Every brand has a different marketing approach. In this ultimate guide to marketing your shoe line, we provide valuable insights on how to find your niche.
Market Your Niche
Marketing your shoe line will depend on the kind of shoes you sell and the niche market you are targeting. For example, if you’re a luxury women’s stiletto brand your marketing approach may be very different from a fashion sneaker brand.
To identify your niche, here are some questions to ask: What pain point am I solving? How am I different? What is my target audience? Who else is selling a similar product to me? What is their marketing strategy? How can I learn from that and differentiate my marketing strategy?
It is important to perform an analysis of popular shoe lines and to find gaps where you can differentiate your marketing strategy and approach.
Branding & Logo Design
Coming up with a catchy brand name for your shoe line will attract interest. It can be your own name or you can come up with something that will resonate with your target niche. Once you come up with the brand name, the first step is to check if the domain name and social handles are available. While, registering your business and getting a trademark is important, it is not necessary in the early prototyping and sampling stages. However, while we are working on your shoe sample prototype it is always a good idea to get started with the registration process.
Increase Your Online & Offline Presence
Working with several fashion startups & established brands over the years, our advise is always to start marketing your brand as early as possible. Find your first 1000 true fans from your niche and target them specifically so your product spreads through word of mouth.
It is important to use various social channels to share pictures of the making process & to get valuable feedback from your early fans. Increasing your online presence on various social channels like instagram, facebook, twitter and search engines like Google is critical.
Choosing the right channel again depends on where your niche market is. For example, if you are targeting millennials interested in sustainable products with vegan leather shoes then Instagram marketing may be the right approach. Whereas, if you are targeting an innovative comfort shoe or an athletic sneaker, then you may want to advertise in sports magazines. Try to adapt this practice to your own shoe line in some capacity.
Professional Product Photography
Pictures speak a thousand words. After your shoe samples are complete, invest in professional product photography to show off your product on your various marketing channels. As part of our Startup Package, we also provide photography for those that want to show the making shoe manufacturing process.
Create An E-commerce Store
If you focus on direct to consumer selling then you will need an e-commerce website for your brand. You can register your domain on a platform like Godaddy or Namecheap and link it with an ecommerce platform like Shopify or Squarespace, which make it very easy to launch a store. You can also work with a freelance web developer if you want a professionally built custom website.
After you launch your website, you can increase your search presence by investing in SEO, Search Engine Optimization. You can hire an SEO expert or learn to optimize your website yourself. You can also setup a pre-order system before you place a production order.
Approach Boutiques, Department Stores & Pop-up Shops
During this stage, it is also important to start approaching Boutiques, Department Stores & placing your shoe collection at pop-up shops rather than fully relying on online sales. This will give your potential customers a chance to touch and feel the product.
It’s always a good idea to pre-produce your entire collection before launching your store. If you prefer wholesale, you first produce your sell-in samples and wait for your orders to come in.
Influencer Marketing vs Print Advertising
Influencer Marketing is a great way to get your product in front of your potential niche. To get your story out there you will need to be active on social media, invest in beautiful content, product photography and videos. Blogging also helps connect your audience to the person behind the brand label.
If you want print magazines to write about your product you need to create a media pack or hire a PR agency or freelancer to pitch your story.
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