📦 AI, AI, Captain
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Fair play to The Weather Network. Even a broken clock is right twice a day 🤣

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Disney, Utz Snacks, Urban Skin Rx, Creative Snacks Co., and Doggie Dailies. 🐶

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 AI tools to fuel your creative

📦 Turbocharging your paid media performance with Black Crow AI

📦 Greasy affiliate SEO with Connor Meakin from Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth

📦 Optimizing creative team synergy for ad testing success with Insense

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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


Simplify you creative life with AI

Have you ever found yourself in a time crunch and your creative juices ran into a brick wall?

The DTC Newsie is about to bless that beautiful brain of yours… We’ve curated a list of Pilothouse’s favourite AI-powered websites to make your complicated creative life much easier.

If you’re not on the creative side of things, we highly recommend sharing it with your artsy fartsy friends.

🎥 Image/video editing services

Has a client handed you product footage or photo with the resolution of a potato? We’ve all been there.

Neural Love uses machine learning to upscale images and video up to 4k and colorizes black and white footage. The tool enhances realism by generating additional frames up to 60 fps and has the additional option of turning your footage into slow-mo.

Now that the video quality is top notch, you’re left with two hours of talking head footage that needs trimming down.. Timebolt uses AI to remove all the "umms" and "uhhs” automatically, then exports the footage directly to your editing software like Resolve or Premiere. Its system also works with multi-track audio, so it's great for first pass-through edits of podcasts!  

Need to update your product collection, and specify your processing options? Retouchpro.ai is a bulk photo editor that will make your entire image collection eCommerce ready. The tool turns product photography into transparent PNGs… or do the opposite and resize and add backgrounds to transparent product images.

✍️ Animation

A $60/month animation software may seem overkill, especially when you're tasked with creating a gif of a corgi in a scarf. Jitter is a free browser-based motion design tool with a ton of motion graphic templates. The tool easily animates your designs and export your creations as videos or GIFs in your browser!

🎧 Audio

It can be slim pickings when it comes to royalty-free music, so spice up your ads/content audio with Soundraw. Generate royalty-free music based on a number of user-set fields like mood, length, tempo, instrument, and genre unique to your content. The licensing allows creatives to use the tunes on platforms like YouTube, monetized videos, client's commercial projects, and podcasts.  

⚙️ Productivity tool

Looking for the swiss army knife of all productivity tools? It’s as simple as dragging and dropping into TinyWow browser-based platform that converts any file including video, photo, and PDF! It’s completely free with no hourly limits or restrictions.

As a creative your time is valuable, and taking advantage of some of these tools will cut down that wasted time.

If we’ve missed any cool AI tools, reply to this email and let us know!


Paid marketing performance – turbocharged

Thanks to iOS 14 – your brand has been separated from its most profitable audiences.

No need to panic...

Black Crow AI can help you get back that pre-iOS 14.5 performance, cut down on your CAC, and boost ROAS by 30% or more.

Through the power of machine learning, Black Crow AI uses your first party data to build new, high-level audiences for Facebook, Google, email and more.

In short, Black Crow AI means you can once again laser target your best potential customers.

Top DTC brands like – Magic Spoon, Bearaby, Cotopaxi and Liquid IV have been using Black Crow to unlock the power of their first-party data to supercharge their performance marketing.

Don't let the data loss get in between you and your ROAS.

🚀 Click here to reclaim your most profitable audiences.


🎧 On this edition of the DTC pod, we got gutsy with Connor Meakin, founder of Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth.

Bluebird Provisions is a Canada-based company that makes certified organic, slow-simmered bone broth designed to taste great and promote good health from the inside out.

In this podcast, you’ll learn why SEO is definitely not dead ❌☠️, the strategy that Connor’s used to scale to over 50K monthly unique visitors, as well as several other “greasy” SEO tactics that not many know about (and even fewer are using).

