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Monday, June 13, 2022


Placement matters 👆


In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 The intersection of NFT’s and loyalty cards

📦 Become a creative strategist with Motion

📦 Knowing when to aggressively scale on TikTok

📦 Join a curated community for brand founders and operators with CPG House

📦 How DTC brands can up their PR game


Looking to get all kitted out in DTC swag? Make sure to stick around until the end!


👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe, so you never miss out.

WEB3.0

NFT = Your Brand’s Loyalty Card


How you interact with your customers, customer loyalty, repeat rate, and acquisition costs may soon change with the birth of Web3.0.


The talk of change and transformation can be daunting, and now you have to start considering: will your brand ride the wave of Web3.0 or get swallowed by the storm?  


Our advice… Learn how to transform your brand and equip yourself with the tools and ideas to float. And hey, lucky you… You've come to the right place.


We have dug up an idea that is being passed around the depths of LinkedIn that raised some eyebrows. An idea that is so old school it's new school…


💳 It's loyalty cards 💳


Loyalty cards are nothing new… we're sure you have a few cards scattered around the office with a couple of free coffees. Except this card is a little different. With Web3.0, your ecommerce brand has a chance to get creative with how your ecommerce business fosters that priceless brand loyalty all through an NFT.


Don’t know what an NFT is? Read up before you read on.


Giving your customers value via discounts makes joining your loyalty program a bit of a no-brainer. But you have the chance to make it much more than just discounts.


Your loyalty card holders could get VIP access to discounts, loyalty points, and additional perks such as invites to VIP events and your brand's exclusive product drops, all by purchasing your brand's NFT.


An NFT allows your card to be a verifiable and transferrable entity, along with the loyalty points, making it completely tradable on a secondary market.


So… You make the card scarce. With a finite amount of cards floating, consumer interest rises… but you clever marketing folk already know that.


With a limited amount of cards, paired with the consumers' ability to transfer and redeem it for real cash, your loyalty card gets passed around, heightening the initial value. Better yet, your brand gets paid a commission every time your loyalty card changes hands.


Then you release more cards but with a higher buy-in value, and your existing members will look to refer friends and family to maximize the value of their existing passes.


And your customers who are not yet part of the 'program' will want to get into this exclusive group due to the abundance of value your existing members have received.


So now your brand has a living, breathing, money-making machine that has opened up two revenue streams—the initial purchase of the loyalty card and the commission of every transaction and transfer.


Have you seen other exciting ideas floating around in the ether? Please reply to this email and let us know how your brand looks to build a Web3.0 future.

SPONSOR

Does your team need a Creative Strategist?


Does your team need a Creative Strategist?


If you’re a brand doing over 8-figures in revenue, or your media buyers are overloaded, or your creative talent is lacking clear direction…our Magic 8 Ball says, “It is certain.” 🔮


But what’s a Creative Strategist, anyway?


💬 “The Creative Strategist is a bridge between the Media Buyers, Content Creators, and Editors.” –Anze Markovic, Freelance Creative Strategist


Get a detailed look at this high-impact role in Becoming a Creative Strategist, where you’ll learn:

  • How to wear the Creative Strategist hat as a media buyer or dedicated role
  • The 4-step creative workflow used by the best media teams
  • The exact team structure leading brands are using to bridge data & creative

Featuring industry leaders Nik Sharma, Savannah Sanchez, Nick Shackelford, and more – this guide is packed with real-world insights to help you create (or become) the most sought-after role in eCommerce.


👉 Get your copy now!

TIKTOK

Don't Shy Away from Scaling Aggressively


There’s a time and place for being reserved… but staying within TikTok’s 20% suggested bumps to not agitate the learning phase isn’t the only way to amplify your ads.


Sometimes, the Pilothouse TikTok team chooses to scale aggressively (and it works!)


TikTok manages aggressive scale both horizontally and vertically. With only a small deviation on performance.


Here’s an example: 👇

The team saw good performance in late February and spent around 2.5K at a 1.40 return on ad spend (ROAS) on the platform. Three days later, they spent 12K and had a ROAS of 1.17.


