How to Measure ROI in Social Media


By Leanne Pressly, Stitchcraft Marketing

MEASURING ROI IN SOCIAL MEDIA

In today’s world, a compelling marketing plan must include social media. While social media platforms have transformed the digital advertising landscape, the metrics key to successful campaigns are still elusive.

For most businesses, seeing high numbers of followers or likes is an easy metric to decide how well their social media campaign is doing. However, in the long run, these numbers are meaningless, especially when it comes to your return on investment (ROI).

So, with that in mind, we want to take a closer look at social media marketing and help you create a better method for measuring ROI.

Step One: What Are Your Goals?

Whenever you start a new social media campaign, you should have a clear and definitive idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, commonly called SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Examples include growing overall sales on your website, increasing your conversion rate, raising brand awareness or building your newsletter list.

Knowing specifically what you’re trying to measure will help you successfully measure your ROI in social media. So, whatever your goal, make sure that it’s quantifiable. Site visits, sales numbers and email subscribers are all hard numbers that can then be calculated into money earned. If you have a nebulous goal in mind, figuring out your ROI will be next to impossible.

Step Two: Learn How to Analyze Your Numbers

One of the greatest tools at your disposal is Google Analytics. This online platform allows you to track data from a variety of sources, including social media. Additionally, many social sites like Facebook provide stats for your profile.

There are several great resources to help you make sense of this data such as A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics from Hootsuite and the Google Analytics for Beginners course from Google Analytics Academy. Overall, the purpose of using these tools is to provide a foundation for measuring ROI quickly and accurately.

Step Three: Determine Your Investment

To make sure that your time, effort and money are paying off, you should first understand what you’re putting into your social media campaigns. Consider the following factors:

  • Hours Worked: The more time you or your team invest in setting up, managing and monitoring your social media campaign, the more it affects your bottom line.
  • Content Creation: In many cases, you may outsource your content to third-party services. For example, hiring a professional photographer or copywriter.
  • Social Software Plans: While it’s free to set up social media accounts, there are many time-saving apps and management tools that cost money.
  • PPC Ads: Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an excellent way to budget your marketing campaign. Since you only pay when someone clicks on your link, you can manage your investment and ROI more easily.

Step Four: Calculate Your Earnings

Now it’s time to put everything in terms of dollars so you can determine how your goals will impact your bottom line.

Keep in mind that unless your primary goal is sales, then you’re working with projections, not actual stats. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • Lifetime Value per Customer: How much do you earn from your average customer? This will be a benchmark when converting leads into sales.
  • Average Sales Visit: When people shop on your site (or in store), what’s the average sales ticket?
  • Conversion Rate: How many leads turn into customers?

No matter what your social media goals are, the end result should be money spent with your company. To do this, you’ll need to find a way to quantify how many of your social leads and engagements turn into paying customers or clients.

For example, a promoted Facebook post that drives traffic to your website can be expected to net you a specific number of sales per click. If you get 100 clicks and have a 5% conversion rate, each post should gain you five new customers. If your lifetime value per customer is $85, then your promoted post should generate $425 in sales per every 100 clicks.

Let’s say your goal is more nebulous, and you want to increase brand awareness. In this case, measuring ROI in terms of dollars and cents might look like this: First, determine how many of your current followers shop from your website on average — this will be your benchmark for determining ROI. From there, you can calculate how much ROI you should net from gaining X number of followers per week or month. If you’re not hitting those goals, it’s time to re-evaluate your social posting strategy.

Bottom Line: Know Your Numbers

Analyzing your social media marketing on a regular basis using SMART goals will help you determine what is (and isn’t) working for your brand.

If you have questions about calculating or increasing your ROI in social media, contact Stitchcraft Marketing today, and we’ll help you craft a better business!

The Benefits of Using Sponsored Content as a Marketing Tool


Sponsored post by Stitchcraft Marketing

Smart business owners are always trying to gain leverage in their respective industries. The best way to do so is through intelligent marketing efforts. One of the best marketing tools a business can use is sponsored content. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of using sponsored content as a marketing tool and how to negotiate sponsored post fees.

