The rise of influencing personalities on Social Media otherwise known as ‘Influencers’ has led to the rise of Influencer Marketing.

Influencer Marketing has grown rapidly and involves big brands working alongside prominent Social Media personalities (mainly on Instagram and Youtube) to help promote their products and/or services with some huge brands paying millions per post.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with the garment decoration industry?

Influencer Marketing is slowly filtering down into the high street and may soon be cluttering up your Social Media feeds, so it may be something your business needs to consider in the near future.


To help get you started here are a few simple tips to consider if you are going to undertake Influencer Marketing:

Do your research and checks: Carry out your due diligence when researching influencers, research their personal brand, persona and personality and see if its value align alongside yours. Research fees do not bow to paying over the odds just because someone has a huge number of followers – there’s always knowingly or unknowingly fake followers inflating their crowd.

It is out of your hands: The second you get involved with an influencer; things are essentially being taken out of your control. Regardless of what you pay you have no control over what they think. Credible influencers want to provide their customers an authentic experience, work alongside them and deliver a quality product and customer experience.

Be patient: The results from using Influencer Marketing is very rarely instant. Trust must be built between both yourself and the influencer but also between that person and its audience. It is more so a brand awareness building campaign rather than a direct sales campaign.

Build relationships: You are more than likely to achieve success using this type of Marketing when a lasting relationship is created. Working alongside someone long term is likely to build a trusting working relationship and help you tap into an influencers influence. Manage the costs by starting with small personalities who may be of value and establish a manageable cost-effective working relationship.

Think outside sponsored: Influencer Marketing is not all about sponsored posts and plugging your business and its product. It gives you the chance to collaborate and curate some content and tailor it as they understand their audience better than anyone. It may be competitions, them designing their own promotional products or anything but it will help you establish a deeper more meaningful long-term relationship.

Twitter lists are one of the biggest hidden secrets in Social Media, an under-utilised tool to help gain followers and interact with potential new customers.

The challenge for businesses is the platform itself has over 330m users and over 500m tweets are sent per day through these accounts. Twitter lists allow you to cut through the cluttered news feeds and interact with accounts based on interests, keywords and topics (They also give you the chance to keep one eye on your competition!)

Simply click the three dots (…) next to an account name and click add or remove from list, this will give you the option to create a new list or add accounts to an existing one.

Ideal for garment decorators you can group up lists of potential customers by sector, existing customers, local schools and many other target customers. Engage with these lists on a regular basis instead of using a slapdash approach and using your general news feed.


To get started here are some tips for help with maximising your lists:
  • Create separate lists for your target audience – a list for existing clients, prospects, accounts of interest and so on
  • Create a list dedicated to your competition – keep a track on what your competitors are offering in their Social Media campaigns and keep a private list to see what is working and what is not similar businesses
  • Grow your followers – as well as creating your own list it may be likely your account itself will be added to one by someone else. You can see all lists you are a member of, this will also display all their followers who may also be a target audience for you
  • Find existing lists online – there are tools out there to find existing lists based on whatever your search might be, use this and identify existing lists to potentially replicate

If you use Social Media management tools like Hootsuite, Crowdfire etc you can also integrate your lists and create custom feeds to use and monitor on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

Lists require a bit more effort than conventional Social Media techniques, but the results can lead to an increase in your Social Media following, increased coverage and engagement which can only be a good thing for driving traffic to your businesses website.

Collaboration tools are used by Marketing departments to manage both the businesses workload and its time. 

These tools allow you to share projects, ideas, news and communicate with other members of your team all within one common space.


In this blog we will look at some of the best collaboration tools available and how they can help your print & embroidery business. Here are some of the best examples:

Trello

This allows users to organise work as well as generate ideas. Simple to use, visually pleasing and ideal for growing ideas Trello is an easy to manage and maintain project management tool for SMEs.

Slack

One of the most recognised communication programmes Slack makes communicating to your team simple. Slack integrates with Dropbox, Salesforce and many more pieces of software and allows users to share files, ideas and conversations all in one place.

Join.me

Like GoToMeeting this allows users to set up meetings remotely wherever they are working and on any device. But Join.me also allows users to collaborate and share ideas with a whiteboard feature which can be used communally.

Asana

An all in one project management tool Asana is ideal tool to streamline your business. The software allows users to track, organise and manage work in one place. Focusing on productivity, Asana also can set up to do lists, targets, summaries and set reminders for any ongoing projects plus offering handy integrations with the previously mentioned Slack, Dropbox and many other integrations.

Ryver

This web-based app is identical to Slack in that it provides an easy way for your team to communicate and share files. Different teams with different viewing permissions can also be set up so users only see what is relevant to their project or role but what makes it stand out is it is in fact FREE of charge to sign up and use. Of course, it’s a Lite version and has it limitations but offers customers a cos- effective way to increase productivity.

ProWorkflow

Available both on the web and through a smartphone/tablet ProWorkflow offers flexibility and versatility in its software which makes it popular across many industries. Task management, time sheets, alerts are available alongside sharing and communicating tools for colleagues. What separates this from others is the interface is that it offers resource management as well as managing the workflows users plus it offers a GANT chart type display looking at project progress to ensure users hit any deadlines.

In Summary...

While there are lots of pieces of software out there, the majority offer free trials and live demonstrations which outline how they can be used alongside your business. 