The team saw incremental growth off platform to further encourage putting spend behind the ad! They eventually peaked at 21K in ad spend while remaining a positive return on investment.


If you’re not sure if aggressive scaling is for you, here’s some quick tips to help you out!


1️⃣ Check the signs


Before you start scaling aggressively, look for positive signs that you’re choosing the right creative.

  • Is your click-through-rate healthy? 📈
  • Are you above your ROAS goal during your reserved scaling stage? 🤑

If you’re seeing positive signs, try bumping your budgets!


2️⃣ Make a duplicate


If you’re hesitant about breaking learnings, consider doing an exact duplicate of your winning campaign! Launch your duplicate campaign at 3-10X spend compared to your last campaign.


This is an easy way to compare how your slow scale and aggressive scale campaigns measure up.


Looking to scale on TikTok but don’t know where to start? Reach out to the Pilothouse TikTok  team. 🚀

SPONSOR

CPG is a grind but it's better when we share the journey


What happens when 500 people from over 300 CPG brands get together in one place?


Magic 🪄


CPG House is a curated community where brand founders and operators can ask questions, share strategies, celebrate wins, and support each other’s growth.


Gain access to a private slack group filled with industry legends and operators from brands you respect like Magic Spoon, Athletic Greens, and Olipop!


“The best advice I can give for people in the space is to join CPG House. Get involved and start learning.” - Ariel


CPG House personally reviews every application to ensure that only CPG people are allowed into the group.


👉 Apply now to join CPG House.

PR & DTC

The Power of PR for DTC Brands


If you’re trapped in the cycle of “paying to play” and spending loads of money on Facebook ads to acquire customers that disappear after one purchase…


Or struggling to grow brand awareness and build a loyal customer base…


You may want to consider upping your PR game. 😎


The truth is, as the DTC space gets more saturated, PR can be an absolute game-changer to help brands stand out among the crowd.


To bring you the latest insights on the state of PR, we reached out to none other than public relations and content marketing visionary Lauren Kleinman.


Lauren is the founder of Dreamday, a first-of-its-kind performance PR consultancy bridging the gap between affiliate marketing and top-tier content. (She was also a recent guest on the DTC Pod!)


Here are the takeaways from our conversation with Lauren, including why PR matters, how you can “DIY” your PR strategy, what publishers look for in brands, and many other PR pro tips! 👇


🤷 What is PR, anyway?


Public Relations (PR) is any type of “earned media,” such as a third-party review, an editorial piece, or an organic mention by a celeb.


(This is different from “owned media” which consists of outlets you control and own, like paid advertising.)


However, it’s important to know that today–especially in the DTC space–traditional PR tactics won’t cut it anymore.


Effective, modern-day programs should utilize two approaches in tandem: affiliate/performance PR and editorial/earned PR.


Affiliate/performance typically utilizes affiliate links, where publications make a percentage of the sale anytime someone buys the product.


Editorial/earned PR is when publications write for sheer editorial or media purposes, and aren’t making money through affiliate links.


Attacking both avenues at the same time provides the most effective strategy for brands in the ever-changing, hyper-competitive DTC media space. 👊




A third-party review of Outer furniture on CNN  (utilizing affiliate links).


🤔 Do DTC brands really need PR?


Over recent years, shoppers have moved online and the direct-to-consumer model has exploded. However, that also means the competition among DTC brands is getting fierce…


It’s no longer enough to just be selling a product online— you have to stand out . You need a differentiator; an interesting story; a really creative or necessary product.


PR helps brands shine. ✨ It’s all about telling the story of your company and highlighting what makes you special or unique.


A thoughtful PR strategy gets your story in front of more people and creates more touchpoints that drive brand affinity and loyalty—all KEYS to long-term success and making sure you’re not “just another brand” in the crowded DTC space.


📝 What can smaller brands do to “DIY” their PR strategy?


Not every brand has the budget to hire a PR firm. Luckily, Lauren gave us plenty of tips for DIY-ing your own PR strategy!