What is Sponsored Content?

Before you can understand the benefits of sponsored content, you need to have a strong idea of what it is. Sponsored content looks like ordinary editorial content that you might read anywhere online, including social media pages.  The difference is that the intent of sponsored content is to go beyond simply entertaining the reader and places a particular product or brand in a positive light. When sponsored content is done well, it reads like any other piece of content you find on the outlet. Its purpose is more to tell a story about a brand rather than to push a product. We’ve recently worked with Staci Perry of Very Pink to create video tutorials for our clients Appalachian Baby Design and Zen Yarn Garden. Currently, Vicki Howell’s Ask Me Monday series is partially sponsored by Knitter’s Pride.

Sponsored Content is Less Invasive Than Traditional Ads

Advertising is virtually everywhere you look online. Many companies have large banners that span across the top of a page, in between articles or down columns that are impossible to ignore and can be incredibly distracting. There are also ads that constantly move across the screen as people scroll through a web page, which can be quite bothersome. On the other hand, sponsored content is more subtle. Instead of being impossible to avoid, they allow visitors to focus on the content they are trying to read and only open if clicked on.

Ad Rates are Currently Decreasing

Web surfers are getting increasingly better at tuning out the ads they do not want to view. An increasing number of people are no longer clicking on banner ads to get additional information. Further, people are turning on ad blockers at an increasing rate, so many traditional ads are never seen. So, many advertisers are no longer reaching their target audience. Since sponsored content allows advertisers to reach their target audience with high-quality information, it is less likely to get passed over and ignored like traditional advertising methods.

Long-Term Relationships can be Created

Business is all about creating strong relationships. Not only do you want to have a good relationship with your current and prospective customers, you also want the same with other organizations with which you do business. When you use sponsored content, you enter into a relationship with the whoever is creating the content. Over time this relationship becomes solidified and makes you both stronger.

Keep Your Program Simple

When you decide to sponsor content, your best course of action is to keep it simple, especially when you are first starting out. If you overextend yourself and have too many content creators, they can be difficult to manage and keep track of. So, keep it small and manageable and do your diligence in who you’re choosing to sponsor to get the best results.

Negotiating Sponsored Post Fees

Now that you know the benefits of using sponsored content as a marketing tool, you need to know how to negotiate what to pay for it. Here is some some helpful information negotiating a fee that is fair for everyone involved.

Factors to Take into Account

Negotiating a price takes more finesse than simply blurting out an arbitrary number. Some factors you should take into considerations when determining a fair price include:

  • The amount of traffic the content creator gets.
  • The length of time required to create the content.
  • The size of the content creator’s social reach.
  • The content creator’s domain authority.
  • Any extra value the content creator is adding.
  • The niche market the content creator appeals to.
  • The size of your brand.
  • The amount you can afford to pay.
  • What measurable result are you seeking from sponsoring content with this creator.

Once you know the answers to these questions, you should be able to determine the best price to pay to sponsor content.

Our Program

Stitchcraft Marketing can help you navigate the landscape of sponsored content. We maintain an in-house network of reviewers who are eager to try new products in exchange for their testimonials. Our reviewers publish their content on blogs, podcasts and across social media platforms. We also have experience negotiating sponsored product reviews with influencers and big names in your craft-specific industry. If you’re interested in getting your product out into the world for review, contact us today to get started!

 

Create an Effective B2B Drip Marketing Campaign


by Sandi Rosner for Stitchcraft Marketing

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A drip marketing campaign can be an effective tool to turn prospects into customers. But what is drip marketing? How can it best be deployed by manufacturers, wholesalers and business service providers?

In this article, we’ll explain the process and value of drip marketing, show you an example of a drip marketing campaign, and talk about how to use this tool as part of your overall B2B marketing plan.

What is Drip Marketing?

A drip marketing campaign is a series of strategically timed emails that are delivered to your customers and/or prospects to guide them down the road toward further engagement with your brand. Defined triggers, or specific responses, will automatically generate next steps that are relevant to the prospective customer.