Before you make any decisions, do your research, take your time and arrange for some of these to see which collaboration programme works best for your budget, its requirement and its specification.

Following on from our last blog article looking at maximising customer data, in this article we will look at data capture and highlight how to populate your customer database.

Data capture is an important part of a businesses Online Marketing efforts. It forms an integral part of the mix when targeting new customers, its where many new customers journey begins with your business.

Love it or loathe it…

Data capture stokes debate amongst Marketing practitioners, they are either loved or loathed but timing is everything. Make them time sensitive, not obtrusive to your customers online experience and inkeeping with your businesses brand.

Target your customers more than ever before

Capturing data allows your business to target your customers specifically on their interests, behaviours and tailor email campaigns to what product or service of yours they are interested in. It also allows you to build loyalty, reward someone for being a ‘member’ of your list with exclusive deals, discounts plus whatever other offer you may come up with.


How to capture an email address?

There are a few basic methods to grow your businesses mailing list and capture your businesses data. 

Data capture bars

Data capture bars are simple to place on your businesses site, it requires a single snippet of HTML to be embedded in the page source.

There are 100s of data capture providers out there with the main one being Hellobar, which is free of charge. These can also be created within CRM packages (Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot etc) to grow your data list and help your leads/sales. Within Hellobar, whatever CRM package plus whatever email campaign software you use you can monitor, manage and maintain your businesses mailing list accordingly with each one offering differing levels of detail.

A data capture bar feeds contacts straight in to your mailing list. Different pieces of software will be able to feed the data into different programmes, but the popular email software like Mailchimp, Zoho etc are available on most capture bar providers.

The bars in several forms – fixed bars (a static or moving bar that appears at the top of the page), pop ups (a sign-up forming appearing after a few seconds on-site often found in the centre of the page) or page takeovers (a sign-up form that appears after a few seconds taking over the full screen itself).

The most common method is a simple static bar at the top as this is not obstructing customers trying to navigate the website whereas pop-ups and takeovers appear after a certain amount of time and be deemed annoying by a website visitor.

Visually the pop-up and takeover creating more of a lasting impact, but users have a love-hate relationship with these whereas the simple static bar lacks the striking impact. However, it proves more successful as customers are happier, more trusting and comfortable with a simple less obtrusive method.

Landing pages

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for Marketing a certain product or service. Landing pages are specifically designed to generate interest and have a CTA (call to action on-site).

Incentivise your customers

You may have customer who visit in-store or follow you on Social Media, but you do not have their physical information to target them. Run competitions & offers in-store and on Social Media channels incentivising existing customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a reward or discount.

On-site architecture

You can build opt in options into your business’s website seamlessly. Wherever you capture any customer information on-site (contact us forms, checkout etc) ask customers to tick the box if they would like to sign up and opt in to your businesses mailing list.

Lastly & IMPORTANTLY, GDPR

The four letters everyone loves to hate. New regulations that came into play last year to look at how your business uses customer information. Ensure any method you use is GDPR friendly and any customer that signs up gives you their full consent. 

Data is all around us, there is no hiding from it. From the basics such as customer information, names, addresses and contact details to the more complex monthly accounts, customer orders and website data, it can all be used to shape your business by identifying the best avenues to explore – ones that you might not previously have considered before analysing your business data.

Measuring the data that your business has access to can also help to streamline your business, its production and how every department operates. In production departments, items such as machine time versus output, machine downtime versus costs etcetera can be monitored, with the resulting data giving you a real understanding as to whether your business is operating efficiently.

Data doesn’t necessarily have to be raw numbers either: it can be qualitative, which can add just as much value to your business. Opinions and attitudes can be analysed not only to develop your business internally, but also to provide great insight into what your customers think of your services and products, which you can then use to help train your staff and review your business’s various operations.

There are several software packages designed for garment decorators that allow you to measure not only the basics, such as names and addresses, but also what customers have bought, what items they’ve clicked, where they saw your business advertised and so on.

The obvious way to use this data is to keep in touch with your customers through marketing campaigns. By having extra data at your fingertips about their clicks and buying habits, you’ll be able to further tailor your campaigns, which should improve engagement rates (again, data collection here is invaluable – want to know which one of two email subject lines will lead to a higher open rate? Test one subject line on 20 customers then the other subject line on another 20 customers. Whichever one scores the highest open rate can then be used for the remaining mail out. Simple).

Check how your website is functioning by looking beyond the visitor numbers: when are customers visiting, what pages are they looking at, what ones are they ignoring, where are they coming from, how long are they staying? All this can be used to check your site is working for your business.

You can also take a close look at what’s happening on the purchasing side: when are customers are ordering, what they are ordering and how frequently they are ordering? Use the information to work out when best to hold promotions that will get people visiting during the quiet times – plug the gaps and maximise your sales.

Remember, however, to play by the rules. There is a whole host of data guidelines and regulations out there, with the obvious one being the data protection act.

You must give your customers all the options available for opting in/opting out/unsubscribing, along with mentioning they may be contacted in the future for marketing purposes. Most customers won’t mind you using their data to contact them to promote your business or products, but playing by the rules will protect your business.

One last thought

Managing your data is vital. First and foremost, make sure all the data you’ve collected is secure. It also has to be accurate, relevant and up to date to be of any significant value to your business – ongoing data collection is an essential part of any business strategy.