1️⃣ Harness nano- and micro-influencers on social media to help spread brand awareness


These days, it’s not hard to find great creators that are willing to work within your budget. Identify a few that align with your brand and partner with them to help you spread the good word and gain third-party validation.


2️⃣ Foster relationships with a few key publications you want to be featured in


One strategy is to send editors a free product (should they agree to receive it) and ask for their authentic opinion. If they’re a fan of your goods, they may just feature you in a piece or write a third-party review, which can add a ton of validation and credibility to your brand.



Third-party review of Ritual on Buzzfeed,  prompted by free samples sent to the editor.

(This totally catapulted the brand, BTW.)


3️⃣ Pitch publishers with your unique brand story


Publishers are always looking for juicy things to write about. If your brand has an interesting founder story, an inspiring success tale, or a super unique product, consider “pitching” publishers with an idea for a piece.


So, your job is to help serve the story up for them on a silver platter!


If you can, include the following to juice up your pitch even more:

  • Big influencers or celebrity ties
  • Hype metrics (this product has sold out X times)
  • “Newness” (a never-before-seen product or angle)
  • Offer preferred commission rates on sales from the piece (15-20%)


On the other hand, sometimes it’s worth it to invest in a reputable Performance PR agency. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, if you have lofty growth goals, need help expanding brand awareness, want a boost to your affiliate marketing, or simply need strategic guidance, a reputable agency can take your brand to the next level.


🙌 How can brands set themselves up for PR success?


After working with countless clients over the years, Lauren’s identified a few common themes that publishers (and PR agencies) tend to look for in brands.


Be “Instagrammable”


In the world of public relations, it pays to be pretty.


Shallow, we know, but the reality is that media outlets (and their audiences) will typically be drawn to brands that are brightly colored, have trendy or “buzzy” designs, and high-quality photography.


📖 Know your story


Make sure you know what your brand’s “killer story” is before pitching to publishers, whether it’s a founder story, an interesting product, or a tale of massive success.


Another way to think of it: “what is your dream headline for this brand/product?” and work backward from there.


🏆 Have a good product, period


No matter how good you look, how compelling your story is, or how talented your PR agent is, if you don’t have a product that people want, it’ll be hard to sell anyone on your brand.


In order for PR to be effective, you need a high-quality product with solid product-market fit that people authentically love. Otherwise, you can send editors as many samples as you want, but if they don’t actually like the experience it’s not going to result in anything.


PR isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s definitely another effective tool to have in your marketing toolbox—especially if you want to stand out in the DTC space!


🔊 If you’re in search of a top-of-the-line Performance PR agency for your DTC biz, check out Lauren’s agency, Dreamday, or LaRue.

QUICK HITS

🎉 NYC D2C Marketers, You’re Invited to a Full Moon Party on 6/16. Join us for amazing food and drinks, Tarot readings, on-site makeovers, gifts and more. Hosted by Simon Data. Details + RSVP. *


⌚️ Meta halts development of Apple Watch rival with two cameras.


👬 LinkedIn launches a new ad campaign to highlight the power of community on the app.  


🎯 TikTok’s latest ad targeting provisions reflect increasing revenue pressure on the app.


🔔 Twitter launches test of 'product drops’ reminder feature.


*Sponsored

🔊 HAVE YOU HEARD OUR LATEST PODCASTS?

🤑 Aviator Nation Drives Over $10 Million in Apparel Sales with their Tapcart App with Curtis Ulrich and Eric Netsch.

🦴 Greasy Affiliate SEO with Connor Meakin rom Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth.

🤖 Put Machine Learning and AI to work for your brand with Black Crow AI.

🛋 $50K to $21 Million: How Noa Home Scales Furniture Globally (and 4x ROAS Profitably).

🌎 $100 Million+ in Vancouver-based DTC Sales: Duer, Tru Earth, Blume, Monos, and Black Crow AI [Live Panel].

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast  on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Jordan Gillis, and Kelsey Hess. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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