16 Fresh Content Marketing Ideas To Promote Your Handmade Business

16 Fresh Content Marketing Ideas To Promote Your Handmade Business

When I launched my first product back in 2008, I had literally no idea what marketing was.  The very word made me angry because I didn’t get it.

I thought that if you made something good then people would automatically buy it. Unfortunately I’d missed the basics... That in order to buy something, you actually have to know that it exists.

We all want to help our handmade businesses to stand out, get more traffic and make more sales, but when it comes to marketing ideas we’re often stuck for time and motivation.

In today’s post I want to share some fresh ideas to market your craft business that will be fun to do, drive traffic to your site and won't take you hours. 

So what is content marketing?

Have you heard of ‘content marketing’? I’m talking about content you might write and publish online to tell the world how brilliant your handmade business is.

It may be a blog post based around key terms you know your customer is searching for (don’t worry we’re going to come to that). Or it might be a post on social media or a video.

Content marketing is anything you create that captures attention and adds value to someone’s day. In the process you can drive traffic to your own products, increase trust in your brand and hopefully open wallets as you go. 

Why should I bother with content marketing ideas for my handmade business?

One of the reasons that I love content marketing is that you can really serve customers by writing and posting things that they truly want to know about.

Always think about customers first. It’s not what’s important to you that matters, but what’s important to them.

Once you start to think like that you become the answer to other people’s real-life problems and desires.

They see you as valuable because you can do something for them. 

For example....

Say that you’re an illustrator who does amazing brush lettering. Your main product range might be to sell stationery or run classes.

With that in mind, you could post a series of short, simple videos on social media that will walk a beginner from the tools they need to start brush lettering to basic techniques.

This added value content will start to raise awareness of your classes for those that want to try it or point people in the direction of your products if they don’t.

If you’re a website designer who’s a whizz with all the ins and outs of a certain program, try using your blog to post screen shots and detailed steps about how to use it.

Teach  other people to learn how to use certain aspects of the program for themselves and you become the key to their own success.

Do you knit toys? Make baby clothes? Give away free tutorials and patterns for other people to learn your craft.

Show them simple tutorials of the stitches and techniques they need to get started. In 2018, using video reigns for this kind of content. 

If you have a blog that you’ve been using just to show your most recent makes, it's time for a total re-think.

You’ve got a huge opportunity there to write and photograph all kinds of information your customers and followers will find interesting and useful. 

What are the benefits of content marketing?

One of the biggest benefits is that you can use content marketing to help people to get to know you and your brand.

If you’re writing about brush lettering, explain it in the same way you might to your sister. Keep it simple, like you’re talking to a friend. 

As people get to know your way of explaining things and see your personality, they begin to trust you more - and trust is the key to sales.

Just think about it… Are you more likely to buy the same car from a garage that’s been recommended by a close friend, or from an unknown seller online? Trust sells (an idea I got from this brilliant guy and true in my own experience...)

Other benefits of content marketing include getting a boost to your website in search rankings.

Google notices people landing on your content and hanging around to read it. It sees that you must be providing something interesting for people to stick around for and consequently you go up in it’s rankings. 

So how do I work out what my customers will find valuable?

That’s actually very simple.

You just ask them.

Ask customers firsthand what they’d like to know about by writing to your email list or simply talking to them face to face. Once you have an idea you can write about it, video it, draw it or make an infographic about it on your blog.

Share it on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else you like to capture attention and drive traffic back to your own site. 

Another way to work out the kind of content that people will value is to use a free keyword planner like Moz.

Put in a key word in your niche like ‘baby knitting patterns’ and see what comes up. It will tell you how difficult your key term is to rank for in the search engine results and how popular it is. (As it goes the term ‘baby knitting patterns’ actually looks like quite a good bet for you knitters out there!)

In 2018 Google has become so clever that it wants to find the best answer to meet the searcher’s intent, not just match a key word.

It looks at content with all kinds of related terms to build a full picture that will match the intent the searcher had when they typed into Google. The results can tell you a lot.

