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Cost Comparison: Swag vs. Facebook Impressions

Just like you, I have a diverse marketing plan. I write blogs, post them them to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I attend trade shows, attend business functions to make new connections, and I also belong to several business networking groups. All businesses need to have this diversity to survive

Have you noticed a difference in your social media marketing results in the past four (4) years? Has it been declining? In 2013, I could pay for a Facebook ad and average $.60 per new like. Now it’s in excess of $1.40 for a new acquisition. How many of those $1.40 acquisitions lead to sales? In marketing, these are the kinds of questions you need to ask.

I decided to do some research on impressions of swag vs impressions social media. The results may surprise you. 

Did you know that 81% of promotional items are kept because they are considered useful?

At expo’s handing out a custom branded bag provides people a place to stash business cards, catalogs, and whatever else they pick up. What’s better than having your branded tradeshow tote that goes with them from booth to booth?

Bags act as a walking advertising billboard of sorts, and are likely used long after the trade show event. The nicer the bag, the longer it’s used. Totes and canvas bags are much more durable and last longer than plastic bags. 

Customize your bag to make it stand out and think about altering the design to build-in function such as 

  • pockets 
  • adjustable shoulder straps 
  • insulated for cold or hot storage
  • traveling 
  • diaper bag
  • lunches
  • washable
  • or whatever else you dream up. 

The more useful your custom reusable bag is the more likely your customers will continue to use your branded bag after the trade show ends. The more the bag is used, the more impressions it makes within the community.

Researchers have found that among products, within the wearable category such as t-shirts, bags are reportedly used most frequently. 

Respondents indicated that they use their bags an average of 9 times per month; meaning each bag averages 1,038 impressions per month. 

That’s more than most social media posts. That means an $10 bag costs $.009 per impression per month! You can’t get that with Facebook!

Check out my Trade Show Tip Tuesday for more swag tips. 

Here are a few tips on how to get your team ready to pitch at your next big event. I was lucky enough to catch a nice breezy day in Louisiana and took my show outdoors!

About the Author
TradeShowWiz founder Evelyn Flynn is an entrepreneur, certified speaker and branding consultant who knows how to work her magic when it comes to promotions. She is an expert at meeting client objectives and solving challenging problems when it comes to trade shows. Budgetary constraints and accelerated timelines are handled with ease, thanks to her 27 years of mastery in full-service trade show planning, from concept to execution.

1 thought on “Cost Comparison: Swag vs. Facebook Impressions”

  1. This is a very informative article, Evelyn! I had not really thought about which was more lasting and producing more results. I like what you said “Bags act as a walking advertising billboard” and to “Customize your bag to make it stand out”. I do know that although I haven’t used swag bags, things I can keep do tend to stay around me longer such as magnets and personalized items I’ve received or purchased. Thanks for this infomation.


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