Jewelry Marketing

Our Comprehensive Guide to Digital Marketing for Local Fine Jewelry Retailers

For local and regional fine jewelry retailers, selling diamonds is the easy part.

Jewelry marketing, on the other hand, is becoming more and more difficult, especially with the number of customers walking into your store with a picture of a ring or diamond on their phone that they’ve been looking at online.

Most successful jewelers are inherently good at making people comfortable. The larger ones have good processes in place for managing millions of dollars in very portable inventory, greeting customers when they walk in the door and making people feel at home.

However, jewelers in 2019 face some difficult challenges.

There are big, national retailers on almost every street corner. Not to mention the “local” guys in every market that have been around for years.

Local fine jewelry retailers

Jewelers face some difficult challenges in 2019.

There are big, national retailers on almost every street corner. Not to mention the “local” guys in every market that have been around for years.

Add in the competition from companies like Blue Nile, James Allen and a host of others spending small fortunes on Google Ads. And to top it all off, there’s this whole digital marketing thing. For years jewelers leveraged broadcast media like radio and TV to build big businesses, but if feels like their customers live on their phones (or even their watches) these days.

How do you stay in touch with them digitally, but then get them to actually show up in your store?

That’s where we come in!

Over the years, we’ve developed a proprietary system for jewelers that merges old school strategies that still work with new school digital marketing strategies.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the most common challenges we have to overcome as well as our Dazzling, 6 Step Jewelry Marketing Formula.

Challenges to Address First

If you want to grow your local business in the fine jewelry arena, you’ve got some tough decisions to make!

Clients we talk to tell us they struggle to make sense of digital marketing in a few common areas. Let’s cover those first so you can get a good foundation for the actual strategies themselves.

If you’re a roofer or pest control company, running digital advertising is simple. You need to rank near the top and offer a free inspection.

Not so with jewelry. Your industry requires a delicate touch.

People may only need their jeweler once every few years for major purchases, so you’ve got to stay top of mind without coming across as too salesy.

That’s not easily done.

You’ve got to entertain consumers on digital platforms, educate them, provide value and keep them interested, all while gently reminding them you’re there when they need you.

Takeaway: Approach your digital marketing the same way you do your brand advertising - with the goal of developing the relationship, not just selling jewelry.

Complexity

It used to be simple. You had radio, TV and print. Today, which digital platforms are you going to leverage?

Google? Yes. But is that SEO, Google Ads, or the shopping network?
Facebook? Yes. But are you going to have multiple locations, run ads, promoted posts or contests?

Instagram? Yes. But is anyone going to buy jewelry from you on Instagram?

What about multi-channel marketing, Twitter or The Knot?

The choices are dizzying.

We’ll get into recommendations for specific online platforms in a bit, but for now the big thing you need to understand is that unless you have MAJOR resources to invest, you can’t be on all platforms and do it well.

It’s just too hard without the right staffing, strategy and budget.

Takeaway: Don’t fall into the trap of believing you need to be on EVERY marketing platform. Choose a few and own them!

Platform choices

We’re a marketing agency, so we believe jewelers need some outside help in order to be successful with digital marketing.

But let’s get one thing straight right from the start…

You MUST have some in house staff allocated to digital in order to make it work!

Yes, agencies or consultants can help you with strategy, ads and lots of other things, but having someone in the store to help with social media, photography, content ideas and signage is critical.

Also, we’ve found that in house staff generally have their fingers on the pulse of the consumers walking in the store WAY better than a third-party consultant or agency ever could. That feedback is critical to understanding the impact of digital marketing efforts.

Takeaway: Don’t underestimate the importance of your in-house staff when it comes to running a GREAT digital marketing campaign.

Staffing needs

Ahhh, money. Everyone’s favorite subject. Most successful local fine jewelers have a pretty good understanding of how budgets work when it comes to marketing.

However, there’s this misperception that digital marketing can be done successfully on a shoestring budget.

We get it. Budget constraints are real.

If you’re going to take money out of radio or TV and put it to digital, that money comes from somewhere.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking a $500 budget for Google Ads or just boosting a few Facebook posts is the same thing as a full-blown digital marketing strategy. It’s not.

Takeaway: Running a successful digital campaign requires sufficient budget, just like it does for things like radio & TV.

Budget

ROI is often the first thing jewelers ask about. But it’s the hardest thing to track. Step back and think for a moment.

What’s the ROI on your mass media marketing budget?

Can you do a 30 day run of radio commercials and expect to calculate the direct ROI? No.

Because you CAN track everything in online marketing, there’s a tendency to look at these strategies in a straight line.

In other words, you bought 100 Google Ads clicks, that should lead to 5 sales. It’s not that simple.

People often research jewelry for weeks before visiting a local store. Then, they might visit 2-3 stores in one day, and make their decision a few weeks later.

