Social media marketing

Hundreds of thousands tune in to Fastsigns Manchester TikTok

Fastsigns' videos playfully pit teams against each other. Image: TikTok
Fastsigns' videos playfully pit teams against each other. Image: TikTok

Fastsigns Manchester has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on social media video platform TikTok with a series of football team and band-related print videos.

Kicking off its short-form video campaign in early 2023, the company has worked with consultancy Hussel Marketing to push its brand out to wider audiences on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube Shorts.

Fastsigns Manchester now clocks around 100,000 views per month on its videos, up from an average of 300 just one year ago.

Lewis Ellis, director of Hussel Marketing – and previous ‘final five’ contestant on BBC’s The Apprentice – told Printweek that the videos’ interactive approach to its audience had transformed the campaign’s fortunes.

He said: “Signage in its own right isn’t that sexy – so on social media it’s exactly the sort of thing that a lot of people might scroll past, especially because it can look very promotional.

“In the last nine months, we switched focus to aim for what people really want to see: so we asked them, and people started asking for football club [signs] and band logos.”

While not directly advertising products that can be sold – many of the requested signs are under copyright – the campaign has proved to be a fantastic mode of promoting brand awareness in audiences that might never have heard of the firm.

Ellis added: “Every time you watch one of the videos, the message comes across: look how friendly our staff are, look how happy we are, how clean the operations are. It’s all being shown, without ever having to be said.”

Cut with clips of historic goals, the football badge videos are particularly popular, with Sheffield Wednesday topping Fastsign Manchester’s viewer rankings at 36,000 views.

Stockport County’s video, coming in at 33,000 views, even caused a fan to get directly in touch with Stockport's directorate: a few phone calls later, and Fastsigns Manchester was given dispensation to print the desperate fan his very own printed club badge.

The strategy has likewise pushed social media to being Fastsigns Manchester’s second largest driver of online traffic, greater than through organic searches on Google.

Dan Andrew-Pugh, the company’s production manager, told Printweek: “It’s going very well. 

“Obviously we’ve pumped quite a bit of money into [the new digital marketing strategy], and we’ve seen a massive increase in follows and requests for videos from our audience.

“We’ve had a decent amount of leads – we’re not quite there yet – but it’s continuing to grow, and we’re still on that journey: advertising is one of those things where it just takes a little bit of time to come to fruition.”

The next stage, Andrew-Pugh added, was for the firm to step into the world of podcasts, following Hussel’s construction of a studio at Fastsigns Manchester’s site – which will aptly be decked out with the badges printed for the firm’s TikTok content.

“It’s going to be informative, just trying to give people a bit more of an idea of the processes and what we do – it’s all about showing that we’re not just a signage company that does vehicle wraps, we’re a one-stop-shop.”

Fastsigns Manchester prints for its videos using a Canon Arizona 318GL UV flatbed, and a pair of Epson and Roland DG roll-to-roll printers for vinyl, cutting on a Zünd flatbed machine.