Etsy is one of the largest e-commerce websites made for independent creators selling handmade crafts, vintage items and craft supplies. As many of our customers are Etsy sellers, we wanted to give them the best tools for marketing their business, which is why we created a five-step strategy that actually delivers.
Discover how to create your Etsy marketing strategy plan below, from getting started to advertising and selling on your Etsy store.
Knowing Your USP (Unique Selling Point)Just like any other business, Etsy sellers need to find out what makes them stand out from their competitors. As of 2018, there were 2.1 million sellers on Etsy (Statistica) – so the first question you need to ask yourself is why should customers shop with you and not one of the millions of other sellers?
Just like any other business, Etsy sellers need to find out what makes them stand out from their competitors. As of 2020, there were more than 4.3 million sellers on Etsy, so there’s an important question you must first ask yourself to start your Etsy marketing plan: what is your USP?
One way to make sure your business is getting the attention it deserves is by creating products for a niche market. For example, if you’re a jewellery maker, instead of making a ‘gold bangle’ and competing with thousands of similar products, maybe switch it out for a ‘personalised engraved gold bangle’. Or you could go down the route of popular culture and make something like a ‘Game of Thrones bangle’. There’s still a market for these products, but it’s not as competitive as vague, generic categories.
As a creative, you’ll probably have loads of original ideas that can help you stand out. Spend some time working out what your USP is before you dive straight in – or play around with a few ideas and see what brings you the most success!
BrandingOnce you’ve figured out your USP, you can use it to help craft a memorable brand for your Etsy store. This is your unique style that your customers will know you for and is made up of a bunch of things like your logo, design style, and even the way you describe products and speak to your customers. Here are a few ways you can build your brand on Etsy.
Brand Your Store
The most popular Etsy stores have clean, bright designs that really showcase the products. We recommend sticking to one or two main colours and fonts on your page.
When it comes to your product photography, try and make them look as professional as possible by using high-quality images. Take your pictures in daylight, but not in direct sunlight. You should also think about what’s in the background – no one wants to see your ironing pile! Create your own mini studio with white posters to make sure the focus is entirely on your product. Another top tip for stellar photography is to keep the camera as steady as possible, whether that’s by using a tripod or leaning it on a surface or on the back of a chair.
Since our UK customers are our main inspiration, we thought we’d share how some of them brand their UK Etsy stores.
Hello White Space
Personalised prints and greetings card maker Charlotte Bevan uses a modern, minimalist style to make sure her designs are centre stage!
Her header features some of her favourite prints and her logo tells you everything you need to know about her brand by featuring a clear slogan, “Thoughtful brand and website design”.
Descriptions & PackagingCustomers aren’t going to buy from you if they can’t find your products! How you categorise and describe your products are two of the most important parts of your Etsy marketing plan, so it’s important to put effort into advertising from the get-go.
First of all, let’s look at descriptions and titles, since they’re the things that are going to affect where you appear in the Etsy and Google search engines. One of the first places to start planning your descriptions is Etsy’s very own ultimate guide to search. This guide describes how Etsy search works and tells you about some key strategies for optimising your shop and where you appear in the listings.
As essential as keywords are if you want to sell on Etsy, appearing high in the listings is only half the battle. You’ll also need to write copy that helps create a personal connection between the shopper and your product.
Here are a few examples that hit the balance between search engine optimisation and emotion perfectly!
Term Searched: Floral Pendant Necklace
The top-ranking product for this Etsy search is a flower necklace by GLDNxLayeredAndLong with the title:
Flower Necklace – Floral Pendant Necklaces – Birthday Gift for Her – Birth Flower Necklaces – Gifts for Friends – Gift for Daughter
This long title covers multiple possible search queries for this product, meaning it’s got more chance of ranking for different searches.
The description is long (I’ve cropped sizing and order instructions, how it’s made, production times, quality guarantee and social handles for the business to fit it on this blog!) and uses even more possible keywords such as ‘sterling silver’, ‘personalization’, ‘jewellery’, and ‘handcrafted’.
But on the other hand, it also adds a bit of personality to the product, using chatty and endearing lexicon like ‘awesome’ and ‘happiness guarantee’ and short sentences like ‘All personalization is done BY HAND. Because it’s better that way.’ It’s written how someone would talk, which is key for building that emotional connection with a customer.
