If you’re not cheating you’re not trying. There’s no cheating when it comes to begging, borrowing, and stealing as much traffic as you can get. Sometimes, however, it’s just easy to pay for it.
Even if you’re super afraid about burning through cash on paid media, there are some pretty great options for promoting both your shop and products that didn’t exist even as little as a few months ago.
1. Promoted Pins
I love that promoted pins are out. For thousands of years Etsy sellers have been gawking at Pinterest wondering how they could get more followers and stuff. Well screw that. Now you can just pay to have your pins promoted to the top.
Ideas For Using Pinterest Promoted Pins
There’s a few different methods for using promoted pins depending on how well-known your brand is and how well your sells are going.
1. Promoting Big Products
If you have some big products (or ones that you’ve had some success with), then you should go for getting traffic to your site by highlighting those money makers. Again, I’d advise erring on the side of a significant data set to figure out what’s real and what’s just white noise.
2. Promoting The Brand
If your shop isn’t well known, doesn’t have a lot of views, and doesn’t have a lot of sales — it makes more sense to promote the brand vs. an individual product. Until you have more views, almost all of your products are unvetted — so it’s difficult to know what connects with audiences. Shoveling money towards promoting a product that people don’t want isn’t a wise use of marketing dollars.
The plus side of promoting the brand is that you can still promote a lifestyle even if people aren’t 100% ready to buy your products. If they follow you, you’ll have continued access and re-exposure to a long-term audience for testing a slew of cat sweaters or hard drive bedazzling kits.
2. Traditional Pay-Per-Click
I get the perception that pay-per-click is a scary option for some Shop owners, and it should be because it only makes sense in very limited situations where the query intent is specific. As in “I-am-probably-going-to-buy-this-thing” specific. Even when that’s true, when Etsy sellers start delving into mainstream channels like pay-per-click, they begin to compete with highly commercialized industries that, typically, make the cost per click so high that it’s basically not even worth it.
So, why am I recommending this? I’m recommending this because if you can make it work you have access to one of the most powerful mediums for producing sales.
Approaches To Using Pay-Per-Click
There’s a lot of dynamics to work with here and, I should note, that you won’t have access to attribution data for sales from pay-per-click to prove these ads work. This is the absolutely opposite approach I advocate for professionally since without data you can’t prove that any marketing works. That caveat aside, as a method for being able to access a group of people searching for a thing and you happen to sell that thing, well, it’s pretty good for that.
Let’s look at a bad example. I bought a camera strap for my wife off Etsy that’s yet to arrive after a month. Something about things shutting down in Italy. I digress.
Let’s say I want to start my own camera strap business. Let’s say I want to start my own yellow camera strap business.
Probably a pretty easy auction to compete in since no one else is doing it.
In this particular case, you’ll be competing against Google Product Listing Ads (which are the sponsored image ads at the top of the page that Etsy pays for on behalf of Etsy sellers) and “yellow camera strap” is probably a little too broad without some more qualifiers (e.g. “handmade” or “leather”).
3. Facebook Custom Audiences + Look-a-Like Audience
Etsy already recommends that you build your brand through building an e-mail list. If you have access to customer e-mail addresses, you can use a specific technique through Facebook that allows you to target these customers through Facebook called Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences are a great way to re-engage customers with the brand and keep your shop top-of-mind for consumers that may be on the fence about a purchase decision.
Custom Audiences also allow you to make Look-A-Like Audiences, which are audiences that are based on the demographics and behavior of your custom audience — essential expanding to a group of people you’ve never met.
Ideas For Using Custom Audiences
1. Promoting Facebook Pages
Promoting your Facebook pages is a great avenue if you don’t have a site and using custom audiences to target your customers is a great way to transition customers from just Etsy interactions to engaging with you on Facebook.
2. Reengaging with Repeat Customers
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any shop. If you’re smart enough to figure out who these people are then creating specific custom audiences with only these customers and targeted campaigns is a great way to boost sales.