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How to Build a Print-on-Demand Marketing Strategy | Fuel POD

Paola
December 8, 2021

How to Build a Print-On-Demand Marketing Strategy

Marketing is what fuels a business. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, which take advantage of people passing by, online stores require different efforts to get traffic. You simply can’t create an ecommerce and expect customers to show up as if by magic! 

In other words: No marketing, no sales.

At this point, you’ve learned how to market your products, now it’s time to create a killing marketing strategy that will help you channelize your efforts for better results in the long term 🔥

Why do you need a marketing strategy? 

A marketing strategy is a high-level plan of attack that describes the process of reaching prospects to turn them into customers. It is the compilation of different tactics that pursue a specific goal

Image showing a diagram of the aspects included in a marketing strategy.‍
Make sure your strategy covers all these elements

Having a clear strategy will help you understand: 

  1. Who buys your products – This is your buyer persona, the person you want to take action from your store.
  2. Where you’ll find them – Identify the marketing channels your niche is using to build your tactics around them.
  3. What your competitors are doing – Competitors are the best teachers in the industry. Analyze their strategies to find what is and isn't working for them and how you can differentiate yourself.
  4. How you’ll measure success on marketing activities – If you don’t measure it, it didn’t happen. Track and document your results to refine your approach. 

Hands down to work

After reading this, we’re pretty sure you want to get started with your business strategy. Each store is different, but they all use a similar marketing strategy. We’ll go on a step-by-step journey to explain each element of the plan so you can build your own.

1. Carry out a research 

Before making any decisions, you have to get yourself out in the field. Whether you're a print-on-demand beginner or want to create a new plan, dive deep into what your competitors are doing. It’s easier than you think!

Let’s picture it with an example: You’re selling apparel with self-love-inspired quotes and illustrations.

  1. Identify your competitors – Google up something along the lines of “self-love products,” “self-love t-shirts,” or “self-love gifts.” Then, review the results and make a list of stores that also sell print-on-demand self-love apparel. Try to be realistic on who your actual competitors are. If you’re a small business for women, your competitors aren’t big retail brands for men.
  2. Research them – Once you’ve identified your opponents, analyze their product offering, promos, pricing strategies, communication on all channels, what their customers think of them, etc.
  3. Compare your business – The best way to do this is by performing a SWOT analysis, where you enlist all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your business. Let’s build one in our next section 😎

2. Define your USP

As mentioned before, a SWOT analysis will help you get a bigger picture of your business compared to the others. Following our previous example, it might look something like this:

Image showing a SWOT analysis for a print-on-demand apparel company
Use a SWOT analysis to define your business’ Unique Selling Proposition and better shape your objectives.

The idea here is to find your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), which makes your business stand out. It is the reason why your niche decides to buy from you instead of the others. With your SWOT in hand, consider the following: 

  • How do your customers benefit from purchasing your products?
  • Which aspects do you usually highlight when you describe your business to strangers?
  • What special treats can you offer to your customers besides your goods?

The answer to these questions is your Unique Selling Proposition.

3. Understand your business funnel

The marketing funnel illustrates all the stages your shoppers go through when making a purchase. You can create as many stages as you need, depending on your store, but there are three standard categories: 

  • Top of funnel (Discovery) – These are customers gaining awareness of different products and brands in the market.
  • Middle of funnel (Consideration) – These buyers are beginning to seriously research different options, in this case, print-on-demand stores with apparel products.
  • Bottom of funnel (Purchase) – These shoppers are ready to buy. You want to make sure it’s from your business.

Think about the steps your buyer persona has to perform and what marketing channels they have contact with along the way. This way, you know exactly what materials to prepare and where to share them.

Image displaying the marketing funnel for a print-on-demand apparel ecommerce. 
Understand your buyer’s journey to provide the desired content at every stage.

Think of the buyer persona’s questions or search intent at every stage, and answer them with your content.

4. Set your goals and budget

Once you understand your customers and the relationship you want to have with them, define what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Your marketing goals should always be aligned with your business goals, and they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, if you want to increase your sales (business goal), you need to generate leads (marketing goal).

Once you define your objectives, allocate a budget. It should include all your activities, such as:

  • Promotional material (brochures and flyers)
  • Advertising (on and offline)
  • Employing staff (if you’re working with a marketing team)

5. Define your channels and KPIs

You’ve set your goals, great! Now it’s time to define a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) on each of them to keep track of results. For print-on-demand stores, we suggest focusing on the following:

1. Your website

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Use keywords to make your store SEO-friendly, this way, your customers can find it easily on Google. Learn the SEO basics here!

2. Organic content

  • Social Media – The best part about social media? It’s free and everyone is on it. Make the most out of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to engage with your audience. Try different formats and content to see which one works best for your target.
  • Blog content  – This is an excellent way to incorporate keywords into your site. Think about your buyer persona’s interests and what posts would interest them, so when they look for specific content, they might land on your ecommerce site. 

3. Paid content

  • Social Media – If you have the budget, consider running ad campaigns or partnering with an influencer. This helps you get higher exposure and drive more qualified leads to your store. 
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Google Ads is a fantastic tool. With five different types of campaigns, you can bid on clicks or pay per impression volume.

💡Fuel Tip: Another way to make your business known is by advertising offline. A good, old-fashioned flyer on local marketplaces or around your community can also do the trick. 

Every channel works differently, so you have to define what you want to accomplish on each one. Here are a few metrics you can focus on, depending on the goal you choose:

 Image that enlists some marketing metrics for print-on-demand strategies
Define your goals and select the metrics and KPIs to measure your performance

For example, if you’re looking to increase your sales, you can set a desired Conversion Rate for your site, and track  how many visitors make a purchase on your store. Or, if you want to boost your interactions, you can keep an eye on your Engagement Rate growth on social media. 

6. Create a calendar, then stick to it

Remember when we said goals should be time-bound? Well, the next step on your marketing strategy is to define deadlines. 

Break down all your goals, make a list of all your activities and their continuity, then set specific dates for each one. This way, you know what you have to work on first and what your next tasks will be. Remember to be realistic! Organize your project, take small steps at a time and be constant.

💡 Fuel Tip: If you prefer to work with digital calendars and project management tools, you should consider Google Calendar, Monday, or Hubspot

7. Track, learn, optimize, repeat

The last step in a marketing strategy is probably the most important: Evaluating your results daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly! Document and compare your performance to make optimizations and improvements. 

Digital platforms are great for experimenting, so don’t be afraid to work with different channels, campaigns, or formats. Find the formula that works best for your audience and keep growing your community and sales. 

💡Fuel Tip: Use Google Analytics to create performance’s reports. 

 Image showing the step-by-step of a marketing strategy for print-on-demand
Bookmark this blog and save this image when creating your strategy so you don’t miss a thing!

You’re ready to start planning! Remember that the difference between a seller and a Power Seller is to be constant. Believe in your product, focus on a single objective at a time and emphasize on your value proposition 😎

See you on our next blog, where you’ll learn how to grow your ecommerce store with Facebook Ads. 

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