You can think of a drip marketing campaign as a series of breadcrumbs leading your prospect down the path from introduction to providing value to establishing credibility to making the sale.

Why is Drip Marketing Effective?

According to a 2014 study by marketing automation provider Yesware, 70% of email marketing campaigns end after the first email. If your B2B marketing ends with a single email, you’re missing a lot of opportunities. The same study showed even if you don’t receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to the second one. Still no response? Keep sending.  There is still a 25% chance you’ll hear back from the recipient sooner or later.

Drip marketing helps keep you top-of-mind with your prospects. They may not be ready to buy when they receive your first, second or fifth email, but each communication builds familiarity and credibility.  When they are ready make a move, you’ll be their first call.

Drip Marketing Example

Let’s say you’re exhibiting at a large trade show like AFCI’s Creativation, or The National Needlearts Summer Show. You’d like to invite existing customers and prospects to set appointments to meet with you in your booth. You’ve obtained the email addresses of registered buyers from the show’s sponsoring organization.

Your first email would be sent about 2 weeks before the show and could look something like this:

Subject: Looking forward to meeting you at Creativation

Hello (name):

We’re putting the finishing touches on our booth for the upcoming Creativation show, and can’t wait to show you what’s new for 2019.

Can we set up an appointment to meet at the show? I want to be sure to give you my full attention when you visit us in Booth #(XXX). Please reply with a couple of times that work well for you and let’s get this on our calendars.

Looking forward to sitting down with you.

Best,

Note that this email includes a Call To Action – “reply with times that work.” We’ve told the prospect exactly what we’d like them to do.

If the prospect replies as requested, you’ll send an immediate response confirming an appointment time. You’ll then schedule a reminder email to be sent 2 days before the show.

If you don’t get a reply to your first email, your second email would be sent 3 or 4 days later, and would read like this:

Subject: Creativation Appointment slots still available

Hello (name):

We’re expecting Creativation to be our busiest show yet, and our appointment times are filling quickly. We’re thrilled that so many of our customers are excited to see our 2019 collection!

To help you prepare for the show, here is a link to our 2019 Craft and Color Trends Forecast. I hope you find it useful as you put together your buying plan.

I’d love to walk you through our new line of (whatever) and show you how it works with the trends we’ll be seeing next year. Can I set aside an appointment slot for you? I’m open between 9:00 and 10:00 Saturday morning, or between 2:00 and 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Let me know what time is good for you.

Looking forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

Best,

Note that this email raises the stakes a bit by employing FOMO (fear of missing out). We’ve implied that the prospect’s competitors are scooping up all the appointment times. They need to act quickly to reserve their spot.

We’ve also encouraged the prospect to see us as an authoritative source on what’s going to be hot next year, by linking to a trend report. Better yet, since the trend report lives on our website (maybe a blog post?), clicking the link brings the prospect into our environment.

Once again, a reply from the prospect will generate an immediate response confirming an appointment time, with a follow-up reminder 2 days before the show.

Still no reply? Send a third email about a week before the start of the show:

Subject: See you at Creativation!

Hello (name):

We’re looking forward to meeting you at Creativation next week. Be sure to come see us in Booth # (XXX). Our entire team is excited to show off the new products we’ve developed for you and your customers.

We’ve still got a couple of appointment spots open for Monday morning.  Please give me a call at (XXX-XXX-XXXX) immediately if you’re available. I’d love the chance to show you how our new (whatever) can fit into your assortment.

We’re bringing a limited number of sample packs you can take home to try our newest products at your convenience. Show this email to any member of our staff in Booth #(XXX) to claim yours.

See you in Phoenix!  Don’t forget the sunscreen…

Best,

Our focus has shifted from making an appointment to getting the prospect to visit the booth, while still leaving the appointment door open. Note that we’ve included the booth number twice. We’ve also included 2 CTA’s in this email: call if you’d like to make an appointment, and bring in the email to claim a sample pack.

Of course, you’re going to collect business cards at the show, and you’ll divide them into current customers and prospects. You’ll follow up on these leads with a new drip marketing campaign!

Making Drip Marketing Work for You

There are 5 basic steps to implementing a drip marketing campaign.

