MARKETING IS JUST your message communicated effectively in order to make a profit. These are a few quick strategies that you can take action on straight away.
While other studios are trying to get more followers on Instagram, you can quickly leapfrog their ranking on Google. This is especially effective if your customers are mainly local to your studio. There’s almost no competition on Google’s own business profile pages for products, services, and posts. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t read a business’ best and worst reviews on Google first. Make sure all your photos are beautiful, respond to all of your reviews – good or bad – and constantly ask for new reviews.
Go into your business profile and make a few posts. It’s not common knowledge that Google has a posting area and the businesses that use it are appreciated by Google. Add a post with an attractive photo for each service and product you offer. The post will reassure potential customers you’re still in business and taking on jobs like the one they have waiting for you. Even if you don’t have much to add, rewrite the text on this page to freshen it up for the website crawlers. Check the location and add “calls to action” into every post such as, “Email us now to get a quote for your team’s football shirts” followed by a recent 5-star review. Pro Tip: If you download the app on your phone, it’s much easier to upload recent photos that would normally just go on social media.
Stop taking videos of all the boxes you will be printing that week. In general, the “behind the scenes” videos aren’t as useful as you think for your customers. They want to see the features of the shirts, the softness, the reason someone would choose embroidery over transfers, and why it costs more to print six colors rather than one. It’s very similar to seeing shots of a car factory or someone showing off their new robot in an advert instead of talking about the heated seats or the power steering. The robot is cool, but it doesn’t sell more cars. If you need to show off your press, you can do that in Facebook forums, but your customers want to see what will help them get shirts as simply as possible.
It’s unlikely that simply saying your product is good will have any impact. But your customers saying it’s good will have a huge impact. If we think about how we shop for anything in our personal lives, it’s very rare to see an item in an ad and quickly purchase it. We are much more likely to take recommendations from a YouTube video review, ask a friend what they purchased, or notice someone in town with the item and be reassured that it must be a good choice.
There are a lot of ways to implement this kind of customer marketing for your business. You could ask a customer who is already a fan to make a video on how they love the shirts when they get them home. This could be a hit or a miss based on if the person is convincing on video. The other idea is to give store credit to customers who make review videos of your shirts. Not just a photo of the team wearing them, but a one-minute video answering some easy questions. This is essentially affiliate marketing as you’re getting authentic reviews, which will influence your next customers and build trust. A step further is to find your ideal customer in a niche and reach out to them as an affiliate to market your shirts leveraging their pre-made follower base. Loose references to your business can be made during the video and your call to action can be in the description.
Stop chasing more customers and nurture your old ones instead. An afternoon writing to your old customers about how you enjoyed printing their shirts last year and asking how their event went will be much more effective than paying for ads. These customers will be naturally encouraged to write you a fresh review, or at least give you feedback as to why they haven’t ordered again. Don’t try to sell them on anything in the first email. Instead, let them tell you what they need. It’s easy to seem desperate over email.
I’ve noticed a few friends and other studio owners hiring marketing companies to run their ads and posts on social media. It means they post regularly, but the posts are bland and get no traction. Anyone can see a template post a mile away. Normally, these are made by advertising agencies. We’ve become numb to them, and they don’t work. Don’t just palm this off to the youngest person on the team because they grew up with social media. If you don’t naturally like doing your marketing, you need to develop a style that works for your studio. You might have to force yourself to make a series of posts about the garments you like to print on. Once you’ve posted the videos, it’s very likely you’ll see it wasn’t as painful as you anticipated and will enjoy making the next batch.
Did you know that social media algorithms rate your engagement on the number of followers you have compared to how many of your following engage with the content regularly? So, if we have 40,000 followers, 1000 are digitizers who just spam us once and then never interact with us again. They’re actually dragging down our engagement rate. If you spend an hour going through your followers and blocking/deleting any spam ones, first of all, it will feel good and secondly, it will boost your favor for having an authentic and more engaged following. Having a smaller, engaged audience is better than being followed by troll accounts, and it might even be the case that you have all the following you need. You just need to talk to the people already at the party.
If you want more info about building a marketing eco-system that fills your screen printing studio with high-quality enquirers, you can take a look at our social media course we built on our website.