When you decide to use a USB as a giveaway to promote your business, there is a lot more than just the logo or design that can give this little storage device a long shelf life. A USB flash drive can be a powerful tool when used to its full potential to drive sales, distribute important information, to be eco-friendly, and to create long-term loyal customers through preloading the flash drive.
Before you choose your custom preloaded USB drive, it’s important to think about what kind of files and how many you’ll be including on the flash drive. Asking the right questions is important so you can know what size and what kind of USB to preload for your marketing needs.
Here’s a checklist of things to consider before you decide on a custom preloaded USB to store your files on:
- The W’s (who, what, when, where and why): Is the preloaded USB to be given away at an event (in person or virtual)? To gain new clients or for current clients? To give information? To promote a product? To be remembered? Also consider when you will be giving away the custom flash drives: before, during or after the event.
- The industry and business. What are your purpose and goals, both overall and specific to the event or occasion for which you’re giving away preloaded USB drives?
- The incentive. Why should people take the time to look at your preloaded files in their busy lives? This is a question of what you’re giving people in terms of value, incentive and what outcome you’re hoping to get from their experience.
- The capacity. Decide on the size of your USB, how much space the files will take up and how much you will leave free for people to use.
- The media. Decide which types of files will be preloaded onto the flash drives: presentations, PDFs or other documents, portable apps, photos, videos, or graphics, ebooks, instructions, demos, manuals, or web pages.
Here are 9 ideas for what to include on your custom preloaded USB drive for extended marketing effect:
1. Exclusive Content: Exclusive content on a USB drive should be like a window that you’re only letting the holders of this specific custom USB see into. Preloaded material can include anything from a sneak peek to part of the actual product, to special offers and more.
Exclusive content works because people want to feel like they have access to something that not everyone else does. Being one of a small group that is included in taking part in, or receiving something that is not available to everyone else makes people feel special. It does this by invoking feelings of higher status. And don’t worry about making your product unavailable to more people, because exclusivity in marketing does not have to mean that your product is actually exclusive. You can simply use language that suggests this idea. If you include exclusive content on a custom preloaded USB, for instance, then even though your product may not be exclusive, people will feel like it is.
An excellent way to use the principle of exclusivity is through a custom USB because the group of recipients are the ones that came to your event, so they will feel like a special group. You can give them a special offer only available to participants, or even a special version of your product or service.
Another idea that can help you gather information is to invite custom USB holders to participate in feedback for early adopters of products or services. You can also invite them to participate in a private Facebook group. Exclusive content can include sharing a place that gives people a way to network with each other so that they can benefit from these connections.
These and other ideas can be utilized to provide the group special access to you or your business if it’s relevant, like with an exclusive phone call, for instance. Another idea is to give recipients special free access to a usually paid loyalty program or trial period.
The following ideas in this list can be made into or used for exclusive USB preloaded content, so keep this one in mind while reading through the rest of these ideas!
2. Launch a web page or app: Trigger a specific webpage or portable app launch when the preloaded USB is plugged in. The web page or app can send people straight to the product you want them to buy, or it can be used for a giveaway or contest. Viewers can be led straight to a private Facebook group or a demo of a product, for example, as part of a
sales funnel. Another possibility is to lead recipients to a specific webpage like a landing page, or a video you want them to watch and share. There can even be a private webpage that is only accessible through the USB or private link to create exclusivity. This way, USB holders have exclusive direct access but they can also share the link, opening up the window of who can gain access.
3. Information: This is just as it sounds: information on a preloaded USB can be anything that tells people more about your business or product, such as presentations, documentation and statistics. Policy information can be included if it’s important. The custom flash drive can hold a presentation from a conference or trade show that people can use to remember the information so they don’t have to take notes during the event. This also gives people an opportunity to share your presentation with others.
Additional information can be included on the USB with files like PDFs, new presentations you didn’t show at the event, or informative videos that tell more about your business to drive awareness and interest. Infographics and interactive content, like event calendars, can be included as well.
