Happy Wednesday! This week’s issue is a full send, which is pretty much how you should do everything in life... except maybe spectating at rally races because that looks insane 🙀
👋🏼 Welcome to the new brands who joined us in the last week: Kibus Petcare, Alpha Paw, Live Bearded, Tushy, Jagermeister, Blossom Essentials, For Days, and more.
Before we get started, let’s take a second and get smarter...
In his book, The Road Less Stupid, Keith Cunningham says a core business discipline is finding the ‘unasked question.’ You can easily do this by reframing a problem statement into a question using this format: "How might I ______ so that I can ______?"
Example: "Our profits suck!" becomes, "How might I generate an additional $20,000/month in revenue so that we can invest in a great agency like Pilothouse to drive even more profit?"
And it’s not enough to just ask the question once. You need to dedicate what he calls ‘thinking time’ to the question!
Now then, here’s what the DTC mailperson has in store this week:
📦 4 smart SEO strategies you can implement today
📦 Uncorking DTC Wine potential in this week’s Podcast preview
📦 3 custom metrics to create right now for more meaningful Facebook ads reporting
📦 3 Takeaways from the media buying trenches of Pilothouse
Stick around until the end to read about how Tik Tok spent a hundred milly per month to grow and feed its game changing algo.
We read four articles on SEO strategy so that you don’t have to 👊🏼
Here’s the good news. Every tactic we uncovered is accessible; you can start implementing them today. You don’t have to be a technical wizard, nor hire one, to nail your SEO. Plus - no actual wizardry is involved!
For readers new to this concept, search engine optimization (SEO) is the internet marketing strategy of improving the quality and quantity of traffic to a website by targeting unpaid "organic" traffic from search engines.
All four articles come from SEO expert Nick Jordan of ContentDistribution.com - a Seattle based content creation and distribution agency.
You can check out our full podcast with him here.
We’ve combed through his resources and summarized top takeaways below:
So as it turns out, backlinks and technical SEO are not the be all end all. Yes, backlinks indicate relevance and quality - but Google’s primary objective isn’t to show users the page with the most backlinks; its to direct users to the highest quality, most relevant search results - so provide that content.
Google wants the best, so be the best.
If you know your industry inside and out, it’s very likely that you already know you have the skills to create higher quality, more relevant content than the pages currently showing on Google for keywords you rank for.
Another benefit of leaning into quality content? It will make your site algorithm-proof. Regardless of Google updates, the service’s end goal will always be to surface high-quality content, making your top-notch offerings immune to algorithmic shifts.
Need evidence? Look no further than Content Distribution, who have over 65,000 first page keywords right now, consistently ranking above pages on more authoritative domains with more backlinks. And here’s how:
1. Write higher-quality content than pages currently ranking - identify what is required to best answer the searcher’s question, and any room for improvement from the user’s perspective. Your goal is to impress people - Google can’t gauge quality the same way as actual real-life people (...yet).
TIP: Consider ease of reading when creating your content. Readers are far more likely to engage in well organized, easy to digest materials. Think lists, tables, bullets, pictures, videos, and internal and external links. Specifically formatted content keeps users engaged longer than other, perhaps higher quality content not structured for readability.
2. Optimize your content to be relevant to the keyword you want to rank for - be sure to include your keywords and variations of your keywords on all available real estate throughout your site. And as much as it pains me to say it - don’t get cute with it. You have to be explicit with your language when it comes to keywords - save your puns for later.
3. Internal links - more internal links to a page will lead Google to believe that the page is important to you and your brand. The more important the page is to your brand, the easier it is to rank - simple as that!
Drive Your SEO Results with Content Velocity
It all comes down to velocity - every single site crushing organic search is publishing large volumes of content. The faster you publish, the faster you will generate rankings, traffic, and business impact.
How much content are we talking about here? Jordan suggests that you’re looking at hundreds of content pages to capture all of the searches across your funnel.
Yes, this is a sizable amount of work that requires resources - but it is guaranteed to improve your results. Bottom line - to see 3x the outcomes, you need to 3x your velocity.
TIP: Front-load your content. Most content takes 6-9 months to mature in search results. Rather than spreading content out over the year, front load your material into the first four months, allowing the material to mature before your year ends.
TIP: When budgeting, consider Total Pages * Content Cost/ Months. For example, 100 pages of content at $150/ a page spread over five months will work out to $3000 to produce 20 pages a month.
TIP: ClusterAI is a keyword grouping tool that crawls Google for keywords relevant to your business and groups keywords based on search data into unique content topics to utilize in your content.
Not convinced? See if the article’s case studies will change your mind.
Brandjacking is the strategy of seizing the opportunity of appearing in search results for another company’s brand, ultimately using their marketing spend to guide their customers into your funnel.
Five things need to align for you to implement an impactful brandjacking campaign:
Need more info before embarking on your SEO piracy campaign? Try Josh Fetcher’s growth hacking bible or Jordan’s YouTube video on the subject.
