How do you promote your anime products?
You’ve created awesome anime art, built an online store and uploaded art and created your own anime merch. Cool. But nobody actually finds / buys your product.
I bet you’re here after experiencing the above sequence. Or maybe you’re a smart guy (or a gal) who decided to do some research before diving deep.
Anyways, how exactly do you promote your anime products? How can you get people to buy your anime merchandise?
When you create an anime product with your blood, sweat and tears but no one buys it, it’s heart wrecking.
And most of us… give up here.
But seeing how you’re here, it means you have not given up just yet. A big cheers for that.
And as a reward for your efforts, let me share a thing or two of what I know about online marketing. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve done my research and have observed the promotion methods others have used. I’m simply going to mention them down below (^^)
How To Promote Your Anime Products?
Creating your own affiliate program for your online anime merch store is probably the best ever method to promote anime products. With an affiliate program, you can make other people advertise your product and you’ll be giving them a cut of the profit for every sale they make.
This is better than normal advertising as you only pay when you make a sale. Not to mention the amount you pay is considerably less (you can decide) than what you’d pay with normal advertising.
The only drawback is that you can’t target your audience. You’ll just get to show that your products exist. There won’t necessarily be any conversions.
But hey, what’s there to lose? You basically get to advertise for free on hundreds of big accounts (yeah, you should have a lot of em) until someone decides to buy your product. It’s a win-win situation.
However, one thing you need to consider is to make exceptionally attractive ad banners for your products (which most of them don’t do. Bummer.) And ask hundreds of people to become your affiliate.
Also, one important thing about the ad banner- It absolutely must not have a real person. We seasoned anime fans hate real “3D” people and we prefer “2D” anime characters over them.
I’ve seen a few anime clothing ads that make this awful mistake. It literally makes us think “the ones selling anime stuff isn’t even that much of an anime fan. What a fake.”
Pretty judgmental. I know. But that’s how most people are in this community.
So you’re better off showing just the clothes on some attractive background, than to have an image of a real person wearing it.
So how do you start your own affiliate program?
If you have a WordPress you will be able to find some decent, free affiliate manager plugins (you can search for them in the plugins option on the dashboard.)
But if you don’t own a WordPress site, there are several affiliate management systems that you can use. However I’m assuming you don’t want to invest much in it. So I’ll tell you about the cheapest + best service there is– ClickMeter.
What is ClickMeter?
ClickMeter helps marketers and professional affiliates get the most from their links. It allows them to monitor, compare and optimize all their links in one place to increase conversion rates!
Of course, there are other free affiliate management software out there, but most of them are trashy. But it might be a nice place to start and you might find some decent one if you do some research. Who knows? Just search “free affiliate management software” on google and you should find them.
People nowadays hate typical advertisements. Most of them intuitively scroll through whenever they see an ad. They need something creative if you expect them to draw their attention.
And that’s where memes come in. Creating a meme is the easiest way to get your anime product popular among the otakus and weebs.
A long time ago I saw a wonderful anime umbrella meme ad on Instagram which was really funny and creative. It was clear that it was an ad (cuz it had “link in the bio” written on every meme) but nobody cared as much because it was so good.
But instead of writing “link in the bio” I think just watermarking your store url would be better. Because memes are meant to be shared. When someone shares your meme that says “link in the bio” it wouldn’t make any sense unless they have your store url on their bio.
The bottom line is, if they can create a meme ad for an umbrella then you can create one for literally any product you sell.
Influencer marketing on social media
There’s always someone out there who’s got a huge amount of following in the niche you’re working in.
Most of the time, these big accounts will be open to do paid promotions where you’ll pay them a certain amount per post for promoting your product.
For example, I have a Fiverr gig where I promote anime related content on my 50k+ Instagram account, and there are several other pages offering promotions there as well.
You can either ask them to directly promote your product (not profitable), or ask them to promote your own social media page(recommended).
While the former won’t necessarily make you any sales ( you might if you’re lucky), you can make your product and brand visible to a bunch of people.
But with the latter, you get an actual person to follow you. Which means you can personally promote your products to them whenever you want.
Or better yet, you can combine the meme idea we discussed earlier with this one and try to make your meme ad go viral.