FIVE BASIC STEPS TO IMPLEMENTING A DRIP MARKETING CAMPAIGN

We’ll look closer at each step.

Segment Your List

Drip marketing is not a one-size-fits all solution. The more personalized and specific your emails, the more effective they will be.

At the very least, segment current customers from prospects. Your messages to current customers will focus on retention, service and upselling. Your messages to prospects are more introductory and educational.

Consider segmenting your list by the source of the lead.  Did you meet them at a trade show? Did they fill out the “contact us” form on your website? Did they respond to a lead generator offer? Each of these circumstances merits a different drip marketing path. See our blog post on targeting and segmenting for more information about segmenting your list.

Define the Path

For each segment, map the path your drip marketing campaign will follow. Your map for prospects who downloaded a lead generator might look like this:

Sequence Subject Purpose
Email 1 Thank you and welcome This is the handshake. You’re acknowledging the prospect and beginning to make friends.
Email 2 Introduction to company Let the prospect begin to get to know your company and what you do
Email 3 Link to relevant content – a blog post or how-to video Begin to provide value and establish credibility
Email 4 Link to a list of current best sellers – e.g, “20 Top Selling Colors for Fall 2018” Continue providing value while more directly bringing your product or service into the conversation
Email 5 Link to a great cornerstone content piece Continue providing value and establishing credibility
Email 6 Specific product or service descriptions, introductory offer, free shipping on first order Move towards closing the sale, perhaps add some enticements to buy.

How quickly will you move through this sequence? Will you send an email every 3 days? Once a week?

At each step in the sequence, define what happens if the customer makes a purchase as a result of that step. Does the lead move into another segment, perhaps a first-time customer follow-up campaign?

Employ Automation

Effective drip marketing is only sustainable through the use of the auto-responder tools included in your email platform. Work with your email provider to be sure you understand how to set up the triggers for automatically generated emails. All the popular platforms have this capability, and they all work a little differently. See how  Mailchimp’s automation works here. For Constant Contact, click here.

Write the Emails

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you write the emails that make up your campaign:

  • Keep it casual and friendly. You may be engaged in B2B marketing, but there is still a person reading your email and making the buying decision. Don’t be too formal or too corporate.
  • Keep it short. Ideally, your reader won’t need to scroll down to see the meat of your message.
  • Always extend a hand. Every email should invite the reader to get in touch if they have questions or if you can be helpful. Be sure to include the contact information for your sales or customer service staff.
  • Always include a Call To Action. Well designed click-through buttons and other links will help you see where you are connecting with your prospects.

Evaluate the Results

Set aside time on a regular basis to analyze the results of your drip marketing campaign. Which emails have generated the most response? Which links are drawing the most clicks? How many prospects have been converted by a particular campaign?

See what lessons you can learn, and how they can be applied to future campaigns. Your drip marketing campaign will always be a work in process, evolving to meet the changing needs of your customers and your business.

An effective drip marketing program takes some thought and work to plan and implement, but it can produce much better results than a one-size-fits-all email campaign. You’ll find more information on auto-responders and drip marketing as part of Stitchcraft Marketing’s online course, Magic Wand for Social Media. To find out how we can help you make drip marketing part of a comprehensive marketing plan, contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com.

What Is Dark Social and Why Should You Care?


DarkSocial (5)

This is sponsored content by Stitchcraft Marketing.

By Sandi Rosner for Stitchcraft Marketing

Dark social sharing is what happens when people share content via private networks and messaging apps such as email, text, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. These shares are called dark because they are hard to track and quantify. Dark social is traffic that’s not attributed to a known source, such as a Google search or a social network.

In this post, we’ll look at the impact of dark social sharing. We’ll also discuss some tools for shedding light on dark social.

How much sharing happens in the dark?

When you look at your analytics for sources of web traffic, you probably see a big slice of the pie labeled “Direct”. The Direct category includes all the traffic that comes to you without an identifiable source. When you click a link on a Facebook post, a tracking tag is added to the URL to tell the destination website “Facebook sent me!” Links shared through private messaging apps and networks do not have these trackable tags. As far as your analytics knows, these visitors appeared out of thin air.

