How Etsy Crafts And Measures Its Campaigns

How does a global seller of other people’s products measure the effectiveness of its digital campaigns?

Samantha Druss, senior digital marketing specialist for Etsy, discussed the 11-year-old brand’s new global #DifferenceMakesUs campaign during a keynote conversation at the OMMA Social conference in New York last week.

The campaign, which launched on Sept. 14, is playing out on Facebook, Instagram and through digital advertising. It’s designed to raise awareness and to highlight that everyone has different styles, different attitudes, and that’s what Etsy stands for.

Sellers were invited to participate by uploading products that work with the theme and using that hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and their other social channels. It partnered with creation platform Canva so that the look and feel would be consistent, on-brand and easy for sellers to execute. The hashtag had 14,598 posts on Instagram as of Oct. 1.



Druss says Etsy first started running paid ads on Facebook at scale at the end of last year, but kept a social conversion mindset. Video in carousels has been effective, she adds, as well as local targeting and the use of Facebook’s “lookalike audience” tool — people who share the qualities of those who have the highest purchase intent.

It’s important not to exhaust an audience by honing in on too small a target, she says.

The metrics Etsy is looking at are sales, site activity and search impact. The social focus is on engagement and the editorial merchandising calendar touches all the typical themes: Halloween, astrology, gifts under $30, crocheting.

Etsy tests different creative variations against different silos, with the first priority being to capture attention on fast-moving Facebook scrolls. It’s important that content align with the target prospect’s interests as performance determines the win rate through the ad bidding structure.

Originally, Etsy would run campaigns with multiple ad variations in a campaign. Facebook will quickly determine which two in 10 are most relevant, and those are the two that will then get the most ad budget. It’s all about seeing what drives the most efficient cost per purchase.

With earned media, Etsy is looking at fan engagement. With paid media, it’s more of a community building and retention strategy. In “old media,” Etsy is prospecting — capturing new users. Audiences are brought in to reach all of them on Facebook.

What’s next for Etsy? Druss is “really keen” on testing with Snapchat and sees a lot of opportunity in Pinterest.

She cautions marketers to keep their own data and not trust just what Facebook tells you.

Data is key. When starting out, really understand the platform. Read case studies and understand the opportunities. Know your audience and make sure content is the focus, with content specifically on brand.

In terms of prioritizing in a marketplace where inventory is not in their control, Etsy relies on its own back-end tech support and constantly tweaks based on cost per purchase. 

Localized targeting is most effective for reaching niche users, she says, in terms of what they’re doing offline. 

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