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Marketing an Apparel Decorating Business with Videos

written for screen printers, embroidery companies, heat press owners, t-shirt brands, direct to garment printers, sublimation users or any apparel decorating company wanting to expand their reach and grow sales

Marketing your apparel decorating business does not have to be an expensive venture. If you are feeling the strain of a bad economy, odds are that you are or already have looked for ways to cut costs. I’d venture to say some of these costs have been cut from your marketing budget. Hopefully while doing this you’ve found innovative and effective ways to market your business. This post is written to help give you one surefire way to garner the attention of your consumer and sell more while spending less. You can do this by creating product videos and/or look books and distributing them in a number of ways.

Whether you have a regional target market or a national market – videos can be utilized to bring in business. If you have been following my blog or searched for a heat press on Google in the last few years, you’ve probably seen a video or two from me. Go ahead and google the word “heat press”, you’ll see my videos show up right at the top of the search results. As I eclipse 1/2 million video views, I’m anxious to share the success I’ve had with you and teach you how to make money for your business.

First things first – what do you need to get started?
  1. A Video Camera – to make life easier you’ll want find one that records direct to hard drive, this will save you a ton of time with uploading videos to your PC or MAC. Your camera should come with all the proper connections and docking equipment to connect to your computer. Here is one option: Sony DCR-SR47
  2. Computer – any computer will work, however you’ll want to find something with adequate space and memory – the more the better, because you’ll be housing a lot of larger files from your videos.<LI sizset="63" sizcache="0">Video Editing Software – you can do the research here as there are many editing softwares out there. I've used Pinnacle Studio Plus as it has the functionality I need while being affordable.<LI sizset="64" sizcache="0">A USB headset with microphone- this is necessary if you plan to add any voiceovers on your videos rather than recording live audio – may help for the camera-shy person (so you can script what you want to say).
  3. A Set – this does not have to be complicated, but consider dedicating a room or an area where you will shoot videos, things such as a well lit room with decent acoustics should be considered. You might also consider a garment rack, table or other presentation tools necessary for your video choices.
Next things next – figure out what videos will bring sales…

Some ideas -

Videos that show comparisons between like products do very well and can be presented as educational and lead to trust and business.
  • Create a video that shows the difference between polo shirt styles for businesses – explain the advantages of wrinkle free moisture wicking styles versus the price point advantages of a traditional pique. Be sure to use a portion of the video to highlight different logo options, such as embroidery and heat transfers.
Videos that introduce this year’s offerings are received well, especially when presented in advance to a coach or athletic director.
  • Create a video that shows this years choices for football jerseys. Show the jersey styles, the font options, placement options, color choices etc. Be sure to spend a portion of the video highlighting the latest helmets, gloves and cleats to go along with the presentation.
Videos that show your core competencies can help define your business.
  • If your advantage is your artwork and cutting edge t-shirt designs, create a video that highlights your best work. If your advantage is how many heads of embroidery you have and your capacity, show a video of the machines in action and explain your capabilities. If your advantage is your personal touch and attention to each job, create a video demonstrating what makes you different. Hopefully you get it – you must communicate your selling points.
Videos that show a new product or offering can bring immediate business.
  • If this year you learned how to customize shoes or cleats with names and numbers or how to embroider a new type of blanket then create a video showing the offering and options. A simple video can generate calls on new offerings.
So now you’ve shot these great videos…what do you do with them?

The first step after shooting your video is to plug that camera into your computer and import the footage into your editing software.

Some basic tips when editing -
  • Always create an intro/title page and a conclusion of some sort that identifies the videos title and features your businesses contact info.
  • Always keep transitions simple and special effects to a minimum – you don’t want to take away from the product you are presenting.
  • Use on screen title overlays to reinforce points, identify products and price points if necessary.
  • Use background music only for intros and outros or if its music only and no voice – low playing casual music behind talking makes you feel like you should be in an elevator or Barry White song.
After you’ve followed the editing tips and created your first video - export it as your preferred format MPEG-4 or WMV and save it in a folder on your computer for uploading to YouTube or burning later.

