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In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇
📦 The ingredients to virality
📦 The ultimate guide to influencer content
📦 How emotions can impact your brand marketing
📦 Stretching your ad dollars and accessing new audiences
📦 Top of the mornin’ coffee, composting, and functional hair care
Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎
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Welcome back to the DTC Boardroom series, where we ask podcast guests and friends of DTC to dive into their personal picks for the most exciting strategies and tactics to help brands WIN BIG! 🙌
Today’s guest is Drew Arciuolo, Director of Marketing at VKTRY Gear. Drew is all in for virality and word-of-mouth marketing and thinks you should be too.
Let’s dive in. 👇
“While attending the DTC Mastermind in Victoria last year, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from DTC founders who were successfully scaling their businesses to 9+ figures in annual revenue.
My family’s business, VKTRY Gear, was starting to see some serious year-over-year growth through efficient marketing but I knew there was still so much I needed to learn.
One founder, with 9-figures in revenue in just 5 years, suggested I check out the book "Contagious" written by best-selling author and professor Jonah Berger. The book discusses the science behind word-of-mouth (WOM) transmission.
The idea of scientifically depicting the “why” of product virality piqued my interest because I had never thought of word-of-mouth as something that could be manufactured. Sure, you could put out a funny video like the infamous Dollar Shave Club brand pitch in 2013, but with all the content being put out by content creators in this modern-day “race for attention”, I never once thought of the “ingredients” to virality.
In less than four months after finishing “Contagious”, VKTRY’s organic social content has been viewed well over 100M times, resulting in:
The book didn’t hand over the keys to immediate scale. It sparked ideas to generate conversation and excitement around our brand.
Funny enough, Berger published this book in 2016—a few years later, it almost seems as if TikTok's algorithm was BUILT on the guidelines in this book. It's never been a better time to learn about WOM and how you can create buzz around your brand.
Berger goes into detail on 6 “ingredients” that content/products need to be socially transmissible.
You do not need all 6 to reach virality, but you do need one, two, or three of these components to have something worth talking about.
Today, I’m going into detail on the 4 key ingredients we focused on to scale our social presence: 👇
Consumers are tired of being advertised to by brands. They want to be influenced by real people.
(But you read DTC—so you already know that. 😉)
The real struggle for most brands isn't understanding the importance of influencer content, it's consistently delivering content that’s fresh, engaging, and high-performing across all channels. Not a simple task!
Luckily, we found The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Content…
👀 And it’s sitting right here, just waiting for you to read it.
This bad boy is packed with insider tips, tricks, and strategies—plus real-world examples from top brands so you can see exactly how it's done.
Learn how you turn your influencer collaborations from meh to mind-blowing. 💥
Grab the Ultimate Guide to Influencer Content today!
👉 Stop advertising. Start influencing. Get your guide.
💰 Social currency
I think this one comes most innately to founders and marketers.
Everyone wants to share the latest and greatest, so make that as easy as possible for your audience.
We checked this box years ago, thanks to a man named Matt Arciuolo. Matt is my father, the inventor of the VKTRY Insole. He had the genius idea to start putting our insoles in sneakers, bending them in half, and releasing them so that the shoe flew 10 feet in the air. Here’s a video demonstration.
The demo's reactions made it quite clear that we had something people wanted to talk about: “Insoles that flip shoes 10 feet in the air? What the h*ll is going on here?!”
Berger details a case study about a blender company called BlendTec. BlendTec wanted to creatively show people how amazing their blenders were back in the mid-2000s. They came up with a YouTube series called “Will It Blend?”, where they blended up everything but food. From marbles to iPhones, no object stood a chance against BlendTec’s blenders. Sure enough, the series became a hit and BlendTec’s sales were a reflection of that.
People felt compelled to share “Will It Blend?” episodes, not just because of the strength of the blenders but also because it was a unique, interesting, and fun topic of conversation. Viewers felt “in the know” by sharing the videos, whether they knew it or not.
That’s the beauty of giving people social currency with your content. Don’t give them ads, give them something to talk about. That’s exactly what we did with the shoe flip.
But, this next “ingredient” gave us the idea to take this one step further…
When times get tough, you know that marketing budgets take a hit.
