants to cover the cost of the trip and a local dental team donated their time and supplies.

Tina Koenig, Literary Consultant & Publicist –

6. Invest in Your Reputation

When homeowners in your area are looking for a business nearby, they’re looking for signals that they can trust you. Testimonials from happy customers can go a long way in making people feel comfortable with your company. Online reviews mean a lot. Laura SimisLocal Services by Google (which are ads that now show above regular PPC listings for searches for local services) don’t link users to your website at all – they show your name, phone number, and your star rating on your Google Business page – so it’s important to make sure you’re passing the right message along to potential customers.

Laura Simis, Branding & Communications Manager – Coalmarch


7. Be Thorough with Google My Business

Local marketing is all about being found when a potential customer needs your product or services. To that end, it’s imperative that companies establish and verify their Google My Business listing. This listing is responsible for the business showing up on Google Maps as well as in the local pack of a Google search (the top three listings under the map at the top of the search results).

When filling out the information on GMB it’s important to be as thorough as possible. Companies need to make sure they select the right categories of business that are in. For instance, our company is in the in self-storage industry. Derek HinesSo, we choose not only “Self-Storage Facility”, but “Storage Facility”, “Moving Supply Store”, “Truck Rental Agency”, and “Packaging Supply Store.” We also put in a description of the business that is keyword optimized for the terms that people are searching for. Lastly, make sure that you verify the business with Google. When you request verification, Google will send the business a postcard with a code on it that must be entered on the GMB page. This signals to Google that the business is legitimate and operational.

Derek Hines, Internet Marketing Specialist – West Coast Self Storage

8. Join Local Organizations

Julia MonahanWhile a Google My Business listing is important, a new business really gets the most value in getting their name in front of the local audiences. Joining the local neighborhood organization will tap you into what the market is looking for and how you can get involved. Through the organization, you can run promotions, be part of their newsletter, get support hosting events, etc. This is really a win-win for everyone involved; more activity makes the community stronger and each activity gets your businesses name out there and raises awareness.

Julie Monahan, Director of Marketing – The Alternative Board

9. Explore Paid Advertising Options

The best way to market a local business is to do so online. With an estimated 46% of all searches having local intent, putting your business in front of users is essential to driving both traffic to your website and revenue for your business.

Audrey Strasenburgh

So how do you market a small business online? When asked this question, I always recommend paid advertising. Starting a paid advertising campaign can help give your website the added online visibility it needs if your organic search traffic is less than stellar. There are dozens of different paid advertising options you can choose from, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and even ads on local online directory websites such as Yelp. Paid advertising is a great option because your ad is placed in a strategic location – often above your competitors – on the page. Even if you don’t get clicks, your brand name is front and center and visible to those conducting a local search online.

Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO Strategist – LogoMix

10. Use Word-of-Mouth

I always advise my clientele to market their services exactly the way their huge competitors don’t – locally. They have a knowledge of their geographic prospect marketplace that corporate marketers don’t, so use this vital knowledge to connect with people as if they were actual people – as if the business and the individual prospect could meet face to face one day – because they probably will. Stay in touch with their prospects and give your customers the first opportunity to access special sales, pricing and offers that other prospects won’t get.Steve James

Get your customers to speak to your specific market place as an evangelist for you; these word-of-mouth recommendations are always the gold at the end of the marketing rainbow that you need. You don’t know who they know, but these second-level contacts will like you because their friends do.

Steve James, Freelance Marketing Consultant – SmallBizBigBiz


11. Create Seasonal Stories 

One thing that excites local media is to receive fresh story ideas for seasonal topics like summer vacation, back-to-school, spring break, etc. If a small retailer offers a product or service with a connection to a seasonal topic, then a pitch to local news outlets could net a high-profile placement. For instance, in the run-up to peak summer travel season, a local spa or salon that offers skin products could pitch its sun protection and hydration products to educate consumers about the need to keep skin protected from damaging ultraviolet rays with the most appropriate level of SPF.

Julia Angelen Joy, Account Director – Swyft

12. Local Advertising Affordably

Jeff MoriartyWe own a small brick and mortar jewelry store, as well as an online website. One area where we have excelled is through social media. We do Facebook and Instagram advertising for our local store and promote it through geotargeted ads. These ads normally have a special offer, along with pictures of our store and a button for directions. We only advertise 10 miles around our store, which helps with costs and it ensures us that we are going after the right potential customers. This has brought us in 100’s of more followers and dozens of new customers each month to our store. This is something we will continue to do, and we would recommend other small business owners to the same!

Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager – Moriarty’s Gem Art

We hope these 12 tips help offer guidance when promoting a local business. It’s important to take full advantage of modern digital marketing strategies, as well as not to forget to be active in the community where your business resides.

For organizations interested in using promotional products to grow their local brand, contact ePromos to speak to one of our brand professionals today.


When Buying Brand Names Brings the Biggest Benefit

What’s in a name? To some customers – everything. A name-brand promotional product can sometimes be the difference between an item that is tossed and an item that is kept, wariness and trust in your company, potential and acquisition. Sometimes it can be what makes or breaks your promotion… and sometimes the brand alternative can accomplish the same goal.

