Maximizing Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales via Content Marketing

Oct 4, 2021 1:00 PM2:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

How can you scale testing strategies across various media platforms? Are you struggling to find the right mix of content display ads to reach consumers and grow your brand?

Every marketer should pay for display ads. Why? The goal of a brand is to bring the consumer back to the site or platform and drive them to purchase the product. By testing display ads and visual representations of the product, you can successfully target your audience. Unfortunately, many advertisers are unaware of the marketing strategies to deliver the right content.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Casey Murray, Director of Partnerships at Cohley, to discuss the buyer’s journey across various platforms. Casey explains the strengths of utilizing paid ad channels, the importance of continuously testing creative content, and illustrating authentic content in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Casey Murray introduces Cohley and their role in high-market digital advertising
  • Why you should be testing content across various channels for better optimization results
  • Casey talks about how to diversify your content marketing strategy for greater returns
  • An in-depth look at the buyer’s journey
  • How pushing your comfort threshold can yield higher marketing results
  • How to utilize and measure KPIs for ad performance
  • The challenges of building creative content
  • Why every marketer should be using paid display ads
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Event Partners


Cohley is a content generation and testing platform that helps brands create content for social ads, email marketing, websites, and more.

Connect with Cohley

Guest Speaker

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Casey Murray

Director Of Partnerships at Cohley

Casey Murray is the Director of Partnerships at Cohley, a leading content generation and testing platform. Casey’s focus at Cohley is to optimize integration and tech partnership programs, website SEO, and align sales best practices with content.

Previously, he was the Director of Business Development and Partnerships at PowerReviews, where he led their agency and tech partnership team.

Casey also has experience helping companies build and develop great leadership teams — a role he had as the Account Executive for Hireology, an organization that creates highly accurate systems for identifying the best candidates for job positions.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Casey Murray

Director Of Partnerships at Cohley

Casey Murray is the Director of Partnerships at Cohley, a leading content generation and testing platform. Casey’s focus at Cohley is to optimize integration and tech partnership programs, website SEO, and align sales best practices with content.

Previously, he was the Director of Business Development and Partnerships at PowerReviews, where he led their agency and tech partnership team.

Casey also has experience helping companies build and develop great leadership teams — a role he had as the Account Executive for Hireology, an organization that creates highly accurate systems for identifying the best candidates for job positions.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:00

Hey Everybody. Happy Monday, my name is Aaron Conant, I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect. We're networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands who do exactly that we'd network and now share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is shaping the digital space, I get to talk with 30 plus brands a week to stay on top of those trends. If anybody like to have a conversation, always loved one on one conversations as a whole, more than happy to kind of walk you through what we're seeing across the digital landscape as a whole. That's everything from Amazon, to direct to consumer to content marketing, performance, marketing, international expansion, digital age three piles popping up a lot lately. And so anything across the board, just want to have a strategy session, want to know what's going on, you need help with partner selection, I spent a lot of my time helping people kind of wade through the masses of people who are out there. And we kind of lean on this group of 1000s of brands as a whole to make those recommendations into the network. And when the same partners come up over and over again, that's how we find experts for these calls. So awesome to have Cohley on the line today. A couple of housekeeping items before we get started. Just we're starting three to four minutes after the hour. And we're gonna wrap this up with three to four minutes in the hour to go as well. The other thing is we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So at any point in time, if you have a question drop into the question section drop into the chat or email it directly to me Aaron And we're going to get the questions answered. So with that being said, I want to set the this kind of tone as a whole, obviously Black Friday, Cyber Monday, top of mind for for everybody right now. And what's interesting this year over last year, and even the year before was there's this huge prep before for Amazon. But I think people feeling this over indexed on Amazon feel in just a lot of conversations like lately around direct to consumer, handling their own marketing that's off Amazon as a whole. And so we've got great friends, partners and supporters of the network over a coli and just super excited to kind of have them on today's share what they're seeing in the space, but also answers many questions, we can throw it out. So Casey, I'll kind of kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Cohley. That'd be awesome. And then we'd kind of kick off the

the talk today. Sounds good.