‍The Takeaways 👇

🏢 How to do Skyscraper content the right way:

A big part of Bluebird Provisions’ SEO success is investing in a long-form content strategy using skyscraper content and content clusters.

This approach has helped them scale up to 50-70K monthly unique visitors. 🚀

Here’s how it works…

They create 2-3 long-form articles per week (aka their skyscrapers). These posts are designed to target a specific keyword and answer all the possible questions associated with that keyword.

💡 Pro Tip: You can use a search tool like Ahrefs to identify potential keywords for Skyscraper posts, or if you want to do it on the cheap, use Google Search Console and look at the “People also ask” section in Google search results.

Then, they’ll write several shorter pieces (aka their cluster content) that link to the skyscraper post, which usually cover one of the questions in the skyscraper more in-depth.

They also make sure to keep the skyscraper pieces updated (at least every 6 months) so they continue to rank well over time!

🍔 “Greasy” SEO advice:

But don’t be fooled. Connor isn’t above using “greasy tactics” every now and then to boost site traffic, too.

Here are some of his best backlink hacks to try:

🔎 Write guest articles for .edu domains: For example, you can reach out to your old college and offer to write guest content for their business department (even if you didn’t graduate from it!)

🔎 HARO (Help a Reporter Out) seeding: Becoming an expert on Help a Reporter Out is getting more competitive, so why not “seed” the experts instead? Set up Google alerts to notify you when a piece in your industry comes out, and reach out to the quoted experts. Introduce yourself, tell them about your business, and offer to send them a product—no strings attached. You might be surprised where you end up getting featured next!

🔎 Publish your brand’s lifestyle photos on free stock photo websites: Do reverse image searches regularly, and email the people/sites using your image to see if they’d be willing to backlink to your site.

Such a scrappy approach to SEO. We love to see it!

💰 What Connor would do with an extra $50K:

“I would invest in a lot of TikTok creators.”

TikTok could use some more bone broth content, don’t you think?

👉 Listen to the full episode with Connor of Bluebird Provisions here!


Creative team synergy = creative success

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.” - Steve Jobs

The man was right. We’ve seen a HUGE correlation between brands optimizing creative team synergy and their success in ad testing.

Insense – the first-choice Creator Content & Ads platform for eCommerce, has put together a playbook – How to Build Creative Team Synergy for Better Performing Ads – that will give you the tools to ensure an increase in your paid social ROI.

This playbook includes:

  • 🫀 The anatomy of a data-driven creative team
  • 👨‍🎨 How to design ads for TikTok and Instagram/Facebook
  • 🧱 Ad creative building blocks and strategy map
  • 🧐 How to analyze ad performance + simplify data feedback with Motion

The playbook is a must-read for levelling up your ad creatives and will help your team implement a bullet-proof ad testing strategy.

Click here to download.


😆 TikTok launches its first subscription comedy series, opens up ‘Playlists’ to more users.

⛏ New York just passed a bill cracking down on bitcoin mining — here’s everything that’s in it.

🎞 Meta announces new updates for Reels, including interactive stickers, sound sync and longer clips.

📸 Polaroid targets Gen Z audience through Snapchat’s AR lenses.

🎨 Etsy launched a purchase protection program, which includes $25M to cover refunds in some cases.


🦴 Greasy affiliate SEO with Connor Meakin from Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth.

🤖 Put Machine Learning and AI to work for your brand with Black Crow AI.

🛋 $50K to $21 Million: How Noa Home Scales Furniture Globally (and 4x ROAS Profitably).

🌎 $100 Million+ in Vancouver-based DTC Sales: Duer, Tru Earth, Blume, Monos, and Black Crow AI [Live Panel].

🤑 Growing Your Shopify Store From $5 to $30M with Richpanel.

📈 5x Your Revenue with a Facebook Group, 40 New Creatives a Week, and an App with Ash Melwani from Obvi Collagen.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight and Jordan Gillis. 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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