It’s very likely that a high percentage of traffic to your site is the result of dark social shares, which show up in the Direct category in your analytics report.

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According to research from RadiumOne, 84% of outbound sharing (that’s consumers sharing content from your website) occurs over dark social channels.

Think about that for a minute. More than 80% of shares are happening where you don’t see them or track them. You might obsess over Facebook shares and Instagram likes, but this public sharing is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are measuring the impact of new marketing initiatives only by looking at public social network likes and follows, you’re getting just a small part of the picture. Dark social sharing is so pervasive, your new content has likely been seen and shared with far more consumers than is reflected by counting Instagram likes. Was there an increase in “direct” traffic to your site? It’s highly likely this increase was driven by the dark social impact of your marketing program.

Dark social sharing impacts your business, whether you see it or not

RadiumOne’s research shows that 32% of consumers share exclusively via dark social channels, with this number jumping to 46% for consumers over age 55. This segment is likely to grow with the recent controversy surrounding Facebook and other public social networks. Privacy concerns and an increased wariness about “oversharing” will amplify the importance of dark social in the future.

Dark social sharing is far more compelling than public social sharing. Imagine two scenarios:

  • Amy is looking at her Facebook feed and sees that her friend Christie has shared a link to your new product announcement.
  • Amy gets a text message or email from Christie with the same link, to which she’s added a note: “I came across this and thought you’d enjoy it.”

Which link is Amy more likely to click?

Dark social shares are marketing gold. A direct message from one interested consumer to another carries a halo of like and trust that no public Facebook post can match. The dark social share is far more likely to result in a sale.

Shining a light on dark social sharing

When customers copy your URL from the address bar and paste it into an email or message, any traffic resulting from that link will be dark. There are three popular tools that enable you to encourage dark social sharing while tracking the impact of this activity. All these tools work by capturing information about what is being shared. Rather than looking at traffic coming into your website, you can see what content your customers find share-worthy and see what channels they are using to share it.

Sharethis is an easy to use tool that adds share buttons to your content. You can choose to include buttons for popular dark social channels, such as email, WhatsApp and SMS (text message), as well as for the public social networks. The buttons are optimized for mobile use, and you have choices about the size, position and look of the buttons.

Po.st is a product of RhythmOne (formerly RadiumOne, the company who produced the definitive study of dark social trends). Po.st adds a sharing tool to your website which includes robust tracking and analytic tools.

GetSocial works through plugins for WordPress or Shopify. In addition to tracking the use of share buttons, GetSocial will tell you how often a URL is shared through copy/paste.

Once you’ve got your share buttons in place, remind people to use them! A surprisingly effective, but often overlooked, way to encourage sharing is to simply ask. End your tutorial or blog post with a friendly request, like this: “Do you know someone who would enjoy this project? Use the buttons below to share it with them!” Not only are you reminding them to share, you are directing them toward the buttons that will enable you to track that activity.

Social media marketing is key to the success of any business in today’s economy. Of course, you want to continue to maximize likes and follows on Facebook and Instagram. But don’t forget about the person-to-person sharing that is quickly replacing traditional word-of-mouth. Dark social sharing is a far richer source of potential customers than public social networks. A little effort spent encouraging dark social sharing and making it trackable can pay big dividends. If you see an increase in “direct” traffic to your website, that’s a good indication that your content is being shared in the dark.

About Stitchcraft Marketing

Stitchcraft Marketing a niche agency specializing in creative companies and a Platinum Partner of AFCI. They are ready to work with you to create content worthy of sharing. Contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com to learn how we can help you grow your craft business.

 

Creating Effective Live Crafting Demos to Build Your Brand


This is a sponsored post by Arkon Mounts.

by Aaron Roth, VP Sales and Marketing, Arkon Mounts (www.arkon.com)

Video: Shown here, Janet Wakeland of RemarkablyCreated.com demonstrates how crafters can use Arkon’s phone and tablet stands for demonstrations and tutorials.

