In 1995 nobody would have believed that comic books properties would have taken off the way they have in the new millennium? Superhero and comic themed movies are all the rage, the seemingly obscure characters many comic fans grew up loving are now household names, and Marvel, DC, and even some lesser known company’s logos are being showcased on T-shirts and merch across the world.
Still, it’s surprising how many of those who fell in love with comic characters through recent films don’t know that comic books are still a thriving industry, that new books hit the shelves weekly, and that the hard hitters like Batman and Superman haven’t went out of print in over 80 years!
The Comic Conundrum in 2019
With all of this new found adoration, comics shops have made a major comeback as a community staple for the like minded enthusiasts to gather and discuss the latest on-screen, or on-page, adventures of their favorite heroes. However, not all the news on comics shops is so heartwarming for the true believer.
Unfortunately, according to recent surveys, average comic shop visitors have been determined to be between their mid to late thirties, a generation that’s passionate, but aging out of the hobby none-the-less.
So, how do comic shops entice new, younger visitor’s to grace our doors? Below, we’ll take a look at a few different physical marketing techniques to grow your comic shop audience like the Hulk on a bad day!
Drawing in that new Blood
Of course, in the modern technocentric age, online marketing is a valuable resource for any business, in particular the industry of fandom which comic shops operate in. Marketing on social media, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, is a must, and additional ways to access your comic shop business identity in the digital realm, such as e-mail lists and mobile apps, will help drive business further. Though digital marketing is an essential means of promoting your business in the 21st century, there is much more to seeing new faces walking through your doors than an online presence alone.
In order to bring new customers in your doors, your shop needs to be a community destination. Hosting events is an excellent way to bring people in that may not already be familiar with your business. In marketing lingo an event hosted at your location is a form of what is referred to as ‘experiential marketing’. Events bring potential customers to your site and allow them to experience your business with the pressure of purchasing. Possible events for your shop include:
- In Store Events
- Game nights
- Swap meets
- Meet and Greets
- Author signings
- Graphic Novel Clubs
- and pretty much anything you can think of
Event hosting doesn’t necessarily have to be on grounds either. Introducing yourself as a local business proprietor at events held on campus’ such as game nights or trivia contests allow you to spread word of your shop. Another excellent way of engaging with the community is to rent space at local comic and sci-fi conventions or small business fairs. Regardless of how you choose to engage with your community, be sure to issue press releases of upcoming events or other goings on to local papers and other media to ensure you reach your maximum audience.
Though online and digital mediums are extremely important to any form of marketing, physical advertising is far from dead. In fact, recent marketing statistics show that 70% of Americans still prefer marketing on paper as to digital means. What does this mean for your comic shop? To maximize your business, physical advertising is still a must! Flyers, either handed out to patrons with purchase, or passersby outside your shop, allow both potential and returning customers to get the inside on exclusive offers, sales, events, and digital content, which in turn drive them to return to your business either online or in the store. Though digital advertising is imperative in the success of your shop think of physical marketing, like flyers, as the all important sidekick. Check out Manage Comics own pre-made flyer!
Partnering with other business that cater to the same audiences as your shop is another way to boost recognition of your own. Handing out flyers, hosting events, or offering free content at these locations offers the patrons of the businesses to get to know you and acknowledge another destination location in their community. Some businesses in your community to consider include:
- Movie Theaters- Think handing out free issues of Black Panther or Aquaman as patrons leave the theater with a business card inside with your business address.
- Record Stores- Several comic book movie soundtracks have become hits lately and record shops are prime locations for offering off site events.
- Used Bookstores- Bookstore patrons are only one step away from being comic book store patrons and that step is comics. Working with used bookstores to sell some of your older stock can not only offer another way of increasing profit but may entice customers to take that one extra step and visit your location.
- Coffee Shops- With coffee shops selling merch with Wonder Woman, Batman, DC, and Marvel logos, coffee shops are one of the many other community retail partnerships to consider. Like record stores, coffee shops are great locations for off site events.
Boost Your Comic Shop Marketing with Manage Comics!
Manage Comics have a wealth of information and resources waiting for you to better drive business to your comic shop! The unique Manage Comics software allows for a myriad of advantages for your shop and clients to make the comic buying experience even more enjoyable. Manage Comics has already designed a flyer, which you can download here, to hand out to your customers, or potential customers, to drive more traffic to your Manage Comics site and through the door. If you’re not already using Manage comics, check out the webinar on all of the benefits that the platform has to offer, and snag your free trial. Manage Comics is the hero you need to revolutionize your comic shop, grow your customer base, and bring your business into the future!