If they originally found you for a Google paid click, but heard a radio commercial and saw a Facebook ad in the weeks that followed before they came in and bought, which activity do you credit with the sale?

There’s no easy answer.

Takeaway: Evaluate your ROI from digital based on the overall growth of the business, not the short-term, week to week activities.

Understanding ROI

The 3 Ms of Digital Marketing for Jewelers

Hopefully the takeaways above will help give you a Good Base of Understanding for how to Succeed with Digital Marketing. Now, let’s get to the good stuff… the HOW! We’ve broken success into 3 categories. We call them the 3 Ms:

3Ms

MESSAGE

Generally speaking, successful jewelers understand the importance of crafting the right message that represents who they are and develops a relationship with their clientele.
Message
However, we’ve found there’s a need to develop that message further when it comes to social media. The reason is that these kinds of messages are designed to get people’s attention on a radio commercial or mailer.
In other words, you’re trying not to lose their attention. But on digital channels, you’ve got to do the opposite. You’ve got to earn their attention and KEEP it.
Let that sink in for a moment. It’s not enough to get a click. You’ve got to bring them to your website or social platform and lead them down the rabbit hole.

Making Mass Media Work with Digital

Unlike many digital marketers, we LOVE mass media marketing. Why? Because it still works!

But here’s the big shift… Instead of thinking of your mass media strategy separately from your digital marketing, think of how they can work TOGETHER.

If someone hears a radio ad about a particular collection or piece of jewelry, make sure that’s easy to find on your home page. Send an email blast to your audience about that same collection. And keep it visible on your social media profiles while those commercials are on the air.

Think of connecting the dots for the consumer because it doesn’t matter where they hear the message FIRST! Make sure you give them lots of chances to hear a similar message.

It’s called brand consistency! Great marketing is about reaching the maximum number of people with the right frequency of your message.

That’s why making mass media work together with digital marketing yields BIG results!

Mass media

Vocalize Your Beliefs

Another shift jewelers make with digital marketing is getting a little more personal and behind the scenes.

Messages that are suitable for mass communication don’t always play well on digital… at least not when they’re done repeatedly.

You’ve got a big chance with digital to vary your message and to be much more specific than ever before, especially if you’re on different platforms like Facebook & Instagram. One of the best ways for doing this is a technique I learned from the great Wizard of Ads - Roy H. Williams. He calls it a “We Believe” exercise.

Stating your beliefs as a company is a great way to bond with your customers by giving them specific concepts that you both share.

So rather than saying “we offer competitive prices” which is something people might take as marketing fluff, you could say “we believe each item should be marked at the absolute lowest price” which is something people can see and agree with.

Vocalize your belief

Develop Message Sequences

There’s a misperception with digital marketing in general that clicks should lead to sales. That’s just not how things happen - especially in jewelry.

When someone clicks on your Google ad for an “emerald cut engagement ring”, they’re doing research. When someone clicks on your Facebook post about “hot engagement ring styles”, they’re interested in the headline or image.

They may have bought jewelry a few months ago. They might be looking for a friend. Or they might be a day or two away from visiting a store. It’s safe to assume that someone interacting with your business on social media or clicking on your website is interested in jewelry, so why not warm them up rather than just asking for the sale?

In other words, use your message in the right sequence on digital marketing. When someone signs up for your newsletter, don’t wait 30 days to email them. Send them a few automated emails in the first week or two with something fun or interesting of value.

When someone visits your website, remarket to them with special offers or ads featuring your customer testimonial. Sequence your messages to develop the relationship over time and you’ll be the jeweler they trust when they’re finally ready to make that purchase.

Develop message sequences

MOUSETRAP

Your message is the cheese. Your digital properties are the “Mousetrap”. They’re the place your customers wind up where they can decide how and when to do business with you.
Mousetrap

Components of an Effective Mousetrap are:

