Starting a print-on-demand store is not that difficult, even if you lack graphic design skills. There is an option to hire a freelancer for that.
Online you will find a number of tools like a no hassle mockup generator for free, giving you the freedom to try different designs to see which of them look great and which are mediocre.
A common mistake among newcomers is adding as many products as they can right off the bat. Instead, one should pick one type of merchandise and start with that. Covering multiple POD products is difficult when you lack advertising resources.
Speaking of advertising, your print-on-demand should not rely on its own. If you want to see a consistent influx of new customers and retain your loyal shoppers, expect to put effort into creating a proper marketing strategy. Think of this article as a guide for that.
Step #1 – Take Advantage of Influencers
16.1% of global retail sales came from ecommerce in 2020, and it is no secret that many ecommerce ventures relied on influencers. In fact, they still do. But it is not just about the top Facebook and Instagram celebrities.
Nowadays, brands are expanding their influencer network and look for potential partners on platforms like Twitch TV and YouTube or someone who has a podcast.
Besides, influencer marketing does not have to revolve around A-tier celebrities. Micro-influencers are just as valuable, even if they have fewer followers. At the end of the day, it is about the engagement rate.
For someone who runs a print-on-demand store, working with influencers should not be that difficult. You can strike partnership deals by sending them the merchandise and asking for promotional posts.
Step #2 – Look for Less Popular Social Media Platforms
Social media plays a prominent role and is one of the cornerstones of most digital marketing strategies. However, relying on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular platforms may not be the best strategy.
It is difficult to abandon such websites when they have millions of active users every day, so you should still spend some resources there. What you can do is look for social media platforms that are not as popular, which also means not that much competition.
Promoting on social media sites that have less competition means better odds of becoming an authority and getting a part of the market. Some examples of less popular social media platforms are Elpha, Likee, Athlinks, and MeWe.
Besides, we can expect to see even more social media sites popping in the future. Therefore, keep an eye on that and be one of the first to join so you can establish your presence there and start promoting your print-on-demand business as soon as you can.
Step #3 – Focus on Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical digital marketing technique that aims to optimize a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In today’s world, a significant portion of the population relies on search engines to find information, products, and services, making SEO a crucial aspect of any digital marketing strategy. Here are a few reasons why you should focus on SEO:
- Increased visibility: SEO helps increase the visibility of your website on search engines. If your website appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), it is more likely to attract visitors, which can translate into more leads, conversions, and revenue.
- Cost-effective: SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy compared to traditional marketing methods. Once you have optimized your website for search engines, it can generate organic traffic over an extended period, without additional marketing costs.
- Trust and credibility: Websites that rank higher on search engines are perceived to be more trustworthy and credible than websites that rank lower. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can build trust and credibility with potential customers, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer retention.
- Competitive advantage: SEO can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors by ensuring that your website appears at the top of the search results page. This is particularly important in industries where competition is high, and it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from other businesses.
Search engine optimization may not be at the top of your priority list because it takes a while to bring results, but you should still spend your resources to attract organic traffic.
An online store will struggle with sustainability if it is not ranking high on search engines. It is not just Google. Being at the top of Bing and Yahoo could prove a great asset as well.
Learning SEO is difficult. You may not have the time for it. If that is the case, hire someone who has the experience and can manage search engine optimization campaigns on their own.
Like already mentioned, SEO requires patience. You may need to wait for a couple of months before your store starts ranking for relevant keywords (provided that the person in charge of the campaign did things correctly).
Showing up on search engines means organic traffic. And website visitors who stumble upon your POD store after typing keywords with the intent to purchase merchandise are more likely to become a customer.
Step #4 – Build Email List
Start building your email list early. Incentivize site visitors to submit their information and subscribe to your newsletter. Offer them free shipping or discounts.
The more emails you have, the more you can expect to take advantage of the list. Keep in mind, though, that sending promotional emails too often is not a very good idea because people are likely to unsubscribe if their email box becomes full of spam they do not wish to see.
Step #5 – Write a Blog
You might have noticed that most ecommerce sites have blogs. A blog builds authority, improves SEO, creates opportunities to collaborate with other brands, and gives people another reason to visit your website.
Writing articles for a print-on-demand store is tricky, so you should not push yourself to publish content too frequently. An article once or twice every week would be good enough. Besides, you can look to get in touch with bloggers who are looking for guest-posting opportunities.
Publishing sponsored content is valuable for both parties. You get an article, and the guest poster gets a backlink to their blog, which helps with search engine optimization.
In summary, SEO is an essential aspect of digital marketing, and it can help your business gain a competitive advantage, increase visibility, and build trust and credibility with potential customers. By investing in SEO, you can generate organic traffic, which can translate into more leads, conversions, and revenue, making it a valuable investment for any business
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