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Episode 40: Direct to Consumer Ad Strategy

Learn how to go from wholesale or brick-and-mortar to an eCommerce, direct-to-consumer, sales strategy using Facebook ads and other tools.

Episode Transcript — Direct to Consumer Ad Strategy

00:24 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend $10K a Day podcast. I'm Stewart Anderson here, as always with my good friend, Steve Weiss. Today we're talking about direct to consumer strategy for retail and wholesale brands. How to get into the e-commerce game. Steve, talk to me about what the most important things that retail or wholesale brands can do when they're starting to market themselves in the e-commerce world.

00:46 Steve Weiss: We actually speak on a daily basis to a lot of companies who are selling wholesale. What that means is they're selling on Amazon, they're selling on Groupon, they're selling direct to brick and mortar. And their goal is they want higher margins, they wanna sell direct to consumer. And we always have a little checklist that we discuss of what you need to do to go direct to consumer. How do you transition your business from selling to a wholesaler where you're getting big fat orders for specific products to selling one skew at one time to multiple consumers? We have a little checklist that we built in-house that we go through when we discuss making this amazing transition from b2b to b2c. 

01:31 SA: Yeah. Let's talk about specifics. What are the most important things that companies can do, they've been selling in brick and mortar, they've been selling to other retailers, now they wanna sell direct to consumer. They're setting up their online store, they're starting to advertise. What are those most important things that they need to remember, that they need to focus on to have a successful marketing strategy?

01:50 SW: Number one, choose a platform. We're a little biased. We work very closely with Shopify. We are always gonna...

01:56 SA: I love Shopify.

01:57 SW: We're always gonna be biased, Shopify is a marketer's wet dream. And let me tell you why. You do not need to be a programmer to make edits to a Shopify website. There is a multitude of plugins and opportunities to be able to easily allow you to boost your conversion rate on Shopify. So we're always gonna be a big proponent of going with Shopify.

02:20 SA: Absolutely. Alright. Let's say they've chosen a platform, hopefully they've chosen Shopify. What is the next big thing? They wanna sell all the products they're selling, let's say there's a company with a ton of skews. What is the most important thing that they can do to have a successful advertisement strategy?

02:37 SW: Number two, preparing a supply chain for advertising b2c. So many times I talk to businesses, and what they'll do is they'll say, "Well, I'm gonna sell all the most popular products to Walmart, to Amazon and then all my leftover products I'm gonna hope to sell them on my website." And that's just not a realistic strategy because the most popular products that you wanna lead people in with should be products that you have fulfillment on your website for. I would say number two, build a supply chain around products that have the most likelihood to sell freshly to new consumers.

03:13 SA: Yeah, it's a really really good point. I would say and add on to that, maybe this is point number three, is getting all those products in front of people with a product feed.

03:23 SW: Yap. You couldn't have said it better. Compiling a product feed is number three. If you're doing multi-skew e-commerce, the way you market on Facebook is you market through what we call Dynamic Product Ad or DPA ads. Where is Facebook... Where you'll upload your product feed into Facebook, and Facebook will dynamically create an ad around each one of those products based on prior user behavior on your website. So very important, have a product feed ready and willing and able. And then start really focusing on uploading that product feed to both Facebook, to Google Shopping, etcetera etcetera. 

03:56 SA: Yeah, and we've actually put on a bunch of content about DPA ads, it's a big, big, big part of any e-commerce strategy. You need to have your product feed built out, you need to have DPA ads, right? 

04:05 SW: Yep. Number four, creative. This is the big one, this is the one that I would say is the most important area of your b2c strategy, is creative. How do I bring new people to my website that are engaged and show purchase intent to make a purchase? When I say creative I mean video ads. Take three or four or five of your best products and feature them in a video ad. The best part about video ads is you can create these things called collection ads, where you could have a video in the collection of products underneath it. And that is probably one of the most popular ad types on Facebook. Come here with a creative strategy. Alright, we're gonna do a video shoot for these six products, okay. We wanna get five or six different videos out of this shoot, okay. We wanna get 30 or 40 Facebook ready images out of this shoot. Coming up with a systematic model to actually coming up with creative, and then building kind of a predictive model for success. Literally, once a month we have everything dialed in, we're gonna do creative. Okay, great, perfect. Now you're ready to go and I always say focus on creative, creative, creative.

