5 Marketing Tips for Your Online T-Shirt Business
Either you’ve already started your own t-shirt business, or you are wanting to start one – that’s awesome! Either way, if you are going to be running your own t-shirt business, you’re going to have to find ways to get sales. In this post, we’re going to share some marketing tips for your online t-shirt business.
Printing t-shirts is fun and we’ve seen many entrepreneurs in the apparel printing industry be very successful. We want you to be one of them!
The average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 marketing messages in a single day. That’s a lot of ads! How are you supposed to stand out in that?
If you have started your own store already, on say Etsy for example, and aren’t seeing a lot of sales, don’t get discouraged. You may be asking yourself, “why are my t-shirts not selling?”.
These marketing tips will help you look at your store and hopefully get you a boost in sales.
And you don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing, either. Some of the marketing tips below are free, while others you have the option to spend a little money if you have it in the budget.
First let’s start with your product descriptions. Your product descriptions are very important for your online store or website.
They are important for both your customers and for search engines to crawl your site. The words on your pages are one of the many factors that help serve the right search results when someone searches Google, Bing, etc.
It is also important in the same way for online marketplaces like Etsy.
Essentially, it is how potential customers are going to find your site.
This is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You want to try to enhance your page, website, or online store to the best it can possibly be so that it comes up in search results with relevant user searches.
This includes putting relevant keywords or phrases in page titles, headings, meta descriptions, product descriptions, and any other place you have copy on your page.
Make sure all of your images have alt tags, as well. This helps your images appear in image searches, and is also another signal of what your page is about.
Search Engine Optimization is not always quick. It can take time to start seeing traffic from search engines, so don’t give up too quickly.
[Related Content: 9 Reasons Content Marketing Can Help Your T-Shirt Business]
SEO is often a long term tactic. It can take months to start seeing results. But start now and always keep improving your pages for search engines.
While you may be tempted to ignore it because it’s not a “quick fix”, time flies and before you know it, 6 months will have passed.
Plan for success. If you want to be successful 6 months from now, start putting in the work now.
[Related Content: How to Create a Website for Your T-Shirt Business Using WordPress]
Besides product descriptions, product photos are important for your web visitors as well.
One disadvantage to online shopping is that you can’t feel and touch the product before you buy. Especially for clothing, there is no fitting room like you may have in-person at the store.
In order to give your customers the next best closest experience, you need great product photos. The better your photos, the more your customers can feel like they are holding the product in their hands.
The saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words” holds true in this case. Besides your product descriptions, your photos are all they have to imagine the product.
The right photos can help your customers see themselves in your apparel.
So what makes good photos?
Know your target audience and have a variety of photo styles.
Lifestyle photos are helpful for your customer to see themselves with your product.
It shows how the apparel fits when it is being worn.
Choose models that fit your target audience. Choose settings and backgrounds that fit your niche. For example, if you have an outdoors brand, take a photo outside, with the model wearing a backpack.
The same goes for product photography in a flat style. Use visuals that identify with your audience.
These types of photos are easy. You can take the photos yourself or create nice mock-ups. You can create mock-up directly in Easy View and download the photos to use on your site or store.
[Related Content: T-Shirt Mock Up Photos – Right in Easy View]
Another photo to include is a measurement and fit chart showing the exact sizing.
Combined, all of these photos help ease purchase anxiety. The more the customer can see, the more they feel like they know what they are buying.
Taking high quality photos doesn’t have to be difficult, either. Don’t overthink it. With some good lighting and your phone, you can take photos in just a few minutes. This video shows how.
While building your own audience online has been a tried and true, stand-the-test-of-time marketing staple, another way to get in front of a large audience more quickly is to just “borrow” someone else’s audience.
This can happen through collaborations, partnerships, or influencers.
When done right, it can also help build your own audience at the same time.
Find some others in your niche that have an audience. These can be podcasts, people with a following on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, or even another brand/store that sells to the same niche but doesn’t have competing products.
Going back to our outdoor apparel brand example, you could look for stores that sell backpacks, hiking or camping gear, etc. but don’t sell apparel.
With any of these – podcasts, social media influencers, or online stores – reach out to the owners with a plan of how you can mutually help each other. This may take some researching to find out a little more about them.
You may think that getting on a podcast may be difficult. But think about this – people with podcasts are always looking for people to have as a guest or to interview. As a podcaster, they are in constant need of content themselves.
With any of these partnerships and collaborations, make sure you are partnering with someone in your niche and that they have a similar target audience as you.
Sometimes when collaborating with influencers, they may want to be paid. Be careful about spending. Look at their posts and engagements. Just because someone may have a large follower base, make sure that their engagements on their posts reflect the size of their audience.
Look for cost effective collaborations. If you find a micro-influencer, they may only have about 10k followers, but you may be able to get away with only giving them your product for free and they’ll do an online review, for example.
Paid ads can be a little more complicated. Before spending a lot of money, make sure you learn more about ads and how to be successful on the particular platform you are advertising on. While the concepts are similar, each platform varies.
Almost all of the social media platforms, YouTube, search engines like Google and Bing, and online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy all have options for paid ads.
Ads can be a very effective way to bring in customers, but it can also be a money pit if you are inexperienced.
There are online courses, both free and paid, that you can do to learn more about them. If you are serious about using paid ads to grow your sales, we recommend taking a course or two.
[Related Webinar: How to Market Your T-Shirt Business Online]
See What’s Working for Others
As with any of these marketing tips, one more bonus tip would be to look at other successful t-shirt businesses. They don’t have to be in your niche either.
Find a few stores that are doing well, and take note of what they are doing. Try to reverse engineer their ads, if they are spending money on them.
What kind of collaborations are they involved in?
Look at the pages that show up first in search engine results. What keywords or key phrases are they using? Look at their product photography. What about them catches your eye?
Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at what’s working for others, and see if you can mimic the same tactics.
There are tons of YouTube videos out there where businesses are sharing tips on what they’ve done to be successful. While they may not all apply to you or work for everyone, you may be able to grab concepts you can try.
Who knows, it may even inspire you with some new ideas of your own.
[Related Content: How to Market Your T-Shirt Business Online]
Download our ebook, Selling Your T-Shirts on Etsy, for additional success tips!