✂️ Instead of a cut, consider a pivot. Studies have proven that slashing marketing spend isn't always the answer.
Tried-and-true channels like TV can help stretch your ad dollars and access new audiences. Thanks to streaming, it’s easier than ever to get your ads in front of the right people at the right time.
Check out Tatari’s guide to modern TV advertising. Explore how to adapt and make the most of your ad dollars—all at a lower cost than you think compared to paid search and social. 😯
Uncover how to stretch your ad dollars further in a down economy.
👉 Learn more from TV advertising experts.
A new amazing product is great, but if there's nothing to remind people to bring it up, they won't.
One of the first examples from “Contagious” that really stuck with me was a story about a new steakhouse in Philadelphia that was looking to generate some WOM buzz. As many know, Philly is filled with fine cuisine, especially steakhouses. The owners needed to find a way to really get people talking about their dining experience in particular.
They did just that, but not by just having exemplary service and steak cooked to perfection. They chose something that would stick out amongst the crowd: A menu item that was all but certain to be a prominent topic of conversation in Philly: A $100 cheesesteak. How ridiculous is that? Sure enough, word of this $100 cheesesteak caught fire.
It was ridiculous, fun to talk about, and in Philly! How many times do people in Philadelphia come across cheesesteaks? Every block? Since people came across cheesesteaks so frequently in the city, they were reminded about the ridiculous steakhouse that has a $100 cheesesteak. Brilliant.
This got my gears turning, as our company sells insoles that help athletes jump higher. So, how could I create triggers that would remind our target demographic (young athletes) to bring up our revolutionary insoles in their everyday life? I knew I had to leverage our shoe flip. It was too fun, eye-catching, and educational on how the product works.
We began reviewing the “bounce” of popular basketball sneakers with and without our insoles. We then created videos of myself bending and flipping these popular sneakers into the air. It was not only a way to align our product with the interests of our target audience, but it was also a way to get them to share our product and brand. Whenever someone saw a new pair of LeBrons on TV or at basketball practice, we wanted them to feel compelled to say to a friend: “Hey, you see that company that flipped those 7 feet into the air?”
“How High Will It Flip?” is now an incredibly successful content series that allows us to keep our brand top-of-mind in a sneaker-obsessed demographic. Not only that, but it creatively demonstrates our product’s benefits in a fun and seamless manner.
The series has garnered 10M+ views on social media and is by far the most engaging content we put out. Every video’s comment section is filled with 100+ requests for the next sneaker we should flip.
If you’re looking to scale your organic social channels, I highly recommend creating a series that leverages some sort of item or concept that your target market can relate to daily. Creating content with triggers will help you get you a step ahead and stay top of mind.
Berger and his team studied which emotions cause people to share the most. There are 3…
But you’ll have to tune in on Monday to get the scoop.
Have a fabulous weekend. See you in your inbox soon! 👋
☕ Top of the Mornin Coffee: There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh coffee in the morning… Except when it comes from the mind of one of the hottest content creators out there! Feel energized with Top of the Mornin Coffee.
🌳 Poplar: Composting doesn’t have to be a dirty job. Make it pretty with Poplar’s unique countertop composter to revolutionize the way you think about your scraps.
🧑🦱 THIX: Slacking on your hair care? THIX curates the highest quality ingredients to bring out the best qualities of your hair with a simple, functional hair care kit.
☠️ Liquid Death Mountain Water: Hamid Saify - Death, Beverages, and the Attention Economy.
🟥 Mid-Day Squares: Jake Karls and Nick Saltarelli - Rainmaking, Fundraising and "One word: F&%^ng Crazy."
🧖♀️ Bushbalm's David Gaylord goes B2B, Enters US retail bigly, and rides the Vajacial wave on DTC.
👀 Ronak Shah - Obvi Collagen - Obvi's biggest blunders (and how you can avoid them) - C-Suite Mentor Preview.
🚀 BattlBox John Roman - The Subscription with the ~$1000 LTV and the Netflix Rocket Ship.
💡 Listen to the Biggest Marketing News Stories Today.
Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Drew Arciuolo, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Eric Dyck.
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