So how do you know which time it is? How do you choose? When does buying name brands matter?

The Value of Name-Brand Promotional Products

Let’s first explore the value of name-brand promotional products. There is no denying people love what they know. The end-game for most companies is to become a household name themselves, so it makes sense to align your brand with a well-known brand. But going beyond that concept, what makes a well-known brand so desirable?

building trust

For some it may be status. For some, quality. People trust brands they’ve had multiple good experiences with, brands that work to make the world a better place, and brands that demonstrate superior customer service.

Often brand-name items are rivaled by brand alternatives that are competitive in both form and function. In these cases, the only major differences are the price points and the perceived value.

Brand-name items tend to have a higher perceived value. Their prices are often higher. They experience discounts and sales less frequently. Their logos are recognizable… coveted even. This value is not just for the customer, but also for you as the advertiser. Name-brand promos can be great conversation pieces, which will lead to even more exposure for your own brand.

Retail and Promo Worlds Collide

The world of promotional products has come a long way in recent years. In our industry there will always be a place for affordable knock-offs and “tchotchkes,” but retail-inspired offerings are on the rise.

People tend to gravitate toward retail-level quality, and now thanks to the availability of top consumer brands, we finally have the power to deliver the latest trends and give your customers what they truly want.

With big box stores such as Toys “R” Us, Brookstone and Sears closing their doors, it’s clear that retail as a whole is evolving. Brands are looking for new ways to market themselves, and the promo industry is the way to go. The brands we all love are learning that we can work together to further success. This natural alliance between promotional products and name-brands allows those brands to live on and extend their reach while allowing us to offer recognizable retail-inspired items your customers will want to keep.

How to Choose Between Brand-Name and Brand-Alternative Promos

To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. Here are some guidelines to help you with that decision:

Set Goals: Before shopping for any promotional products or creating a marketing plan, you have to set goals. Is your goal to reach as many people as possible? How are you defining that reach? Sometimes less is more. Look to your own budget to determine if you can realistically afford to reach your marketing goals with a name-brand promotional item. If you can accomplish the same reach with a high-quality, lower-cost brand alternative, it may be worth your while.

Consider Cost: There are clear benefits to buying brand-names, but the biggest deterrent is almost always cost. Typically speaking, brand-name promotional products incur higher prices than brand-alternative products. Is it because the quality of the product is actually greater? Sometimes. But more often than not, it is simply due to the fact that it is a well-known brand and therefore has a higher perceived value.

Know Your Industry & Audience: Where and to whom you distribute your promos is a huge factor in deciding the type of promo that is most appropriate. If you intend to hand out items at a trade show or as a gift with purchase, you will get a bigger bang for your buck by shopping brand alternatives. If you intend your branded items as reward incentives, name-brands offer much more value. Even among the name-brand items, it’s important to look at demographics like age; younger audiences will value different brands than older audiences especially when it comes to apparel. It’s also important to know the expectations of customers within your industry. For example, clients of businesses like law firms and banks may be more brand-conscious than other industries. Know where you come from, and know where you’re going.

Understand Limitations: Some name-brand promotional products are limited in what they can offer in terms of imprinting. These brands may be new to the industry or simply don’t want to distract from their own logos. Whatever the case may be, you can often find more opportunity for multiple or larger imprint areas in brand-alternative products. It’s important to weigh your options and decide if the name or if the imprint will further your success based on the other factors above.

brand name versus brand alternative

It’s not always an easy or clear-cut decision to buy brand-name or brand-alternative promotional products, but we are here to help you make the right choice for your particular needs. Let us share some of our insight into the worlds of retail and promo with side-by-side comparisons and our vast knowledge of the pros and cons of each. Get in touch today!


Fresh Ideas to Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Most marketing experts agree that if you aren’t engaging customers through a strong mobile marketing strategy, you’re falling behind the times. It’s estimated that about 36% of the world’s population uses a smartphone, and a whopping 77% of Americans use one. In countries like Mexico, India, and Indonesia, smartphone ownership outweighs desktop ownership by as much as four times. What’s all this mean? If you want to reach an audience on a broad scale, you must meet them where they are, and based on the above stats, it couldn’t be clearer—they’re on their smartphones.

Mobile MarketingMobile marketing is exactly what it sounds like—marketing to potential customers through mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Ads reach customers on these devices through websites, email, social media, apps, and push notifications. If this is unfamiliar territory to you, perhaps you’re wondering what the big stink is—why does it need to be mobile specific if you’re already targeting customers online, for instance? It all comes down to optimization. Optimizing your ads for mobile devices means, in simple terms, that they’ll work better on a smartphone or tablet, helping to ensure maximum engagement.