05:17 SA: Yeah, and I think that one of the other interesting things from an advertising standpoint and from a creative standpoint is now that you're selling direct to consumer, you're not just focused on top of funnel. If you're selling your product, let's say you're a toy company and you're selling in Toys "R" Us, you wanna maybe create a TV commercial, make people aware that your product is out there and that they can buy it at Toys "R" Us. But now, you need to make sure that people know about it, yeah. But, you also have to do middle and bountiful content. You gotta have to actually get people to buy from your website. So you have other types of creative and other types of advertisements that you're building too. 

05:48 SW: Yep, you don't want just product feeds, you want advertising product feeds. They're much different than just, here's a picture of our product. Number four, creative. Number five, well, prepare yourself for success. We wanna go into this thinking that we're gonna be selling a lot of product. Well, you know what you're gonna have when you sell a lot of product is you're gonna have a lot more customers. Obviously, customer support becomes a very, very big, big importance to your business is the customer support. "I ordered this product, I didn't get it in time, I'm missing something." So building a model for customer support. Maybe you hire an outsource call center to handle customer support initially, while you start building customer support team in-house. But customer support, they're your liaison between the product and the consumer. It's really important to have a strong customer support strategy when you launch, especially during the holiday season. 'Cause people are relying on purchasing your product as a gift.

06:43 SA: Yeah. It's a really, really, really good point. We've gotten five good points. Steve, anything else you wanna add in terms of big, high priority items?

06:52 SW: Number six, communication. Email marketing is very big. I would say having a strategy around when, how, and what system you're using for email. We always recommend Klaviyo. Klaviyo's a great tool that integrates directly with Shopify. It allows you to set up specific emails to each user based on where they are in the life cycle of purchasing your product. A, "I've never bought your product before but I've input my information on your shopping cart and didn't make a purchase." B, "I bought your product in the past but I haven't purchased in a while," that's another list. Highly recommend setting up a most basic email marketing strategy just hitting every single consumer with a welcome email, "You're here, welcome. Thank you for purchasing my product."

07:39 SW: B, a shopping cart abandonment email. I didn't purchase, "I'm gonna give you X discount," whatever to get them to induce a purchase. But email marketing, very important. And then last but not least, this is the last one I'm gonna really chime in on, Stewart, is number seven, tracking. Very, very important. Making sure your pixels are properly set up. So many times we've seen stores, e-commerce stores, have multiple pixels on their website. Two Facebook pixels on their website, which doubles the conversion so you think you're doing a lot better than you're actually doing. Obviously, I always recommend doing a pixel audit before you press "Go" on any campaign, so making sure that the right ad account to the right conversion pixel set up. Making sure your Google Analytics is set up properly, making sure all the data's coming in so that you can understand your data.

08:40 SA: Yeah, you need to be able to make the right decisions and know truly what's going on in your business. Double pixel, as you said, it's a recipe for some big, big problems. Well, those are some really good points that I think you've brought up about what companies need to do when they're shifting to an e-commerce first strategy. I'm sure there's some other things people might think. If you have any questions about this as well, I know this is a complicated topic, just a reminder you can always email the team here, Steve and myself, steve@mutesix.com, Stewart@mutesix.com, if you have any questions about moving into an e-commerce first strategy. Steve, any final thoughts before we jump off for today's episode?

09:18 SW: Paid media is a scary, scary place for people who are new to it. I don't wanna make it seem scary. There's a lot of buttons, there's a lot of things you can do, and there's a lot of what we call 'armchair quarterbacks,' people who tell you that, "You should be doing this, you should be doing that, you should be doing that." The way you learn paid media, and I hate to say this, is trial and error. You have to go in there with a very open mind and test out as much stuff as possible. You really have to make the mistakes and hopefully you don't make a lot of mistakes. Hopefully you listen to our podcast and you listen to other podcasts, and you're able to really understand what you need to do. But part of going through this is being okay with making mistakes. And I think that's how I learned initially, seven, eight years ago when Facebook ads launched, is to really go in with an open mind and really be open to learning something new.

10:06 SA: Yeah, excellent point. Excellent point. Well, this has been another episode of the Spend $10k a Day podcast. We're gonna be back again soon with some more great Facebook ads and e-commerce content. For Steve and myself, thank you for joining. We will see you again next time.

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