Handicraft is the process of weaving beauty with hands that possess a universal appeal. For ages, handicraft businesses have remained the backbone of Jammu & Kashmir’s economy. Besides, it plays a huge role in the preservation of traditional art, heritage, culture, skills as well and talents associated with the history and lifestyle of the people. There are about 2.50 lacs artisans belonging to different artisan communities who are directly dependent upon handicrafts for their livelihood. There is great potential in this sector for generating more employment opportunities if its markets are expanded and demand is increased. Presently, our handicrafts earn around Rs.1700 crores as foreign exchange annually(Directorate of Handicrafts, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, 2020).
The arts and crafts of Jammu and Kashmir have recognition all over the world. Indigenous crafts in the state vary from embroidery to shawl weaving, wood carving to the paper machine, carpet weaving to name weaving, and much more.
Though the handicrafts industry in J&K is a major economic sector, it is vital to note that with changing market landscape, this industry has a huge potential and a need to catch up with the ever-growing digital marketing industry. Because, entrepreneurs and distributors time and again have faced challenges like creating awareness, finding a suitable and sustainable market for their respective products, inadequate platforms to advertise and publicize, continuity to explore untapped markets, etc.
With every challenge comes the scope of opportunity, leveraging Digital marketing can be the best possible way to tackle these challenges.
Time is money- It greatly saves time
Nowadays, the economic sector is flourishing, people didn’t have time to go to stores or shops and purchase handicraft items or gifts. They all need something that gives them the liberty to order products at their workplace and a website plays an important role in this. It provides them with an option to select from numerous products and builds an online presence of your craft shop.
Provide customized experience
Some products like brick-and-mortar stores contain a touch and feel factor. While handicraft manufacturers or products provide customized shopping experiences. They work in two ways either they customize the user experience by understanding their interest or shoppers would customize their gifts.
Wide area of customer awareness
If a handicraft store is located in one city, then their awareness is limited to the local resource of that city. However, if they use digital marketing both paid marketing and organic marketing techniques then their brand will reach thousands of people and people around the world come to know about art and craft or home décor items.
Flexible market facilities without spending time and running distances
In the past, for someone to be able to view an artist’s work, they have to visit a gallery or a museum. And for a lot of people, that fact is a deal-breaker, because
1) it requires effort to go out of the house and travel miles just to visit the nearest museum
2) more often than not, it also requires money because art galleries and museums have an entrance fee.
As a result, people will choose to stay at home since it will save not only their energy but also their money.
This can be a problem for artists, particularly local artisans. You see, creating art is a job, so of course, they’d want to make money off of it, but if your artworks are all locked away in a museum, then only a few people can view them. And what is the point of making art when not everyone can see and enjoy your artwork?
Thankfully, technology is here to save the day. With the rise of social media, artists can now make their artworks visible to millions of viewers for free. And in addition to that, social media have also increased the engagement between the artists and their audience, making art a more participatory experience and artists can now participate in trade fairs receiving information through social media. As a result, the audiences of art are now more diverse.
Encouraging indigenous goods
In recent years, with the emergence of online retail and the proliferation of various e-commerce channels, the accessibility to indigenous goods has become more convenient for consumers. Otherwise, they were limited to the local market. This has provided a boost to the sales of handcrafted goods across the globe. Another factor driving the market growth is the shift from ethnic to contemporary designs, coupled with the strong demand from offices, hotels, and many more.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter – social media to promote products is one of the biggest and most important ways to grow your customer base. We primarily use Facebook and Instagram to market our business. The key to marketing and growing your customer base through social media is consistency. You can’t post five times a day for a day or two and then not post again for two weeks. That does not work to grow your audience and will derail any marketing efforts that you are trying to make with social media. You have to be consistent. Try to do your best to post every day and create a relationship with your audience. People buy from people that they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST and social media is an excellent way to get people to know you and your products.
Digital marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach thousands of users. It is the quickest way to advertise handicraft exporters or products in the entire digital space and help to establish a strong customer relationship. It is one of the best techniques to increase brand awareness. It helps business owners to publicize their business in front of thousands of people and if someone owes a handicraft store then they must opt for digital marketing techniques.