Official Blog of the Tophatter Auction House
…outside of the auctions room, of course. :)
It all starts with your listing. Your listing is the best place to start promoting your item. Now, Megan, how does that work? Well, your listing promotes itself. That’s why it’s incredibly important to wow their socks off with eye-catching product photos and a thoughtful yet concise & informative description. (Wowzers, that’s a lot of things to ask for! Don’t worry, we’ll cover that in a moment).
There are 2 majorly important parts to a listing with which you can instantly intrigue a potential buyer.
Photographs: we’ve touched upon how to capture great product photos in an earlier blog post, but I’m going to yet again emphasize the importance of great photos. It’s the first thing your potential bidders will see & could easily be the last. Don’t lose their interest. The most appealing characteristics of a great photo are crisp quality edges, colors that pop & neutral backgrounds. This doesn’t mean your item needs to be colorful. It just means that the angle & camera you use to take the photo can still capture the boldness of any color. In addition, neutral backgrounds bring the attention onto the product. Fantastic photos even make taupe drool-worthy. A great example includes this listing for Organic Hibiscus Rose Soap.
Description: this is your elevator pitch. The story you tell all your friends at the party. It’s classic & timeless. It should have all the important details of your item that the required information and pictures can’t provide. Perhaps a brief story of how you made it, or the history if it’s a vintage piece, or suggestions on what to use it for.
Once you’ve got a spectacular listing, how do you promote it?
The best place to start is with your social media outlets. Social media is viral, it’s dynamic, it’s a conversation. What better way to promote your item than this form of “word of mouth” marketing?
- Facebook: do you have a Business page? Market your item by pushing it’s exclusivity…”featured in an exclusive Bath & Beauty Auction. To RSVP to this invite, click here..” My reaction to a post like this: well, yeah I want to be invited to this exclusive auction and yes, thank you very much I’m going to RSVP. Call to actions in any social media post are important. If you want your potential buyer to “click” on the item, you should ask them to. If you want them to enter into the auction, invite them.
- Pinterest: visuals are the heart & soul of Pinterest. This is where your amazing photographs that we talked about earlier come into play. Select your favorite, most compelling shot (after the 50+ test shots you’ve taken to capture just the right light, heh). Upload it as a Pin, provide the details of the auction & even the starting bid in your caption. Any $ amount in the caption of a Pinterest pin will automatically pull a price ribbon over the photo. After uploading, you can go to “Edit” the pin and input a direct link to push your pin’s viewers to an outside webpage. Here, you can copy & paste the auction’s URL. OR, using the “Pin it” feature built into Tophatter, you can automatically pin it from our site and the outgoing link goes directly to your item on Tophatter. Are you part of Community Boards for different categories? Get your sweet pin up on them!
- Twitter: the great thing about Twitter is that tons of tweets won’t flood your followers’ feeds. As long as you aren’t tweeting 20 at a time, that is. The key is to spread them out throughout the day. (Note: Facebook feeds do flood if you post often and frequently from your Business page, so be wary of your Unsubscribe rates. Best practices suggests 1-2 posts a day on Facebook.) What this means for Twitter is that you should “schedule” your tweets ahead of time. Free tools such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Buffer offer this service. Change up your content, but keep your links the same. You can promote the same item while still providing fresh & new content in every single tweet.
- YouTube: ah yes, YouTube. Video is so engaging. If you provided a video of you making your product (if you’re a handmade artist, for example), buyers are much more compelled to buy an item they watched being created. Seriously, how coooool is that? Or, if you’re a Supplies seller with crafty inclinations, create a video tutorial on what your buyers could use your Supplies for.
It doesn’t just stop there…where else on the immense Internet space can you promote?
- Websites & Blogs: if you’re a blogger, plan ahead of when your item is up for auction. Perhaps do a featured post about said item, pitch it to collectives or other bloggers as a guest post. The more exposure & visibility, the better. This doesn’t even have to apply to just one item, but also works as a way to promote yourself as a seller on Tophatter or even a Community Auction you’re organizing. Example: Handmadeology’s featured “Etsy Sellers Who Have Found Success on Tophatter” series is a great example of this. This doesn’t mean spam all the bloggers out there; this means you should thoughtfully develop online relationships with other Internet-savvy folks.
- Email: do you have an Email list of people who have shown interest in your items? You could send out a weekly “newsletter” to share the auctions in which your items will be featured. If they’ve shown interest already, I’m pretty sure they’d love to know when your items will be up for sale.
There’s so much you can do to market your items…but, it begins with a stellar listing. Start there & then just follow the list. If you have any questions or want more advice, feel free to email me, Megan. Or, Katie, a seasoned seller, who’s also happy to help.
Are there any other promoting or marketing tips you want to share?