Category Archives: Marketing

Sip Up The Profit With Promotional Straw Cups

While your customers and their affiliates sip a cool refreshing drink, why not sip and savor the profit of their cool summer branding items.  A great summer promotional product is a promotional cup and straw, some common ones are called tumbler.  To find products like this, simply search for the word straws.  Try marketing these cups to many of your customers because summer = more time outside, and with that time we see exposure from drinkware that keeps people cool.

For some information on tumbler products, check this blog out: http://blog.epromos.com/hot-products/three-personalized-straw-cups-for-summer

Branding With Promotional Products: What Makes A Good Brand?

Branding with Logos and Slogans are vital to many businesses, if not all.  As promotional products distributors you deal with brands or even help some customers come up with brands.  What makes a good brand?  Here are some tips on good branding.

  1. Relevance.  If a brand isn’t displaying some aspect of the business, it’s difficult for people to associate it to what you do.
  2. Versatile.  The logo needs to be able to be printed on products to display the company to potential customers.  Here it’s also worth a mention that simple logos will make printing products much easier and cost effective.  Think simple.
  3. Iconic.  The idea that a logo can be powerful and simple at the same time.  Some examples of those would be: Windows, Apple, Nike, etc.  The logos will be around for a very long time and are quite simple.

You can learn more and view a diagram Here.  Want to know some secrets to successful branding?  Check this out!

What brands/logos do you like and what makes them good?

Sales Tips For Making Sales And Overcoming Rejection

Cindy, CEO of BalanceGal LLC, wrote a column that appeared in www.kansascity.com.  The full article can be found Here.  It is a good read with some ideas that may help you make that sale.  Check out a couple highlights:

But most importantly, she assumes she made the sale and doesn’t give them an opportunity to answer no. “I ask, ‘Do you want to start tomorrow or Wednesday?’ ” 

Some entrepreneurs are finding that closing a deal virtually can be just as tricky. There are still plenty of people browsing online at e-commerce sites, but not all become buyers…

TIPS FOR MAKING THE SALE:
-Target the customer who typically finds value in your product or services. By approaching the right customer, it takes away some of the fear of rejection.
-Tap into an emotion. What are you selling that will help ease someone’s pain?
-Listen, watch, then ask questions. What a potential customer says or where he looks gives you signals for how to create a win-win.
-Remove any impediments. If it takes a manager to sign off on a deal, make sure the manager is present.
-End with a question. Something like when would you like to start? Avoid a question that can be answered with a no.
-Know when to walk away. Sometimes, the key to closing a deal is to pitch and then stay quiet or walk away completely and move on.

Social Networking – Youtube!

Have you ever considered using Youtube to grow your business?  If you’ve never considered it try this Link.  It details these points to show how viable videos can be for a business:

  • Why you should consider using video for your business
  • How you can use video to create a competitive advantage
  • Advice on how you can create quality video on a small budget
  • How to use videos at an event
  • Tips on how to take your video to the next level
  • How to upgrade your equipment
  • A key way to get more video views
  • How to integrate video into your social media strategy
To get started, you’ll need to set up a youtube channel for your business.  Here is a great pdf that details creating a youtube channel.  Click Here to find out more.  Some topics you may use for your videos are fun promotional products or helpful tips on how to approach using promotional products.
In DistributorCentral you can add these videos to your website by following these instructions.  We suggest no more than one video on the homepage.  Other videos can be added on a custom page titled videos or the like.  If you have  other social networking, link Youtube to those as well for more exposure.  While doing so remember these points from the Social Media Examiner:
  • Be consistent: The “one-and-done” approach does not work on YouTube. If you want the views and the traffic, you need to be posting and updating your content consistently for best results. Upload new videos and share with your list and sphere of influence as frequently as possible.
  • Provide value: If your video fails to provide any real value to the end user, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t get any real views. Each video needs to deliver your best content, your best-kept secrets and your most effective strategies. How can you raise the bar and provide more value in your videos?
  • Be remarkable: Today, it’s not enough to be posting weekly videos with your tips and content. Using your creative “right-brain marketing approach,” you need toconvey your content in an engaging and entertaining format that separates you from the rest. In short, your videos need to be remarkable. The biggest sin in marketing is to be boring. How can your videos be the opposite of boring?

For an in depth approach to generating subscribers for Youtube, Click Here.

Niche Website Suggestions

Niche websites, or websites for specific groups, have become more and more common.  Why is this?  A few of the reasons are: more SEO from specialized products, additional brand labeling, and products up front for the consumer that is looking for those specific products.  Here are a few ideas of what kind of Niche website you can start in DistributorCentral.

