Covid rapidly accelerated trends away from traditional business attire as people locked in their homes decided comfort took precedence over superficial appearance. T-shirts appeared more and more frequently on Zoom calls. Television hosts who were streaming shows from their homes also abandoned the suits they had worn in-studio, and t-shirts became their go-to apparel.
But t-shirts are more than just comfort wear. Today they are statement pieces, effectively conveying the wearer’s personality visually at a time when personal contact is limited. With an increasing number of vendors crowding online spaces, it is more important than ever for t-shirt providers to focus on their marketing strategies.
With around 4 billion social media users worldwide, including a large portion of millennials and Generation X, social media marketing platforms are a must for the modern t-shirt business. But how do you set yourself apart amongst the flood of others without alienating potential customers? Here are a few tips for building the most effective social marketing strategy in 2021.
Building an Effective Social Media Marketing Campaign
Before engaging in any marketing campaign, including a social media marketing effort, you must define what you are hoping to get from the campaign. Although it can be quite simple to flood social media with ads, the buckshot approach rarely provides useful results.
Focusing in on the why’s, who’s, where and how much before launching a campaign, rather than simply sending posts and ads out everywhere possible, generates optimum results.
Step #1 - Define Your Goals
Focused goals help you create the most effective and cost-optimized campaign possible. So before going further, ask yourself why you want to run a campaign. Is it to build up your database of potential customers? Are you trying to push out inventory? Are you just building your brand? Are you trying to generate positive reviews? Answering these questions will help guide the rest of your decisions.
You also need to track your goals, including return-on-investment, to the extent possible. Using targeted small business financial software that comes with features such as project tracking and custom reporting can help you determine whether you are meeting your goals.
Step #2 - Choose Your Platforms
Selection of the appropriate social media platforms for your campaign will depend in large part on who your target market audience is. If you are targeting older customers, Facebook may be the best choice, whereas younger customers may respond better to Instagram, TikTok and YouTube marketing.
Similarly, if your target audience is in Europe or Asia, you may need to consider WhatsApp or other alternative messaging platforms. Research current trends in social media usage and apply that to your target audience.
You also need to consider how marketing works for each of the platforms. For instance, if you are using Facebook, are Facebook ads the way to go, or can you build better customer rapport through individual Facebook posts. You also need to understand how changing laws and consumer preferences alter the effectiveness of ad platforms.
Step #3 - Define Your Target Market
Who is your real target market in the first place? If you aren’t focusing your efforts on the right demographics, your campaign will have little impact.
Businesses should mine any data they have to help define their target markets. Who has bought from you in the past? Who has clicked through your website? Who has followed other ads you have put out? Who is reading your blog? Are these the people who you want to be reaching? If you aren’t getting to the markets you want to reach, why not?
Remember when mining data that it is important to make sure you are complying with all applicable data privacy laws and regulations. Before using data for marketing purposes, verify that you obtained appropriate permissions.
Your online helpdesk system can also serve as a source of target market data. Companies that do not currently offer an online helpdesk that can track customer requests via Twitter or Facebook should seriously consider starting one. Not only do they help build customer satisfaction and loyalty, but they can help you build future marketing campaigns.
Other tools such as chatbots can also help you narrow down your target markets and build data for later use. A side benefit of analyzing customer data may be that it helps you create new designs that, in turn, will continue to build your customer base and brand.
Step #4 - Determine Your Expenditures
Newer businesses and smaller businesses typically have less to budget for advertising of any kind. But no matter how large an investment you are able to make in a social media marketing campaign, you need to carefully focus on how your marketing dollars are spent.
Focusing your spend is not as simple as choosing your platforms and tools – it is about how you split your money amongst them to maximize effectiveness. Is your biggest problem that you don’t have the time to consistently generate content, posts and ads? Then perhaps you should spend more money on content generation and calendaring tools? If you are more concerned about how to reach younger audiences, maybe you need to invest in influencer marketing.
It is easy to spend a lot on social media marketing efforts, but it is not as easy to make sure that money is well spent.
Step #5 - Identify Ineffective Approaches
Just as you should modify your designs and inventory as market demand changes, you should also adjust your social media marketing strategy when you identify ineffective approaches. But how do you determine whether your campaign is working other than increased sales?
Analytics and SEO are tools that any social media marketer must know. Without knowing essential statistics such as your current hit rates and click through rates, as well as how your stats are changing over time, you will not be able to adequately assess effectiveness of your campaigns.
If your analytics show that you aren’t generating the results you wanted, then it is time to rethink the campaign. What does the data tell you? Wrong target market? Wrong platforms? Insufficient number of click throughs? Careful analysis of the data will help guide you towards a better-targeted campaign.
Step #6 - Push Out Content Consistently
Social media marketing requires consistent effort; you won’t reach your target audience if you aren’t posting regularly. Your customers access their social media from all over the world at all times of the day and will frequently miss many of your posts and ads. Therefore, you must focus your attention on getting your content out often.
New business owners in particular may feel they have little time to invest in building social media campaigns. But social media is arguably more important than other types of digital marketing for newer businesses especially.
Fortunately, social media automation can provide a cost-effective solution for new and established businesses alike. Automation tools such as AI-based copywriting applications can help you build content for your campaign. And there are social media calendaring applications to meet all levels of experience and all budgets. While automation will require at least minimal investment, it will pay for itself in the long run.
Print-on-demand t-shirt businesses are proliferating rapidly and need ways to distinguish themselves in order to build their customer bases and revenue streams. Focused social media marketing campaigns are one of the most cost-effective advertising schemes for these businesses. Whatever goal you have in mind, from identifying new customers to building your brand, you can leverage social media to accomplish it.
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