INTRODUCTION
If you have a Facebook or Instagram page, you’ve probably seen other crafters live streaming as they create their next amazing masterpiece. Going live to a global audience may be easy for some, but for many others, the mere thought of public speaking can be truly debilitating. Fear of speaking is the most common phobia, ranking even higher than the fear of death. Embracing the use of live video will help you overcome these fears and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your business.

LIVE STREAM ESSENTIALS (Tools Required to Go Live)
If you own a business, odds are that you also have a mobile phone. Your mobile phone is arguably the single most important tool for your business. Not only does it serve as the lifeline between you and your existing customers, it can also be used to create compelling content to attract new customers. Some also prefer the use of a tablet computer (iPad) due to the larger screen size, making it easier to see comments. Phones and tablets are basic essentials for every live streamer.

The three best platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, though their respective features may be slightly different depending on whether you’re an iPhone or Android user. Be sure that you regularly update your apps to ensure that you have access to the latest features.

IMPORTANCE OF A STABLE BROADCAST | Mounts, Holders, Stands, & Tripods
While not required to go live, having your phone or tablet secured in a quality holder is strongly recommended as it will greatly improve the quality (stability) of your broadcast and the viewer experience. Having your device mounted also means that your hands are free to craft or demonstrate during the live video. These types of broadcasts are some of the most popular!

Arkon Mounts offers a full assortment of mounts, holders, stands, and tripods for live streaming. Here are the mounting solutions recommended for your video or live stream demonstrations.

The Remarkable Creators Video Phone Stand Bundle (Model RCBTABLED)

This popular bundle combines the best-selling Arkon Pro Stand, which allows crafters to shoot professional overhead views of their demonstration. It also includes a Tablet Clamp Mount, which attaches to the shaft/pole portion of the Pro Stand and is used to log in to live video apps on a secondary device like an iPad to see comments or to see the view of the phone that’s positioned overhead. Arkon’s LED Ring Light is a fan favorite in the crafting communities, particularly with those who create live video demonstrations. It clips onto the top of your phone, doesn’t block the camera, and features a USB-chargeable battery. Battery life is usually about 45 minutes per full charge.

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ARKON Live Streaming Essentials Bundle
Arkon offers the Live Streaming Essentials Bundle, which features a Phone Tripod with the LED Ring Light and Ultrasonic Remote. The tripod phone mount fits all smartphones up to 4” wide and allows the phone to be positioned in either landscape or portrait orientation. The ultrasonic remote control is designed to work with both iPhone and Android phones and is ideal for using with the tripod to easily take photos or videos from up to 30 feet away. Includes a timer, zoom capabilities, flash on/off, and automatic focus.

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Aaron Roth is the inspirational Vice President of Sales and Marketing and co-owner at Arkon Mounts, the most recognized and respected brand in the live streaming video category. In addition to being a regular speaker at live streaming and social media events, you’ll also find Aaron broadcasting daily on Instagram and Facebook from the Arkon Live Lounge, an office studio at the Arkon headquarters in Arcadia, California. Arkon has an extensive assortment of mounts, holders, stands, and tripods to support your live streaming video broadcasts.

AARON’S TOP 10 LIVE STREAM TIPS

  1. Join, and go live from Facebook Groups related to your business
  2. Create “shareable” content
  3. Use Arkon Mounts to hold your phone or tablet steady
  4. Clean phone or tablet camera lens before going live
  5. Engage with your audience; Say hello to people as they join your broadcast
  6. Always have your branding in view of the camera (something with your logo on it)
  7. Use relevant hashtags on ALL Instagram and Facebook posts to increase your reach (e.g. #crafting, #crafts, etc.)
  8. Utilize giveaways of your product to create excitement around your brand
  9. When an App sends out an update, immediately download and go live to see if there are new features. Facebook and Instagram Live continue to improve on a regular basis
  10. Have fun, and build great friendships!

ABOUT ARKON MOUNTS
Arkon Mounts supplies a wide range of high-quality tablet and phone mounts, tripods, and other accessories designed to enhance the live streaming experience. Arkon celebrates its 30th year in business in 2018.

