Do you advertise for your Etsy shop? Most people are going to answer no to that. Why not?
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Your Etsy shop can be as much of a “business” as you want it to be. If you’re just loving the fact that you can make a few things when you feel like it and sell ’em when they sell, then that’s great. At only 20 cents for a four month listing, Etsy is perfect for the seller who’s not trying to make a “living” from their sales.
But what if you’re one of those who want to be included one day in the “Quit Your Day Job”feature on the Etsy Storque? What if you do want to make a real, full-time, even lucrative living from your Etsy sales? You’re in luck, because you can do that too.
Use Advertising To Promote Your Etsy shop
In any business, advertising is an important consideration. Some established businesses don’t do much of it because they benefit from a good reputation and lots of past customers. But for the most part, all businesses have to advertise. It’s just part of the process.
An Etsy shop is no different. While Etsy sellers have the very unique advantage of likely getting some sales with no advertising, they can’t expect to get windfall sales without getting the word out. Sure, it happens, but you can’t count on it.
When you advertise, you not only get direct traffic to your shop, but you also build a very valuable commodity: brand recognition or brand equity. There is a reason that many of the ads on the internet are paid by the impression vs. by the click. It’s because an impression is valuable.
Every time you see the name of an advertiser they’ve made an impression on you. Even though you don’t click, they accomplished something. Just think about some of the blogs you visit regularly. I bet you can describe at least some of the ads you’ve seen on those blogs, even though you haven’t clicked on them. So doesn’t it stand to reason that if you decide that you want “vinyl wall art lettering” for example, that you’ll know where to go find it? That’s the whole idea of impressions.
Get Your Message Right
If you ask me, the most important thing your ad needs to tell people is “what problem you’re solving”. Often, sellers will advertise a problem they have such as “huge overstock, buy now” or “end of the season clearance”. There may be a time and place for that, but your best advertising is going to solve a problem someone has.
It makes me think of my own ad design for Kim’s Etsy Shop…
I think I can do better than this. This ad just says what we sell. I should ask myself a question: “So what?” Well, um…
- So you’ll make your daughter happy!
- So you’ll make her look pretty!
- So you’ll have something unique and handmade!
- So you can buy in your pajamas and have it delivered!
Realizing I had a problem, I worked on it some more:
She’s cute, huh? I think the new ad does a much better job of telling the buyer what we can do for them! We’ll see how it works! Does it make you want to click on it? I hope so.
Where To Advertise
Ha! Back up at the very beginning of this post I wrote a title. When I did, I was planning to end the post with a really great list of places to advertise online. That was a little bit bigger undertaking than I realized.
When you start to look, you’ll find that the options for online advertising are just really very extensive.Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and so many more of the “big guy’s” offer advertising and it might be very effective.
Specialty advertising networks pop-up all over the place with new ones showing up on the radar every day. It seems like there is a company offering to advertise for you in every single imaginable niche. Women, Crafters, Bloggers, SAHM, you name it, and there is an advertising network just for them!
The truth is that it probably isn’t a “right or wrong” question.It’s not like if you advertise on Google you’ll fail because you should have chosen Facebook. It’s more a matter of if you should advertise and don’t that you’ll have a hard time.
Another danger is moving your ad around too much. I’m more of a believer in consistency. You want people to get used to seeing you in the same place all the time. That repeated impression is what counts when you’re seeking to build a brand.
Advertising on Blogs
It all brings me back around to blogs being the best bang for the advertising dollar. I have a few reasons I think so:
Blogs are run by a person. Someone you can email with or even (gasp) talk on the phone! To me this is HUGE. At least if my ad is upside down I know who to contact. I also feel a more “small business” feel this way. Like I’m actually helping someone while they help me.
My ad is always there. Most advertising options offer some sort of complex promise that your ad will actually show up from time to time, but there is no way for you to “check” to see. If I pay a blogger to host my ad, I can go look at it with my own two eyes and make sure all is well.
Blogs are trusted resources.Bloggers build relationships with readers over time. They become someone the readers know and trust. This makes a big difference if they’re willing to promote my product. It’s a big deal to get a trusted referral. I don’t get that with other venues.
Blogs might offer an in-depth review or other “added value”.Bloggers need content and they’re always on the lookout for something great to write about. So usually they’re more than happy to learn enough about an advertiser’s product that they can write a post about it. That’s real value.
Blogs are cheap a great value.Compared to other forms of advertising, blogs really offer some pretty low pricing. A budget of $100 a month can get you some major exposure in the blogosphere.
Blogs get repeat readers, sometimes daily readers. Back to the repeat impressions again. Where else can I expect that my ad will be seen by the same people, for weeks on end, maybe every single day? No other resource can offer that for the money. That is ultra-valuable.
As you browse around the blogosphere, take note of the blogs you like and that you think might attract people willing to buy from your Etsy Shop. Look and see if they have an “advertise here” tab. Even if they don’t, you can bet that they would be willing to figure out something for you. Contact them and ask.
It’s good for them and good for your business.
For FURTHER (if you really want that!) reading here is an article by the SBA on small business advertising.