Casey Murray  2:34

That sounds great. Yeah, thanks again, for having us. We're really excited to chat with everyone on the line. So my name is Casey Murray. I'm the director of partnerships here at Coley. And today what we'll be talking about within this slide deck, which shouldn't take more than 1520 minutes as Aaron and I love to keep it conversational. So I just wanted to set the stage walk through a couple of key findings that we're seeing. And then as you as you feel fit. Go ahead, ask any questions during this, I hate babbling at people. So I certainly want to keep this as virtually conversational as possible. So next slide, please, I will go ahead and lay out the agenda. So I know it's Monday. But I want to start out with I promise should be a fun quiz. And it will be quick, I want to give a high level overview about Cohley and what we're about and what we're seeing. We also want to break down what the buyers journey looks like and our eyes and from our perspective and how it pertains to Black Friday, Cyber Monday. And then specifically for your strategy moving forward. But this season future seasons, what is the channel content testing look like? What are we seeing work versus not work for other brands?

Next slide.

So here's the quiz. Right? So starting out here, these two assets were tested side by side and social media spend campaign. And one of our brands tested these two. And so what I wanted everyone to do now let's either chat, which photo they think performed better the first or the second. Or you could just keep a mental note and see whether you guess right or wrong. I'm gonna go ahead and give everybody about 10


Aaron Conant 4:10

So if you want to drop it in the chat, or in the q&a, either one will do. I mean, I look at it and I see I'm gonna I'm gonna say the one on the right maze, because he got a new dog at home. I don't know.

Casey Murray  4:22

I've got my dog here in the office. She's laying on my foot as we speak. So that's where mine goes as well.

Aaron Conant 4:28

This one everybody says yeah, second second to two dog image.

Casey Murray 4:31

Yep. All right, all right. And we're all wrong. And so that is the importance of content testing. Right? And so we've got a couple more scenarios here. So hopefully, how right I thought I was that 1,000% Yeah, especially on social media, right? You would think somebody investing ad money into something like this, that naturally a cute dog laying on a beanbag would perform better but believe it or not having a subject in there, you know, and Being able to test it, you're seeing a seven times difference, which is astonishing to me as well. So if we go to the next slide, we'll give everybody another shot here. So this was tested in a different channel, where those previous two photos were tested side by side in a paid media campaign. These two photos were tested within a cart abandonment email. And so similar scenario to AV test, which photo performed better in a cart abandonment email, from a click through rate versus a row spent.

Aaron Conant 5:32

Going with number one, I don't want to buy it's anybody but left. Oh, no, we have one right image then left first one, one, okay. Yeah.

Casey Murray  5:46

And believe it or not, I'm the same way I look at the orange slices, it just seems aesthetically pleasing and inviting. So that's where my mind goes

Aaron Conant 5:53

to. Right. And once again,

Casey Murray  5:57

I'm wrong. That's why I put this together as well, because I found it astonishing myself. But again, to reiterate, this is the importance of testing content in various channels. Because if you look at this, maybe subjectively, you and your team may look at this and say that was orange slices are great. They looked pretty, they explained the flavor of this particular lip balm. But for whatever reason, that photo on the right, of a person holding it in their hand, performed way better from a click through rate standpoint.

Aaron Conant 6:28

It's, I wouldn't have thought it would have been that big of a spread. I don't think it's important that testing, right? Yeah. Julie nailed it, though. So is this I want to share on my own thought here, just because the conversations I've having right now, is it's like we're getting to digital 2.0. Right, we're getting past just the standard, I have to have content, I have to do you know, content marketing, I have to write have the right bullet points, I have to have the right, no images, I've got to have, you know, the right product descriptions, ratings, reviews, and now it is the actual analysis is not enough, it is more than just looking at the return, right? It's comparison A B, comparing a B testing. Like if you're not doing this, in this case, it's you're losing mine 1,000% I mean, in the real brands that are going to emerge as winners of the ones who are right now adopting breakfast, you look at 4.5% click through rate, you're like, Hey, you know what, that's not bad. But you never knew that you could get to 13 with something else. Um, I just his whole digital maturity curve that I'm that we're just getting to right now. This is the next level that people have to be reformed me that love it.

