Have you considered uploading data or content to your promotional USB flash drives?

At Flash Drive Canada, we offer a wide range of USB data uploading services to our valued flash drive customers. This article is designed to help data upload users to think through their strategy in using this as an effective marketing tool. Having the wrong data upload strategy is definitely worse than no strategy!

Before we get into that, here’s a short list of why USB flash drives are…

The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool of All Time!

1) Your name or message can be included on the flash drive. And in some pretty creative ways.

2) They can (and will) be used by your customer. Meaning you have free and ongoing advertising space on the desk, in the pocket, in the wallet, on a keychain, or around the neck (lanyard).

3) This is what REALLY sets USB’s apart from everything else…They constantly provide an extremely efficient way to include your portable content or directly connect your client to anywhere online that you want them to go. This is HUGE!

Most USB customers have very simple requirements for their data uploads. They may want a PDF catalog, promotional video or direct links to their website or social media sites.

Types of Uploads

For data uploading to USB’s, you can choose if you want your data to be normal (editable), partitioned, locked (protected), or combinations of these.

When data is locked or protected, it means that the USB directory is partitioned and your data is not editable or deletable within it’s own partition. If there is extra space still available on the USB directory, the other partition can be used for the recipient’s storage use.

We recommend in most situations that your upload be set as a normal upload. Unless you are 100% sure that your data will not require updating at some point, we do not recommend a locked or protected data upload.

Our experience is that clients will often want to change their own content, policies, catalogs, pricing, contact information and any number of company or promotional details over the anticipated life cycle of their USB project.

Wish I had a dollar for every one of those…Some even change their minds as soon as they receive their USB’s!! Not a simple (and definitely not cheap) fix when you have 1,000 flash drives to remove and replace a bunch of data and video files. And your convention starts tomorrow!

You can also choose to make the USB automatically type in a URL into your start menu to take you to a website. Or you can set a Powerpoint or video to automatically play when plugged in. This is called an auto-run by most USB suppliers.

Auto-runs are a wee bit tricky. Keep in mind that your end users have all kinds of customized settings on their computers. Nowadays, most systems will actually block automatically running program files on USB’s, as a security measure.

At the very least, most systems will block and ask if the file should be run…which can further confuse or even annoy the user. Kinda defeats the purpose of your whole strategy, right?

The convenience of auto-runs is somewhat cool and seems efficient….but in practice, it can cause more problems than perhaps you’d like, especially as a marketer or information provider.

Data Upload Strategies

We are both a professional internet marketing company and a professional USB supplier, and we perhaps have a bit wider experience of useful and efficient data upload strategies that we can offer our USB clients.

Perhaps a better strategy would include creating well named links or shortcuts in your upload, instead of an actual file, video or powerpoint. Here’s a few (non-working) link examples:

Click Here To See Our Catalog.html

Get Discount on Widgets.html

Click Here to Visit Our Website.html

Visit Us on FaceBook.html

INSIDER TIP: For either links or files, try to use words & phrases as a marketing call to action for your intended message, sales offer or purpose. Sometimes it helps to prefix your file names with a number. This helps to sort, organize and name your files with a clearly defined title.

Below are some examples of how to name USB content files. You’ll notice that we have sorted the filenames, branded them and also indicated what to expect when opening the file:


There are a few software programs out there that can create custom menu-like pages that can be uploaded to your USB, in place of the direct linking as described above. Or you could even create a mini web page right on your flash drive!

From a marketing and tracking standpoint, one of the best strategies is to have a single link on the USB that directs the user online to YOUR OWN CUSTOM WEB PAGE, which can then act as an online menu by directing visitors to the appropriate content that you want them to see.

This is very simple to do and it is extremely efficient and also allows the visits and outcomes to be tracked and analyzed. You can also update or change your content at any time. This is the ultimate marketer’s dream in being able to statistically check whether the campaign is running successfully!

Here are Flash Drive Canada’s recommendations for USB data uploading:

1) Always be marketing! Choose words, links and content to boost your sales or message.
2) Keep it simple and strategize exactly what you want to accomplish.
3) For dynamic (may change) data…Use clickable links to your online content.
4) For static (never changes) data…We still like clickable links to your online content! *
5) Monitor and track your results. Use link tracking, coding or simply track the traffic flow.

* In some cases, you may want the user to be able to view your video, catalog, spec sheets or content without an internet connection. If this is the case, then it is certainly a valid reason to fully upload your strategically named & organized data to the USB. (Along with clickable links to online content, of course!).

We are happy to answer any questions you have when deciding the best upload strategy for your USB flash drive project.