Long gone are the days when an artisan would earn an often-precarious living by depending on customers coming in through the door of their brick-and-mortar shop, or strolling down the aisle of a bustling crafts fair. Today, creators of all sorts have taken to internet marketing to develop a far-flung customer base. However, succeeding on the Internet takes more than just opening a shop-front on an online marketplace. You need to actively pursue new buyers and maintain connections with existing customers! Keep reading creating an effective marketing strategy for your online shop to find out how to create an effective marketing strategy.
Find Your Customers Online
You need to reach out to potential customers. Ten years ago the only real platform out there was Facebook, and it’s still a popular place. Whether you’re buying Facebook ads or participating in online groups, you may find this a worthwhile venue. However, the average age of a Facebook user keeps going up as Millennials have moved on to other sites. The most dynamic social media platform right now is probably Instagram, so if your target audience is younger, this probably makes the most sense as a primary tool.
If you can target a specialty niche through online forums for enthusiasts, go for it! For instance, if you make specialty furnishings, you may be able to establish yourself as a helpful voice of authority on a home design forum, and at the same time promote your own creations without making it too spammy.
Why not increase the eyeballs on your Instagram posts by working with others? Find other craftspeople with a similar aesthetic to your own, but not in the same field. For instance, if you make rustic stoneware, you could team up for an Instagram or Pinterest post with the makers of woolen throws and country-style wooden furniture. Cross-posting and linking to each other’s shops will increase everyone’s audience and increase traffic to your online marketplace.
Let Others Help You Sell
Social media influencers, whether it’s a popular blogger or someone with a large Instagram following can, help promote your product. In return for a free sample, or a steep discount, you can get access to a much larger audience than your own personal followers, which should translate into more visits to your online shop. Look for blogs or accounts with a similar audience as your target demographic to maximize your exposure!
Keep in Touch with a Newsletter
Once you have an established customer base, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with them by sending out a regular newsletter. This method of outreach has been around for a long time. New platforms such as Mailchimp make it easy to create professional-looking emails, even in their free versions! Start with a mailing list of current customers. Newsletters can help you develop a closer relationship with them- you can include personal anecdotes and pictures, and promote new products or sales. And encourage visitors to your shop to sign up as well. Maybe receiving an email a week or so later will give them the nudge to return and make a purchase!
Find the Right Marketplace
Half the battle is finding the right online home for your shop. If you are looking for the discriminating buyer, Artisan Born will ensure that your creations don’t get lost in the clutter of thousands of vendors!
Do you need help marketing your business? Check out our Pro Plan to learn more about how we can help.