10 Ways to Put a Twist on Your Marketing Plans in 2021
In this highly competitive business climate, decorated-apparel shops need to find unique ways to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Traditional marketing techniques may still work, but it’s time to start thinking about more unusual forms of marketing to build your brand.
While some say there’s “nothing new under the sun,” it’s time to ditch that mentality and find striking ways to market your shop. Here are a few out-of-the-box marketing ideas you can use for your decorated-apparel shop.
Chances are you probably got into the decorated-apparel because you loved graphic design and being creative. Now’s the time to be inspired when planning original marketing ideas.
- Create a mural on the side of your shop or nearby. This can create a buzz about your business just from the creation process. You could also tie this in with social media by posting “mock-ups” of a few different mural designs. Then, let your social media followers vote on the best one to decide what goes on your shop. This sense of community and involvement will also make your social media followers feel more like they’re a part of your shop’s community. And a giant mural on the side of your building will definitely get you noticed.
If you can’t do something on this large a scale, consider creating a car wrap advertisement for your vehicle. This will get you noticed as you drive around town or show up to local events.
Tip: You can also print your “billboard” design on T-shirts that your staff wears or that you give away to customers.
- Help out other businesses. Right now, so many businesses are still hurting in some way because of the pandemic. To help these local companies out, offer to do a fundraiser for a group or organization via an online store that requires no investment on their part if you set it up. All they need to do is promote the link to their customers and supporters: You’ve done everything else, from uploading popular product styles and designs. Once people order a printed T-shirt, you print it and ship it. Then, you send the business, team, or organization their cut of the profits. This way, you can win over their support and possibly pick up their business as we go back to normal.
Tip: If you’re new to managing online stores for clients, you can use a platform specifically designed to sell custom apparel. Take a look at InkSoft, Printavo, OrderMyGear, DecoNetwork and Spirit Sale, for starters.
- Schedule an exciting in-shop event. Another idea is to offer on-site (and socially distanced) decorating open-house events where you offer one to three limited edition designs as a thank-you-for-attending gift. Invite your prospects and customers, and ask them to bring a guest who’s in the market for your services. You can offer to add personalization with the name of those who stop by and want a shirt or other apparel you offer. Also, consider live streaming the event from your Facebook page, to create more buzz.
- Develop a fun awards program. The major entertainment awards have had to go virtual lately, so get in on the act. You can sponsor a contest on your social media with fun or silly categories such as “Cutest Dog” or “School with the Most Spirit.” You can either ask people to submit photos or even their own artwork. Then, have an awards ceremony to announce the winners.
Of course, the prizes are decorated-apparel items with the winning designs. This means your imprinted apparel will be seen like a walking billboard—generating buzz among your potential customers, especially if you target groups you want to work with like schools or teams.
- Sponsor an event or competition. Get as creative as possible with this one. Partner with your local historical society to do a scavenger hunt in your area built around local history. Host a virtual run or 5k, where participants receive a branded T-shirt and water bottle. Start up a contest on social media for the most creative cheer for sports fans — and the winners score a spirit wear or fan gear set. The point here is to do something fun and memorable, but also give away decorated apparel such as T-shirts or masks that people will use.
Pleasantly Surprise People
Everyone likes a surprise now and then. Here are a few ways you can wow local companies and work to earn their business:
- Host an outdoor socially distanced BBQ. Invite the decision-makers of the companies you want to do business with. Ask them to RSVP so you can have sample shirts ready to hand over as they arrive (extra points if you personalize them with their names or business name using DTG printing).
- Send free samples, just because. Strategically pick companies on your “I want their business list” and send them samples of decorated apparel, like T-shirts or masks. You can package these samples in a branded box with a simple card offering your services, which they’ll use to contact you, if they like what they see after unboxing the kit. Include a special like “10% off your first order,” or “Free sample kit with your first order of 500 pieces.”
Use the Powers of Social Media
Of course, social media needs to be a big part of your marketing mix these days. Try out these ideas:
- Use Facebook Live. Take viewers on a tour of your shop and show the latest in product lines and possibilities. You can showcase one new piece of decorated apparel and show the process from the artwork stages, to the finished product. You can also do shorter videos of each stage and post these onto YouTube. Another idea is to host an open Q&A, so that your target audience can ask you their biggest marketing questions.
- Take a poll and share the results. Ask your target audience questions so that when you publish the results, they’ll be engaged in finding out what you learned. For example, ask them what streetwear graphics trends will be in demand this year. Then, show off decorated examples.
- Promote a referral program. Ask your fans and customers to tag friends who might also be into the style of artwork and apparel you sell. This will help you gain more followers and more potential customers, as well.
When it comes to marketing your shop, being as inventive and memorable as possible is really what it’ll take to help your business stand out from the competition. Especially, in world where it’s hard to grab anyone’s attention for even a few seconds. Try out some of these ideas or use them as inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, so you can come up with some of your own unique promotions that’ll get more people knocking at your door.