Term Searched: Twisted Hoop Earrings
The top result for this term is a set of moon and star hoop earrings in gold from UNIQAJEWELS with the title:
Moon earring, moon star earrings, star earrings
You could probably optimise this title a little more by adding that it’s a hoop and what colours are available, but again it uses more than one possible search term for the product which helps shoppers find it.
This example really ramps up the personality factor describing the shopper as a superstar, noting that the earrings ‘shine bright whenever you wear them.
However, it still manages to get all those search terms in there that are missing from the title like ‘hoop’, ‘gold’ and ‘sterling silver’.
Another great feature of this product advertising on Etsy is the link to a related product. That way, if the customer hasn’t quite found what they’re looking for, you’ve got another chance at sealing the deal by cross-selling something different!
Categories & Tags
When your descriptions, categories, titles and tags are all relevant to the user query, you’re more likely to rank.
For each product listing, you can add 13 tags. These are phrases to describe your product, for example ‘reclaimed wood lamp’ could be a tag. Another top tip is to use some of your tags to say who the product is aimed at and for which occasion, e.g. Gifts for her, anniversary gift, stag do. Make these as specific as you can and think about what your ideal customer would search for to find your product.
The way you categorise your products also helps show Etsy’s search algorithm whether or not your product is relevant to a search. Again, using our fantastic customer Hello White Space as an example, they categorise the two products they offer as either Greetings Cards or Prints.
As a creative, we think you’ll love this next step of creating your Etsy marketing strategy plan! Content marketing is a fantastic way to advertise your brand to even more people. Video tutorials, blogs and guides are all very popular methods and mean you can appeal to your audience across different platforms and build an audience.
We’re not saying you should reveal all of your tricks. But tutorials and guides based around your craft are always good ideas because you know the audience for these kinds of tutorials are interested in what you sell and your current customers are probably interested in these kinds of tutorials. It’s a win-win situation all round!
The best kind of content does two things: it appeals to your target audience and sells your product. For example, if you created elaborate or customisable cross stitch designs, creating a video guide on how to create basic cross-stitch patterns that then showed off how skilled you are at creating your designs would easily tick both boxes.
An example of an Etsy seller who uses YouTube to their advantage is knitting and crocheting maestro KnitcroAddict. They post videos of free crochet patterns and guides to crocheting. The key to their success is the extremely descriptive video description. Not only does this help the YouTube search engine rank their videos, but it also links to their Etsy shop.
These videos get thousands of views a week and having the URL to their Etsy shop in the video description means fans are guided into purchasing after watching the video.
Social Media And Why Pinterest is an Etsy Seller's Best Friend!
So far, we’ve found out how to reach customers who are actively searching for your products through Etsy. But it can be even more effective to reach potential customers who didn’t even know how much they needed you! Enter social media.
The key with using social media and online forums is to make sure, again, that you’re targeting the right people. For example, you won’t want to be reaching out to other people creating the same things as you – unless it’s to keep an eye on the competition and trends – because they won’t be the social media users who buy from you. Instead, you need to use it to immerse yourself in your customers’ circles.
For example, if you create headpieces for weddings, follow hashtags to do with wedding planning on Instagram. Or, like we mentioned before, posting your guides and tutorials online can help the right crowd find you.
Which leads us perfectly onto… Pinterest!
Pinterest is an ideal platform to help you sell on Etsy for a number of reasons. It’s such a visual platform that allows you to link straight through to your product listings because of the type of customer that browses Pinterest.
With 90% of weekly Pinners using Pinterest to make purchasing decisions and 66% claiming they buy something after seeing a brand’s pins, you’re targeting consumers who are right at the end of the marketing funnel. They’re ready to buy and just need to figure out what they’re going to buy, so make sure that’s where you step in!
As well as posting your products, you can also create Boards for your content, like your blogs and tutorials. When a Pinner hovers over your pin, they’ll have the ability to click onto whatever it is you’re promoting if you’ve linked it up to your website.
Our top tip is to set up a business account. That allows you to pin your listings directly from your Etsy account and you can measure your posts’ success using their pretty nifty Analytics tool!
How to Create Your Etsy Marketing Strategy Plan - In Summary
Like any form of e-commerce marketing, the key to marketing your UK Etsy store comes down to making it as easy as possible for your customers to find you and fall in love with what you do. We hope this guide has given you all the necessary information to help you sell on Etsy successfully!