Social media is the most popular online marketing activity for the greeting card and giftware industry, according to the findings of a year-long research study undertaken by Card & Gift Network, involving over 600 greeting card and gift businesses.
Charlotte Biggs, founder of Card & Gift Network (which consults with companies to develop their online activities) embarked on the research project to gauge how greeting card and giftware companies were promoting themselves online.
Charlotte said of the project, “With a better understanding of how the industry is promoting itself online, we can measure our efforts against best practice of professional marketers and find new ways to improve.”
The research looked at what marketing channels card and gift companies are using online.
Analysing data from the 642 companies tracked Charlotte discovered that the most popular form of marketing was social media.
Some 76% of businesses surveyed were using between one and seven social media channels to promote their greeting card and gift products – the most popular of these were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Of these Facebook was the most popular social media channel with 71% having a Facebook page for their business.
Commenting on the findings Charlotte said “The popularity of social media is a great sign that the industry is forward thinking and willing to embrace new technologies to reach customers.”
Other highlights of the research included:
38% of the 642 companies analysed had a blog to showcase their brand.
- Only 35% used email marketing, despite this being one of the most popular marketing methods for professional marketers.
- Just 69 (11%) companies had used ‘Pay Per Click’ paid advertising to promote their business in the last year.
The participation figures fell further when Charlotte looked at public relations and search engine optimisation.
- Only 9% of the card and gift companies surveyed had used the free PR services at their last trade show appearance.
- While just 4% had a top Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) score for their website.
Reviewing the first set of data, Charlotte is positive about the potential for card and gift companies to utilise online marketing.
“While the figures are low for many forms of online marketing, I actually think this is positive,” Charlotte told PG Buzz. “It shows that the majority of card and gift companies have lots of potential, there’s still many marketing strategies they could implement to reach new customers and sell more online.”
This is just phase one the research project. More detailed research, which will consider each of the marketing strategies (blogging, email, paid ads, PR, SEO and social media) will be published in the coming weeks.
A detailed breakdown on the research can be found at: https://www.cardandgiftnetwork.com/online-marketing-research-2017
Charlotte fell into the sparkly world of greeting cards and gifts in 2003 when she started working for independent greeting card publisher, Peel Cards. In 2009 she founded Card & Gift Network to combine her online marketing experience with her ‘insider’ industry knowledge. The website provides an online space to showcase the industry; its products and its people. To date, over a million visitors have made their way to the site with over 30,000 stopping by every month.