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📦 Building YOUR Community 🥰
May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, February 16, 2022


Every year the job force is looking younger and younger 🤣

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from RAVE Coffee Roasters, Babe Lash, OTHERWORLD, Cometeer, Sweaty Betty, Straightaway Cocktails, and Public Goods.

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

👏 Expert testimonial on building your brand’s community

🥣 Mascots, the Metaverse, and NFT’s for your DTC brand with OffLimits CEO Emily Elyse Miller

🚀 Mitigating data loss on TikTok Ads


Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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COMMUNITY

Expert Insights on Building a Brand Community


A thriving online community is one of those factors that truly sets brands apart. Engaging with your audience in an authentic way can be a huge catalyst for long-term, sustainable growth because it benefits so many areas:


✔️ Customer acquisition

✔️ Competitor differentiation

✔️ Brand loyalty and retention

✔️ Understanding your audience

✔️ Gathering valuable data, feedback, and insights


However, if you’ve ever set out to build an online community, you know it’s easier said than done. Logistics, like choosing the right platform, can be tricky. And exactly how much time should you spend engaging with your audience?

Never fear, fam!


To cover these questions and gather tons of juicy insights, we sat down with two brands crushing community: immi Ramen  and Modern Fertility.

Both brands have taken a unique approach to building a community…


🍜  immi has created a more nutritious, equally delicious ramen. But the secret to their sauce may be their private Facebook Community, where they’ve focused on building a fanbase of real ramen lovers since day one (now over 4K members).


🟡 Modern Fertility is a reproductive health company making personalized fertility information, tests, tools, and support more accessible to every person with ovaries. Their custom-built platform, Modern Community, houses a Slack-like interface that allows members to connect, attend online events, and access medically accurate, peer-supported resources and education.


Here’s our convo with Kevin Lee, co-founder of immi, and Reina Pomeroy, Head of Education at Modern Fertility. 👇


💬 In what ways has a thriving community helped your brand?


Kevin Lee @ immi:

“As our community has gotten to know us over the years of watching us build from the ground up, they treat us like their family…. [they’ve] become our biggest evangelists and have even debated trolls in our paid social ad comments on our behalf, without our prompting.

Our community has also become our #1 source of user-generated content. Members post new photos almost daily of their immi ramen bowls or different methods of preparing immi that we wouldn't have thought of before, like using immi noodles to make trail mix or even immi sushi.”



Reina Pomeroy @ Modern Fertility:

“The Modern Community has created a flywheel model of marketing. We have members who joined just for information prior to purchasing products and have become our biggest advocates on and off our platform.

We have a firm stance that we do not ‘sell’ in the community, but despite that, we have a high conversion rate from members who join the community.”


💬 How have you been able to utilize your community for insights, data, and growth?


immi:

“We regularly reach out to members of our community to do video user interviews… We [also] conduct occasional polls/surveys to help us prioritize our product innovation pipeline.

These survey results help us understand what flavor profiles our community desires, which helps to de-risk time and dollars we spend into developing new flavors or, in the future, entirely new product lines.”



Modern Fertility:

“Our members bring us ideas in direct and indirect ways every day. We see the community as a place to learn about gaps in content, opportunities in research, and ideas for future products.

Additionally, we have a Community Advisory Board that has served as a sounding board for all our product ideas and launches and has provided insights and GTM launch support.”


💬 What online community platforms have you used? Any new tools you’re excited about?


immi:

“At the end of the day, it's important to think about where your core users live.

We realized that a core majority of our initial audience leaned towards the 35-65+ female demographic, which is an audience that spends a lot of time on Facebook.

So I'd encourage others to do that initial research and build community on a platform that makes the most sense for your audience.”


Modern Fertility:

“We relaunched our community on Circle’s community platform in July of 2021, and it has been a game-changer.

The next phase of community will be tools like Commsor, Orbiit, Lu.ma, and Spontivly, which will all allow community operations to be more streamlined and give more data and insights to the community builders.”



💬 If you were to go back and build your community again, would you do anything differently?


immi:

“I'd spend even more time in the early days getting to know each member 1:1…

[I’d also] figure out how to connect more members of our community to each other…. It's only when your community members start to engage with each other that your ‘audience’ evolves into a true community.”


Modern Fertility:

“In the past year, we have opened the community up to non-customers and it has shifted the community for the better.

It creates new opportunities for the community and content team to support members to learn more about fertility… [and] an environment where we can build trust with these members as their go-to hub for all things fertility education.”



💬 Do you have any tips for companies looking to build a sustainable, thriving brand community?


immi:

“Invest the time to do the unscalable… People are smart, and they can sniff out inauthentic brands from a mile away.

You have to invest the time to get to know people in the community and to respond to every single comment. If you aren't taking the time to be engaged, why would anyone else?”



