📦- A Content Tasting Menu
May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

We’re scrolling, but it’s for the greater good of marketing.  

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Ogden Made, Rook Coffee, Skin + Me, Aquaplanet, and Oakley. 😎

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Iterations for testing raw creator content

📦 Learning to identify and target – not only the right customers – but the customers who are most likely to buy

📦 How Greater Than became Inc’s #198th fastest growing company in the US

📦 The fully-managed platform that helps you activate micro-influencers at scale

📦 What to expect in Q4 and beyond on YouTube

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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

Creator Content

Let’s Get Testing

DTC brands love to partner with creators to create assets used for ads, social, and more. Using UGC (from creators, influencers, or your audience) is a surefire tactic to share engaging, authentic content on your feeds and drive engagement.

👩‍🍳 Did you know that a dish will go through many trials before being added to a menu and served to customers? Think of your creative assets in the same way!

But how do you know if the content your creator sends over is up to snuff? 🤔

Test it.

Here’s how from the team at Pilothouse Studios:

1️⃣ Version one: Raw

In your first version, there’s no need to break out the entire marketing toolkit. Leave the content as raw as raw can be. No extra seasoning here.

This means no major cuts and no added background music!

2️⃣ Version two: Raw, subtitles, and closing card

It’s time to spice it up a little bit. In this stage, we’re looking to add a little salt and pepper. 🧂

Your second version should include subtitles (in a platform-relevant way), emotional music or background beats, and a closing CTA on your end card.

3️⃣ Version three: Something different

Now’s the time to add some real spice to your video – think fresh herbs and spices and that one waaay too expensive ingredient you picked up just for this recipe.

Here’s what we suggest:

  • A mashup showing reactions and hyping up the product with background music.
  • Using the content as the main audio track and running b-roll footage showing the purchase process, value propositions, or the creation process of your product.
  • Adding a title to the top that is attention-grabbing and relevant to your product and the video. Usually, the speaker mentions a little key nugget that gives the viewer a reason to watch.

Check out this example: 👇

4️⃣ Bonus – version four: Value proposition or comment and your authentic response

If you want to go the extra mile, try out this fourth variation in your testing.

If you get a common question, hesitation, or comment about your product, use your creator's video to answer it.

Try posting the question on one side of the video and have the creator talking on the other.

🧪 What to look for in testing

You’re testing for a reason here, folks! Your objective is to test the creatives against each other to see which outshines the rest.

Our Studios source says to be on the lookout for key metrics in your dash, like click-through rate (CTR) and unique clicks. Although those just show attention-grabbing capacity and not necessarily conversion, they can help you refine your openers.


Remember when Cotopaxi spent a bunch of $$$ marketing to people who had no intent to buy?

Neither do we.

Why? Because when iOS 14.5 put a damper on third-party tracking, brands like Cotopaxi quickly shifted its strategy and invested in Black Crow AI. 🧠

Black Crow AI is the tool that helps DTC brands (like Cotopaxi and yours) identify and target—not only the right customers—but the customers who are most likely to buy.

They use first-party data to identify your highest-value prospects & group them into high, medium, and low probability to purchase. You can then use these groups as audiences in your prospecting & retargeting campaigns.

This way, you’re focusing your marketing dollars on the customers who want to buy from you.

Brands like Bearaby, SKIMS, SuperCoffee, and Leesa, have invested in Black Crow AI and have already seen an increase in ROAS by over 30%. 📈

So don't get beaten by iOS 14.5!

👉 Check out Black Crow AI & request a 30-day free trial.


Check out the DTC podcast to synergize with Bryan Alston, CMO and co-founder of Greater Than. Beginning as a formulated hydration product for the most dedicated CrossFit athletes, Bryan gives us the inside scoop on:

  1. Why new mothers are their champions
  2. How iOS 14 was actually great for marketing
  3. When branding can matter less than you think

The Takeaways 👇

🗺 The great rebrand  

Bryan was given 6 months to revitalize the brand. Market research and consumer data led to the discovery of breastfeeding mothers passionate about Greater Than because it met their specific hydration needs.

The support of this community resulted in growth from $100K per year in eCommerce to over $7M in just four years.

🪙 The other side of the coin

The silver lining of iOS 14 is a return to “traditional marketing,” says Bryan.

We can’t simply rely on an algorithm to carry a brand anymore. It forced marketers to go back to the drawing board and innovate. Marketers need to truly know their customers for continued growth and success.

🦉 Wait, who are you?

Is your greatest marketing tool an aesthetic? Greater Than addresses the needs of its niche community in such an impactful way that their appearance hasn’t changed all that much since August 2019.

Influencers and new moms are so integral to the success of Greater Than that Bryan could steer away from the typical pastel color palette of baby products and retain the brand’s original identity.

