How to Promote Your T-Shirt Campaign on Instagram

Now that your campaign has launched, it’s time to spread the word about the awesome shirts you’ve designed. The first step of planning your promotion strategy is evaluating where your largest audience is. What social media platform or communication tool has the largest following, or has provided the most support and engagement in the past? If Instagram is a prominent platform for your community, follow this a list of helpful tips to help you maximize your promotion and increase t-shirt sales.

Create a Promotion Calendar

The easiest way to manage the promotion of your campaign is to create a Promotion Calendar. Layout the dates throughout the length of your campaign that you want to promote, and prepare images and captions for each. Don’t know how to create your promotion calendar? Read more about scheduling your promotional posts here.

Prepare Engaging Visuals

Instagram is a visual social platform, and thus, you’ll need a varied collection of rockin’ images of your t-shirts to use in your promotions. We highly recommend ordering shirts ahead of the start of your campaign so you can take some photos of your shirts to use when promoting. With Bonfire Supply, you can order as few as 1 shirt so that you can have a real tee to photograph. Also, it’s proven that photos of real people wearing products end up selling more shirts than photos of a shirt laying on a surface, so enlist some volunteers to be models for your apparel.

Pick a Unique Hashtag

While hashtags can sometimes feel trite, when used correctly they can actually be an incredibly powerful tool. By choosing a completely unique hashtag that’s easy to remember and connects to your campaign or cause, you can collect all of the posts about your campaign all in one place. Use your chosen hashtag in the caption of your photos so others can click the link to find other posts related to the campaign, from you, and other supporters of your cause. It also becomes a great way to keep track of photos your supporters post when rocking their tees, but we’ll get into that later.

Make the URL Clickable

make your t-shirt URL clickable on Instagram
Taz updated her Instagram Profile to show off her Bonfire campaign URL and made it super easy for her followers to find.

Instagram doesn’t permit you to add clickable links to your captions, and they also have copy/paste abilities on lockdown. So, to ensure your followers can actually access your campaign easily, make sure you put the URL to your campaign in your Instagram profile. You can make changes to the link in your profile by clicking the option to “Edit Profile”. In your photo captions, just tell interested buyers that they can find the link to purchase a shirt in your profile.

Minimize Linking

If you typically use tools like Linktree to link to multiple things at once via your Instagram profile, we highly recommend replacing that link with the Bonfire campaign link for the life of your campaign. When you are selling shirts, you want to minimize the effort, clicks, and page-loads it takes for someone to get to the campaign page to checkout, and Linktree adds a barrier to your potential buyers. So, by having the direct link in your Instagram profile, you get prospective buyers to your campaign page in just one click.

Vary Your Content

Bryce Matteson of Run5050 created a diverse collection of images to promote his t-shirt campaign, including flat-lays, and photos of him and other rocking the tee.

Think strategically about what you talk about in each post. You don’t want to become a broken record. Once people start seeing the same appeal in their feed over and over, interest turns to eye rolls. By varying the images and content matter you share in each post, you’ll keep your potential supporters engaged through the length of your promotion. Make sure you have a collection of awesome Instagram-worthy photos of your shirt and vary the style of the photos so that your community doesn’t scroll past your post because it’s the same image they’ve seen 3 times that week.

Post on Instagram Stories

Because of Instagram’s algorithms, there’s no guarantee that all of your followers will see your posts about your campaign. Instagram stories are a great way to break through the noise of an Instagram feed since it’s at the very top of the app. It’s also been found that hopping on an Instagram Story video to explain a bit about the campaign and show off the shirt sometimes even converts to more sales than an Instagram post.

Lindsey of Nourish Move Love promotes her shirt campaign in her Instagram Stories, with a combination of videos and fresh photos exclusive to her stories.
<strong>Master the art of promoting merch on Instagram Stories</strong>
Master the art of promoting merch on Instagram Stories

Learn how you can increase t-shirt sales from Instagram Stories with these promotion strategies.

Ask Your Followers for Photos

One of the benefits of promoting your campaign on Instagram is that there’s natural virality built into the platform. During the promotion of your campaign, you’ll likely find that some of your bought-in supporters will share about the shirt with their own followers by using one of Instagram’s sharing features.

But, the greatest benefit of promoting on Instagram is asking your community to post photos of themselves rocking your tee once it arrives! This will create even more excitement and a sense of community amongst your followers. And it will also create demand for a relaunch of your campaign for those who missed out on purchasing the first time. The easiest way to collect images of your community rocking their new tees is to ask your buyers to either tag you in the photos or use your unique hashtag when posting.

Hundreds of people and organizations use Bonfire every day, and each of their promotion strategies is unique to their goals or cause. You know what will work best for your audience. Trust your instincts as your plan your approach. But, to help you get started, we’ve created a Promotion Checklist that will help you create a framework for what a strong promotion strategy will look like. If you still need help, our Customer Support Team is here to help every step of the way!

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