February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 34 of 120

INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D 30 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at Content Revisited '' "Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting." — BILL GATES, 1996 C ontent Is King." Internet marketing experts have agreed with that for more than two decades now, and, in fact, have used the phrase so many times online it has become a staple when it comes to organizing and optimizing your website for success. Not only do I agree, but in addition, I feel it applies to social networking strategies. Let's face it. Creative, attention-grabbing Tweets and/or Face- book posts are going to win re-tweets, click throughs, shares, and likes over stale and boring content all day. But how do we as business owners and apparel decorators define great content? We know how to present our products and services professionally. We know how to sell our business reputation and proudly boast about our successes. We can provide referrals and testimonials, samples of our work, and maybe even display an award or two. But what exactly makes great content for our target audience? CONVENIENCE Let your website visitors know how convenient it is to do business with you. Whether it is your brick and mortar location in the down- town square or the easy to use, secure shopping cart on your web- site, let people know the benefits that they will receive in terms of convenience when they choose your business over the competition. Position yourself to cater to today's mobile-friendly audience. If you can act from your cell phone, that is the definition of convenience. RELEVANCE What makes your business the best choice for your target audience? If you have a niche, share your expertise in that niche and refer to how you've serviced that market successfully, for how long, and include testimonials from happy customers. If you're more of a full-service apparel decorator, provide a bullet list of the challenges you've overcome. Highlight some of your greatest work, success stories, and achievements. ATTRACTIVENESS As apparel decorators, the internet and image-driven sites like Insta- gram and Pinterest provide us a great opportunity to simply show- case our work and let the products sell themselves. Make sure your site uses sharp, attractive images from your branding and buttons to your products and portfolio. Be sure to share them over the so- cial networks and add to the relevant networks regularly (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook). Not only are we providing con- tent to a text-driven internet, it is also a very visual internet when consumers discover that content. EMOTION Creative content that can generate an emotional response is wide open territory, and clearly going to be something for you to decide when applies to your target audience. Examples could include how exciting and wonderful it was for the High School Varsity Team to have a victorious season wearing custom apparel from your shop, or even something as simple as a funny cat picture captioned to say, "Call us today, so my owner will let me use the computer for a while." You know your target audience the best. Try to tap into things that will generate a whole- hearted response from them within your online content.

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