WEBSITE

Stock photography is a cop out for a local fine jeweler. Your vendors should be giving you high quality photos or videos of their merchandise you can use, but we’d suggest taking it a step further.
Jewelry is a visual thing. Invest in good photography or YOUR favorite pieces or those you custom make in house. Get pictures of your merchandise cases, your customers and your team working with people.
Without good custom photos, you’ll find it difficult to get much traction with your website or digital marketing properties.
Custom Photography
It’s so tempting to agonize over your website on a desktop or laptop computer. But don’t. Statistically speaking, the majority of customers are visiting your website on a mobile phone.
The numbers are even more staggering if you’re heavy into Facebook or Instagram. It’s 2019 so there’s no excuse for not having a top flight mobile web experience for your customers.
It should also go without saying that your website should load quickly and feature the “https” secure setting in the navigation bar.
Mobile fast secure
Does your website have a good conversion strategy? Jewelry websites should have at least 2 of the following calls to action
  • Telephone Number (clickable)
  • Schedule an Appointment (text or form)
  • Email/special offer signup
Good call to action
Is your company accredited with the Better Business Bureau, Jewelers of America, GIA or any other jewelry industry associations? Have you won any “best of” awards for your customer service?
Make sure your design incorporates these “trust” logos, so they are visible throughout the site either in the footer or sidebar.
Accreditation
We’ve come to believe that customer reviews are the #1 best conversion tool jewelers have at their disposal. Studies show that 88% of people trust REAL customer reviews as much as a referral.
But we’ve found that 100% of jewelers are finding that customers tell their staff “I’m here because of your reviews”. Building reviews on Google & Facebook has NEVER been more important, especially in this niche.
Real customer reviews
Podium is a mini-gold mine for jewelers. It embeds easily on your website and allows consumers to communicate with you via text message.
It also has unbeatable follow up tools for building verified customer reviews on Google, Facebook and other networks. If you’re not using Podium yet, check it out. And no, we’re not making any money for mentioning them!
Jewelers face all kinds of challenges when it comes to local SEO. There are jewelry stores on literally every corner, and Google considered jewelry related searches as ultra-local.
That means if you are in a suburb or a major city like Dallas, ranking for “jewelers in Dallas” might be a tall order. It’s best to consult with an outside agency as to which keywords to target because you might be better off optimizing for your town or location rather than the big town nearby.
Regardless of what city or region you target, your #1 SEO tactic as a jeweler should be local & industry listings. There are dozens of legitimate local & industry profiles you can claim and verify in addition to social profiles as well as listings offered by your vendors.
Local SEO

Insider tip for getting the most out of local business listings:

Make sure your business information is consistent – put the name of your company exactly as it appears on other places like your website, Facebook etc. Consistency of information is absolutely critical in this process!

Other Google SEO Tools

Take some time with your web developer to make sure you are utilizing these important Google tools,
all of which are FREE:

Pages for Each MAJOR Type of Jewelry

Many jewelry websites are based on ecommerce platforms. That means while you may have a page for engagement rings on your site, it’s likely a catalog page featuring a list of rings you offer.
This is good for active shoppers. Not so good for search engines because the content is not unique or of value to searchers.
We recommend building out text pages on your site for things like engagement rings, wedding bands, stud earrings, necklaces, watches and any of the other lines that are important to you. Those pages can easily be optimized for your local geographic area and should rank well on search if built properly.

PPC

If your local SEO presence isn’t as strong as you’d like yet, or you’re trying to reach people outside your immediate location, Google Ads work really well.

Just remember that when you run Google ads, you’re not only competing against other local jewelry retailers, you’re going up against the big boys… Blue Nile, Brilliant Earth, James Allen and a whole host of other people with WAY bigger ad budgets than you!
Plus, Google clicks are expensive & you can’t afford to waste them.

Here are 2 tips for effective jewelry PPC:

#1 Write Local Flavored Ads

If you do a Google search for “diamond engagement rings” + whatever your locale is, you’ll see a mix of local jewelers competing with online retailers.
Write your ads to make sure people know you’re local. Feature taglines or slogans from mass media you may be running.
Also, mention your ratings on social networks. You can’t compete with the 200k+ rings that companies like James Allen offers, so put your best local pitch front and center to attract the right type of clicks with Google Ads.
Local flavored ads

#2 Develop a GIANT Negative Keyword List

If you run ads for “engagement rings”, get ready for Google to take your money for all sorts of things.
Do you sell CZ? Probably not, but unless you put CZ and cubic zirconia as a negative keyword list, Google might show your ads for “CZ engagement rings”.
Ditto for moonstones, tanzanite and any other gemstone you can think of. What about unclaimed engagement rings, cheap or amazon?
The right negative keyword list may not be unique for the type of jewelry you sell, but building it is an important part of a successful campaign.
And if you don’t have one, you’re wasting money on Google Ads.
Negative keyword list

SOCIAL MEDIA

Jewelers are lucky when it comes to social media. It’s not that hard to get Likes or Shares when you post an eye-popping diamond ring.

Thank goodness you’re not a pest control operator trying to get “likes” on pictures of termites or spiders LOL.
Most jewelers have a pretty good idea of what to do on social media. The common questions we get usually revolve around:

There’s NO RIGHT ANSWER to this question!

As a fine jeweler, no one is going to object to you posting pretty stuff in their timeline.
We believe that being less salesy in favor of being fun & interesting with your posting strategy & schedule is more important than how often you post.
In other words, give your fans something to ooh and aah over rather than trying to sell them something and you’ll keep them engaged with your brand on social media.
Posting

We’ve found jewelers get the most traction from Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has the largest number of people you can find anywhere that can actually afford what you sell. And Instagram is quickly gaining steam, especially with younger women which is every jeweler’s dream demographic.
We recommend going deep into fewer platforms rather than trying to have a presence on as many as possible. If you have video capabilities or TV commercials, YouTube is our third favorite platform.
Social platforms

Have you ever requested information or a quote and received a follow up email or text a day or so later?

