DTC 38: 📦 Crafting your brand’s YouTube strategy
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

St. Patrick’s Day marks one full year of DTC Podcasts, Newsletters and more! 

This year hasn’t featured nearly as many in-person toasts for most, but for now let’s raise our glasses to growth in the face of obstacles, and the promise of in-person merriment just around the corner. 

Before you skull it, take a minute to consider the marketing genius of a beer whose slogan is “Guinness is Good For You,” and whose ambassadors include a generation of doctors who recommended the dark draught (in moderation) to nursing mothers for its iron content.

The perfect pour of a pint of Guinness Draught takes 119.53 seconds, so be patient. Just like the DTC Newsletter, you can’t rush perfection… 

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow DTC newcomers from Dynamite, Dr. Scholls, Trifecta, Pomello, Frames Direct, FabFitFun, Restore Hyper Wellness, Kit and Ace, and Bellwoods Brewery (If you like a sour, their Jelly King beer is top notch!)

If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe so you never miss another. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

In this edition of the DTC Newsletter you’ll find:  

📦 The key to delivering your brand story, from our podcast with Stojo.

📦 A consumer research case study from Attest – a must read for food and bev brands.

📦 SEO tips for YouTube (+ our next FREE workshop!).

📦 The advertising venue missing from your multi-channel strategy.  

📦 “Reciprocal Concession” plus two other key principles of persuasion to boost your sales efforts.

Stick around to the end to find out which big name brand is aiming to be 50% DTC sales by 2025. 📈

Fill up your cups! This week we chatted with Jurrien Swarts and Meghan Holzhauer of Stojo, a DTC brand that aims to end disposable culture one reusable product at a time.

Stojo was one of the first to market in their field, launching their collapsible cup in 2015. They have since built a loyal customer base that launched them to $6.5 million in sales in 2019 and they’re on pace to exceed that by 100% in 2021. 😱

The podcast is packed with valuable insights from a founder/CEO perspective (Jurrien) and from a brand and growth marketing perspective (Meghan). Have a listen here

The key takeaways:

📦 Rank your affiliates

The term affiliate marketing can mean different things to different people, but Stojo uses the term affiliate for their entire external marketing apparatus. Here’s a look at Stojo’s current affiliate funnel structure.

Top: Editorial partnerships (Buzzfeed, Meredith Corp) and influencers that tell brand and product stories.

Middle: Bloggers, Review Sites, basic user-generated content.

Bottom: Discounts and Promos.

Stojo has revenue share deals in place for each kind of affiliate. As the storytelling obligation shrinks, the percentage of revenue goes down at each affiliate level.

📦 Broaden your channel horizons

Jurrien looks at brick-and-mortar retailers as an important channel. From his view, they generate a positive contribution margin and place you front and center for people who are out shopping and are ready to buy. 

Eyeballs on the brand!

Speaking of which: Jurrien recommends getting your brand into the hands of trendsetters. When big brands bid on your keywords it can drive up your costs, while the social proof from affiliating with cool and visible curators can have a huge (and relatively cheap cheap!) impact on brand trust and awareness. 

Finally, he points to B2B corporate gifting and promotional items. They’ve even launched merchandising, with Starbucks Asia being their biggest retail partner.

There are many interesting ways to generate top-line revenue, get positive contribution margin, and get advertising that's actually profitable. Think outside the box!

📦 Protect your product

The biggest assets in Stojo’s arsenal are utility and design patents. Design protects the form and shape of the product, utility protects the ‘secret sauce’ for how you make it work. This is the easiest way to shut down copycats.

Their biggest challenge comes through shutting down pirates in China. Jurrien likens shutting down these competitors to Whack a Mole. You have to be very deliberate when you choose to lawyer up. With that said, when you do get em’ you usually win pretty big damages.

Jurrien recommends using a tool like Red Points, an AI that scours international marketplaces for trademark and copyright infringement. This tool has helped them take down tens of thousands of copycats.

Aside from legal protections, Meghan points out that your brand is the key differentiator. What sets Stojo apart from counterparts is their commitment to end disposable culture. When you buy Stojo, you’re part of the solution. 

📦 Know your story

Both guests stressed the importance of crafting your story as founders and as a brand. People want to hear a great story. That's a key differentiator between you and other brands.

Work with someone who knows how to tell a story (Journalists, PR professionals, videographers, etc) 

Jurrien and Meghan compared crafting a story to stand up comedy. There’s numerous different angles you can take and gradually they’re refined over time based on what lands. 

The key is to always deliver an authentic story. Customers can smell BS from far away. 

That's it for this week’s recap! If you want to hear the origin story of Stojo, Jurrien’s views on standing out in retail, and their strategy to reinvent Tupperware, check out the full podcast here!

The market is just catching up to DRY, a non-alcoholic drink brand that has been encouraging “social drinking for everyone,” since 2015. 

In 2020, DRY rebranded their core product from ‘DRY Sparkly Soda’ to ‘DRY Botanical Bubbly’ and increased their focus on DTC sales in an effort to seize on consumer desire for booze-free drink alternatives. They also introduced new products, including DRY Botanical Bitters and Soda.

But launching a product in 2020 had its setbacks – one of which was access to consumer feedback. 

“Our original plan was to demo the product in-store and at some bars and tasting rooms where people are drinking or looking for alternatives, to try and buy, but we can’t do any of that right now,” said CRO Betsey Frost. 

Enter Attest. 

With Attest you can create and analyze surveys, field your questions and get results back within eight hours providing the data you need to stay agile. 

DRY perfected their product with a two-prong strategy: working with small focus groups, then using Attest to validate the findings on a larger scale. 

