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For artists, handmade crafters and digital creators, Etsy can be a great platform to sell your wares. But, Etsy is its own animal with its own set of search engine rules and algorithms. If you keep close attention to what Etsy is saying and emphasizing, your shop will be successful. Here are 7 Etsy shop marketing strategies that work.

Etsy shop marketing strategy #1 - Complete all shop details

Etsy Shop Marketing Strategies

It may not seem like the about section or return policy is all that important, but here's an Etsy algorithm fact: The Etsy search engine favors shops with completed information. So, yeah, completing your return policy, shop announcements and about section is absolutely a crucial Etsy shop marketing strategy. Take the time to go through your shop settings, announcements and policies and fill in all of the information you can.

Etsy shop marketing strategy #2 - Photos are everything

It may not seem at first like your product photos are a way of marketing, but they are probably the most important marketing strategy you have complete control over. If you're not sure how you should photograph your products, do an Etsy search for similar products and look at the different ways your competitors are photographing their products. Pay close attention to lighting, the background and focus closely on your products. You are allowed 10 photos per listing - use that liberal quantity to capture every detail and angle possible. We are living in a visual age, and your photos will be "read" before your headings and product descriptions.

Similarly, take the time to create are great shop logo and cover photo as well. If you need help with this, Beyond the Logo offers a great Etsy Shop Package. Please contact us for details.

Strategy #3 - Use Photos to Cross Promote Products or encourage email list building

Etsy Shop Marketing Strategies - PixelBlissDesigns "Vegan Mama" shirt design, cross promoted in three variations on Etsy.

If you don't have 10 photos of a product to use, why not use those photo spots to cross promote other products? I do this all the time with my PixelBlissDesigns Etsy Shop, where I design yoga pants and tops. If I offer a design in a capri length and full length yoga pant, for example, I'll use a photo spot to cross promote the different lengths on each listing. If I sell a design on a tank top, t-shirt and hoodie, I'll cross promote each variation in each listing (see photo).

I also like to encourage list building with a single graphic in a photo spot, offering a coupon code when they sign up for the email or text list.

Strategy #4 - Tag, Tag, Tag

Tags are Etsy's version of keywords or hashtags. It's how the search engine finds your products to serve up to shoppers. The longer the tag is (called longtail keywords), the easier it will be found. What does this mean? Instead of using a tag like "earrings" you want to add more description to the tag, like "sapphire blue earrings" or "silver hoop earrings." Think of tags as a similar way to how shoppers are looking for what you offer.

One way to figure this out is to go to the Etsy home page and type in "earrings" in the search bar and wait a second for it to auto populate with suggestions. The suggestions you see are all recent searches by shoppers (this is also a great way to get inspiration for a new product creation).

Another fantastic tool is Marmalead. What makes their service unique is they show you actual search terms shoppers are using on Etsy (all other services will show you what other Etsy shops are using as tags... but if you want shoppers, not sellers, to find you, this information is pretty irrelevant). I'm not an affiliate, I just really love their service. Check them out.

You get 13 tags. Use them all. Don't spend time creating tags that describe the item category (like "T-shirt") because Etsy has already stated that product categories are automatically considered a tag by Etsy. Simply select the correct product category and be confident knowing that tag descriptor is taken care of. Along those lines, the descriptors Etsy now also adds are acting like tags as well (i.e. for our T-shirt, the descriptors "short sleeve" and "round neck" are also working for you in search).

Here's a secret: If your tags, listing descriptions and photos are all on point, you may not need to pay for Promoted Listings for healthy sales. Take the time to get these right, or spend the money on Promoted Listings. Up to you.

Beyond the Logo

Etsy Shop Marketing Strategy #5 - Use Social Media

To determine which social media platform to use, think about where your ideal customers are. Are they primarily on Facebook? Instagram? Or maybe you're targeting a younger market and will want to use Snapchat. Maybe you're targeting brides and will want to use Pinterest. You only need to focus on the social media platforms that your target customer primarily uses.

If you decide to use Pinterest, you can pin from your shop. Pinterest will automatically make those pins "rich" with more detailed information for their shoppers. If you decide on Instagram, you may also want to create a Facebook Business Page and create a Product Catalog (in the Business Manager). Once you link your Facebook Business Page to your Instagram account, you'll be able to create shopping links. This process can be detailed and exhausting. If you need help, please contact us.

Etsy Shop Marketing Strategy #6 - Get your own website

Etsy isn't foolproof and not guaranteed to live to infinity and beyond. It's a wise move to have your own website as well. This could be as simple as setting up a WordPress website, and including a free Etsy plugin that pulls your products from your Etsy shop.

How to design your website for maximum success

Make sure to read my blog post on what makes a successful website for tips on how to design your own, and download the Successful Web Design Cheatsheet. Or, contact us for help building a great website for your Etsy business.

Etsy Shop Marketing Strategy #7 - Try Influencer Marketing

Using Instagram Influencers (or even micro influencers) could be a great way to generate a big buzz for your product. Think of it this way: If you look through magazines, you'll see a regular column on product recommendations. A social media influencer is kind of the same thing, only on social media.

Etsy suggests a couple of services (under the Integrations tab) to find influencers who target the same customer you do. Or you can search for them yourself. Perhaps there's an influencer you already follow and admire. Try sending them a direct message asking if they offer product reviews or endorsements. They'll be more than happy to accommodate.

With a little hard work, you should see sales start to come in. As a fellow Etsy shop owner, I know the struggle is real. But if I can get my shop sales within the top 20% of all Etsy shops, so can you! Good luck, and let me know if these strategies work for you!