COVID-19 is throwing everybody for a loop. A lot of small businesses are being forced to either work limited hours and offer limited services, or close their doors indefinitely.
Because of this, we decided to re-launch Campaigns, our t-shirt fundraising platform! Campaigns is an easy, risk-free way to sell t-shirts for your business or organization without taking on any overhead, giving customers and followers a way to support your business in a difficult time.
With Campaigns in fill-swing, we wanted to give our new campaigners some tips on how to successfully promote their campaigns.
Before the campaign
Before your campaign even goes live, there’s plenty of promotional activity you can and should be doing to tell your customers and community about your t-shirt campaign.
Announce your campaign
This doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but while you’re still working on your t-shirt design, let people know about your campaign. Posting about it on social media ahead of time gives people something to look forward to. They’ll be excitedly anticipating the moment your campaign launches.
Have people vote on your design
A cool way to engage your customers and community ahead of your campaign going live is to hold a design contest. If you’re between two or three campaign designs, use Twitter polls or Instagram stories to let people vote on which design they’d prefer to wear.
Setting up your campaign page
It’s easy to glance over this detail when prepping your campaign. After creating your t-shirt design, writing a description for your campaign page sounds kind of dull. Who’s going to read it anyway? People are interested in the t-shirt, right?
Trust us, this step matters! Yes, people are buying the t-shirt, but more often than not, people are purchasing because they want to back your business, and that’s why it’s critical to share your story here.
Share your story
Roping people into your story, what you’re going through, and why they should support business is going to be the most important part of this whole thing.
We’re not saying you have to go full-on Sarah McLachlan in an animal adoption commercial, but be candid and honest, and spend a bit of time articulating the story of your business in a way that resonates with your supports, because ultimately, even though they’re getting a t-shirt out of it, they’re backing you.
This campaign by Bento Picnic in Austin, TX does a great job of sharing their story on their campaign page. They tell you exactly what is happening with their business, and exactly where their proceeds are going to. If you want to watch your campaign flourish, be sure to mention these two details regularly.
Promoting your campaign on social media
Unless you’re unusually PR-savvy or have friends who work in the media, social media is going to be your most powerful tool for getting the word out about your campaign.
While each person or company is going to have their own style and preference as to how they post on social, we have a few recommended best practices for you to follow.
Post, post, post!
If you’re not used to promoting your business on social media, doing it can feel a bit awkward. Taking to social media to promote things can feel somewhat vain and self-serving, particularly in a time like this, but when you think about it, this really is the best time to be posting regularly.
If people are used to frequenting your business in-person and they’re no longer able, they’ll want to hear from you.
More than that, they’ll want to support your business. For the most part, people recognize that this is an incredibly difficult time for small businesses, so no one will get offended or annoyed if you’re promoting a campaign to raise funds for your business or employees regularly.
Promote on your website
Don’t forget to add something to your website announcing your campaign! Regardless of whether or not the web is your most popular medium, promoting your campaign on your site through a banner at the top of the page is bound to gather some attention and, hopefully, a purchase or two (or 20).
Re-use content across different platforms
If you’re posting on more than one social platform (which we recommend), don’t feel pressure to come up with something completely new for each post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can alter them a bit, but re-using much of the same content will make covering each platform much easier.
Add visual variety
This step requires some effort, but if you can, try to add some variety to the visuals when you post about your campaign. Just posting the same mockup over and over again will get a little monotonous, but switching up how you display it can keep things fresh.
When Terence Tang of Tinlun Studio did a campaign with us when we first launched, he made posted regularly, but also showed the design in different forms.
This kind of variety keeps your content engaging.
Here are some tools we have to help show your campaign in new ways: Apparel templates for creating mockups
Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs)
Being clear in your calls-to-action is marketing 101. If you want people to back your campaign, be sure to make it hyper clear to them how to purchase the t-shirt. It may sound overly-redundant, but instructing people with how to purchase is often forgotten, and it can be a crucial piece.
On Instagram, this is going to look like adding the link to your campaign page in your bio, and making sure you let people know that it’s there in every single caption. Every time you post about your campaign, be sure to mention the link in your bio. Or, if it’s an Instagram story, include the link on your story, and be sure to tell everyone to swipe up to go to the campaign page.
On Facebook and Twitter, your CTAs will be much more direct, as you’re able to include the link to your campaign directly in each post. But still, it’s worth mentioning “click this link” or “click below” to make sure people know exactly where to go to purchase.
Give continual updates on how much time is left to purchase
In your posts, it’s a really good idea to remind people that your campaign is only going to be live for a certain amount of time. Highlighting how many days are left in your campaign will create a natural sense of urgency in your audience that could persuade them to back your campaign.
You’ll definitely want to do this as the campaign winds down. On that last couple of days of your campaign, be sure to let everyone know that your campaign is ending and that this is their last chance to get the t-shirt. These kinds of posts always result in last-minute surges.