How to Prepare Your Jewelry Marketing for 2019

Today, JCK published an editorial titled “3 Predictions for the Jewelry Business in 2019 and Beyond“. At the 2018 GIA Symposium, Scott Galloway – marketing professor and founder of market research platform Gartner L2 – shared his thoughts about the future of jewelry.

He predicts that in 2019, 1) lab-grown diamonds will potentially disrupt the industry, 2) the jewelry market will begin to see a consolidation of independents, and 3) brands will need to promote a culture of experimentation and innovation in order to stay relevant.

In this blog post, I’ll be focusing on the final prediction and how digital marketing can support this need.

Too many legacy jewelry brands are sitting on their thrones complaining that brick-and-mortar retail is dead and that consumer shopping habits have changed. They blame everything except their lack of experimentation and innovation for declining sales.

The truth is that brick-and-mortar is actually doing better than many critics expected, and consumer interest in jewelry is high.

For example, even though global sales of real and costume jewelry are rising, “Recent years have proven difficult for Tiffany,” according to AdAge. Once the gold standard for jewelry gifting, legacy brand Tiffany has not pursued the experimentation and innovation necessary to keep up with the tastes and preferences of younger generations.

While young brands do have an advantage, since they can approach sales and marketing with a fresh eye, every brand can benefit from creating and executing a digital marketing strategy that emphasizes and communicates their commitment to pursuing innovation, satisfying customer wants and needs, and anticipating new trends.

To stay relevant, before sure to include these elements in your digital marketing for 2019:

  1. Invite customers to peek behind the scenes. If your research and development truly revolves around innovation, then your customers will see and appreciate that. Through video, Instagram Stories, blog posts, social media posts, and other forms of content marketing, show your customers your creative process.
  2. Regularly ask your customers to provide suggestions and feedback. Incorporate surveys into your email marketing campaigns, do Instagram Story polls, and even consider forming a VIP focus group of some of your most enthusiastic customers. Offer special discounts or other perks in regard to the input.
  3. Consider creating limited-edition “experimental” designs to see how they perform and then build marketing campaigns around these news designs. Push the boundaries of what you already design and produce and try something completely “out-of-the-box”. Customers will return to your website again and again to learn about the “next big thing” you’ve made.

How are you preparing your digital marketing for 2019?

Don’t “Boost” Facebook Posts or “Promote” Instagram Posts

If your jewelry brand currently has a social media marketing strategy that involves Facebook and/or Instagram, you’ve probably seen notifications like:

“People are boosting posts like…to reach more people. Try boosting this post.”
“This post is performing better than 90% of other posts…”

Have you tried boosting a post to see if it would reach more followers? I don’t blame you. Boosting isn’t the worst idea, given that organic reach has declined in the past few years, and advertisers now get top priority in users’ feeds.

If you feel frustrated with your lack of engagement or followers on Instagram or Facebook, you probably feel desperate sometimes. You may be thinking, “If $5 will help my efforts, why not?”

I’m here to let you know that you’re wasting your money. Five dollars may not seem like a lot to waste, but consider this: you could be putting that money toward a more strategic Facebook/Instagram advertising campaign that will yield results.

Let me put it this way: if you had the choice between your favorite, tried-and-true stylist for your next haircut or – for about the same amount of money – a stylist selected by a complete stranger who’s never even seen a photo of you, which would you pick?

Boosting your posts is like trusting your haircut to a complete stranger. Let me save you from walking out of the salon with a mohawk you definitely did not want.

Instead of boosting that post, consider investing in a strategic Facebook advertising campaign, which doesn’t have to cost you more than $5 or even $10 per day. Not only will it be more effective, but it will also force you to sit down and think about your target audience, your brand, the way you’re communicating your brand to your target audience, and your goals.

When you create a Facebook advertising campaign from scratch, you have full control over the demographic that you’re targeting, which is better than blindly trusting Facebook to know who to target.

In addition, you can write interesting ad copy with a clear call-to-action, rather than simply boosting whatever you wrote on your post and hoping it resonates with your audience enough to inspire them to “Buy” or “Learn More”.

Finally, you can choose images that seem popular and then test them. For example you can try one image with two different headlines to see which one resonates best with your target audience. You may even find that your 21-30 female demographic actually isn’t responding well to an image you thought they would like – and that the image is better suited for an older demographic. Advertising the right way can provide you with valuable insights about your brand.

If you’d like to learn more about how to do Facebook advertising the right way, contact me for a free consultation.

What Ear Piercing Can Teach Us About Jewelry Marketing

So you’re wondering: what the heck does poking a needle through my ear lobe have to do with marketing my jewelry brand?

In this post I’ll show you what ear piercing can teach you about increasing your jewelry brand’s strength and presence.

I recently stumbled across a fascinating history of ear piercing, focusing mostly on the Western cultural relevance of basic earlobe piercing from the 1990s to today. Though not as comprehensive as it could be, the article shed light on the fashion jewelry store Claire’s, an American shopping mall mainstay that nearly any American girl would recognize.

You know Claire’s too. Walk into any Claire’s location today and receive free ear piercing services (a.k.a. get your lobes clamped by a teen wielding a staple gun) with the purchase of a pair of starter earrings.

Here a few interesting facts about Claire’s:

  • Claire’s “has been in the ear piercing business since 1978”
  • “The chain does 3 million piercings a year, and its global piercing number recently hit 94 million.”

And here’s the most important one…

  • “So famous is Claire’s for its ear piercing that the accessories retailer historically hasn’t done much to promote the service…”

What? Imagine being so famous for your jewelry or jewelry-related service that you don’t even need to do anything to promote yourself.

Theoretically, a person can get an ear piercing at a number of places: a clinical ear piercing business, a doctor’s office, a tattoo/piercing shop, in your friend’s bathroom during a sleepover (not recommended), or a mall fashion jewelry store like Claire’s or Piercing Pagoda.

Why Claire’s?!

Claire’s discovered how to make a near-mythical rite of passage accessible to the audience undergoing that rite of passage, mostly 10-year-old girls. No 10-year-old girl wants to visit her doctor or a tattoo/piercing shop, and I’m sure few parents want to bring her to the latter. 

But Claire’s? At Claire’s the 10-year-old can choose from hundreds of bright, happy, playful starter earrings, and she can flaunt her newfound maturity to anyone who happens to be browsing the store or gawking through the window.

Sure, 10-year-olds aren’t Claire’s only audience. But the same principles apply to everyone else: the process is easy. You don’t need to know any special lingo or mentally prepare yourself for the ear piercing process.

Getting pierced at Claire’s is transparent, literally. For former CEO Beatrice Lafon to assert that the company hasn’t done much to promote the process is completely untrue. The thrilled little girl getting pierced in the store window is all the promotion Claire’s ever needed.

So what can ear piercing teach you about marketing your jewelry brand? Ask yourself:

  • What intimidates my target customer about the jewelry-buying process?
  • What can I do to make the experience more breezy for them?
  • How can I simplify the experience so that they walk into my store or enter my website without any fear and with the knowledge they’ll leave feeling transformed?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, go ahead and tell me about your first piercing experience in the comments below.

Featured photo by William Rafti