📦 The Year of Entertainment
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Monday, April 18, 2022

By this point in our careers, we can spot a Canva template from a mile away 🔍

We love you… but if you don’t click a single link on this newsie we will leak your Canva history… jk…❤️

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 How to entertain your customers, not sell to them

📦 The Retail Personalization Index with Sailthru

📦 Generating leads with intention

📦 Fully licensed content for your UGC campaigns with Minisocial

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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2022 is all about entertaining customers—not selling to them

It used to be much easier for brands to share overly salesy content because there wasn't as much competition, and not all businesses could easily get their products in front of the right people.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Brands can create content and distribute it anywhere on free and paid channels. It's everyone's ballpark now, and the only way to stand out is not to be that business that tries to sell to customers every chance.

In 2022, it's all about giving value and entertaining shoppers. We spoke with Barry Hott, a Growth Consultant and the Head of Growth, Paid Social at Lone River Ranch Water, to get his top tips to entertain customers.

🚨 Attention is the new oil

Shoppers consume content from various channels… All. Day. Long.

Creators are incredibly talented, and shoppers aren't forced to watch bad content anymore. Compared to the hundreds of other ads, blogs, and organic posts customers see, how are you trying to stand out? 🤔

According to Barry, attention is your most valuable asset as a brand—and to capture it, you have to know exactly how to entertain your target audience.

"Nobody wants to see ads. We're all now programmed to subconsciously sniff out ads and ignore them on TV, Instagram, TikTok, everywhere. To get people's attention, we have to make content that people will want to pay attention to. We have to keep people engaged or entertained."

His advice? Make the very first moment count. And once you capture attention and find a system in which you can do so consistently, discover ways to keep it throughout your ad, blog post, video.

For ads specifically, you can use metrics to determine where users drop off from your content. This tells you how you can approach your creative differently to get the user to watch all the way through.

👏 Focus on relatable content—and the consumer

Many businesses go wrong when creating content: they focus on themselves too much, not on the actual customer they're trying to capture.

"Make things less formal and more relatable, focus more on the consumer, and focus less on the brand and the product. Rather, give customers an experience," said Barry.

He suggests starting with answering the question, "So what?" This will help you figure out what content will resonate with shoppers.

"Nobody cares about your brand or your product; they only care about themselves, so make the ad about them."

To make it more relatable, Barry suggests using UGC. More authentic-looking photos and videos can sneak by the subconscious desire to avoid ads and make people feel less like they're being sold to.

Also, make sure you're addressing common problems customers have. Your product should naturally be the solution—without you needing to explicitly say it.

😎 Just act natural

The rise of TikTok changed the content game forever. The high-quality, production-focused, styled content isn’t relatable to the everyday consumer.

People don’t want to see Instagram influencers with unachievable lifestyles—they want the average joe on TikTok that’s keeping it real.

Part of being relatable as a brand is creating that type of relatable content. Here’s an ad example from Barry for Flock Chicken Chips. In this 3-minute uncut video (made from Barry’s phone), he eats a bag of the brand’s chips and reacts to it on the spot.

The key to its success is that it's real, authentic, and feels like a video you would send to a friend.

"It grabs attention from the beginning and then keeps it by continuing to move on to more points about why I like the product. It's kinda like ASMR and weird/gross. It also works because people aren't used to seeing something keep going like this and are curious to see where it's going," said Barry.

🎨 Use comments to fuel your creativity

Everyone talks about the importance of customer research, but it's not always easy to hop on a Zoom call with a bunch of customers to interview them.

There are other ways to learn about their interests and needs—and you don't even have to go searching very far.

"Read the comments on your ads, especially from the haters. Figure out how to address, preempt, and overcome their objections," said Barry.

Approach every stage of the customer's journey this way, and you'll be golden 🌟

This year, if you focus on giving value to shoppers and entertaining them, your content will do a better job of standing out. But if you can take this one step further and serve up good content at every stage of the shopping journey, you'll be ahead of the game.

Barry's last words of wisdom?

"Any touchpoint you have with potential customers should be entertaining. For both paid and organic, go with Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat. Don't expect your organic to get the reach of your paid, and remember that your organic audience is warmer to your brand than prospecting ads. More branded content is appropriate for organic channels."


How to upgrade your brand's personalization!

Ok, real talk 💁‍♀️

In 2022, if you’re not reinvesting in marketing personalization, you’re already behind the curve—and your competitors.

It's time to catch up!