Attest is the solution for brands that don’t have a team of consumer researchers at their disposal. 

To read about how DRY harnessed the opportunity of the growing sober-curious moment and utilized the consumer research capabilities of Attest, read the full blog post here. (You’ll also find a link to Attest’s must-read study on 2021 F&B trends for American consumers!)

YouTube is a massive search engine. In fact, it’s the world’s second-largest search engine after Google, processing over three billion searches monthly. 🤯

Over 70% of adults in the US use the platform, spending an average of 41.9 minutes a day and it’s the second-most used social platform behind Facebook and more US viewers aged 18-49 watch YouTube than all cable networks combined. 

One of the biggest advantages of YouTube is that content has a much longer shelf life than Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. High-quality videos can have a huge impact for years. 

Other than creating high-quality content, SEO is a large determining factor to your success on the platform. Here are tips to help hone your strategy:  

  • Determine the key words and phrases your audience is searching for. When in doubt, pick up the phone and CALL your customers. Have a conversation and understand how they search. 
  • After you decide on keywords, weave them into your video file name (this must be done before you upload your video to YouTube), video title, and video description.
  • Be careful! Stuffing multiple keywords into your titles, descriptions, and tags could harm your video performance. Instead, include just one or two keywords, and then add relevant synonyms to your video description.
  • Close captions are essential for inclusion and community building, but they also help with SEO ranking.
  • Group similarly-themed videos together into playlists and include keywords within the playlist titles. This will give your videos an extra SEO boost and it’s great for content discovery too. 

Ok now that we’ve got keywords covered, let’s think about content: 

  • Find your niche – Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Know what your channel is about, who it’s for, and lean into a clear area of specialty. 
  • Use challenges – These will help expand your community and gather UGC. For example, GoPro has built a thriving community of sports enthusiasts with their #GoProMillionDollarChallenge which had over 42,000 video submissions in 4 months. 
  • Longer content. MUCH longer content – YouTube allows for long videos (up to 12 hours!). Unlike other platforms where speed is key, YouTube provides the opportunity to dive deep into your brand and products. Tell a story. Yeti Presents is one of the best brand examples. 
  • Drive traffic to your site – Make sure all the links in your video description box are fully clickable. You can also add suggested reading links and clickable pop-up buttons throughout your video.
  • High-definition videos – In general, you should upload videos with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080. The optimal aspect ratio is 16:9.
  • Upload your own thumbnail image – Your video thumbnail is the best way to entice people to click. Add eye-catching text overlays to encourage more video clicks. Again, this is where the search engine of it all comes into play. Eye-catching thumbnails get views. Here’s a little thumbnail inspo from DTC fitness brand Gymshark:
  • Shoot with multiple platforms in mind – give yourself the option of using the footage on other platforms. YouTube is optimized for horizontal. Consider leaving white space or a non-essential backdrop on the outer thirds of a horizontal shot – that way you can easily crop for vertical.
  • Two Cameras – Consider shooting simultaneously on two cameras. Editing in a variety of different angles will make your video feel more professional. 

Need help with the art and science of scaling YouTube? Learn from TruEarth’s Ryan McKenzie and Pilothouse Head of Google Ads, Saul Garcia who each spend six figures a month on the platform. 

Join us March 25-26 for our FREE DTC+ Workshop The Profitable Way to Create and Scale YouTube Ads for eCommerce

In our TWO one-hour, all-access sessions, experts from TruEarth and Pilothouse will cover:

  • How to create compelling, high-converting videos (on any budget).
  • How to profitably find, refine, and scale your target audience on YouTube.
  • How to optimize your campaigns and scale your DTC eCommerce brand on YouTube.

Sign up today (FREE)

With consumers moving back and forth between their TVs, phones, laptops and tablets, TV buying can no longer be treated as a standalone strategy. 

Connected TV (CTV), is any type of TV that’s connected to the Internet and can stream digital video. It’s become the dominant mode of media consumption that can’t be ignored. CTV advertising offers the data and purchasing ability of digital on the biggest screen in the house. Plus you’re buying it on a one-to-one basis, so you’re eliminating waste and gaining efficiency.

StackAdapt and ad industry intelligence firm Advertiser Perceptions partnered together to survey over 200 agency and brand decision-makers. The result was a research-driven report that measures the experiences of CTV advertisers and assesses CTV’s advantages and areas for improvement. 

Understand how CTV advertising levels the playing field and uncovers best practices for leveraging this medium. 

To learn more about StackAdapt and how you can take advantage of the CTV opportunity, contact us at info@stackadapt.com or visit our website: stackadapt.com

Pilothouse UX/UI designer Jake is back with more shared learnings! This time he’s here with an infographic deep dive on sales psychology. 

Enjoy his breakdown of three key marketing principles to boost your brand’s powers of persuasion. 

😱 Clubhouse is launching an accelerator program for creators. 

📈 Why DTC brands are believing in micro-influencers.

🚗 Inside TripAdvisor’s unfair email marketing advantage.

😅 Facebook to run more ads on shorter videos to chase TikTok.

🏃‍♂️ Adidas announces partnership with Peloton.

🛒 More Adidas news: The brand aims for DTC to be 50% of sales by 2025.

💄Inside L’Oreal India’s digital-first model.

🎧 Amazon music launches in-app merch integration.

💪 How small businesses are striking back at Amazon with Shopify.

💰New start-ups are making it easier for digital creators to monetize every aspect of their life.

🛒 Adobe explores how the pandemic permanently reshaped eCommerce with this report.

📱Clubhouse is no longer requiring contacts access for sending invites.

🚨Toys “R” Us to reopen U.S stores under new owners.

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