Casey Murray 7:47

So Exactly, exactly. As you see here, you have to omit subjectivity. And it's no longer as simple as status quo. But what I mean by that is checking the box, we got a picture, we're good to go, right. And you need to proactively be testing content and various channels. Because the interesting thing about this quick quiz, or this exercise is comparing these two photos in a cart abandonment email, for instance, might not deliver the same results as a paid media campaign on Facebook, right. So if you think about these two images side by side, they perform well in email. But who's to say that the orange slices wouldn't perform better on an Instagram ad, or Facebook ad, right. So that's where as a marketer, you need to understand that with the changes in iOS, and where Google will eventually be going, I mean, there's really no way to have a personalized strategy that's automated, without doing continuous rigorous testing across all your channels, to make sure that your results are as optimized as possible. I just think

Aaron Conant 8:48

it's unbelievable. And I want to make sure we get through this if people if you have questions or comments drop into the chat or the q&a. But what this says to me is, as marketers, our job just got a whole lot harder, right? That COVID sped up the learning curve is the reality of it. Then now just like you're saying, it's not just testing and learning to see which image works it's testing and learning to see which image works by channel. But then the flip side of it is so much content needs to be generated, you're constantly having to replace the old content that you use with new content and then doing you know, abcdefg testing, again, a new kind of content to get the best possible outcome all by every different channel.

Casey Murray  9:32

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And if you think about it, too, whether you have in house creative or you work with somebody like Cohley you know, the goal should be to find themes within respective channels. So looking at these two photos side by side, what we can gather from this simple ab exercises that for whatever reason, having the product not be hidden by something else like orange slices, just being in somebody's hand, performs well. So double down on that. Maybe generate some net new stuff in house or working with somebody like Cohley to generate those assets and continuously test. Because you may find that, you know, there is a theme here and that it continues to work across your catalog.

Aaron Conant 10:13

So you have a brand guide, and then you almost have a brand guide by channel.

Exactly. Yeah. All right, we got one more sorry. Yeah, it's

Casey Murray  10:23

me and I, we love that stuff. That's what we're all about. And so this one is particularly tough as well. And I I'm going to admit my bias here. But, you know, I'm actually not going to just gonna say what I thought it was. And what I think it is, it's the cute little puppy on the left, right. So what we did was have an AV test here, but this is for display advertising. So as opposed to doing this via paid media on on a channel like Facebook, they're doing this as a banner ad, to exemplify the benefit of the product sheets. And so which of these two photos Do you think perform better? and display advertising campaign ad test?

Aaron Conant 11:00

I say the one on the right, right? Yeah, that even in it out? Yes.

And there you go. made that one too simple, my friend.

Casey Murray 11:12

I made that too simple. I mean, the dog says otherwise. My opinion that's adorable. And I think in that picture to the dog has a stuffed animal pet dog is really adorable. It's kind of like the little kitten like a doll. It's either, I thought it was cute, I thought that that would perform better. But if you're a marketer, and you're thinking about your your ad strategy, you're investing dollars into it with the assumption that you'll get a return on your ad spend. But if you're not testing various photos, to find your winner, you're potentially

Aaron Conant 11:45

burning cash. And so you sit in a room and so a question comes in, is there an average number that you are testing with people today? Is it for a particular ad? Is it? Is it two? Is it five? Is it seven?

Casey Murray  12:02

Yeah, so that's a that's interesting, we we have a case study on one of our long standing customers rone. And when they first started with us, they wanted to find a way that they could scale their testing strategy across various channels, specifically paid media. And so what they did, they were starting out around five images a day that they're testing through. Today, they're doing over 50 images a day. And so if you think about that, that's just one channel, that they're testing 50 various photos in a continuous loop, especially as it pertains to display advertising, you're gonna get 1000s of impressions a day, depending on if you're using somebody like aberle, for instance, you know, they're very good at making sure that those banner ads are hitting you when it's relevant and matters most. But it's only as effective as the content that you're displaying. And so if you don't test across various photos to ideally find a trend,

Aaron Conant 12:57

you're potentially losing. So how do you produce enough content for that? I mean, that's a huge question that I have right now. content is being consumed even faster. And now you're saying, hey, on top of me just needing creative, I need, you know, five plus, I don't want to say 50 for everybody, but five plus, yeah, it generated How do you test it? I mean, that's what's top of mind for me, because we need it, right? I mean, but that's digital 2.0. What does that look like?

