Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast today’s guest is accurate hollering from Mite will welcome to the quarter soccer. How you doing Robert. Thank you so much for having me should I just call you Zachary or just that for sure? That work is the AC not a problem okay CAC is that so if you could just give us a quick overview and background about how you started my tool what you guys sell and then after that we can talk about the marketing strategies that you guys are using.
Sure, so Atul started three years ago and by Dusty basement and Upstate historic Albany, New York, and my younger brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia a couple years ago, and it prompted me to start a giving back business 2013. I saw the need for warm textiles and winter hats and winter blankets in a mental institution, and I and I saw that people needed support, and I want to start a business.
They gave back to local people. And our customers can choose those local people and not-for-profits that are serving underprivileged children and families so sirte bout three years ago, and we sell 12 blankets be nice tote bags, and we’re starting to move products as we move forward. So that’s actually very I guess I’m not I guess by it’s very impressive and also honorable and also good to have a business where you giving back to the community and you’re doing something good, and you.
Not profit driven right exactly and it’s very important to us. I’m bored of Raisin all the area, but here for 30 years and want to seven five boys to girls might you know we started with nothing. You know I sold my car and self-funded this business with two thousand dollars. It’s not backed by some major BCS or industrial Capital.
You know it’s backed by you know Blood Sweat and Tears of all of our team members here in the region okay, and you say it’s been three years. Yeah, it’s been about three years. We did every one year of research and development in 14, and we put our first year sales together 15 and were in our sophomore year sales now, okay, and in those three years.
Can you tell us I guess we can just focus on the last 12 months in the last 12 months. What are some of the top marketing strategies. They judge Ali using to drive growth. Yeah, its storytelling its social the drive referral traffic is through to Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and even Snapchat is that grows as well too, but it really comes down to storytelling getting out there and getting the story out there through Facebook and through through where our customers live when we started it up.
We started building our campaign through Facebook because it was free and insert a culture anything with that for it is great freeze great. So we inherently started out on Facebook. It started growing our likes and are engaged. In on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat, you know here.
We are four years later. We’ve got almost 11,000 likes on Facebook, and we retarget them on Facebook so will constantly get new people into the bin both. We’re always constantly targeting those folks that we have is we want to make sure that they know that we’re alive. Yeah, and you say story-telling, so how do you tell the story for twill?
How do you use that in the social platforms to get customers? I think that’s the most important. That’s the secret sauce and I did an interview a couple weeks ago with the similar question. I love this question. By the secret sauce has storytelling it’s not selling anymore so so many people are so sick and tired of being sold to especially Millennials.
Who are owning thirty percent of the purchasing power in the in the economy they want to hear stories they want to hear authenticity they want products that care about the community. They want social. You know they want conscious capitalism, and that’s what we provide. You know we provide a high-quality item that inherently benefits the community when somebody purchases, so customers are right off the bat become an through Fest so.
It’s you know to gain them to gain their attention. You know to gain their eyeballs and attention and feedback is to do high resolution photos of not pretty girls, but of people that matter in the community. You know you see a lot of bigger corporations will put out ads with you need to look like this type of advertising.
I think we fall in the line of humility and telling stories about real people in our customers love that they love the authenticity of individuals who have breakthroughs and who have who get through difficult times in life because that’s what our company’s about so that’s what we’ve been able to do, so let’s maybe give an example because since you’re using pictures like what type of pictures I used to Latin what’s the action in the picture?
Up how is the product prominent within the picture to to make that connection so that I get okay, so I can get this big in and when I buy this beanie I know that out of the money is going to go towards this charity, but how do you convey that in an image and make sure that when different people your target audience is looking at this image that they’ll all get the message you want them to get you know that.
That’s so poignant. I think extremely important. You know we we’ve been able to use Facebook live SnapChat Instagram stories to capture video video engagement is increasing so much recently that we’ve been able to be able to provide often authenticity of our drop offs to the knob to nonprofit partners that we link up with so anytime a corporation comes in and buy some of our product or an individual is able to buy a product.
They’re going to be served content of our drop-offs. They’re going to be served authentic drop. That are happening shortly after they purchase our corporate Partners depending on the level that they select with us in the program. They want to get involved with their able to join us there screamed.
