08 Jan Making the Most of Your Advertising Budget
This post was originally published on January 19, 2016. We’ve updated it today to make it more relevant to you and your crafty business in 2020 and beyond!
Successful advertising is crucial to growing your customer base and in turn, your crafty business. With scarce resources and a plethora of advertising opportunities, knowing how to spend your advertising budget to get the best possible return on investment (ROI) is key. Today we share our top tips to help you how to decide where to place ads, determine their size and frequency, and figure out what content will resonate best with your customers.
Determine your audience.
The first crucial task is to identify the audience you would like to reach. Are you a B2B or B2C? Are you trying to reach both business and consumers? Who is your customer avatar?
Once you’ve determined who you’re trying to reach, the next step is to find out where these customers can be reached; i.e. where they hang out. If you have Google Analytics installed (and you should!), research your web traffic to figure out where your referrals are coming from. Whether you’re getting referrals from Facebook, Instagram, other social networking sites, craft-focused sites, industry trade publications and organizations, or elsewhere, you can determine where you might get the most bang for your advertising buck!
Create partnerships for editorial exposure.
Look for strategic partnerships that will give you broad exposure, potentially in markets you haven’t yet reached. For example, let’s say you run a yarn company. Providing yarn support to designers can get your yarns into knitting and crocheting publications, as well as exposure on social media. A metric that we use for determining the ROI on providing yarn support is to compare the publication’s page rate for an ad to the cost of the yarn that you provide to the designer, and then comparing it to sales once the magazine hits the newsstands. Or, if you’re introducing a new product, get it covered as news in the editorial section of the magazine; you can always augment your editorial presence with an ad in a different issue of the magazine or in a sister publication.
However, you’re no longer limited to just publications! Independent designers are taking the crafting world by storm self-publishing their patterns on sites like Ravelry, LoveCrafts and others. You may be able to provide yarn support to designers who have strong followings and a track record of well-received designs.
Work with Influencers.
The idea of people with strong followings brings us to our next option for advertising: working with influencers. This can take the form of sponsorship opportunities, reviews, partnership agreements or other arrangements.
If your business is active on social media (Instagram in particular), then it is likely you have witnessed the rise of the influencer in recent years. Influencers have become a robust marketing tool for small and large businesses, providing an “authentic” voice that can speak directly to a product’s key demographic. An influencer’s strength resides in the relationship they have to their followers, who respect, value, and most importantly trust their opinion. Check out our recent article Navigating the Changing Landscape of Influencer Marketing for a more in depth look at how to find and work with influencers.
Traditional Sponsorship Opportunities.
There are all kinds of ways to get the name of your company and your products out there. Providing free product samples to industry events where your customers (retail or end consumer) will be gets your name and your product in the hands of your future customers. And it may save you some money – you don’t necessarily have to attend the event or pay booth fees if you can be included as a sponsor or included in the “goodie bag.”
You can reach your customers in a more virtual way by sponsoring giveaways or ad spots on audio or video podcasts: your brand and products will be introduced to a set of subscribers that have already identified themselves as interested in your general crafting segment.
Or consider working with a designer for a craft-along by providing supplies to the designer and prizes or discounts on merchandise to participants. Getting a group of crafters to use your materials and share their results on social media will broaden your exposure. With your products recommended by the designer to get similar results, new sales are guaranteed.
Choose your channels strategically.
In the classic ‘80s movie “Working Girl,” Melanie Griffith’s character knows she can get Trask Industries into media via radio at a much lower cost than via TV spots. It’s the same thing with your advertising budget: maybe the major trade show in your industry is super expensive to attend, but the smaller regional show may provide you with a receptive audience at a much lower cost.
In the same way, you may want to try smaller digital ads on Facebook (or Instagram) and narrow your target market. Simply boosting posts on Facebook for a small amount of money will raise your exposure and allow you to test different ads (format, content, A/B testing) in a way that is much more dynamic than placing an ad in a marquee print publication for your particular craft. Those digital ads can be combined with all kinds of features (links, “swipe up” on Instagram, Facebook shops) to allow customers to click on what they like and end up directly in your shop!
Starting with the smaller venue or publication may also expose your products to a different audience than the mature traditional channels. Plus, you may be putting yourself at the cutting edge of the Next Big Thing, which is an amazing opportunity!
Stitchcraft Marketing can help you plan an advertising campaign that delivers the best return on your investment. We can recommend the most influential channels for your message and help you create compelling content that will engage your potential customers. Contact us today to find out how we can maximize the impact of your advertising budget.