It's one thing to talk about social media, viral content and how to use it to help build your eCommerce business, but it's another to actually get out there, try stuff out, make it happen and end up building your whole business off the back of it.
Let's face it (and I'm the first to admit), social media for eCommerce could easily be seen as a big black box usually dumped into the to complicated basket. Which is why most people will settle for more traditional online marketing initiatives like paid search, SEO, email and affiliate marketing as their key marketing drivers for their eCommerce store.
In this interview, I'm chatting with Eric Bandholz who is the founder and CEO of BeardBrand, a website dedicated to the urban beardsman and the bearded lifestyle.
BeardBrand have totally smashed it on social and are currently doing half their sales as a result of their social efforts. This social media eCommerce case study will hopefully help you better understand how and why social media can become such a valuable asset to build into any online marketing strategy for your eCommerce business.
A Social Media eCommerce Case Study
The Conversation: Blow by Blow
1.23 min - The BeardBrand story and how the product and company came into being (cool story)
2.50 min - At the core: Is BeardBrand a community or an eCommerce play?
7.20 min - Social media traffic strategies
10.47 min - Social media strategies that create higher barriers to compete
11.55 min - Where to start: Determining the best social outlets for your product and audience
14.16 min - Measuring the success of social media eCommerce efforts
18.34 min - The benefits of creating your own content that your audience love
22.07 min - Growth opportunities and planning next steps for BeardBrand
Choosing The Right Social Outlet For Your Product Category
Daniel: Looking at some of the content like you said you've got, was it 17,000 or 18,000 people following you on Tumblr?
Daniel: Yeah and you were talking about YouTube videos. You know one of the sticking points I know for a lot of people is when they look at the whole world of social media and content creation and trying to turn their audience on, there are so many outlets and there are so many types of media like video, audio, photography. Do you have any, you know looking back at what you did, any thoughts on how to start? Just a starting point or just getting started with content creation.
Eric: Yeah. A lot of it really comes down to your business and your target audience and who you are going after, what channels you should be in and I actually do a talk on this on social media in general and you know one of the things is like the channels you want to look into like Facebook you can reach broadly, with Reddit you can reach very specific [inaudible 0001:14] and specific communities. On Pinterest you can really target women a lot better than men and I think Instagram is a little bit younger crowd and of course very heavily driven with photography and Tumblr is as well but again probably even younger, a little more edgy, a little more hipster in regard. So it kind of like dependent on your product, what you are selling will drive you to a certain channel.
You know, the more small niche social media communities like the Tumblr or the Snapchats or whatever. You are probably going to have less noise to filter through to get your message out. So I would recommend if you are just starting like start with one or two channels, really own it. Like we started with YouTube and Tumblr and those were really our two primary channels when we hot started and then fro their as we got more resources we've brought on People to communicate and interact with our audience in Facebook, Twitter and et cetera
Using Social Content To Own Your Customer
Eric: And the way I look at it is when we create content on You Tube, and Facebook and Twitter and Tumblrs and in any given second, You Tube or Tumblr or Google can change something with their algorithm and our content no longer shows up or it's very difficult to find.
Eric: But if we're training our customers to come to urbanbeardsman.com, you know maybe that's the first thing they lit up every morning.
Eric: Then we got control over that and we're less affected by the whams of the social media companies and...
Eric: ...and we own that. So it's very important for us to build that out and to own that communication platform for our audience.
Long Term Value of a Social Media Strategy
Daniel: I think a lot of people usually when it comes to e-commerce or just generally digital marketing building content and really engaging your audience in a real way not in a fake kind of way It really does take a lot of work and it's the payoff in financials rewards might not always be so instant but what we're saying is that if someone else came to try to compete against you guys because you've spent so much effort on actually that community and building a relationship with all the people that actually buy from that really becomes your real asset of what you've actually built your business around.
Eric: Yeah absolutely I mean the way we look at it is it, you know we were just talking about this today was someone can create a build oil which would directly compete with us for 100 bucks and so, so the period in entry is very low. But for them to create this brand in this community and this following would cost tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to get to where we are at now. So what we're doing is trying to create a higher barrier to entry within the market space so that people would know that, first of all we are going to be around and when they want to reorder our products, are going to be there; we're not a fly by night company. We also do have values and core beliefs that we integrate into our products so they can feel confident as well and they can see that anyway across...