Most YouTube creators are there because they want to share their voice and their art. But of course, they’re also there to create their brand as well as make money from it.
In order for them to be successful in this cutthroat competition, they need to market themselves like any artist should. And one of the most beneficial marketing strategies would be to release custom merchandise. But again, releasing them isn’t enough, the custom merch has to be marketed well.
There are many good tips on custom merch but I will give you a rundown of the most important ones if you’re a Youtuber.
HOW ARE CUSTOM MERCH BENEFICIAL MARKETING TOOLS?
Most Are Not Stationary
They’re good marketing tools because most of them are wearable and easy to carry around, like custom t-shirts and custom tumblers. If you have a band, you can make a custom band merch and people would say “hey, I need a shirt anyway.” In other words, they won’t become junk. Most of them won’t just be sitting in anyone’s living room or bedroom gathering dust, so they’ll be able to promote you and your channel for free.
They Generate Money
Aside from being good marketing tools, they are also good items to sell and make money from. If you plan this right and produce high quality custom merch for subscribers—like selling the best custom t-shirts for Youtube merch—you will be able to generate more than the money you spent on having them manufactured. Just make sure they’re really good or else your fans will start complaining.
They are Collectible
As long as your custom merchandise has cool designs, fans and subscribers would surely buy them, given that the prices are reasonable, of course. If you have different versions of a certain type of merchandise and you think that the designs are good, then go release them, I’m sure fans would love to collect one of each.
They Create Connections
There are two connections made here, connection between you, the creator, and your subscriber, and between subscribers. Your custom merch is another way to express yourself and with that, fans feel a stronger connection with you. Additionally, when a subscriber wears or carries your merch around, another subscriber may recognize it, talk to them and fangirl/boy about you, thus creating a connection.
TOP 10 TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR CUSTOM MERCH
#1: Have a mixture of merch items per release
There are many different merch items and it’s best to release a mixture of them, the rare and the usual, instead of just one item. It gives your subscribers the chance to choose what they want to buy. If they don’t want to buy the usual shirts and canvas bags, then you have jewelry or slippers to catch their attention.
This mixture also ensures that there is a variety of merchandise from different price ranges which would cater to all your subscribers regardless of how much money they can afford to spend. Let’s say you have the expensive custom knitted sweater, but some can’t afford it so they can have a custom embroidered patch that they can sew or stick on their shirt or jacket, with the same design.
#2: Ensure that you have money dedicated for the release
Without money, all those ideas won’t be coming true any time soon. You will have to make sure you have a certain amount of money set aside for your merch release. I suggest you save up for it, so that you get to release merchandise with great quality. Your budget will also help you determine the merch you can have manufactured.
#3: Ask for your subscribers opinions or feedback
After thinking of the merch items you want included in your release, you can ask your subscribers for their opinions. If you’ve released merchandise before, ask for their feedback on the previous release.
Take note of what they loved and got disappointed in, was it the merchandise quality, the printing, the shipping, the price and more. This will help you decide on the final line of merch items to release. Additionally, you will also have an estimation of how many people will be buying a certain merch item.
#4: Know how much to manufacture per merch
You can use the feedback and opinions you received from your subscribers to get real numbers on sure merch buyers and make an estimation out of it. You will also need to take into consideration the number of subscribers you have.
For example you have around a hundred sure buyers for your custom hoodies, then you can add another 50 hoodies as extra to avoid running out of stock. Make sure to also weigh the interest your subscribers have on a merch. The more interest they have in it, the more units you order for it.
#5: Determine if you will be hiring a designer
This is another thing to consider, because if you do hire a designer, you will have to pay them. This means that you will either have less than the original budget, or you will increase your budget. If you do cut the budget for it, you will need to adjust some things, either you remove a merch or decrease they’re units.
#6: Source out high quality items
After all that planning, you can try out sourcing your custom merch items to be printed on. You can also just try looking for a manufacturer that has an array of items available for you to choose from. But if you want to be the one to outsource them, then you have to look for high quality ones. Remember that your merch speaks for you, you as a creator, your channel, and your brand.
#7: Find a printer/manufacturer with high quality printing/products
If you decide to not outsource then you better make sure that the items they have for you are of high quality. You also have to make sure that the printing is high quality, what’s a good quality shirt or cap when they’re print isn’t? They’ll just look cheap.
#8: Make sure they offer various printing techniques
There are a lot of printing techniques that will help in enhancing your design on your custom merch items. If you had planned on having your design embroidered on your caps, then make sure that they offer embroidery. If you want your design to be elevated from your shirt, then make sure they have printing techniques that would create that effect.
#9: Look for a manufacturer that accepts on-demand and small orders
A manufacturer that accepts on-demand and small orders would be great. You can order from them in small quantities, like when you need additional custom patches or pins, and have them at your doorstep a day or two after placing the order.
#10: Better work with a custom merch maker with storage and fulfillment services
It sure would be best to work with one with storage and fulfillment services. You won’t need to free up space in your place because they will be the one to store it away for you. You also won’t need to worry about the shipment because they’ll also be the one to do it for you. All you have to do is either relay your subscribers’ orders to them, or have your subscribers buy from an online shop they operate on, like Shopify.
Custom merch is an awesome marketing tool that all YouTube creators should use. It would seriously be a waste of opportunity not to sell some.
Now that you’ve read through all ten tips, I hope you got something out of it. I wish you good luck. You can do this!