  • Green Website – This is the ever popular and growing “Green” product market.  Many companies are giving away green promotional products in an effort to reach their community.  It both displays their message and gives back to the Earth.
  • Drinkware Website – Cups are a great way to keep a logo in a household or business.  They are useful and are able to be customized quite well.  If your customers are looking for Promo Cups, you can direct them to this specific site or even work on some SEO optimization to help find people looking online for promotional cups.
  • Magnets – Magnets are great because they can compliment most businesses.  You can even make a more specified niche market within magnets.  For example, you can specify school magnets and do something along the lines of “Totally Cool magnets for School.”  Magnets come in many shapes and forms.  I think my favorite was one of the periodic table that could be separated and scrambled.
  • Apparel – This one may need to have a more specific site to it, like T-Shirts or Work apparel, since it has quite a few different products for the category.  If you find yourself not hearing much on the most of your apparel in a niche site, maybe it’s worth looking at how broad you have your apparel.

For additional suggestions, look at what your customers want and start from there or do some product searches.  DistributorCentral lets you create these niche sites and company store sites for the promotional products industry.  Click Here for more information about those sites.

How to Brand and Manage Multiple Services and Websites

For many businesses, promotional products are an extension of what the primary service(s) may be, which more and more companies are venturing out into the promotional product world. Current Distributors are also aggressively extending their promotional product business out as well, such as providing graphic design services.

Many companies try to list all their services on just one site, which is fine, but it’s very hard to organically get those sites indexed high in the search engine results. However, if you just plan on using Adwords and pay for your ranking based on keywords, then one master site is ideal.

There is another strategy that works really well, which is creating multiple websites based on each service you offer. It starts with a base of your official company and primary service(s), which you can promote on a main website. It then stems up and branches to the other divisions and websites that promote extended services that you may offer, a few being; promotional products, graphic and logo design, screen printing and embroidery, forms, signage, etc. (see image below – click to expand).

The idea of this game is trying to find a variety of sources for your business to bring in more customers. You can have core services, but also try to have unique services as well, which can help drive traffic to your websites. Even with your core services, try to find a way to distinguish your company from competitors.

For example: One of your core services is screen printing. There are thousands of screen printers out there, and your site might not show up high general screen printing search engine results. However, you brand yourself as “The Leading Custom Hoodie Screen Printing Service”. Your site then has a greater probability of showing up higher in search engine results when people search for custom screen printed hoodies.

This same concept applies when creating target or niche websites.

For example: There are thousands of websites for Custom Signs. There are fewer websites for Custom Yard Signs. There are even fewer Custom Eco Friendly Yard Sign websites (see image above).

Branding is important for a company, especially if you’re are a conglomerate that mixes promotional products with other services. When it comes to branding your company online, it’s a good idea to link all your services. On the example referenced in the image above, each extended service references the main company, A division of Oober Marketing, Inc. Furthermore, the logos have a similar look and feel as well (separate websites can do this too). This will help your customer base easily recognize who they are doing business with.

Do you have ideas on extending your services? DistributorCentral gives you the tools to easily accomplish this!

Create multiple websites and with specific product lines
Create your own products, market them on e-commerce capable websites
Free domain hosting, social networking tools and more, and you can easily setup sub-domains as well

What more do you need? Get started today!

Check Out These 5 Memorial Day 2012 Promotional Products!

Are you ready for Memorial Day 2012?  Memorial Day is a great time for promotional products, especially products that show national pride.  Maybe you have already started marketing and selling Memorial Day products or maybe you are still looking for some great ideas.  Either way, DistributorCentral is here to provide you with 5 promotional products geared towards Memorial Day to help you sell great products to your customers.  These products can be found available to distributors at www.DistributorCentral.com or on supplier websites:

1.) Stars & Stripes Beach Ball.  This product is great for nice weather that will be starting to roll in.  What’s better than a Memorial Day barbeque?  One that has lots of fun, and can even have your customers logo imprinted on it.  A beach ball can really bring a lot of fun and company face time to a cool barbeque.

2.) USA American Flag.  These can be great and inexpensive giveaways or maybe you know of a parade that your customer is in.  These flags can have an imprint on the handle to get your customer’s name out there!

3.) Patriotic wall calendar.  These are great for both Memorial Day and Independence Day by providing a year round patriotic display.  This is great for customers that deal with the military or veterans.  It’s both useful and stays on the wall year round.

4.) USA Flag Pen.  If pens are what your customer utilizes for a lot of promotions, offer up the USA flag pens.  There is a range of different pens that could promote your customer in a very patriotic and useful way.

5.) Chocolate Stars and Stripes.  A gift that many will appreciate, and with a touch of patriotic taste. These are a shoe in to get people to look at the wrapper as they go for the chocolate bellow.

If you are not already a member of DistributorCentral, Join Us Today!

Social Networking – Twitter!