Hiring Your SEO Content Writing Team
Writing well structured, high-quality content takes time. Time that you and the other experts you work with most qualified to create quality content don’t have to spare. You’ll likely need to contract out your writing team, and here are some key things to consider when doing so:
And there you have it! You don’t have to be a mega genius to score at SEO. Follow the tips above to start outputting high quantities of high-quality keyword-optimized content, and you’ll be the CEO of SEO (...I’ll see myself out).
Have questions? Check out the full DTC Podcast we did with Nick, join the Content Distribution Facebook Community or book a call with Nick.
Marketing in a restricted industry? Interested in subscription-based sales? This one's for you!
In our latest pod, we chat with Simon Solis Cohen of Highway 29 Creative - an expert in DTC wine marketing.
Watch your sneak preview now or bookmark it for later!
With a hospitality background and experience in the Napa wine scene, Simon took his passion for wine to the digital marketing space specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and DTC sales for the wine industry.
We’ve decanted key takeaways from our chat to help you crush your DTC marketing goals.
Get it? Wine? Crushing grapes? No? You’ve stopped reading? Great. (or should I say, grape 🍇)
Marketing in a restricted industry like alcohol, CBD, or cannabis presents a unique challenge, restricted by changing laws and regulations. As Simon put it, you have one hand tied behind your back.
With so many roadblocks and restrictions to negotiate, Simon has responded by pivoting away from social channels and Google towards one-on-one engagement through text and email marketing, freeing him from regulations and exclusions and helping him target an already invested customer base.
With the wine industry at a crossroads seeing oversupply and increasing competition, it is essential to stand apart. Simon hones in on vision, mission, and values as critical to differentiation. This requires more than, "We make great wine!" - to be successful you have to dig a little deeper and connect with your audience through your values, doing something outside the box, or origin story.
A founder story is crucial for resonating with customers. Turn on your iPhone and talk about your product. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good - just put your content out there. The more relatable, the more likely your customers will emotionally connect with you.
Simon seeks to get into the mindset of people drinking wine and then paint that lifestyle through content. Too often, content is created focusing on the product rather than the lifestyle that surrounds that product. High-quality awareness content is not just about "here’s a bottle of wine," in fact, Simon has found his worst performing content is bottle photography - it’s hard to connect to an object. The most effective imagery? People.
For example, Simon has had success partnering with chefs and food bloggers to create recipes using or paired with wine. Lifestyle content allows customers to see themselves in the aspirational content and coach them as to how to best enjoy the product, which is especially crucial for the intimidating wine industry.
People are always posting UGC in the form of reviews. This feedback is essential for growth, but also make great ad content! If you’re in an industry with scoring, point allotments, or any common language used amongst consumers, use that to your advantage! Advertise your rankings/ scores, especially if given by known reviewers. Find those 5-star reviews and share them (giving credit to the source, of course). This is premade high-quality copy - what’s not to love?
Wine clubs were one of the first subscription models out there, and have proved to be a great way to maximize LTV. In Simon’s experience, the high customer acquisition cost (usually looking at a $20-$30 spend) to acquire a subscription is worth the initial loss. Once secured, customers don’t usually fall off until the 11-month mark. If you can earn their loyalty over that first 1-year hump - you’ll most likely obtain a nice, long term, subscription.
Wine Clubs are having a bit of a reckoning at the moment, reevaluating their legacy structure in light of new offerings in the DTC Market. Historically, wine subscriptions have held a more old school "you get what you get and you don’t get upset" mentality, offering 1-3 shipments a year, with predetermined options. Now, looking at other subscription models of have changed this - wine needs to evolve. Rather than forcing your client to take six bottles of whatever you decide, when you decide - now wine club members can choose their frequency, their quantity, and their product - give the customer choice to cater their experience to their needs/wants.
Don't want to just hear it through the grapevine? To learn more about Simon’s 5 stage wine marketing funnel, why cab sauv is king, the legacy of Sideways, and harvesting geekiness in the wine industry, peep your sneak preview the full pod.
Check out these 2020 influencer marketing stats:
🔵 Brands make an average of $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
🔵 61% of marketers think it’s difficult to find the right creators for their campaigns
🔵 45% of people in North America are using some sort of ad blocker
🔵 17% of marketers are spending more than half of their total marketing budget on influencer marketing
👉🏻 Get access to The Ultimate #paid Performance Report: G2 2020 to read our status update on how #paid is serving customers: the features they love, how we stack up against the competition, and where we’re focused on improving so we continue to create dream matches between brands and creators.
The days of having to report Facebook ads performance using a spreadsheet look like they’re coming to a close. Here’s how you set up custom metrics in Facebook, along with the simple formulae for the 3 most important metrics.
Step 1: In your ads manager, go to 'Columns: Performance' then, 'Customise Columns...'