When a big account posts a meme, it’ll reach thousands of people and some of them might re-post it and it’ll reach an even greater audience. If your meme is of top quality, this chain of re-posts might keep continuing for a long while.
Build a fan base
What do you think is most important to make people buy your product?
And how do you get trust? By making an identity for yourself and your brand.
In continuation with what we were talking about earlier, you should focus on building your brand on social media instead of making a sale or two through promotions.
You have to play the long term game here. Gaining your own audience, fans are going to pay off much better in the future.
But people just don’t follow merch pages, do they? So what should you do?
Like I mentioned before, instead of posting pics of your merchandise (which most people find unappealing), make memes of your merch and post it.
Post the artwork that is featured on your products and maybe the process of drawing it too.
Just keep it interesting.
You can post your product images once in a while, but don’t keep posting images of your product too often which may lead people to think that you’re a spam page. Instead, use the captions to ask people to check your stuff.
Once you announce yourself as an artist and then start asking people to check your merch, it won’t sound as spammy.
From what I’ve seen artist accounts have more loyal followers than any other account types. Mostly because artists are respected for the effort they put into their work.
Related >> How to grow an anime page on Instagram
Ask for reviews on YouTube
This is the method that a lot of companies use. I’m pretty sure you’ve probably seen one of these promotional “review videos” on YouTube.
Basically, the company will send the YouTuber a free product and they’ll have to review it.
So, if you want your anime merch to be reviewed by a YouTube channel, you gotta go find some big / medium channel and contact them through social media / mail and ask if they’re willing to review it.
Then send your stuff to them and they review it. They get a product for free and you get a promotional review for free. Simple and easy.
Ask a thousand people if you have to
Whether it is asking for a YouTube review or a social media promotion, you gotta be consistent and as a lot of people. Some might agree, some might not. Some might not even respond.
You just gotta keep moving forward and reach out to a thousand people if you have to.
Remember that you can only go so far all by yourself. You’re gonna need help at one point or another. So, you shouldn’t feel shy to ask people for help.
The most obvious option if you want to promote your anime products is traditional ads. Twitter ads. YouTube ads. Facebook ads. Instagram ads. *Insert every ad service here*
Some of them might be costlier than the others. And you’ll have to learn how to target your audience for the ads by watching a lot of tutorials (or else it’ll fail for sure, unless you’re super lucky.)
This one is a bit more complicated than the other methods, yes, but traditional ads are definitely effective. If not all the companies and brands wouldn’t be using them.
Did you know that Pinterest is a visual search engine? You can search for any visual images and it even recognizes the words written on images. Cool right?
So let’s say someone wants to buy a Black clover figurine. They’re gonna search on google for it. And since they’re after a product, they’re very likely to go to the images to see what it looks like.
Here’s your cue. With Pinterest you can rank on Google images! Also, since pinterest doesn’t work only based on followers you can get a decent engagement regardless of whether you have a huge following or not.
All you have to do is to create visually striking pins of your products and pin them regularly.
Ride the wave
This isn’t a method to promote your anime products, but you gotta learn to use trends and other events to your advantage. There’s always something that’s popular and there are always annual events like Christmas, mother’s day, etc.
If you can leverage them, you can get more people to buy your product.
There’s always a new anime or new waifu that’s going viral in the anime community.
You gotta make use of this trend and create stuff to cater the needs of the weebs/otakus going crazy over these new trends.
For this you must be familiar with what’s going on in the anime community by actively participating in social media and always looking for new opportunities.
– Products for specific events
There might be people searching for an anime related product to present on Christmas. There might be looking for a new anime calendar during the December-January period. These are what I call “event days.”
You can get more attention from people more during certain periods of the year with certain products.
You have to analyze this and make moves that will profit you.
Remember it takes time
Be patient. If you’re looking for instant money, you’re not gonna go too far. You have a humongous task of building a brand and gaining the trust of people. Not to mention all the work you have to put into creating a quality product.
In the beginning it’s going to be too much effort and a very little turnover. But as time goes, you’ll slowly but steadily get bigger and bigger. And one day your turn over will exceed that of the time you put into your work.
You simply have to take action and wait. If things don’t go well, try something else and wait to see how it goes. Patience is always the key.