Lordy lordy, look who’s forty!
(It’s us… we’re forty) but we feel more like thirty.
30,000 subscribers, to be exact! 🍾🍾🍾
While we ponder our middle-agedness, let’s welcome the DTC newcomers who helped us reach this milestone! This week, readers from BarkBox, Rumpl, Gocase, Mira Fertility, Biosecrets, Love Stories Intimates, Kimball International, and Clif Bar have joined our industrious crew.
If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe so you never miss another. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
📦 Pin your way to the top with our tips for organic Pinterest content
📦 Attention is on sale on YouTube Ads (how to capitalize today).
📦 A scroll-stopping camera hack you can try today.
📦 The top three customer engagement trends that matter in 2021.
📦 Two ways to use CASH to scale your business without giving up equity.
Stick around to the end to see if you qualify for a free donut! 🍩
Pinterest is a substantially-underutilized opportunity to showcase your brand and reach highly-engaged, niche consumers.
A breakdown of Pinterest’s audience:
The platform also boasts significant intent to purchase:
Pinterest expert Lindsay Shearer says, “It’s really a purchase planning platform. People are saving things, they come back later, and then they buy.”
This discovery mindset works in favor of emerging brands that have less awareness.
97% of Pinterest’s top 1,000 search terms are non-branded, meaning they don’t contain a specific company name. This allows DTC brands to reach Pinterest users before they decide what set of bedding or cookware to buy.
📌 Do your research - Analyze keywords and optimize choices to help you rank higher in search results. Type in keywords that match the pin you’re publishing and look at suggested keywords as inspiration for further keywords to add to your pin description. Get specific and avoid general keywords - you'll get more engagement with lower competition keywords.
📌 Write search-friendly pin captions - Pinterest is a search engine. Ensure your pins show up in search results by including keywords in your captions.
📌 Make your profile search-friendly - Your bio should be concise, mission-focused, highlight who you are and what you do. Of course, include strategic keywords as well. Check out Thinx’s bio:
📌 Add the Pinterest “Save” button to your website - this is the easiest way for your business to be discovered on the platform. If a customer is browsing your website and sees an image of something they like, they can add it to their Pinterest account by hitting the save button.
📌 High-quality imagery - just like Instagram, gorgeous photos are essential for growth on Pinterest. Your images need to be beautiful, well-composed, properly showcase your product, and match your brand aesthetic.
📌Create a cohesive aesthetic - make sure your fonts and colour palette aligns with your branding. Try making branded pins (like Instagram story templates) for a cohesive look! Check out this example from REI:
📌 Engaging Pinners - Follow other account boards and start liking, pinning, and commenting on posts that relate to your brand. Similar to Instagram, who you follow on Pinterest matters. Follow profiles similar to yours, and your pins will likely show up in their follower’s suggested pins.
📌Pin quotes - Pinterest users often search for quotes so take advantage of this! Pin branded-quote graphics and connect them to your website. You can also post branded graphics of testimonials to entice customers.
📌 Claim your Instagram account on Pinterest - this will attribute any pins that originate from your Instagram account so if someone shares an image from your claimed IG account, your profile picture and a new follow button will appear on that pin.
📌 Use a branded hashtag - these hashtags are a small way to build community around your brand. Make sure your hashtag is relevant, on-brand, and contains a keyword your audience is searching for.
📌 Use a mixture of lifestyle and product shots - Pinners a seeking ideas and inspiration. Lifestyle images and product images that contextualize products will perform best. Here’s a loungewear example form Ten Tree:
📌 Check your links - organic Pinterest content lasts forever! Routinely check your pins to make sure all your links are still working!
🎙If you’re craving more Pinterest content - check out our full conversation with Pinterest expert Lindsay Shearer.
This week on All Killer No Filler we’re talking about the art and science of YouTube Ads with Ryan McKenzie, the co-founder and CMO of Tru Earth, Pilothouse’s Head of Google, Saul Garcia, and Pilothouse’s Lead Media Buyer, Jacob Geary.
We’re preparing for this week’s free DTC+ Workshop on Scaling YouTube for eCommerce, and want to dive into some of the key ideas we’ll be expanding on tomorrow.
Ryan McKenzie is the co-founder of Tru Earth, but he’s also their hands-on CMO, driving all creative and growth strategy. With Facebook and Instagram he’s hands on in growing the business’s DTC strategy – which propelled them to Canada’s Second Fastest Growing Startup Honors in 2020.
Candidly, Ryan outsources all Google Ads to an agency. But he still sits in the driver’s seat, dictating the creative strategy and optimizing constantly.
We started by asking him where YouTube fits in his ad stack:
Tru Earth’s growth is substantial and Ryan is spending close to a million per month across all platforms right now. Ryan’s big-three ad stack is Facebook, Google Search, and YouTube, with shopping being a close fourth. It’s hard to break apart the whole Google suite, so really it’s the big two.
YouTube is the top-of-funnel driver in Google Ads that generates demand – traffic that you can convert right away, but also down the road with search and shopping.
What’s notable is that in just the past year, YouTube has grown from 5% to 25% of Tru Earth’s total Google Ads spend.
