Following targeted users on twitter
Twitter offers a very effective way of reaching a targeted audience. The trick is to follow people in your target market, then many of those will follow you back. You can find these people using twitter searches and also by following the followers of a relevant account- if you sell children's clothing, try following the followers of a parenting mag, for example!
Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found in this article.
Running a Facebook ad
Facebook ads can be an effective way of reaching people targeted by location, interests, age etc. Facebook ads, when used effectively, can also have long-term benefits if your newly acquired fans comment on your page, because this might encourage their friends with similar interests to 'like' your page as well.
Info on running facebook ads can be found in the etsy forums.
Hand Sculpted Rainbow Circle of Friends Sculpture by MadeWithClayAndLove
Advertise on a carefully chosen blog
Sponsoring a giveaway or paying for an ad on a blog can be a good strategy. It's important to do your research on the blog, including the amount of traffic it receives/number of followers, and to think about whether it is read by your target market. I'd encourage sellers to think about blogs that are not necessarily etsy-related...if you sell wedding jewellery, a wedding blog would be a great idea!
Become an active member of a relevant forum
Forums can bring in a huge number of visits. Becoming an active member of a forum can be very effective because it gives you access to a defined group of people with particular interests, and people can get to know the person behind the business. It's important to become a genuine member and to avoid spamming the forum (many don't allow any links at all, so you need to read the rules), but if done properly this can be a great thing to do. If you sell pet products, for example, you could join a cat forum and instantly have an audience of pet-lovers!
Mini Coin Purse by BlueGingerDesigns
Use Google Adwords
Google adwords is another advertising method that allows you to target users- by location and the words they're using in search. The google keywords tool can help you come up with effective keywords for your ad campaign. If your preferred keywords are too expensive due to lots of competition, you can get creative and think of other terms that your target market might be searching for.
Donate products to a charity or local group
Of course, donating to charity is a good thing to do anyway, but it can also be a good way to get your name out there to an interested audience and generate some good will towards your business. Charities and schools often auction off prizes in order to raise funds, so this can be a great way to contribute. This is rather random, but I still remember the name of the jewellery business that sponsored an award night at my school over 15 years ago! Choosing a cause related to your business (eg animal rescue if you make pet products, schools if you make toys) might help you reach people in your target market (pet lovers and parents).
Have you got any suggestions for ways of reaching a target market? What has worked for you?
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