600+ mounts, holders, stands, and tripods for phones, cameras, tablets

2-Year Warranty on ALL Arkon Mounts

Visit Arkon Mounts at Mixed Media Event 2018 and Creativation 2019!

Personalized Marketing & The Know-Like-Trust Funnel


By Mari Chiba Luke, Stitchcraft Marketing

News flash: your yarn/paper/fabric/craft shop is not unique. Sure, there are some aspects that are a little different from your competitors, but there are a thousand shades of that perfect red, countless varieties of paper punches, and more options for amazing organizing bags than we can count on our fingers and toes. So why would a customer choose to buy from your shop, rather than that online retailer, the big box store 15 minutes away, or on Amazon? Because you’re providing a better customer experience. Really, that’s it – the one differentiating factor you have control over.

If you’ve read a marketing book, you’re probably familiar with the “Rule of Seven”. The idea is that a consumer has to “hear” your marketing message seven times before they buy. But in the age of many competitors, blasting your message aimlessly, hoping you’ll hit your target consumer, isn’t going to cut it. Consumers want to purchase from their “friends” (people they know, like and trust), not some faceless conglomerate. This is the area where even if the price is better online, you have a leg up as a small business. We call this journey of how customers come to purchase from a brand as the know-like-trust funnel. Generally, customers only purchase once they’ve reached a level of trust.

Leanne Presley_ Know-Like-Trust funnel article 10-10-17

Getting to Know You
This is when customers first hear about your company, your brand story and what you sell. Making a great first impression is important. So where do people get to know your company?

  • Print and digital advertising
  • Earned media (print and digital articles/blogs/social media posts about your company)
  • Social media
  • Referral from friends or family

All of these areas lay the foundation for converting potential customers into returning customers.

Getting to Like You
At this stage, people are getting to know your company. This could be anything from your elevator pitch at a booth to a customer walking into your store or clicking a link that directs them to your website. It’s your chance to show the customer who you are, what you believe in, and why they should buy from you – because as we established, they could just as easily buy a similar product elsewhere.

Where do people begin to like your brand online?

  • Website – don’t forget to include an “about us” page!
  • Blog
  • Newsletter
  • Social media

At this stage, it’s important that you convey to customers how your product/service can make their lives better, easier, more beautiful, more creative, or some other enhancement.

Getting to Trust You
How do you build trust with people you meet outside of business? By being genuine, likeable, and generous. The same rules apply in marketing, so make your messaging about the consumer: connect with her on a personal level, provide value to her, and show her that you understand her pain points. Where can you build trust with potential customers?

  • Tutorials
  • Testimonials (on your website, in social media posting, in the form of reviews)
  • Newsletter
  • Endorsements from people your customers already trust

Of course, there are overlaps between all of these categories, and many instances where these stages can combine. Also keep in mind that converting from liking to trusting may take a long time and require many exposures. It’s important to remember that good friendships go both ways – you get to know your friend, and they get to know you. For a personalized marketing experience, you should provide the same experience to your customers. Tell them about you and your brand, your values, but also communicate that you understand her pain points, her passions, and provide her with solutions (your product/service).

When planning your marketing strategy, you should consider people at each stage of the
know-like-trust funnel. How does your content engage and bring people further into the funnel? What are you doing to increase brand awareness to invite more people along this path?

Here’s an example of a real customer journey. Although I know how to knit and have made several dolls and stuffed animals over the years, I still purchased a $65 hand knit doll from Cuddle+Kind for my son due to their well-executed marketing campaign. Here’s a breakdown of how they gained my trust to close the sale:

Know: I first saw one of their dolls in a Facebook ad. Not long after, I saw it again on Instagram; one of the mommy-bloggers I follow had a sponsored post showing her super-cute doll with her equally cute baby. I clicked over to the website, and browsed for a few minutes. There was a pop-up offer to sign up for their newsletter to get free shipping on my first order, but I wasn’t ready to buy just yet, so I opted out and clicked around the website a little more.