Twitter is a large social network that has about 140 million users in March of 2012 with their sixth anniversary, brought to you by the twitter blog.  What exactly is twitter?  Twitter is a social tool to help connect and inform groups of people with Tweets, or short messages.  Click Here for a more comprehensive explanation of twitter and it’s origins.

How can Twitter help you?  Most sources of social media information, like B2C, note that a twitter tweet for a discount or special is okay to do and encouraged.  It functions as a sales information tool that doesn’t push your potential customers away from your tweets.  Most normal sale tips do not apply to twitter, since you do have to get a following of interested people.  This boils down to treating twitter like one big conversation between people where you just happen to give your friends a discount for your services.

Like most things, Twitter does take some effort and a good strategy of attack to generate some ROI.  Here is a list of seven strategies for reaching out to  people using Twitter.  A full explanation can be found here.

  1. Look for people you already know
  2. Twijazzle your blog (Making tweets part of your blog)
  3. Pay your followers (This is more directed towards incentives to follow you)
  4. Join a conversation
  5. Integrate your social networks (Twitter and Facebook!)
  6. Put your Twitter name in your signatures
  7. Run a contest

After looking at some possible strategies, it’s worthwhile to consider what Twitter offers.  Twitter is similar to the “Wall” function on Facebook.  The limitation of twitter is 140 Characters.  This means your message is short and to the point, much like most text messages.   Unlike text messages, which could be sent out at any time, it is highly suggested to time your Tweets.  This concept can be found on most blog entries about Twitter for businesses, much like Smallbusinessme.com.  Here is a list of the top 5 tools to better manage the time that you Tweet, Click Here.

Lastly, it appears that Twitter Advertising is opening the ground for advertising and promoting Tweets.  Here is a blog entry from @TwitterAds that covers advertising for small businesses using American Express.  This is in the trial stages, but if you have an American Express for business you may be getting a notification about advertising and promoting Tweets on Twitter.

Interested in integrating Twitter into DistributorCentral?  Click Here for information on how to accomplish this.

Having A Website Grows More Important And DistributorCentral Can Help!

Technology has become ever more prevalent in society.  From mobile phones, to desktops, to laptops, and even to tablets, we are becoming more and more reliant on the internet to find goods.  It seems like each business now has a website of their own that they can direct people to or even show up in a search, the later requires some work with SEO.

Not convinced that a website could very well help your business?  Read this post to get an idea on how websites have become much more common.  Like the article states, I haven’t really used Yellow Pages in quite some time since I can Google businesses near me.  Even if you have  a good networking and referral system, I would suggest getting a website for your company.

We have created a program for you as promotional products distributors to offer you customers a website!  We give you all of the tools you need to create a website for free, click here to get started.  If creating a website is a little bit too much for you we do have a Quickstart program, just inquire with info@distributorcentral.com for more inforamtion.

Social Networking – Facebook!

One of the biggest secrets to social networking with Facebook is: “Continue to socialize.”  For many large companies, this means hiring a qualified candidate that understands social networking and works on it each day for the company.  Don’t worry if you’re not a large company, because the biggest role of social networking is posting information daily, something we may just have an advantage as promotional product distributors.

Each job that you complete for a customer is more likely to have an event associated with it compared to raw, non-promotion goods.  What can you do with the information you have about events that will be happening?  You can promote them with a few simple clicks on a social networking site!

Let’s take a look at Coca-Cola, a massive company that uses Facebook.  They have posts regularly, but not constant.  This allows you to look impressionable, but not intrusive.  They also post over events that they sponsor, take this post:

As a distributor that sells promotional products, you have plenty of connections to people who are in charge of events.  This means that with a bit of social interaction, you can find out their upcoming events and post about them on Facebook.

Why not try to capture some Facebook traffic, after all: According to Facbook newsroom, there were 845 million monthly active users at the end of 2011.

According to Social Media Examiner as part of their 9 up to date media marketing tips, explore the custom tab function for Facebook pages.  This lets you upload an image to represent that tab, so carefully chosen pictures can draw attention real well.  The additional tips in the article can provide some great insight as well, especially tip #5 and tip #6.

If you  do not have a Facebook page for your business, you can create one!  For information about creating a Facebook page click here or for information about what Facebook can offer, click here.

Here is the scope that we are looking at from this blog.  I would highly suggest taking a look at is, as it has some pretty amazing information:

Every 60 seconds on Facebook there are:
510,000 posted comments
293,000 status updates
136,000 uploaded photos

With all of that traffic, I ran accross a tip from Linda Bustos, GetElastic and her input in this blog. “Write for your newsfeed, not for your wall…” This is an excellent suggestion to keep in mind with the number of other posts on a newsfeed you are competing against; so make sure your customers can clearly understand your posts.

If you’re interested in getting started with Facebook do it, but remember that it will not be an instantaneous return as it requires work and patience.  To help you with Facebook integration in DistributorCentral, we’ve created some features explained here.