If you search for ‘kids accessories’ you’ll see the first few results that come up (not the ads, ignore the ads, they’ll be there anyway) are around buying accessories for kids. The next couple are around completing kids outfits or looks.

These reveal the intents that Google believes the searcher had when they went looking. You can watch a great video about searcher intent from Moz just here. 

It stands to reason that if you start writing about the words and terms that people are actually searching for, or making videos that answer the intent they had when they typed in ‘how to do cross stitch’, you’ll have a greater audience for your content.

And now for those content marketing ideas…

Ok, so now you’ve got the basics down, here’s a list of 16 fresh ideas that you could put into practice in your niche to make brilliant content about your handmade business.

Remember that video is winning, and it takes less time than written content too.

Try using your phone to make short videos about any of these things. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact the more real, the better.

  1. A day in your life. It might be second nature to you to go scouring flea markets in France or pour concrete in your studio but to the average man on the street we have no idea how that feels. So show us with a live tour of your every day life on Instagram or Facebook. 

  2. Go the extra mile. If you’re a pattern maker or cook posting recipes then go one step further and give us ten extra ways to use that stitch, technique or sauce you’ve just helped us to create. 

  3. Tell us a story. People love stories. It helps them connect to you and your brand (it’s that trust thing again). Why not take your bestselling product, or that tool your grandfather used to use in his shed and tell us the story behind it. 

  4. Share your mistakes. Do you remember back when you were new to painting watercolours or crochet? Tell us all about the biggest mistakes you made so that we can avoid doing the same thing.

  5. Share your secrets. Where do you get your supplies from for your craft? Do you have a little black address book of online or physical suppliers that might benefit someone else? Share it!

  6. Share your lessons. Have your recently been to a trade show, event, market that was a learning curve for you? Is there a list of do’s and don’ts that you could share with fellow makers or members of your industry? What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt in the past 12 months?

  7. Be a fan. What are the other make projects that are on your must-do list? Ask for permission from the original author to share them, especially if they are around a particular thing you know your followers are interested in.

  8. Answer a question. Is there a question that people are constantly asking you about your craft, business or line of work? Go in depth to answer it (who knows, maybe it’ll never get asked again!) Perhaps it’s a stitch or technique that seems to be particularly popular at the moment. Use Moz to find out what and then video your answer. 

  9. Be a bookworm. Create a list of the top ten books we should read about your niche or the tools you use to do your craft. 

  10. Be a work in progress. Come on, you know most of us have no idea what it takes to design a hat from start to finish. Take us on a week by week, step by step journey of how you do it. 

  11. Give away your best tips. Yes, really. Create a weekly handmade business tip or craft tip and post it religiously in your social media feed to keep people interested and whet their appetities for the next one. 

  12. Share Pinterest boards. Because we want to know where your inspiration comes from and what makes you tick.

  13. Create a calendar. It can be really helpful for creative product makers to see at a glance all the events that are coming up (like Mothers Day, Fathers Day etc.) as well as the top trade shows, craft fairs and when they are. If you’re a graphic designer can you do this and offer it as a free download on your website to boost your email list? 

  14. Write an A to Z. Make it all about your particular craft and funny to read as well as informative. This would be golden in an infographic on Pinterest. 

  15. Write a definitive guide. If you’re up for it, then write the definitive guide to your business, craft or an aspect of it. It might be ‘The definitive guide to  knitting baby clothes’ for example. Make it really in depth and share it with other influencers or friends in your niche. Again, you could use it as a free download to build your email subscriber list. 

  16. Cut the jargon. Is there a ton of jargon in your niche that people don’t understand? I’m thinking of all those knitting terms I find in a pattern that I can’t get my head round at first glance (KTtog, EOR). Can you explain what they mean?

The likelihood is that you are already doing things every day that your audience are interested in. Now it's time to document, show them and bring the traffic and sales to your brand that it really deserves. 

So which is your favourite idea? Let me know in the comments and if you like this post, share it to help another handmade business flourish.