It’s a nice consumer experience, when done correctly. It helps build your relationship. It develops trust. It lodges in your memory. That’s the beauty of marketing automation.
The jewelry industry is somewhat behind other industries in their adoption of marketing automation. That means there is a GIANT opportunity for you as an early adopter!
Marketing automation CRM

Automating Early Touches

Marketing automation is great for developing the relationship with customers early on. It’s all part of the message sequencing we mentioned earlier.
Did someone request an appointment? Send them an email a day ahead of time letting them know what to expect when they visit the store.
If someone wants more information on an engagement ring, send them a series of emails on how to make sure they find the ring they want.
If someone wants more information on man-made diamonds, send them a series of emails about why (or why not) man made diamonds are great for consumers.
There are all sorts of ways to integrate automation into your business.
Automating early touches

Developing Your Sales Processes

Having automation in place makes it easier for your sales team to follow up with clients.
A CRM system allows them to log their activity and make notes. It also allows them to trigger clients to receive automated emails or texts at appropriate times during the process.
The better job you do of implementing automation with a HUMAN touch, the more effective it becomes.
Sales Process

MECHANICS

Once you’ve got your Message right and your Mousetrap is set, it becomes a matter of refining & growing. Those are the Mechanics of any good digital marketing campaign.
Mechanics

Staying On Track with Accountability

On track with accountability

Most jewelers assign some tasks to in house personnel to handle and work with an agency or consultant for the rest.
It’s important when you do this to assign specific accountability actions to your team and agency in order to make sure things are getting done in a timely fashion. For instance, if you’re going to implement Podium for reviews, you can’t just rely on a third party to handle the process.
Your entire team needs to understand the strategy behind Podium and how it’s going to be used so that every team member can maximize its use. But one person should be the “owner” of the Podium project. The same thing goes for photography, blogging, email marketing and any of the other digital strategies you choose to execute.
Scheduling a regular “Digital Marketing Meeting” is a good way to stay on track when things get busy, even if it’s just a short check in meeting.

Developing Your In-House Team

Developing in-house team

Jewelers are creative by nature and there are always lots of ideas floating around about what you could be doing in your marketing.
But the reality is your current staff may have limited skills when it comes to the nuances of digital marketing, and your outside agency or consultant is probably not the best point of contact to keep track of all the balls being juggled in the air at one time.
That’s why it’s critical to develop your in-house team. Digital is only becoming more complex, so the more you can handle in house, the better. It’s better from an accountability standpoint. And, better from a quality standpoint.
Even as an agency, we know that our best clients have 1-3 in house staff members to help us execute very successful campaigns. Without those talented in house people, the campaigns wouldn’t have nearly the impact that they do.
Learning tools you can give your team:
Here’s a pro-tip: Give your team members a bonus when they complete a course from one of these outlets. The new skills & knowledge they bring to your business is worth a fortune!

Reporting

Creating a report for full-blown jewelry digital marketing can make your head spin. Sure, you can pull together all the benchmark numbers, but what do they mean? And more importantly, do those metrics translate to any purchases in the store?
In order to avoid drowning in data, we’d recommend looking at a few key digital metrics including:
  • # of add to carts
  • # of shares, favorites, emails, wish lists, etc
  • # of phone calls or text messages
  • # of actual purchases
  • # of store visits (available via geofencing)
Outside of these metrics, it really comes down to talking to your team to see what’s happening on the sales floor. If you’re promoting a certain ring on Facebook & Instagram and you happen to sell 2 rings that month to people who came in with a picture of the ring on their phone, where does that go on a report?
If you figure that out let us know LOL. But it’s the reality of running a retail shop where people don’t necessarily want to buy a $3,000 ring online.
They might find that ring online and look around before eventually showing up in the store to buy. It’s a frustrating reporting cycle, but it’s life in digital marketing.

Final Thoughts

We always suggest to our jewelry clients to try and avoid the “straight line” approach to tracking results from your digital marketing efforts.

You need a well-rounded approach to succeed in the fine jewelry niche. That’s not easily or quickly done.
Be patient and treat your digital campaigns more like you’d treat your mass media campaigns.
Build a relationship. Give the customer what they want when they’re interested. Don’t ask for the sale too soon. Stay in touch and be their friend.
If you do those things right, you’ll be the jeweler they think of when they’re ready to buy. And if you feel totally overwhelmed after reading this guide, it’s OK. Just ask for help.
That’s what we’re here for.
If you’d like to schedule a time to discuss your jewelry marketing needs, please request a FREE Strategy Session.
Remembering 3Ms
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