Jacob Geary notes that every client that joins Pilothouse on both the Facebook side and the Google Ads side sees holistic gains on both platforms.
With the pandemic spiking content consumption, YouTube’s traffic has gone through the roof. What does that mean for the value of YouTube’s traffic?
While both Ryan and the Pilothouse team agree that CPAs for their products are fairly consistent across Facebook and YouTube Ads, there are aspects about YouTube’s video views that make them substantially more valuable than views within Facebook’s environment.
Instead of the white noise of the ever scrolling social feed, YouTubers are in one place, watching something, on purpose. With YouTube Ads you get five seconds to make an impression. That’s more than enough time to generate brand awareness and hook someone to watch more of your content.
Most people experience Facebook videos with the sound off. In YouTube the sound is on for most users. So you have opportunities for more aggressive pattern interrupts and sounds that keep people engaged. Don’t underestimate the power of getting people to actually hear and say your brand out loud. You don’t get to household-name status without that.
When Ryan wanted to take Tru Earth onto YouTube, he decided to make the creative himself. He’s more of a doer than a learner, but he decided to buy the Harmon Brothers’ course* to nail his first hero video.
What’s a hero video? It’s an attention-grabbing, narrative-driven video, often made to tell the story of your brand. For YouTube these videos can be fairly long – Ryan sees people watching beyond two minutes in many cases.
Many people are intimidated by making hero videos because they worry they’re not funny enough. Ryan’s quick to stress that these videos don’t have to be funny at all.
His very first video on YouTube has racked up 12 million views. He made it with a basic tool like Lumen5 and just told the story of their brand with zero humor.
For Ryan’s complete video blueprint, including how many hooks he tests per video, don’t miss him LIVE, tomorrow at 1pm PST on our free DTC+ Workshop.
Test this now!
Saul Garcia agrees that testing multiple videos with variation in the first five seconds is key, but he’s got another creative way to improve conversion rates on his YouTube Ads.
On YT you get a 10-character call to action and a 15-character title on your videos when you turn them into ads. “Not enough people get creative here,” says Saul. “People write ‘Buy Here’ or ‘Shop Now.”’ For a homewear client, Saul’s been running an ongoing discount with the CTA “Surprise Offer,” and it’s significantly improved his click through rates and conversion rates.
For a full dose of YouTube Ads insights you can check out the rest of this podcast, but if you’re really ready to level up your game you’re gonna have to join us tomorrow and Friday at 1pm PST for two days of YouTube Ads brilliance!
Just sign up for free, no strings attached, and you’ll be able to throw the events and Zoom links on your calendar right away – so you don’t miss a thing.
Join the Free DTC+ Workshop: Scaling YouTube Ads for eCommerce
Starts tomorrow at 1pm PST!
Ad Creative of the Week
Try this simple, eye-catching hack!
To capture a great video, TikTok user @ceciliabilton recommends dropping your phone and product at the same time onto pillows.
Then reverse the footage so the dropped item looks like it's flying up into your hand.
Try it (on your most padded surface!). Test it. And report back!
Brands that excel in customer engagement often exceed their revenue goals. But what does brilliant customer engagement really mean, and how do you know if your strategy is achieving tangible results?
Check out the first annual 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review from leading customer-engagement platform Braze. You’ll discover how the world’s leading brands leverage winning tactics to drive stronger customer LTV, retention, revenue, and much more.
Leverage these key tips to drive higher revenue:
Want more? Download the exclusive review to uncover:
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Here’s how some of the fastest-growing DTC brands have thrived thanks to growth capital from Clearbanc:
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DTC women’s swimwear brand Andie Swim used Clearbanc capital to ramp up their paid social media and maximize their growth. In doing so, Andie Swim quickly caught VC attention, where they raised $6.5M in a round of Series A funding.
“VC money is really expensive, and you need to maximize it. By finding an alternative capital source to fund your paid social, you’re truly capital-efficient, and that’s been key to Andie Swim’s 300% YOY growth.” - Melanie Travis, Founder, Andie Swim
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📱 TikTok launches new ads library where you can find inspiration in the platform’s best performing ads.
👟 Nike’s Datalogue deal reveals big plans for data-driven marketing.
🏡 Clubhouse says android launch is months away.
📸 Instagram tests new label for marking reshared posts in stories.
🍬 Sour Patch Kids April Fools’ Day campaign rewards TikTok pranksters with cash and candy.
💸 Buy now, pay later services have begun targeting small business.
🎵 Spotify has been surveying customers about Clubhouse.
👍 Facebook building an Instagram for kids under thirteen.
📱 TikTok makes personalized ads mandatory.
🦉 Hootsuite publishes new social media image size guide.
🏡 Clubhouse launches first creator accelerator program.
👍 Facebook launching new newsletter platform.
🍻 Budweiser’s St. Patrick’s Day campaign uses a clever twist on green.
🍩 Krispy Kreme will give you a free doughnut every day this year… if you’re vaccinated.
🎶 The Wall Street Journal on how the music industry is embracing NFTs.