Casey Murray 13:29

Right. And so just going back to, you know, the trends that we're seeing the iOS update, so you're not able to track with iOS anymore, you know, email tracking is no longer what it used to be, obviously, personalization was a hell of a lot easier. When you could say, Casey Murray is a, you know, male that lives in New York City, I can now target him with this specific ad, and I feel like this content will best suit his needs. Now you don't know who you're emailing. And so if you think about it, that way, you need to diversify the assets that you're delivering, to yield that personalized feeling, right, I want to see relevant content that makes sense for me. And with that being said, you're not going to be able to deliver that content to me anymore in a channel like email, and soon to be elsewhere with Google updating, without having diverse content across your catalogue and with various content creators, because even though in this example, these two photos side by side, the one on the right outperformed their teen five to 1.1. That's a stark difference. There may be folks in your community that may resonate more with that dog photo in the respective channel. So to answer your question, I think it's important to consider your content generation strategy to be that of working with several various content creators, that you're getting diverse content to test, because going back to that email example, one person holding the lip balm versus the orange slices. Those are two separate content creators with two separate ideas. And so instead of just thinking in house or just utilizing, you know, the team and subjectivity and saying, we like that photo for that photo, let's go nuts on to the next thing, you need to work with a lot of content creators, various diversified folks, maybe some in an urban setting some in rural setting, maybe you want to display some models showcasing the product, you want different looks and feels for every walk of life. And so I would say just In short, diversify the amount of content creators that you're working with. And continuously generate and test.

Aaron Conant 15:39

Awesome love and just rely on others. You have questions, drop them in the chat or the q&a or email them to me, Aaron All right, also, we can go back to the queue doc here. Excellent. All right. So

Casey Murray  15:55

just to give a little bit about Cohley what we're about and how we envision, you know, content marketing as a whole, we have a it's I don't want to say it's a theory, it's more our principle or core offering, which is our content engineering philosophy, right. So on the left here, you'll see that there's this virtuous cycle and just for folks on the line that maybe are taking notes, I can share this deck as well, feel free to reach out to Aaron or myself, and I'm happy to share this just so you have the habit as you're thinking about Black Friday or future campaigns moving forward. But for us the way that Cohley envisions content marketing is that it all starts with generating content. And so for folks on the line, you may already have content readily available today. Whether it's content that you're displaying on your Shopify storefront, maybe it's content you developed in house, where again, maybe you're utilizing a platform like Cohley to aid in generating that content. It's all about having a diverse pool of assets, and then activating them in various channels. Right. So what we mean by activate is taking those two photos, the orange slice versus the person holding it in their hand, and delivering it with an email and having an AB test so that you are omitting that gut feel. And now you have data to back it up. And you can measure it, yourselves, right, you can utilize your own methodology of measuring, you can utilize something like Cohley to help you measure and understand which asset is your winner, so that the last step there is informed. And what we mean by that is you're finding from the orange slice versus the hand photo is that the hand photo outperformed seven times to one. So what you do with that is maybe generate more content of people simply holding the product and double down and confirm or, you know, validate rather, that that is the type of asset that performs well, email. So again, content engineering is a philosophy, that means you're continuously testing and generating content across all of your channels. Because at the end of the day, while that person holding the product might perform well today, that might not be the case in six months. And so you need to be continuously testing and measuring and generating more content

Aaron Conant 18:08

that match your winners. So any questions before we jump there? Nope, nope. Got

Casey Murray  18:17

so in terms of today, what we want to focus on is the buyers journey. And so I think everybody has their own definition of the buyers journey and how it pertains to their, their product or services, their brand as a whole for us. And today what we're doing is relying on our friends at HubSpot, and these are the three stages that mattered most, right? So we have the awareness stage, that's the first, where high level, a consumer has acknowledged that there's a pain or problem

