A print on demand venture can start a side hustle and turn into a full-time project. The business model revolves around selling custom merchandise with digital print on it.
The most print on demand products are t-shirts, hoodies, calendars, posters, stickers, mugs, and the most recently, face masks.
If you start a POD store, selling multiple products at the same time can be too difficult, especially if you have limited resources, such as time and money.
Some might think that the lack of graphic design skills is enough to prevent you from starting this business. But in reality, the most important resources for your success in print on demand lie not in the graphic design skills because you can hire a freelancer and leave the design part in their hand.
No, the most important resource of success is your ability to promote the store and attract as many customers as you can. If you are not that familiar with digital marketing methods, this article should be an excellent reference.
Method #1 – Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization takes time, but all the effort put into SEO will bear fruits eventually. Since you sell custom merchandise, it might be difficult to write enough content with relevant keywords and rank naturally.
You will have to focus more on internal linking, guest posting, image optimization, comments on blogs and forums, and optimizing the website for mobile devices.
SEO is difficult to master, and if you want to have the best possible results, hire an expert and leave them in charge of a campaign. There are certain basic things you can manage yourself, but the more complicated search engine optimization elements require a particular skill set.
Method #2 – Social Media
Facebook and Instagram are the two social media platforms that receive the most attention for marketing campaigns. Each of these platforms has hundreds of millions of active monthly users.
Print on demand stores can leverage social media and attract new customers. For example, you can collaborate with influencers by sending them your products and asking for a shoutout.
Organizing contests and giveaways of merchandise is another popular marketing method on social media. Ask people to like and share your post if they want to participate. The post will go viral and reach many people on social media.
Finally, you have ad campaigns. You have probably seen product promotions while browsing Facebook. Your custom-made merchandise could also be in those advertisements, getting the attention of potential buyers.
Method #3 – Email Marketing
Start to build an email list early. There are plugins that automate the process, leaving you the most difficult part of persuading people to give you their email address.
The goal of email marketing for print on demand is to send reminders to previous customers about new products or sales. Organizing contests and having an interesting newsletter is one of the best ways to grow your email list.
You can also offer special discounts and other perks, such as free shipping for everyone on your email address database. Keep in mind, though, that sending offers too frequently can backfire. People will unsubscribe if they start to feel that you are spamming their email boxes.
Method #4 – PPC Marketing
Google Ads and other pay-per-click marketing platforms provide another option to bring more customers. Essentially, you are paying for visits rather than earning them organically.
PPC ads appear on a search engine, such as Google, and clicking on an ad redirects a visitor to your landing page.
Creating a successful pay-per-click campaign will take time. You have to research keywords, set up relevant landing pages, and write a persuasive ad copy that grabs a reader’s attention enough to make them click on an ad. Nevertheless, if you have resources to spare, PPC is a good marketing method to reach wider audiences and get you more internet traffic.
Method #5 – Forums
Traditional online forums have been replaced with social media, but some forums still exist, and you can use them to promote your print on demand business. However, do not start with posting links right away because it will get you banned right away.
Start with some introducing yourself and interacting with other forum members first. Show them that you are not a spammer and start linking back to your website when other forum members start to trust you.
Method #6 – YouTube and Twitch TV
YouTube and Twitch TV are also a great marketing option if you find the right channels. Overall, there should be many YouTubers or streamers on Twitch who would like to cooperate and promote your merchandise.
Get in touch with channels you believe to be the best and see what conditions they have. If you are happy with the offers, start shipping your products to YouTubers and Twitch streamers, so they advertise your business as soon as possible.