Learn actionable strategies from the top 100 retail and eCommerce leaders, including Thrive Market, Adidas, Wayfair, and more.

Get your copy of the 2022 Retail Personalization Index, the industry's largest study on today's top retailers' modern marketing and personalization capabilities.

These are the visionaries that see the rewards of investing in personalized experiences.

The Retail Personalization Index surveyed 5,000 consumers, 260 retail marketers, and evaluated 500 brands to unveil industry insights that will help you reshape your customer experience and adapt to agile marketing.

👉 Learn from retail's best.


Generate leads with shifts in language

In the post-data loss world marketers live in, lead generation content will become a massive part of your funnel strategy for acquisition purchases.

A top-of-funnel strategy on Meta is a risk; you're fighting a 40-60% data loss and an algorithm that will only allow you to hit 60% of your inclusion crowd. Generating that Lead is a connection that can ensure a captured audience that is way less dependent on an algorithm.

When creating a lead generation strategy for the top of your funnel, it's essential to treat your leads like clicks. If you're getting leads but no conversion, it's just useless traffic. 🙅‍♂️

Shifting your use of language based on stages of the funnel is what we like to call intent. Identifying your stages of intent will help funnel your traffic and open the possibility for higher quality leads and conversion rates.

The shifts 👇

🍎 Education:

Use language and intent to formulate a strategy that entices an audience to read about your brand. Start with educational content. It’s accessible, creates interest for your TOF audience, and generates leads.

Providing educational content creates opportunities for the audience to further engage with your brand and (hopefully!) lead to a product purchase.

How to educate your leads:

  • Have your lead land on a longer form pre-sell page. Take the opportunity to show users what makes your product different.
  • Highlight the unique benefits, pricing, and guarantees of your product.
  • Get descriptive! Use your creative and ad copy to educate about your product.

😰 Urgency:

Once your customer hits that initial entrance into the funnel, switch your intent from education to urgency.

Urgent language and strategy in your ads and copy help draw in high intent leads.

Consider trying out the following:

  • Cut off dates
  • Limited promo codes
  • Limited-edition products
  • Products selling out quick/limited stock

✅ Maintain:

Your final shift of intention is to maintain that relationship and make your customers feel wanted and appreciated while pushing further action on future products.

Dat' VIP list 😎

Consider rewarding community engagement with access to limited products, early access to drops, early access to lists, etc.

Make sure those offers are exclusive to only those on this VIP to make your highest engaged customers feel ⭐️special ⭐️

Use your VIP list to inspire specific ads that showcase a limited-time offer or product scarcity.

If your funnel is looking scarce and you're ready to make some changes, check out this All Killer No Filler episode and reach out to the Pilothouse team! 🚀


UGC made easy

Need elevated User Generated Content?

Try minisocial 👋

minisocial works with leading brands like Imperfect Foods, KRAVE Jerky, Care/Of, and Native to produce high-quality UGC while activating dozens of micro-influencer posts on TikTok or Instagram.

Why do brands love working with minisocial?

  1. All the content from their campaigns is fully licensed right out of the box.
  2. Campaigns are fully managed and designed to take 10 minutes or less to spin up.
  3. Activations on Instagram or TikTok match or beat traditional influencer activations in terms of reach and engagement.
  4. minisocial is accessibly priced, starting at $1.7k thanks to your DTC discount 😉.

👉 Find out more about how minisocial works here.


🤝 Network with 80,000+ attendees and 150+ speakers, including Seth Godin, Nik Sharma, and Scott Galloway. 5 Days, 2 Virtual Events: Ad World + Ecom World. Claim your discounted ticket before it expires. *

💬 Twitter acquires mobile engagement platform OpenBack to enhance push notifications.

💰 Fortnite maker Epic gets $2B from Sony Group Corp. and Lego Group.

👏 Avatar startup Genies hits $1B valuation in latest raise.
Union.ai raises $10M to simplify AI and ML workflow orchestration.



💬 Dreamday and The Quality Edit’s Lauren Kleinman Pioneers A New Model for Performance PR and Publishing.

🍭 100 Million TikTok Views Slapping the Marshmallow with TheMarshmallow.co's Joel Twyman.

👀 If You Shelve It, Will They Come? With Fractional CMO Bryan Holladay.

🏋️‍♂️ Why Personalization Might be the Biggest Opportunity in DTC with Eric Ji Sun Wu, Cofounder of Gainful.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Jordan Gillis, and Tina Donati. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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