Etsy makes it easy for budding creative entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. It’s become a staple for shoppers to find crafts of all kinds. Starting your business on Etsy, you get instant access to the 81.9 million people that have purchased on the platform. But besides setting up shop and optimizing your listings for Etsy search, it’s important to market your business, so you’re not reliant on the platform alone for success.
Enter Instagram. Social media platforms are low-cost avenues for brands to find new fans. And Instagram is ideal for Etsy business owners because of its visual nature. You can show off your products and engage with followers who could eventually turn into customers. Plus, 90% of Instagrammers follow a brand, and 54% have purchased after seeing a product or service on the platform. So, this visual platform is an obvious choice to add to any Etsy marketing plan.
Set up an Instagram profile and start introducing more people to your Etsy shop. It’s easy to get started even if you’re a beginner.
Link to your Etsy shop wherever you can
As you earn your audience’s attention, you need to get those people to your Etsy site. Add links everywhere you can. Direct your followers to your Etsy site in your:
- Instagram bio: Your bio is one of the few places on Instagram where you can have a hyperlink. Don’t miss this easy way to get traffic to your Etsy domain.
- Instagram Stories: Unlike regular Instagram posts, you can add links to your Instagram Stories. Take advantage of that feature and add a link whenever appropriate.
- Captions: You can’t add a clickable link to your captions, but you can remind your followers to check out your shop. Simply write “Link in bio” in captions to remind your fans where they can find the featured products.
- Watermark: Consider adding a watermark to your image with your shop URL. While it’s not clickable, it’ll remind social media users that you have an Etsy store. It can also be useful if anyone ever re-posts your content. Then, people can find you online when your content is shared.
Don’t sell products, connect on a lifestyle
In general, people don’t follow brands on Instagram just to be sold to. Some of the primary reasons people go on social media are to connect with others, keep up-to-date with current events and get inspiration for things to do and buy. Create a variety of content to connect with your followers.
Set your Etsy products in situations where your customers might use them. Say you sell a gorgeous chunky knit blanket. You could integrate the blanket into an interior design shot to give your audience re-decoration inspiration like Cozies Creations does here:
Or create posts that don’t feature your product at all. Haircare brand Naturelle Grow offers tips for a daily hair routine. The company builds trust with its audience by giving advice related to its product.
Use your content to connect with your audience on shared values. You’ll spark curiosity about who you are as a brand and what you have to offer.
Engage with your audience through Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have an average reach rate of 9.12% for accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers and 5.22% for accounts with up to 100,000. So, it’s worth posting to Stories to connect with your fans in another way.
Stories often feel more casual than regular posts, so they can feel more authentic. They also have unique features like polls, dynamic filters, stickers and links to create different content than you can create in regular posts.
Consider these fun ways to use Instagram Stories:
1. Take your audience behind the scenes
Bring your fans into your process by taking them behind the scenes of a photoshoot. Or give them a sneak peek at a new product being made.
In this post, Prints by Milly shows a shipment’s packing process. It illustrates the care Milly puts into preparing each customer’s order.
2. Ask your followers
Polls can be a fun way to engage your audience while gaining valuable insight into what they want. If you’re considering launching a new product, you can use a poll to gauge people’s interest. Or you could let your audience choose a new color option for your product.
Sierra’s Stitches uses polls to draw attention to the yarn used for its plush handmade stuffed animals:
3. Run promos
If you have time-sensitive events like flash sales or pop-ups, Instagram Stories is the perfect place to promote them. The 24-hour time limit of Story posts adds an appropriate sense of urgency.
Reward your followers with special discounts, perks and freebies for viewing your Stories at the right time. That might encourage them to come back to your Instagram Stories in the future, too. Add a link to your Etsy shop to invite people to swipe up and start shopping.
Cocolilith Art announces its spring sale in Instagram Stories:
Use hashtags to reach more people
Hashtags expand the reach of your content by making it visible to anyone who is searching for the tags you use. You can use up to 30, but posts with 20 hashtags have the highest average reach, according to Later.