Uploading to YouTube – you have to join.

If you don’t already have a YouTube account, now is the time to create one. If you do have a YouTube account, but use it for leisure and uploading videos of your kids first birthday party, you may want to create a new account for your business. Follow the steps at http://www.youtube.com to create an account and a YouTube channel page. It’s important that you have a channel page because it will give you that one centralized place to send prospects and customers to watch your videos. This channel page will also allow you to describe your business and link to your main webpage.

Now, uploading your videos to youtube.com

It’s pretty simple to upload your video – you click upload, select the file from your computer and the process begins. While the video is in the process of uploading you’ll be able to enter info into YouTube about your video – that’s where you need to follow these tips…
  • Video title – create a title that identifies your video and incorporates keywords that you might want your video to be indexed under with search engines. Remember when I told you to google “heat press”? There is a reason my videos come up under heat press in Google. The use of the word in my title is one of those reasons. Example title: NEW Stahls Maxx Heat Press – Sneak Preview (Fun Fact - Google owns YouTube so you might find yourself at the top of a search by having a video that focuses on a niche)<LI sizset="66" sizcache="0">Description – use this section to describe your video while trying to incorporate keywords and most definitely a link to your website. It’s a must that you enter your site with the http:// in front of the url – check out this example description: Josh Ellsworth ( http://www.joshellsworth.com) gives you a sneak preview of the latest heat press on the market. The new Stahls’ MAXX heat press comes in 3 sizes and is designed for businesses looking to get started on a budget. This press does not compromise the 3 necessary components: time, temperature and pressure, but rather sacrifices some bells and whistles that may not be needed for a new business. Presses start at $595.
  • Tags – use this section to input all of the keywords that are associated with your video. It is important you complete this process and define tags that you might like to be indexed under when someone searches.
  • Category – I usually select educational as the category, but be sure to select something here.
  • Broadcasting and Sharing options in a Nutshell – always share your video with the world, so anyone can view it. Your customers will probably not go out of their way to complete the friend process on YouTube and then watch a private video. The only other thing to consider is whether or not you will allow people to rate your video. I recommend that you do and even consider asking your viewers to rate your video with 5 stars if they like it, as this will help improve your search placement as well.
Now, get it in front of your customers.

This is a critical step in the process. You’ve spent the time to put together a nice video or series of videos that showcases your products, now is the time to get the content in front of your customer.

There are several ways to do this….I recommend doing at least a few of them.
  1. Change your email signature to include a link to your latest video – make it say something like – “Check out our latest options for decorating polos by CLICKING HERE.”
  2. Send an email blast to your list – simply send an email announcing your new video and asking customers to take a look.
  3. Burn the edited video file from your computer to a disc. Throw the CD into a sleeve and drop it into the box of your next order or even create a special mailing of just CD’s with a letter.
  4. Link to the video from your main website, your Facebook page, your next tweet or anywhere else you hang out on the web.
  5. With all of these steps, ask customers to forward the link to others who might benefit from your services – this takes word of mouth to an entire new level.
2010 may be your year to be a Movie Star….

Set yourself a goal right now to make this form of social media marketing one of your objectives for 2010. I can guarantee that you will see results from your current customer base ordering new products as well as new customers that might not have reached you any other way.

Think about it….

If my first couple videos didn’t work out for me, do you really think I would waste my time making 60 more in 2 years?

Marketing with videos and YouTube specifically has been a great way for me to build sales, trust and brand recognition. I hope you’ll join me in what I like to call sales and marketing 2.0.

One of my blog followers has already hopped on board and given it a try. For his first shot, I think he did a great job - feel free to watch his video below about Poker Trophies:

1,223 Posts
Great post, thanks! I definitely have to get some videos online, I've been meaning to do it for a while so this is a good excuse to get the camera out and try something new.
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