Like: Cuddle+Kind uses retargeting, so in the following weeks I started seeing ads for their dolls on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I enjoyed seeing these brightly lit, beautifully styled images of dolls and babies in my feed because they reminded me of snuggling my newborn son. Then I sought out their Instagram feed on my own and started following them, which further increased my exposure to their stunning lifestyle images.

Trust & Conversion: As Christmas neared, I kept remembering these beautiful dolls. When I went back to the website and saw the free shipping pop-up offer again, I signed up for their newsletter because I was seriously considering purchasing one of these dolls. I immediately got an email with my coupon code, but the email also showed images and told the story of how these dolls give jobs to women in Peru and their community giving project that is tied to the sales of the dolls. I was sold! Not only did they have a product that I thought was beautiful, they had a great story to go with it. Although I could have knit a doll myself, between work and caring for my own child, supporting a business I believe in sounded like a better, simpler, and saner option.

How to Implement a Personalized Marketing Strategy
Clearly, knowing your target audience and tailoring your marketing strategy to their needs can make an impact for your business. In our industry, it’s safe to assume that your target customer is a knitter, weaver, spinner or crocheter – but within these categories, there are plenty more niches to explore.

A great way to get started is by creating a customer avatar. Think about your ideal customer, then ask yourself:

  • How old is she?
  • Where does she live?
  • What are her passions?
  • What inspires her?
  • What do you think her annual income is?
  • Where does she go on vacation?
  • What does her house look like?

All the things you probably know about your friends, you should know about your ideal consumer. Give her a name, then create marketing material that she’ll love: photos, tutorials, newsletters, social media posting, should all be customized to her, your ideal consumer.

You’re also likely to have more than one ideal consumer. Maybe your yarn consumers include millennial, gen X and baby boomer women. How do you market to all of them effectively? The short answer, is, you don’t. Although there may be overlaps in what they find beautiful (like your yarn), the answer is that women in such different stages of their lives, with different life experiences, won’t feel connected with the same language or imagery.

For example, a crochet bikini top pattern to wear at the pool this summer might appeal to your millennial audience, but baby boomers may be less likely to crochet themselves a bikini top. Millennials are likely to find charm in the retro aesthetic of a crochet bikini top, but for gen xers it’ll trigger flashbacks to past wardrobe malfunctions.

Baby boomers are likely to be knitting baby projects for their grandchildren. Some gen xers might have babies at this stage in their live, but they are more likely to have older children. Older millennials are also likely to be having kids and knitting baby items. The lesson? Know your audience, and segment your marketing. You can target your Facebook ads, posting, and newsletters based on what you know about your customers.

Let’s revisit why Cuddle+Kind’s campaign worked so well.

  1. They nailed their targeting through the Facebook ad and the sponsored post on Instagram. They are everywhere I am!
  2. Retargeting works. They kept popping up in my feed, with lovely photos. Their beautiful photos of sweetly sleeping babies with their dolls? That’s not how I remember the newborn days (where’s the spit-up?) but that’s how I wanted to remember them. Crisp white sheets, cute swaddles, and lots of sunshine.
  3. They have a story I like, and they told me how my purchase makes me a participant in their mission. By purchasing a doll I also became a supporter of their campaign for providing economic stability for women in Peru.
  4. They built trust. I saw lots of other people posting these beautiful dolls on my Instagram feed. Surely if everyone else has been happy with the quality, and didn’t think $65 was an outrageous amount to spend on a knit doll for a 1 year old, then I should go ahead and buy one too, right?

Back when people used to shop in person or order on the phone, they had a more personal shopping experience: you’d talk to a real person, and they’d ask you about what you were looking for, and your specific concerns. The arrival of the internet has radically changed the marketplace, but customers still crave this personalized experience. If a small business wants to succeed, not only does it need to be where its customers are, it needs to give them exactly what they’re looking for. With 10,000 options for yarn online at any given time, how are you going to set yourself apart?

Stitchcraft Marketing is a niche agency specializing in craft, fabric and yarn companies. Check out their weekly blog and regular podcast, Business of Craft. Mari Luke is a knitwear designer and account manager at Stitchcraft Marketing.