Choose hashtags relevant to your brand and your content. Then, look at the post volume of any hashtags you’re considering. A hashtag with millions of posts will be too hard to stand out, but people likely won’t be searching for a hashtag with just a few hundred posts.
Take the hashtag #handmadejewelry, for example. It has 30 million posts — that’s a lot to get lost in! But, if you scroll through Instagram’s suggestions, you can find better options like #handmadejewelryforsale with 165K posts or #handmadejewelrydesigner with 63.6K posts.
Experiment with groups of hashtags on your posts to see which ones get the most engagement and reach over time.
Want to step up your Instagram posting skills to get your Etsy brand in front of more people? Check out this Instagram algorithm breakdown from Buffer.
Create a brand look
As you create content for Instagram, develop a consistent brand look.
It helps people recognize the business. And customers associate a brand’s look with the experience they have with the brand. So, the aesthetic starts to represent trust, loyalty and quality.
Your Etsy shop is no different. By creating a cohesive aesthetic among the logo, graphics and imagery you use, it’ll be easier for people to remember who you are and what you stand for.
Be consistent with certain elements of your posts to create a recognizable brand feel. Stick with your visual guidelines once you’ve landed on something that feels right.
1. Colors and filters
One way to create brand consistency is to choose a color palette. What’s your brand mood? What hues, tones and colors best define it?
Bucks Leather Company uses earthy browns to complement its handmade leather goods.
Etsy shop owner Elyse Breanne uses soft autumn colors to complement the nature themes in the products she sells.
If you like, you can play around with filters to solidify your brand look. Commit to a few that contribute to your chosen aesthetic. Limit your filters to just these for consistency.
Borders are another way to unify the look of your Instagram posts. Add white borders to your images, like Iridescence NYC does, to create visual space between images and keep your Instagram feed fresh and clean.
LOVE IS MY PROTEST alternates between a white border and flower pictures to frame quotes.
You can consider color-coding borders to organize posts by type (like quotes, sales, new products and more).
Just like that, you have a visually stunning feed that creates brand consistency.
Now, find a font or typeface that represents your brand. Like the other visual elements, you’ll want to be consistent in your text, like if you’re announcing a promo or a sale.
Many brands use two visually different fonts to highlight different aspects of the text. Here, Kindred Essence announces an upcoming sale using two different font styles.
Pro tip: Use an editing app like Instasize to develop your unique brand look. It gives you more styling, layout and font options to play with than Instagram does.
Connect your Etsy site to Instagram
Link your Etsy shop to your Instagram business account, so you can tag products in your posts. Then it’s clearer in those contextual lifestyle shots which products are yours. And most importantly, it can help increase your Etsy sales.
If one of your followers is interested in buying, they just tap on a photo with a shopping icon to reveal the product tags. Then they click on a product they like to be taken to your Etsy shop, where they can complete their purchase.
Etsy seller Camille Medina uses Instagram to promote her stationery:
What’s more, Camille’s products are now browsable in her Instagram shop right on her profile.
On Camille’s website, she has a step-by-step tutorial on how to connect your Etsy shop to Instagram. To get started, you’ll need to set up a Facebook Business page. Once you have a business profile, you’ll have the business features you need to connect your Etsy listings to Instagram, track post engagement, launch ads and more.
Invest in sponsored ads
Advertising on Instagram gets your content in front of people who have aligned interests with your brand. Ads are naturally integrated into users’ feeds along with posts from Instagram accounts they follow.
But unlike regular Instagram posts, you can add a call-to-action link that directs viewers to your Etsy site.
Instagram ads will vary in cost depending on the ad model you choose. You can pay by click, engagement or per thousand impressions. The cost per click to a destination URL (i.e., your Etsy shop) is anywhere from 50 to 95 cents. That’s relatively affordable to get new eyes on your brand.
Fine-tune your Instagram skills
Now you have everything you need to promote your Etsy shop on Instagram. So start posting!
Remember, when you consistently deliver your visual content with care and authenticity, you’ll make genuine connections with people on Instagram and gain fans for your brand.
For more tips to integrate Instagram into your marketing mix, check out our Instagram marketing guide for small businesses.