Information content allows people to remember who you are and what you offer for recipients, as well as allowing them to share the information with others who could become your next clients.
4. Coupons, offers or giveaways: Include an incentive to get people into the action of actually plugging in and looking at the files on the custom USB, plus to buy your product or service.
This gives everyone a chance to “win” and, if you host a contest, there’s an incentive to get something for free, which people love! You can also utilize your preloaded USB to get people to take an action like signing up for an email list in order to enter the giveaway, which then puts them into your contacts for future business.
To hold a contest that will have a few specific winners, load the winning prizes or coupons onto random custom flash drives and make sure to give these away so they don’t end up in a pile of extras. Then, let everyone know about the contest so they can check their drives. Be sure to tell participants how to claim their prize. Options for claiming prizes can be through email or a form on a webpage that pops up when the flash drive is plugged into the computer. This can be like a door prize at an event, except it works even better for virtual conferences and trade shows.
A coupon included on a preloaded USB can be an extra percentage or dollar amount off, or even free shipping, which is what makes or breaks a lot of purchases for people.
5. Useful freebies: Another option for your preloaded USB files is to include valuable “freebies”. These are files you can give away for free that provide valuable information for people. This is different from basic information because it does more than simply inform about your product; it actually helps the recipient in their own lives or businesses. Examples include free resource libraries, interactive demos of products, helpful lists or worksheets, videos and photos, or infographics and presentations. These files should all be in the realm of the purpose of your business in relation to the USB recipients and how your expertise can benefit them in a way that will lead them to become loyal customers.
The point of this idea is that everything in the freebie has value because it is either shareable or teachable. People will get something useful for themselves from looking at these files, plus you will gain more of their trust.
6. Training/orientation: When you’re giving away custom USB drives to new employees or students at a school or company, the preloaded files will serve another purpose, but it’s still a great idea to include them. Preload documentation such as catalogs, ebooks, reports, instructions and manuals, handbooks, policy, paperwork, checklists and presentations so they are easily accessible. This option also can cut out all the printing, which saves you money and effort while being eco-friendly at the same time!
If people are in a new area for school or work, it’s a good idea to include welcome information for people unfamiliar with the city or town where you are located. Preloaded USB files can include tourist information if location specific, or school/company details. Include contact info of important people or “get to know you” information about staff, teachers, departments, clubs or social networking.
7. Photographers, videographers and designers: A preloaded custom flash drive is a perfect place to include a portfolio or reel to gain new clients and get jobs. You can do this through a USB business card or another specialty design to make yourself more memorable. You can prompt the USB to automatically open your website portfolio or a portable app so it can update when you choose.
On the flip side, a USB is a great way for photographers and videographers to store deliverables from a job, like wedding photos and videos, for current clients to enjoy. The USB can be designed to fit the occasion so clients will have a place where their special memories are stored and can be shared.
8. EPK (electronic press kit): Another way to utilize a custom preloaded USB is to share your press or media kit with recipients. You can use the flash drive to send people directly to your website press page, as in #2 of this list. Many people have their press kits included on a website tab, though you can also include the actual files.
Whether you have everything for your press kit online or you include other files, make sure to have:
- Company info
- Bios of your staff
- Press releases and coverage
- Case studies
- Any awards or recognition in your industry
- Logos and other graphics or samples
- Contact information
9. Paperwork for customers: A preloaded USB is a fantastic and secure way to switch to paperless for documentation like taxes, accounting, and more for your business and clientele. You can preload documents to be signed and to be kept for records. This way, you don’t have to mess with printers or go into the dark ages with fax machines!
When choosing a custom USB drive for your next event or giveaway, there are a lot of things to consider aside from the design. When it comes to preloading content on your USB drive, the sky really is the limit to what you can accomplish with a small digital storage device!
Whatever you include, just make sure to have safety on your drive with a file lock feature and enough space for your files, while making sure to leave enough free space for recipients to utilize the USB for their own needs.
For more ideas, contact us to talk through your strategy for your next USB giveaway!