Step 2: Click ‘Create Custom Metric’
Step 3: Enter the metric name, description, and formula
Step 4: Click ‘Create Metric’ and your metric will be saved 👌🏼
Here are the formulae:
Finally, don’t forget to save your ideal dashboard as a preset so you don’t have to customize your columns every time:
Huge time saver!
Last week's All Killer, No Filler brought on Pilothouse media buyers Grayson and Jacob to discuss what they’re seeing in the trenches. Here are a few of our fave takeaways:
Facebook has held off on implementing its removal of the 28-day attribution window in Facebook ads, but that change, and accompanying disruption, is still imminent.
Pilothouse measured all accounts and found that in moving from a 28-day to 7-day view, you lose about 20% attributable revenue in the Facebook platform. However, you can offset this by shifting to server to server implementation - now easily accessible on Shopify. So far, the results are positive! Implementation was very straight forward, thanks to documentation from Shopify.
Plus, moving away from data breakage-prone cookie and pixel-based systems to server to server, which is theory 100% accurate, has tremendous upside. It’s an exciting opportunity for improved funnel optimization events, accuracy, data confidence, and visibility across the entire sales journey.
Change isn’t easy. We get it. But in this case - it’s for the best!
Facebook offers incentives to jump over to conversion API to the tune of $5000 to $20000 in ad credits. Talk to your rep and go get your $$$!
Working towards increasing AOV? The Pilothouse team has doubled, even tripled, clients’ AOV through the strategic implementation of custom Shopify development for bundles, subscriptions and one-click upsells. Here’s how:
For more specifics on this strategy, you can listen to the full cast here or watch here.
How do you capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic?
Most customers buy from websites with reviews. And by displaying reviews on your website, you’ll boost conversions and generate new customers to request reviews from.
And that's where TrustSpot comes in.
1 Automation. Automate review requests and review publishing. You already have enough on your plate to worry about.
2 Customization. Brand your review request forms and visual elements to stay on brand.
3 Create forever customers. Use coupons to incentivize reviews and future purchases. Keep the customer coming back again.
4 By people who care. Supported by a team dedicated to helping your business succeed.
Get 20% off 3 months when you book time here.
Our FIRST ever All Access Challenge is less than one month away. The response from our subscribers has been heartening 😍
Here’s a high level overview of the journey you’ll go through with us over 4 days in November.
Learn more and get on the waitlist here.
👂🏼 Podcast: As the world gets noisier and busier, we may need to adjust how we engage with time (lest we become a bunch of hamsters). Dan Sullivan created a transformative concept called the Entrepreneurial Time System of Free Days, Focus Days, and Buffer Days. Check out this podcast to learn more.
📰 DTC News: With Disney+ runaway success (potential to reach $30B it’s first five years), Disney announced today that it "accelerate our direct-to-consumer business" plans by splitting its media and distribution teams. Disney subscribes to DTC Newsletter, so if you’re reading and would like to chat, we’re all ears 🐭
📣 Reader Shoutout: Last week we wrote about our Facebook Ads to Amazon campaigns and Dan Crittendon wrote us back with a bit more juicy detail: "Amazon Attribution Beta allows for the creation of tracking tags now! You can append them to your social links and Amazon will give you attributed page views, cart adds, and sales data!! It’s so helpful and renders the promo code workaround unnecessary (unless you are really eager to discount).
🦉 Quote: "Imagine your letter being read by a guy in an apartment in Cleveland, in the midst of a ferocious winter storm, with gusting winds and snow outside at thigh height. You’ve got to get him so excited that he’ll get out of the chair in front of the fireplace, bundle up, slog through the snow, go out to his cold car, and drive down to the post office to get a money order and a stamp to send his order in rather than take the risk of waiting until tomorrow." -- Dan Kennedy, The Ultimate Sales Letter
✍🏻 Blog Post: Shout out to @5anjeevan on Insta for posting this deepdive from Eugene Wei on how TikTok dropped $100,000,000 a month on media buys and why their super charged algorithm is light years ahead of the other social media platforms for content discovery and it’s not even close 🤷🏽♂️
🙌🏼 Inspiration: Take a look at Nike’s ad library to get ideas for your next campaign. 95% of their marketing is telling stories of their customers winning and their products happen to be part of it. In other words, the customer’s the hero 🦸♀️
🐦 Tweet: Who doesn’t love the sweet sweet taste of low-hanging fruit? Jacob Sappington points out that Klaviyo’s default for an abandoned cart email is 4 hours. Test sending those emails sooner to see higher open and click rates.
🛠 Tool: We’re not the only ones who write. If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, you’ve likely noticed there’s a blue ocean living in the sector of great content and your product. If you struggle with writing, Ilys.com will help you write that shitty first draft. Why? Cause all you can see is one letter at a time until you’ve reached your target word count 🙌🏼