What does all of this mean for the future of the brand? Bryan predicts they could scale to $75M in the next three years.

👉 Listen to the full episode with Bryan here!


A Viral Post Before The Holidays? Yes Please!

🎅 The holidays are coming, and consumers are already buying the holiday gifts that micro-influencers recommend.

Still want to capture a healthy portion of those holiday sales? - It’s not too late!

minisocial, the fully-managed platform that helps you activate micro-influencers at scale, is here for you.

With minisocial, you get immediate access to 100s of micro-influencers, and you gather all their content for just $6k. They also have smaller tiers starting at $1.7k.

Using minisocial is super simple:

  • Create your brief in under 10 minutes
  • minisocial will book your campaign with hand-selected creators
  • Approve your creators and ship out their products
  • Watch as posts go live and hop onto your dashboard to download your fully-licensed content

The last call for brief submissions for early-holiday deadlines (BFCM) is this Friday! 😱

👉 Ready to go viral this holiday season? Learn more about minisocial here! Get 15% off when you start today!


Collaborate and Accelerate

ICYMI: YouTube has been loud and proud in conveying their new monetization initiatives for creators and advertisers.

But sometimes, things get a little confusing in Google’s ecosystem, so we’ll outline the deets for what advertisers can expect in Q4 and 2023 on YouTube. 📝

To start, your ads are shown to more audiences than ever before.

The Youtube Partner Program has added eight forms of monetization since its launch in 2007, meaning more creators are showing more ads. These changes include Partner eligibility for Shorts creators and less restrictive Partner requirements across the board.

💥 This is your moment

YouTube Select has been updated to include Moment Blast. Your business can focus on the most engaged audiences by targeting viewers of YouTube Select content. While this already seems like a pretty sweet deal, the option of a Masthead placement and a Branded Title Card enhance the viewing experience for audiences and advertisers.

🔎 A discovery channel

There are a lot of components to a successful video campaign. Start with this equation:

Video Campaigns + Shorts Ads + Product Feeds = 70% increase in conversion

☝️ Did you know that after product feeds were expanded to Shorts, Google said “campaigns with product feeds saw an over 70% increase in conversions” on Shorts compared to those without product feeds?

It’s a complex but effective combination for advertising in YouTube’s ecosystem.

🤑 Buy local

Product feeds will be localized and managed in the Google Merchant Center. Real-time inventory tracking across your locations allows shoppers to select their most convenient pick-up or shipping location.

Reduce your shipping costs and increase conversion rates if you can take advantage of this feature!

🎧 Audiophiles

Audio ads are available for purchase through Google Ads and Display & Video 360. If you have an audio-based product or service or sub-par video editing skills, Audio Ads provide another way to increase brand awareness by targeting dedicated podcast listeners.

With a committed audience, podcasts are an efficient way to reiterate your products' value, so gift-givers will remember your brand this holiday season. 🎁

📺 As seen on YouTube

People trust creators, and creators want sponsors. Marketers are engaging the most informed audiences ever, and consumers place high value on the opinion of their favorite content creators to support their purchase decisions.

You can access a direct response from your chosen creator and their audience through the comment section of sponsored videos to know who you’re selling to, why they love your products, and how they bought them.

👉 Check out more details on these initiatives in the second annual From YouTube to You event scheduled for November 10th, 2022.

Quick Hits

🥞 Breakfast, networking, and the best omnichannel media strategies to supercharge your business? Join MiQ, Holt Renfrew, KOTN and Properly at an exclusive LIVE breakfast event in Toronto! *

🐥 Potential mass layoffs at Twitter could cripple content moderation, some experts say.

🧘‍♀️ Stretchable (Rollable) Screens are becoming a thing.

📸 To celebrate the launch of Pilothouse Studios, they are are offering free content for your Shopify site, Amazon store, and/or Meta ads. Claim your spot! *

🦺 To better thwart ransomware attacks, startups must get cybersecurity basics right.

🧐 TikTok launches automated ‘Smart Performance Campaigns’ to boost ad performance.

🍔 Uber: Serving up rides, chow, and… ads.


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

❌ Attribution is a Dead and What To Do Instead with SegmentStream’s Constantine Yurevich.

🖋 Nathan Thompson & Stu Jolley, Stories and Ink: Growing with SEO and Artist Collab Content.

🥦 High Performance, Nutritionally Complete Marketing to $150M with Huel's Ben Bokaie.

⭕️ Turn Your Returns Into Exchanges With Aaron Schwartz from Loop.

🧦 Making a 5X Return on Affiliate Sales with Rob Fraser from Outway Socks.

🔋 Two Hacks to Increase Subscriber Conversion by 50% with Tea Drops and Recharge.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight and Michael Venditti. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter: Send an email to Rebecca, rebecca@directtoconsumer.co, if you’re interested in writing for us!

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