They’re able to join us on the pod on the drop-off so we’re providing this really authentic platform of giving and you can see right on our Facebook. You can see it on our website you go. You know we have we have Facebook live we have Snapchat. We have Instagram stories. You know you so I’m looking scrolling down my Facebook feed right now for my heart will business page and what you see.
Children receiving warm pill blankets having fun and beaten staying positive. You know you see our corporate Partners you see family. It’s a brand attitude. The brand attitude is is warmth and inspiration fun and family. It’s not poor me poor me know. This is what we’re doing work inspiring young minds are in spying adults to come and join us, so it’s really been tremendous for Meadows past couple years, okay, and as you continue to grow and you’ve given yourself.
Certain goals that you want to reach as far as how many people you know you want to find your age, and you want to get these certain number in traffic and generate this type of Revenue. How are you tracking all of this and what are you doing to improve the results and go towards the Golgi you’re trying to pursue.
Okay, so the first thing on the tracking side of thing which is so important few tools that we’re using is Shopify Google analytics walking. Walking the line through Google analytics with SEO keyword analysis same thing with Shopify. We’re seeing where the referral traffic coming from and how long people are staying on our site, and what keywords are inputting, and how they’re you know basically each sale has a Clint tail to it, so.
Able to track that information are able to track when someone purchased something. We’re able to track whether they’re coming from a Google search whether they’re coming from Facebook LinkedIn or any of those social referral sources or direct referral sources like a Google search so right now. It’s I’ll be honest with you.
It’s 50-50. You’ll see about fifty percent of the people who land on our website website Google Google search, and then the other 50 come from us through some sort of social platform, and that’s where we continue to enrich our efforts in the social. Form because we’re continuously that traffic Spike through Facebook and Instagram and for us, it’s like okay.
Let’s stick with what works. Let’s build. You know let’s build a great following on Facebook and let’s track that and retarget those folks and kind of keep them in the loop constantly, so those are two portals that we’re using right now, and they’re providing some really great feedback, and they’re going to help us get the scale eventually as well, so how do you use that data from?
The Shopify required in and the Google analytics once you have both of them integrated, but we are looking at that data. How do you digest it and then figure out? How you’re going to increase people to say, and yeah, it comes down to customer acquisition right so you know how much are we spending and how much revenues being generated on that spend you know can we track who’s tracking our Ally in in.
Plates not a perfect science. There’s some things as any marketer will tell you is there’s some things. You just can’t account for we try our best to attach our Ally through the Google searches to our Facebook campaigns because we feel as if someone’s first certain percentage anyway based on Google analytics and their path.
We’re seeing that people are hitting that Facebook ad and then they’re setting for a little bit, and we haven’t gotten into Facebook Dynamic ads yet, which we will get into what you will have helped attract better, but we’re able to you know dedicate a certain portion of those Google searches to social social ad they were able to see the content.
They were hit again with a social and then they Google search just maybe 24 hours later. Whatever the case may be so what we do is we take a look at those numbers. We take a look at what customer acquisition is per user, and then we see if we want to eat increase our spending on what’s working and what’s not working?
I mean quite. Frankly all of our advertising right now our marketing strategy has been social and through Facebook ads now one other time has been spent in Prince or any other digital advertising if you want if you want to know the honest brutal true. We spent strictly through Facebook ads because or retargeting are following or able to see them were able to put them in bins and segments that mouth based on behavior and interaction OK you having been getting customers from SEO most of your customers you just coming from Paid.
Yeah, it’s paid its paid analytics. Sorry paints sem from from Facebook. It’s it’s paid advertising sponsored ads whether it be a light campaign. Whether it be a website Campaign shop tab campaign. We built up the following first and the organically and then we hit them with sponsored ads so we can we can get them to our website to check out essentially okay, and what resources like how did you learn?
Are you doing? This you have like a marketing manager, or how did you learn to do all this SEL paid advertising? Yeah, you know it’s interesting. I told myself. I didn’t have any I don’t have a marketing background. I knew about people I have a sociology degree from the University at Albany that are very proud of and and I denials have my master’s from adolescent special education so I understand adults, and I understand children very well, and I understand what their wants and needs are from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to what Shoppers what I study people when I first develop my first product.
I went out to buybuy Baby and pretended to be a female Shopper. I pretended to be a mom. You know. I pretended to be a pregnant woman. I asked everybody questions. Is people that were shopping questions as I’m that crazy needs to be a Content marketer to be a to be one of a business owner as well.
You got to be a little crazy, so I try to get all the Baseline of data like hood and understand our customer, and then that is what yielded the content so understanding my customer and the story of where we come from. Being one seven having a wonderful mother having a great family to understanding that there’s other families out there struggling to them wanting quality products and products that care about the planet people and profit.
That’s most important, so we’re able to build this nice wonderful following, and it’s it’s it’s truly wonderful so in the short answer is Rob is just I taught myself. I spent the 10,000 hours. I stood up stayed up till 6am learning sem and SEO the best I could. I don’t know that but I tell you I know more about Facebook’s ad spend than the average bear.
I know more about Facebook Dynamic ads in Google shopping than the average bear in the average opportune, or does because I stayed up and I watch YouTube videos, and I teach myself I am a an apprentice still even though. I’m the CEO of this company. I’m still an apprentice and I love to learn so the goal of this podcast is to teach other people in your situation how they can grow and get more sales and traffic so what?
Resources did you use like can you give some of the listeners some of the resources you used to teach yourself? Yeah, I know the first thing is is fail. That’s the first thing if you guys are listening out there, and you’re not tripping or and you’re just starting out your thinking about going into social or Google or PPC or whatever the heck.
It is a little bit put some money aside for 500 bucks aside put 100 bucks inside and watch these things work OK put some money into. A Facebook sponsored ad Facebook and some of these social Platforms in Google specifically are so good at building algorithms. Let’s not rebuild the wheel on what these platforms are offering currently.
I wasn’t like this before when I first started Facebook Auto populates, and so it’s Instagram which I love the auto populate your suggested Target demo it does the work for you, which is beautiful. Now they do suggest High spending and you know that could be interesting, but the way you counteract High spending is you lower the bid price and you put in a high res image?
That’s funny and captivating with a high caption and you draw people in organically, and you let that paid spend gold a little bit further. I see what I see over and over is too many times people are putting in sales ads on a Facebook spend and they’re not getting the. Should not they want the only objective that you have on a Facebook sponsored ad is to get some of the click that darn thing and to do that you have to have fun Woody content or compelling interest okay?
Yeah, that’s for sharing that I think that’s been to be helpful to a lot of listeners within the last 12 months what of what I’ve been some of your struggles must far as marketing or just with your business. Well. I mean what we’re still in the spirit of phase. You know we were very understaffed for underfunded.
Strap and everything I you know for three years. Why I built this business with my brother and a dear friend of mine. I you know I also worked at a daycare. I work full 40 50 hours a week 60 hours a week at a daycare doing PR website development, and I ran to location with 70 kids, so I was chasing kids around for quite some time so again.
You got to be a little bit crazy, so you know early mornings during the day and at night. I would stay up and do my pill time, but you know there’d be points for it have to go to work and be a director for a daycare or Bill. Website so time management with Sookie but to get your question about the I guess the thought that negativity is but the shortcomings are that we need to run a little bit faster in this startup phase.
You know we have to get we have to kind of it’s not it’s sort of like cutting the fat. You know we have to figure out where we can be most targeted. I’m going to flip it outside actually so I downloaded this app called mile IQ and what it does it auto populate your driving record when whether it’s personal.
Business and you can log it for your taxes for next year. It’s a wonderful app. I saw the commercial. I saw the ad on Facebook. I saw I was served it over and over because they cookie me I was there targeted user I was the businessmen young businessman who needed something like that the time that that commercial was served to me and the time and in the time that I served that Facebook ad was within 20 seconds and I was a $60 user within 20 seconds.
It’s you have to become extremely highly targeted because you’re wasting time money and energy on people that don’t want your content so for us. We have to get even more targeted. We’re seventy-nine percent female or Mom’s Organic moms social consumer Millennials between the ages of 18 and roughly about 55.
We’ve got to get really highly targeted, and I think we’ll see better results in the future. Okay, so actually you. Bring up a good point at the beginning of the podcast I asked okay, what’s there one strategy that been driving sales, and you said storytelling right now. You just mention big half knowing your target audience between the two, which one.
Do you think has been most important for your business or which I do think e-commerce businesses should focus on and prioritized over the others so. Storytelling understand your brand and yes telling your story versus understanding your customer and then targeted well. That’s the thing I think what you have to do first is you have to story tell for almost goes into phases right you have two story tell and then see who’s going to like your content because that was the first thing you have to you know we were painted a broad stroke.
And you know when we painted that broad stroke. We realized that men 44 to 55 didn’t really respond well right to our content and to our storytelling when we first started so I think comes in phases, so you story tell you get your brand out there, and then you start analyzing, so that’s the first thing.
It’s really comes in these phases phase one story tell painted broad broad stroke, and then see who’s interacting with that on social because it’s so highly trackable. And Facebook gives you wonderful insights, and so does Google analytics see what your demo is see who keeps interacting who’s opening up your emails, and then eventually at the bottom of the bin is a ball of customers that are all the same or or fit into this Moe.
And it’s it’s wonderful because they respond quick to your to your content, and they interact faster so when you have that ball or the mold of customer all your lead generation your lead magnets all your new blood. We call it should be targeted towards that mold and that way you can focus you don’t have to focus on energy is going after men 44 to 55.
You can focus on going after the seventy-nine percent. Female demo that’s 25 to 44 past two-and-a-half kids three-and-a-half dogs, whatever the case may be do you have other distribution channels for might will or do you just use Shopify? You’re insane. You know it’s going to be Santa nine eighty percent the female demo and the Millennials, so how do you just sell them bring them to Shopify, or do you have other places where you can go and sell to them?
Are so believe it or not one of a very kind of moving forward program. We has our corporate giving program. This channel is not e-commerce. It’s actually traditional selling. It’s actually quite wonderful where we have corporations universities small colleges. You know Banks automobile dealerships that come in from for corporate giving program, and the invoices are much higher than the individual consumer where you know are typical spend checkouts, maybe 54.
Version 86 cents while a typical invoice for a corporate giving program can be anywhere from $2,600 all the way up to $100,000 and once foul swoop of a check which is wonderful and these folks are again highly targeted individuals as well that our sales team sits down and goes over every Monday, so we get down into traditional cells us to traditional sales with large companies that are National that have National implications as well as the local.
City or the local bank that wants to get back to the local community, it’s keeping it hyper hyper local right now and then copy and pasting that model to welcome a national level, okay, thanks for being on the podcasts that you’ve shed a lot in the thing you’ve provided a lot of helpful information and also the same time.
Thank you for having a business where you actually giving back and helping and inspiring others absolutely, I would rather have a lot to share the podcast don’t feel. Read it send me a link and I will get this out there, and I would love to hear more more entrepreneurs if they have any questions feel free to have them reach out to me.
How can people reach you sure so are again. It’s called 12 our websites might will and my email is Zach at my 12 at CAC feel feel free to email me on check me out on LinkedIn Facebook, and I hope everybody’s Rockin, Rollin, and thanks again Robert really do appreciate the opportunity the last question.
I usually ask this question. Above which podcast what is the one thing and e-commerce business can do right now to help the business grow get traffic or get selves. I think video content if you want my honest opinion. I am headed towards the video content, Spectra Spectrum. I have to we have to. If we don’t we’re going to fall behind and Facebook live is getting so much traction right now if you’re an e-commerce owner, and you have an online store, and you’re trying to you know do PPC bump up SEO and sem are great, but what what social does and what Facebook engagement does it extrapolates that faster?
Because there’s live people out there watching you and they can interact so much faster, so if you’re an e-commerce platform out there, and you’re on Shopify you’re on Square. You’re on all those things, and you got a decent product and following you have to get into the video business. That’s where everybody’s eyeballs are going Snapchat is not growing 100% by the second because of no reason at all Instagram stories is growing and growing live video is happening folks.
We need to get on it now, okay? Thanks again for being on the podcast you got robbed have a great day. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing Partners join the e-commerce marketing podcast Facebook group to learn connect collaborate and grow with other e-commerce marketers at e-commerce marketing podcast Ford FB e-commerce marketing podcast for FB subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please.
Leave a rating and review. Thank you for listening. See you next time.