As handmade businesses, we want a lot of bang for our advertising buck. I am as attached to the dollars in my Paypal account as you are to yours, and so I’m happy to answer questions about my strategy and share my wins and losses. As handmade business entering the advertising world, we have a few options for cost-per-click ads:
- My favorite place to advertise is Facebook. I discuss narrowing your market in more detail with Norah below in the Q&A. After you’ve identified your customer, you can visit your own Facebook profile, click “create an ad” above the advertisements on your right, and follow the very user-friendly process from there. It takes about 5 minutes to create an ad, and no more than a few hours before Facebook approves it.
- I’ve yet to come up with a winning strategy using Google Adwords, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try again. For different ventures, I’ve cashed coupons for $100 worth of free advertising (you can subscribe to small business magazines, like Inc. for $12/year and get tons of advertising coupons for both Google and Facebook) and paid for other campaigns, but I’ve yet to make an Energy Shop sale from Google. It relies heavily on keywords, and there are no pictures, an invaluable part of Facebook advertising.
- One of the newest ways to advertise online is to have celebrities and other highly influential people tweet about your product and link to your storefront. Check out the website, Sponsored Tweets to find the perfect spokesperson for you.
If you want to learn more about cost-per-click (CPC) advertising in general, I highly recommend The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. I learned most of what I know about online advertising from this title alone.
Onto the Q&A:
I have found that the giveaway approach works wonders in terms of gaining fans, but paying customers are what we all need more of. I have my loyal fan base, but would love to draw in more paying customers. Any tips would be great & thanks for taking the time to share! Junie of Junie’s Trinkets
Junie, I’m LOVING this quote right now: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein. I’m a huge fan of fans, but I don’t think it’s the number we should be counting.
I checked out your Facebook page, and you are very good at gaining fans! But it’s paying customers that make businesses grow. Period. Your challenge now is to think of all of those fans as part of your sales funnel and get them to buy. When customers shop with you, hone in on where they came from so you can find more people like them. You have a nice platform, you can now focus on studying what works and what doesn’t in terms of listings and pictures that result in sales.
Part 2 of Junie’s question: I would also love if it you have some insight to all the new “insights” FB now gives our pages- what “number talking about this” actually means?
People “talking about this” on Facebook came with the new activity feed that is scrolling along the right-hand side of your “home” page. That number means people have commented, answered a question, “liked” a post, or posted on your fan page wall—all actions that your fan’s friends can see. The higher the number, the better.
I am trying to find the right venues for my advertising dollars. So far, I have gotten very little bang for my buck. How do you choose where to advertise?—Norah of Your Daily Jewels
I do very well at targeting my customers on Facebook. You can do this by asking yourself: Who are your customers? How old are they? Are they predominantly male or female? Do they have a family or are they single? Are they conventional or quirky? What do they read? What movies/TV do they watch? Where do they take vacation? Are they laid-back or adventurous? What are their hobbies? Build a typical customer on paper, and then you’ll start getting ideas on exactly how to find them.
Would you be willing to share where some of your “off-site” advertising is? Obviously ones that have worked : ) I think that is part of the problem – knowing “where” to go for advertising, blogs? handmade sites? facebook? There are just so many options and price points as well! Thanks! —Christine of Plumed on Etsy
This depends on your product or service. If I had an e-book to sell or a service to offer the handmade community, I would advertise on blogs, as many people who read blogs are DIY-ers or information seekers. There’s a real market there, but the question is, “Do your customers read blogs?” Not everybody does.
Most of our customers use Facebook, and like I said in the previous question, Facebook ads are my favorite. I’ve been loving the new feature on Etsy where you can use a “like” and “follow” button on your header. This says a lot about where your customers are: I watch my Facebook numbers go up every day, but Twitter … not so much.
Go in-depth when you find them. I ask: Who are my customers subscribed to on Facebook? What are they watching on TV? What are they reading? Where else can I find people who are looking for energy bracelets?
And ask each other for more ideas. One of the things I want to do this year is host brainstorming sessions on my Marketing Creativity blog. We’ll take a shop like yours and throw ideas around about how to find more customers, where to advertise, and discuss any other challenges you might be facing. One way to get started right now? Go onto your Facebook profile and ask your friends where they think your customers are hanging out. You won’t believe the clever responses you’ll hear!
I definitely have to do some more CPC, offsite advertising. I get scared that the money I spend won’t come back (I don’t know that my tags/keywords are always spot on).–Meghann of Little Studio on Etsy
I was glad you submitted this comment before I completed my article, Meghann. It’s an excellent point. And like I said to you in my reply: you’re absolutely right; you should take your time because scared money never wins. You need to research your customers and think about what they’re watching on TV, what magazines they’re reading, what stores they shop at the mall. You want to use one-step further thinking, as in: My customer reads Oprah Magazine. One-step further thinking: Who is their favorite contributor? Martha Beck (who writes inspirational/motivational columns) is why they open the magazine every month. In that one-step, you’ve narrowed your focus from 6.5 million to 3,333 people. That makes for MUCH cheaper advertising and more direct targeting.
For your store, I’d focus on what magazine you think your customers are reading, and then which jeweler’s advertisements are really standing out to them—those with that personal touch, like your birthstone jewelry. You can target people who “like” a bigger brand of what you make–your handmade attention will be very appealing to those people.
Then, you set a daily limit that you’re absolutely comfortable with. I don’t leave ads running that are not gaining me new customers, so leave it just for one or two days. If you narrow your target enough, you advertise for $.20 per click or less. So, by just investing $10, you’ll get at least 50 new visitors.
I have to add, that I love having my ads on. This is me and my metaphysical beliefs, but I feel the shop carries more energy. I do more selling all around, whether they come from my ad or not—everyone can feel the momentum and they want to be a part of it.
Thank you for submitting your questions and I look forward to the next Q&A post. All the best!