Author: Bonnie Harris

I've been writing quite a bit about content marketing and the appeal of having your intellectual capital on full display online. But a client asked me this question the other day, and I thought it was worth answering. Are promotional materials (swag, tchotchkes, doodads or whatever you call them) still worth it? The answer has to be a resounding yes! Promotional materials are an excellent add-on to an integrated campaign. Mugs, t-shirts, a URL on the back of your car...all of these are excellent reminders and for the most part, really inexpensive impressions. One of the most memorable promotional pieces I saw once as a  pencil that changed color depending on the mood of the user. That was certainly a conversation starter for the brand. (Here's the URL for that product, if you're interested: http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/pencil-personalized.htm ) Here are a few ideas that work well for "on the ground" marketing to supplement your online work:

The new buzz about content marketing or "brand journalism" is really about the brand creating the content, rather than waiting for media to publish something about the brand. It falls in line with the increasing sense of urgency (also called impatience) of business owners to get their name out there fast. I don't blame them - technology makes it possible so why not do it. I do have a word of warning however. If you have tried and failed to maintain a blog, you will be even more hopeless with content marketing. Here are some of the reasons why most small businesses fail at producing content: