Ever wondered how top startups do marketing?

The Navigator is our flagship newsletter. Once a month, we curate the best growth insights - our own included - to give you a breakdown of advanced growth tactics that are working for startups in eCommerce. No spam, no selling, no BS. Just pure, unfiltered insight.

Example insights

Below are some recent examples of insights from The Navigator.

HOW CAN I EFFECTIVELY MEASURE THE IMPACT OF FACEBOOK AD CAMPAIGNS THAT FOCUS ON DRIVING AWARENESS?

Measuring the impact of your Facebook campaigns isn’t always as clear-cut as looking at clicks and conversions.

One way around a lack of robust attribution data is by looking at performance at a geographic-level. Try running your Facebook campaigns in specific cities or regions, and then look at if there’s been a rise in conversions across those specific cities. You may need to give it a few weeks, to let the impact of your ads show, but usually you can start to see statistically valid trends after four to six weeks.

Next, expand your targeting to incorporate new cities and regions. Look at the average ROI across these geographies and expand incrementally. You should now have a clearer idea as to the impact of your awareness campaigns.

HOW CAN ECOMMERCE STARTUPS CREATE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS?

Customer journey mapping may sound like a complex process, but actually, all it is is the practice of creating a visual representation of the journey a person makes from being unaware of a product, to becoming a fully-fledged customer. It requires a thorough understanding of your customers, looking at a variety of data sources throughout the business, trying to understand the various touch points the average customer takes to becoming a user of your product or service.

Create some customer personas – your customer personas are a vital component of your customer journey map. When looking at the customer journey from your persona’s PoV, you should look at starting from the beginning, rather than starting at the point of sale and working backwards. 

Map your data points – a customer journey map should not be based on guesswork. It should be the culmination of a data-driven process, taking into account a variety of data sources, including customer interviews and surveys, reviews and testimonials, website traffic metrics, paths to conversion, and 3rd party platform data – e.g. email, Facebook, YouTube.

Start mapping your data points – using your data from the previous step, you can then begin to map what goes where in the purchase journey. You might come to the realisation that you had more touch points than you initially thought. Remember, a touch point is any interaction that a customer has with your brand, either online or offline. You’ll want to make a list of all of your various touch points, and then, utilising your data, plot how your customer persona moves through each.

Add in customer emotions – a customer journey can be a highly emotive experience, covering a range of feelings. By understanding your target customers’ emotional state at each stage of the journey, you can cater to it. For example, you can make your marketing communications more relevant at the start of the journey by playing on feelings of fear. For example, as we sell hair loss pills, we use this extensively within our Facebook Ads to pique interest and show that there’s an alternative to going bald. The main point is, getting feelings down on paper can be a highly visual way of describing a process.

Evaluate yourself every step of the way – once you’ve got your map down on paper, it’s important to align metrics where possible across each stage. This will tell you where you’re being less than efficient across the funnel, and quickly highlight areas of potential improvement.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO EFFECTIVELY WORK WITH INFLUENCERS?

It’s great to work with influencers standalone, however influencers often know other influencers, which makes them a prime target for referrals. We see influencers are marketing partners in the truest sense of the word, meaning that they’ll get paid a % for their own sales and also the sales of each influencer that they refer. This results in a mini-pyramid structure and turns your influencers into a dynamic salesforce. 

When we work with influencers we don’t just stop at a video review, or a soundbite, we go after the whole kahuna – use their imagery on our website, ads, use their quotes across our marketing, and most importantly put the data they own to good use too, by insisting on access to social media reporting. We’re not just looking to drive incremental sales, we’re looking to learn more about their audience, who mirror our own.

Treat influencers like you treat your best customers. Surprise them often with gifts – even small touches like flowers or new product can go a long way in gaining favour.

And finally, any work you do with influencers must be win-win-win. You win as the brand client by generating awareness, the influencer gets compensated for their time and effort, and their audience gets a great deal, exclusive to them alone. Don’t underestimate the last part, as influencers genuinely care about their audience and want to provide value to them above all else. 

Your credibility increases substantially when multiple influencers for the same customer segment share your product within a period of 2-4 weeks. It suggests that the product is a must-have, is being talked about, and is super-relevant to people like your target audience.

There’s a lot of talk about this, but initially focus on influencers within the 10k-100k follower category. They’re much more receptive to working for free product, and tend to have highly engaged audiences. It gets tougher to work with those in the 100k+ bracket, as they expect free product and compensation, and tend to work with agents who’ll be seeking the most lucrative sponsors for their clients.

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