Like we said, if you aren’t already running a mobile marketing strategy, you’re lagging. Keep reading for our top 5 tips to get you started:

Mobile Marketing Tips and Fresh Ideas for Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

1: Create a Site that’s both Mobile Friendly and Mobile Optimized

Having a mobile friendly site means that your website is displayed correctly (and is fully functional) on a mobile device. Ensuring that your website is mobile friendly is considered a best practice by search engines. In today’s mobile-expanding world, it’d be foolish not to do it. For more information on mobile friendliness, Check out these tips.

Yes, there’s a difference between being mobile friendly and mobile optimized. While being mobile friendly is considered essential nowadays, it’s also pretty much the bare minimum one should do. Creating an optimized site is the next step up—but what’s the difference? Being optimized means your site goes under (varying degrees of) redesign to best fit a mobile application—this is more sophisticated than simply shrinking down your current website to be mobile friendly. Some of the key differences include navigation that is “finger friendly” and downsizing graphics so they don’t end up taking up the whole screen.

2: Create a Responsive Design

A third option for ensuring your site will display and function correctly on a mobile device is to have it be created with “responsive design site”. It might sound complicated, but the heart of this type of design simply means that the website will reformat/design itself based on the screen size of the device being used. It’s extremely flexible, smart, and covers all the bases—you have a single website that’s smart enough to adapt based on users’ devices.

3: Track Mobile Website Data and Mobile Campaigns

Getting your site mobile-ready is no small feat. If you don’t have an in-house team of software engineers busy working on it, you’ve likely teamed up with a vendor to do the heavy lifting (and we can bet it’s not been cheap). With all that effort to arrive on mobile platforms, surely, you’ll want to monitor how your website/campaigns are faring. Further, you will likely want to make changes/updates to the site based on the data you’re getting back, which can include demographics, volume, and buying patterns.

4: Monitor Site Speed and Compress Images

“A picture is worth a thousand words” which is why they’re a key ingredient in creating smart, visually stimulating and engaging websites. That said, all those graphics can seriously drag down speed, ruining a customer experience. For example, perhaps they popped on your site for an impulse purchase, but the images are taking forever to download. What happens next? The customer likely backs out of your site and moves on. Maybe not a huge deal for him or her, but you’ve just lost a sale (or worse, a potential customer). Therefore it’s essential for you to monitor your site speed and make sure things run smoothly on the customer’s end.
For a more exhaustive explanation, check out this article, which includes suggestions for ways to speed up image-heavy sites.

5: Promote Your Social Presence with Examples of User-Generated Content

Our PopSockets Diamond Aluminum PopSockets Custom Cell Phone Stand & GripUser-generated content has long been deemed more influential than brand content. Plus, you can usually nab it for free simply by asking customers for reviews or running a social media campaign (hashtag in hand). For example, try bridging your website with your Instagram account. It’s a great way to pull in real-life examples that makes your site/product/content more trustworthy.
If you really want to engage customers, create incentives for them to write reviews, enter your Instagram campaign, etc. This could be a point system that equates to gift cards for merchandise or freebies, or a prize awarded at the end of a big online campaign. Freebies could include useful cell phone accessories, Bluetooth headphones and popsockets.

6: Brainstorm Interesting and Engaging Ways to Use Push Notifications

In theory, Push notifications are fantastic. They jump front and center to catch a customer’s attention by essentially interrupting their viewing. The downside? That can be both intrusive and annoying! If you’re going to interrupt your customer’s experience, this article advises that it should be timely, personal, and actionable. For instance, if a customer is looking at an item to buy, now is a perfect time to have a notification pop up that offers 15% off a purchase in exchange for signing up for your email list. If a discount doesn’t quite fit the bill, consider something a customer might find interesting or funny, but make sure it relates to your brand.

7: Be Micro-Moment ready

The expanse of the world wide web can be quickly overwhelming to customers, which is why many brands are turning to “micro moments”. These are bite-sized pieces of information created to specifically and quickly answer what the customer seeks. Again, lots of mobile surfing/purchasing is impulse-based. If you don’t show up in that single moment, you risk losing the customer. In order to do this, you need to anticipate what your customer is going to need, and have it ready in a quick, easy package for when they come asking. This article explains micro-moments in more detail and why you need to pay attention to these opportunities.

8: Get Creative with Email

Most people check emails on their phones. If you’re going to utilize an email list, make sure you churn something out that’s worth reading. Offer a coupon, special VIP code, or other tempting discount to encourage customers to jump over to your site (via link in said-email) to take advantage of the savings. Or, send out a monthly newsletter that appeals to your customer base with helpful or interesting information. For example, if you’re a swimwear company, instead of just showing your product month after month, write up a short piece on a hidden Costa Rican beach gem, a sustainability effort being done in the tropics, or a humanitarian campaign to clean up remaining hurricane disasters in the Caribbean. If you can pique customers’ interests on multiple levels, you may not only gain a sale, but the blessed forward to a friend – your future customer.

And there you have it, our best tips and ideas for getting started on your mobile marketing strategy. While it’s certainly a big task, we hope that we’ve helped communicate the importance—and benefits—you stand to win by fully utilizing mobile. Smartphones are like a third arm these days; make sure to offer something worth holding on to.

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