Modern Fertility:

“If you’re just starting out, focus on building a strong, engaged, small community at the beginning. Learn their stories. Deeply understand what they are looking for within your community, and create a space that supports it.”


Now that you’ve heard from the experts go forth and crush those communities! 👊

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PODCAST


🎧 This week on the pod, we had the pleasure of chatting with Emily Elyse Miller, Founder and CEO of OffLimits Cereal , a brand on a mission to reclaim cereal culture.

In a world full of rules, OffLimits is giving a defiant middle finger to the stale breakfast aisle with clean ingredients, offensively delicious taste, fun mascots, and a refreshing alignment with the future of tech. 🥣

Despite the name, nothing was off-limits in this wide-ranging conversation where we discussed NFTs, Web3, crypto, artist collabs, and more.


‍The takeaways: 👇


👩‍💻 What not to do with NFTs

OffLimits is pioneering cereal tokens, creating the industry’s first NFT cereal toys, limited-edition boxes, and coupons.

“We’re building [the future of NFTs] now…my excitement is that this is the Wild West…it’s whatever we want to shape it as.”

Despite her enthusiasm, Emily doesn’t think NFTs are right for every brand right now. She spent years educating herself on the concept before bringing them into OffLimits.

“Brands should know that it’s very early…really the only people that care about this stuff are the crypto-native community…and I don’t think brands should feel pressure to do anything just because it feels trendy right now.

So, before jumping onto the NFT bandwagon, does your audience even know what they are? And do they care? All good questions to ask. 🤔


🎨 Collabs > ads

When asked about their growth over the last two years, Emily told us it’s all been organic.

“We definitely do some digital marketing, but man, we launched in 2020…it’s been really challenging…[when it comes to ads] we’re priced out.”


Instead of dumping money into paid and hoping for the best, they’ve focused on growing organically by building an emotional connection with their audience and connecting with other creators for custom collaborations. 💙

OffLimits has done custom cereal boxes with several artists, an ice cream flavor collab with Salt & Straw, and launched toys and other limited edition drops on the Culture App network, just to name a few.


💰 What Emily would do with an extra $50k

Part of OffLimit’s mission is to disintegrate the “starving artist trope” and empower creative people.

“Any kind of grant would go towards us creating a brand that’s empowering creative communities and teaching everybody that it’s an entrepreneurial effort as well.”


👉 Chow down on the full convo with Emily here !

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TIKTOK

Let's  Get Some Data 🕺


TikTok is no superhero. They’re not immune to the iOS 14.5 apocalypse.

TikTok has strongly relied on a single session attribution model for the past two years.

They’ve introduced advanced matching up to seven days post-click, but there’s still some setbacks that make it unreliable. 👇

  • Users are not required to sign up to use the app
  • Often, users don’t add phone numbers or emails when signing up, meaning very little to match in the API
  • When users opt in to App Tracking Transparency, the majority of data is lost if the user exits the funnel, meaning if they use their computer to complete the purchase, there’s likely no attribution on the platform

The team at Pilothouse have been utilizing 3rd party tracking software with a few clients to help attribute some of this lost data and have seen a lift of 50-70% versus what’s seen on platform.

This also fits fairly well with what TikTok has tested and shared with Pilothouse as well. From their own data and tests with clients, Tiktok suspects a 40 - 70% lift in conversions compared to what is attributed on platform.

These are great numbers to keep in mind when running traffic and assessing how you’re doing on the platform! On top of this, consider performing your own tests to determine how much of a lift TikTok has for your brand.


Not sure how to test it? Try this 👇

Pick 3 states to put 100% of your ad budget into. After your test, measure the lift in those states in Google Analytics vs. your historic data. Then compare to on platform numbers.


🔥 Thanks to the TikTok team over at Pilothouse for the great tracking tip.

QUICK HITS

📍 Pinterest  announces second annual 'Pinterest Presents' conference, highlighting key app trends and initiatives.

👀 Google  shares info  about Performance Max campaigns.

🤑 Split payments, vanish mode, and more on Messenger .

🔑 YouTube  shares insights into key areas of development, including shorts, NFTs, and the Metaverse.

🤺 How Amazon  is going to war with beauty giants like Ulta and Sephora.

🔊 HAVE YOU HEARD OUR LATEST PODCASTS?

🥣 Mascots in the Metaverse — How to Make NFTs Work for Your DTC Brand with OffLimits CEO Emily Elyse Miller.

🦷 Tend Merges Dentistry with Hospitality and Disrupts the $300B Space with Matt Fitzgerald.

💄 Youthforia's Fiona Co Chan Creates an Organic TikTok to Amazon Pipeline.

💗 Changing the World's Pleasure Baseline with Jen Batchelor CEO and Founder of Kin Euphorics.


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

DTC Newsletter is written by Kelsey Hess and Rebecca Knight. Edited by Claire Beveridge.

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