First of all, a little disclaimer: this is NOT a “must do” list of things. Remember to focus on what matters for the stage of business you’re in. If you’re a brand new shop or haven’t started one yet, don’t get distracted by shiny marketing strategies. Instead, you first need to build your shop’s foundation: starting your shop, creating your first product collection, branding, product photography, pricing, all of that good stuff (I have a ton of resources to help you with that in the free library).
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This is really more about trends in marketing for handmade sellers and therefore more appropriate for sellers who have built their foundation already and who are ready to push the “scale sales” button. Okay, let’s go!
Videos and live videos
This was already the case in 2018 when video really started to become more and more important, but it’s going to get even more important in 2019. People watch more videos and it helps them connect with the video creator, with the brand and with a product that you’re trying to sell.
A few ideas for video content:
- Behind the scenes;
- Studio tour;
- Watch me make *your product* (speed it up);
- Receiving supplies;
- Sending parcels;
- Picking supplies;
- Live sales;
- Product montage/collage;
What is user-generated content? It’s just a fancy marketing word that actually just means you’re creating a community of people around your brand that really support your shop and will recommend your products to other people.
It has always been important to build communities, encourage customers to share feedback and pictures online using your brand’s hashtag for example. Now we also have influencer marketing – nothing beats a recommendation from a person you trust. You don’t necessarily need to work with influencers but encourage conversations (comments, mentions, etc.) rather than focusing on likes.
Social shopping is shopping on your mobile phone, and it’s growing pretty quickly. We are way past mobile responsiveness now (meaning that your shop looks nice both on a desktop and on a smaller screen). In 2019 and we should actually start thinking about ways we can make customers shop our items while they’re doing what we all do when we’re on our phone: being on social media.
Social shopping is really shopping products via social networks. You can set up a shop on Facebook for example, but mostly I’m talking about Instagram and Pinterest here. Instagram has recently released the option to tag your product in your feed and it’s working really well. Pinterest is also a great platform to actually sell your product on. You can take people back to your shop or have them check out directly on the platform, depending on which country you live in (this option is not available in every country yet).
I would really encourage you to try social shopping if you are at a stage in your business where you think you’re ready to dive into those strategies.
Fast or free shipping – I know I’m not going to make many friends with this one. But before you get mad at me, I think that we can all agree that Amazon has created a world where people expect free next day delivery, so the more you can do to make shipping fast and free for your products, the better.
I am not saying that you must offer free shipping or must offer it everywhere in the world. I know that for some shops, depending on what you are selling and where you live, it might be difficult. My point here is more to try to play a little bit with it and see how you can reduce the shipping cost visible to your customer. The customer is always going to pay for it, it’s just going to be included in the price. That way they won’t get surprised with the shipping fee on the checkout page which in turn affect your conversion rate quite strongly.
Offering free shipping is also a bonus for Etsy SEO because it is one of the criteria in the Etsy algorithm.
SEO – Don’t try to cheat the system
Gone are the days where you could cheat search engine algorithm by keyword stuffing and other black magic SEO tricks. Google or Etsy search engines are very SMART and adapt results for each visitor. This means you can not rank #1 anymore, simply because “ranking doesn’t even really exist anymore”. If I type in “blue socks” on Etsy and you type in “blue socks” on Etsy, we’re going to be served completely different results based on what Etsy has seen us browse around and shop around on the platform. They’re going to show us what they think is relevant to us.
So what can you do? Focus on your customer: what would they type in the search bar to find your product? You can also focus on long tail keywords. Those are the keywords that have less search volume but higher quality, meaning more clicks and sales so that’s really where I’d say you should be focusing on next year.
That’s it! As I was saying, this is not a “must do” list or you will fail in 2019. I just wanted to tell you about what’s out there in the world of marketing so you can pick and choose. Let me know your thoughts below, I’m always happy to read and reply to all of your comments.
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