How to Utilize These 6 Low-Key But Powerful Strategies of Swag T-Shirt Marketing

8 min read
Jessica Day
Jessica Day
Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Published: May 31, 2022

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Do you make amazing t-shirts, yet not that many people seem to want to buy them? This is probably because you aren’t dedicating enough of your efforts to improving your marketing strategy. Taking pictures of your t-shirts and putting them on Instagram simply isn’t enough if you want to go viral. You need to focus your efforts on a fully-fledged marketing campaign, and this article will help you figure out how.

Why do you need t-shirt marketing?

Having a solid marketing campaign for your t-shirt business is vital if you want to distinguish yourself amongst the masses of people selling clothing online. Without it, nobody will ever hear about your company or see what your product even looks like.

Think about the number of times you have bought a t-shirt or other item of clothing from a social media advert or a promotional email. It works. And if you aren’t already, you need to be focusing a lot more of your efforts on improving your marketing campaign.

Keep in mind that this is not a quick process – make sure you are protecting yourself from burnout along the way.

Below are some great tips to get you started on spreading the word about your awesome t-shirt business:

Six powerful marketing strategies 

Take a look below at six low-key but powerful strategies for your t-shirt marketing campaign:

  1. Prioritize visuals 

Anyone coming to your online store has to be dazzled by the content they find there. Make sure your website has a consistent, aesthetic look to it. Without this, your store could end up looking unprofessional or untidy, which could lead potential clients into questioning the authenticity, and reliability of your business. If they are unsure as to whether they can trust you with their money, they will be unlikely to buy at all.

Make sure the pictures of your t-shirts are of the best quality, taken with a consistent, plain background, and good lighting. Offer a good range of images, close up, front, and back, of each item in your store. If potential clients can’t get a sense of what you are selling, this might also turn them away. 

You could also consider live events, such as on social media platforms, or even an audio video conference event to advertise your business.

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Lastly, consider t-shirt mockups. Some websites allow you to depict your t-shirts on ‘models.’ This is a great way to enable your customers to see what your products would look like on an actual person! 

If you are creating an online store and need some help, conduct web app testing to get some good insights about what does and doesn’t work for your website.

Lastly, consider alternative ways of showing off your t-shirts using visuals. For instance, you could hire models to walk towards and away from a camera. Such short videos would give a great sense of the angles and proportions of your clothing, and what they look like on an actual person. 

  1. A good logo

Never underestimate the value of having a good logo. Your logo will have a huge impact on your ability to effectively market your t-shirt business. It is how people recognize your business, and as a result help spread it far and wide. Marketing this very consistently, is key to your campaign. 

This is also why choosing an attractive, effective logo is so important. Also, make sure the logo you choose fits in well with the overall aesthetics of your website and t-shirt designs. Otherwise, it will only end up looking out of place, damaging your prospects.

Once you have a good logo, then your marketing campaign can kick off. As many people as possible need to be seeing your logo, on as many platforms, and avenues as you can advertise it. Think social media ads and posts, influencer collaborations, promotional gifts, and so much more.

Invest your time into a great logo first. Because without it, all your other marketing strategies are simply going to get ignored. Once your logo starts to gain familiarity, your business will truly gain fame, and gradual success. At that point, you will need to consider all sorts of things, including really specific stuff like voice over internet protocol, for when your business will need to communicate with large numbers of customers, manufacturers, and employees.

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  1. Have a niche

Having a niche is so important. Very rarely does a t-shirt business cover every interest, gender, and nationality. Usually, a t-shirt business will specialize in a particular group, such as ‘gender reveal t-shirts’ or ‘Star Wars t-shirt merchandise.’ By creating a niche, your business will have a specific category of people in mind, enabling you to establish a more tailored, and successful, marketing strategy. 

This will make you far more likely to satisfy your consumer, especially in the increasingly demanding, post-pandemic world.

So ask yourself who exactly your content is being made for, and how best you can narrow down and specialize in that field even more. Your designs and styles, the colors and fonts you use, and so much more, should all be informed by your chosen niche.

Research businesses that are targeting the same group of people like you, and see what you can learn from them. The more specific you are, the better.

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  1. Content marketing 

Everything that you write about your business needs to be highly polished, and optimized to engage your target audience. 

The best thing you can do to get started on this is to begin writing a blog. Generating traffic in search engines is the future of a successful marketing campaign, so if you don’t already know how, learn to use SEO techniques in your writing, and then produce as much high-quality content as you can. 

That way, when people search for the niche they want on a t-shirt, your product will be the first to show up. Mostly, most people only bother looking at the first handful of entries in a google search. 

Having a blog will also enable you to share that passion, and vision you have for your business. It will also ensure that you are remaining in contact with your consumer. Check out some more tips on writing a blog.

Remember that writing a blog alone won’t be enough to fully advertise your business. You need to spread your content over multiple channels, particularly social media.

Doing so will also help you improve your brand identity, strengthen your ties with your customers, and ensure that your work is being heard about all over the internet.

And if you don’t feel confident writing your own, you might want to consider hiring some freelancers or staff. However, keep in mind that there are drawbacks to doing so, such as having to monitor your employees.

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  1. The power of a deal

This one speaks for itself. Pretty much everyone has been in the position of wanting to buy something, but not having fully decided. Not being able to justify another purchase, but wanting the product anyway. A deal can push someone over the edge, helping your consumer to feel like they’ve gained something from a discounted item or bundle deal.

Sales and discounts are a great marketing strategy. They help people feel invested in your products, and attract new customers to your website.

Use holiday seasons as a good starting point for a site wide sale, as well as other dates, such as your business’ birthday. People will already be shopping around, for instance for Black Friday deals, and will be more likely to purchase something from you during this period.

You could set up a buy one get one free, or a 30% off long-sleeved t-shirt promotion.

Consider a partner affiliate program to help you further advertise your content, and any promotional deals taking place (but keep average affiliate commission in mind)! 

6. Take advantage of customer reviews

Always know who your consumer is. Having a niche is a great way to focus your business around a target audience, but either way, put effort into understanding who your business appeals to. Because knowing your consumer is vital to a successful business, regardless of what you are trying to sell. Without it, you will never be able to improve your customer retention rate.

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Generic marketing strategies often fail to engage large audiences, whereas more specific ones tend to draw in bigger numbers of consumers. Your consumer needs to feel like your business is tailoring to their exact needs, and that you can offer them everything they want, in one place. 

A good way to figure out what your customer likes and doesn’t like is by mining reviews on the web. Find a competitor business, and see what people have said about their product. You would be surprised by how insightful this can be. 

As your business grows, you will begin to receive more of your own site reviews. Make sure you stay on top of replying, and engaging with your consumer. Show them that their feedback matters to you, and that you are constantly working to improve your content, tailoring it further to their wants. As you become more successful, you might want to invest in a virtual reception for small business to help you keep on top of things.


If you want your t-shirt business to make it big, then you have to start prioritizing your marketing strategy. Focus on your consumer, and create an aesthetically pleasing product that looks good, and is presented well online. Images are your friends, as are promotional campaigns. Work hard to spread the message about what you do, and slowly, people will begin to recognize your logo. When they do, more people will begin to trust you, until eventually, they start buying from you as well.

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