Running an online shop, any business actually, is exhausting. So don’t feel too bad when you suddenly find yourself out of steam, uninspired, and and completely out of ideas! It happens. But in the interim, while you wait for your next stroke of genius, just check out what your “competitors” or people in a similar niche as yours are up to. You can often find inspiration in their methods!
But Jacque, I’m sure their marketing tactics are under lock and key.
Nah. Trust me, it’s easy to spot what someone is up to, where they’ve been, and sometimes even what they’re planning. Here are ways I find my FUNpetition’s (because competing isn’t cute) marketing tactics.
Use a Google In Url Search
Need a list of blogs and publications to pitch to? Find an established online shop that’s just a bit bigger than yours and do an In Url search in Google with their brand name. When you do this search you will find any site that has the brand’s name in the URL. From my experience these are usually interviews, features and reviews. Check out this In Url search I did using The Confetti Bar.
To do this, you just type “allinurl:” and then the brand name right after with no space between the colon and first letter. Once you have a good list going (I use excel/Google sheets to track this) then you can start pitching away! If a contact email is hard to find, try using Email Hunter. My friend SQA sent this gem my way!
This is a great idea because now you know for sure that the blog or publication is interested in businesses like yours and it decreases the chances of getting hit with a “your business isn’t a good fit” response.
Use Google Image Search
A while back I found the cutest brand that I thought would pair perfectly with mine. I hadn’t seen them grace my timeline for a while so I did a search and found that their shop unfortunately closed. I couldn’t believe it so I checked Google images and that’s when I was introduced to some interesting sites that were housing the brand’s images and linking back to their site.
This was literally me as I clicked on that link and it led me to the most curious little site…
It’s like Pinterest, a place where you can keep all the little things you want to buy in one central location. The best part about it is you can make an account and start keeping your items for free! More sites I found that allow you to list your items? Chictopia (I’ve known about this one) and Where To Get It. I’ve been so wrapped up with making my Instagram look amazing that I had completely overlooked sites like this. Even if no one buys from them, your images may get a boost in search engines which is always awesome.
Check Their Hashtags
I’m absolutely obsessed with Pixie Market. Their pieces are so clean and quietly bold. I’m always stalking their Instagram page, so it was only natural for me to mosey on down and check out what hashtags they were using.
Because of them, I added #thatsdarling and #pursuepretty to my arsenal of hashtags and I did notice more likes and engagement!
Have you ever been on a site and wondered “How did they do that“? Well finding out how someone built their site is actually pretty easy. Just right-click and hit “inspect” or “inspect element”. Then you’ll see the code for their entire site on the right side of your screen. With a bit of clicking and digging you can often find the name of the plug in or app they’re using!
Join Their Mailing List
Businesses market to customers after all. So think like a customer, purchase an item, and join their mailing list. It’s a win-win. You get something cool, and you get some insight into how they make their customers happy and what you can do to improve or change your methods!
Plus, I often see people at a loss for what to send to their customer’s inboxes so this is a great way to get some content-inspiration as well.
Now, I am by no means saying copy your competitors, erm, FUNpetitors. No, that’s not how this works! But we all could use some inspiration from time to time, and it never hurts to stay hip to what everyone else is doing. What do you think? Have you tried any of these methods? Let me know below!
Need more marketing ideas? There’s a book for that…in my blog shop!