As you can well imagine, Valentine’s Day is the premier holiday for the love notes of Hide A Heart. As a mini-micro business Hide A Heart has very limited funds to invest in marketing and must rely on creative strategies to get the Hide A Heart brand and product out to the public.
Marketing on Air
If you are familiar with HAH or a fan of HAH, you know that I:
- Routinely make blog posts on HideAHeart’s blog
- Promote HAH through Facebook
- Twitter or Merchant Circle, LinkLove, Etsy Forum Threads and posting thoughtful responses on other blogs
- Pitch to HARO journalists looking for products about which to write
These efforts have paid off very well for the most part. Many of the LinkLove connections have kindly promoted Hide A Heart on their pages.
Finding the Hide A Heart Niche
To identify the perfect HAH ‘customer’ profile I spend a fair amount of time time thinking ‘outside’ the HAH box, which is not easy because I typically believe the HAH customer is just about everyone…so what box?
This has been my approach thus far:
- Occasionally sponsor a HAH love note giveaway on Hide A Heart Inspires Expression
- Providing a HAH of choice to Hide A Heart Facebook fan #500 and #1000, #1500 and next #2000!
- Leaving samples of HAH with local shops
- Sending samples of HAH to other online outlets
- Giving HAH samples to friends to show people they think might have an interest in selling HAH to customers
- Sending samples to Faith based groups providing Marriage Encounter classes
I have employed a blog giveaway as a creative strategy for getting promotion for Hide A Heart. After having conducted a giveaway on HAH Blogger , I learned very quickly it is an involved undertaking. In HAH’s first year during which I spent most days on Mars because I was learning, learning, learning, most of the blog giveaways I found were through Help a Reporter Out AKA: HARO and after pitching them, these were the very first to respond favorably.
- It’s in the Stars Elizabeth contacts me on occasion for follow up information, which is so lovely!
- Honeymoons.com Top Ten Romantic Travel Products
A few people also reached out to me offering a HAH review with giveaway for a contest winner. I always contact the winner to advise the prize has been shipped and then follow up to be sure it is received. It has not been often that I have received a ‘thank you’ from winners. Of course, it isn’t a requirement, but it only seems polite and always welcome as a giveaway sponsor.
- Mom’s Like Me for six major membership cities (now defunct)
- Cheryl’s Purple Cow
- Bubble Bee Creations (now defunct)
During the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp, I reached out to Cinde and requested a HAH review. Cinde obliged with the giveaway contest ending on 1/14/11
Through Etsy convos, I have received offers to provide a review and sponsor a giveaway in the past three weeks for:
- Adventure’s in Abbyland (I truly believe HAH has a perfect application for Military families, so I was delighted to hear from Jennifer)
- Burning Moon Products
Lesson 12: When you introduce a new brand and product, you must be prepared to give product away
I do not know if all this ‘giving product away’ is paying off? I include a card with every Hide A Heart order asking the recipient if she/he would please let us know where they ‘discovered’ us but I have not received any messages with that information so I am unable to track the benefits of the ‘giveaway.
Giveaway Bonus or Bogus
My friend Carol tells me to limit the review/giveaways to blogs with some Google rating of 4/10 or better, which will help me figure out the balance point for the cost/benefit and to know how many giveaways per year I can afford! I have included a few ‘review/giveaway’ considerations in My Etsy Shop Policies and submitted an article to Handmade Spark titled Giveaway Bonus or Bogus and looking forward to reading the comments.
I know I receive orders for HAH from all over the USA and Canada. So while giving away product costs me a little money (for product, time and shipping), in exchange for promotion and getting the HAH word out to the public, by comparison to the cost of real marketing monies for advertising, the R.O.I. (return on investment) with a little bit of limit on how many giveaways I sponsor is probably PRICELESS!