Aaron Conant 18:45

that they need to solve for

Casey Murray 18:48

consideration, they've now accepted that this pain or This problem has a solution. And they start evaluating across brands and across products to ideally rectify that, right. And then the decision stage is when they make the decision and they convert. And so as a brand, if you're thinking about it for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, your buyers journey may not be as simple as we want people to buy our products, as marketing 2.0 is so sophisticated and it's so difficult now to get you know writes and communication opt in, your strategy may just be to collect email addresses, or to collect a phone number, right. So utilizing You know, one of our partners that just you know, they have the pop up, that might be your strategy. So that's your buyers journey is to get opt in for an email or a text message. And so these three stages will still be important for folks, whether you're just trying to get somebody to buy from your site, or you're trying to get opt in for communication. And so starting with the awareness phase, like I mentioned, this is the first stage in the journey. And again, the consumer has identified a problem or a need for your product or services. For instance, I may You know, now that I live in New York City, I just made the move last weekend. So bear with me, I'm gonna keep plugging that because I need all the wrecks I can get. So if you have any cool spots, feel free to chat it. But in terms of, you know, the awareness stage, I just moved in New York City. And today it's rainy and gloomy. And I realized that I don't have a very good raincoat. So I just realized that there's a problem that I need solving for. And so as a brand, if you sell raincoats, that's where you start, right? Casey Murray is in need of a raincoat. I am aware of a problem. So the relevant channels for you to begin testing content for maybe you want to do a simple AV test. Here's a product flatlay. And then here's a photo of the gentleman wearing the raincoat in an urban setting. And so you can deploy an ad test across display ads, right? As we mentioned, with Roam, they went from testing five to 50 assets a day. Now, we're not saying that that's where you need to be quite yet. Maybe just start small with one to two, but begin doing it in the display ads, because that may be where I have that recollection, like, oh, shoot, I do need a raincoat. And just because I was reading some on the Wall Street Journal, I just saw this ad for a raincoat. say, Okay, great. I click back into it. Another way to tap into this is utilizing social as a channel. And so for us, we think about that twofold either in organic posting, so you can have a content creator post about the raincoat on your behalf, and share with their respective followers and their community. Or you can utilize this strategy where you start with organic and then you invest media spend into it, or just simply do it from your own native brand site and invest media spend behind it. But you should still be testing the content, because that's what people are saying. And so that's the best way to deliver and figure out which asset is going to perform best for somebody like me. And then the same applies to email and text as well. Because visual assets are going to drive consumers to do things right to take action. And so you won't know what is going to yield the best result unless you

Aaron Conant 22:07

test. Next slide, please. Yeah, real quick question comes in Iran, the content that's there? Are you finding you know, more states photo? Are you finding UGC working better?

Casey Murray 22:24

So it really depends,right, because it comes on where they are in the buyers journey. So if they're in awareness, they've maybe never purchased from you before, we're finding that it's actually more more relatable to have more of that authentic visual asset be displayed in a display ad or organic channel versus the stage photo. Because Because again, they're unfamiliar with your brand or your products, they want to see it in real life versus seeing a stage overly professional asset to drive their curiosity.

Aaron Conant 22:53

Awesome. So then another question comes in, in regards to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, do you find the these different phases are shortened as a whole? Right? I mean, people already mentally getting prepped. Right for the cyber five, right, as a whole turkey week, whatever we want to call it. They're already mentally getting prepped for it. Do you see a compression around here? And then I'm going to add one more question then. Because there's no question that came in around testing lists. Do you? Do you see an increased amount of testing?

Casey Murray  23:25

In q4? Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, our whole philosophy is that you should never just think of this as a short term solution right to your marketing needs and your your ideal customer acquisition goal, you should always be testing. But for the sake of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, I would try to hone in and maybe select your top three or top five assets and then challenge yourself as a brand. If the goal is to attract more people to your direct to consumer eCommerce site versus you know, the big players like Amazon and investing traditional ad spend in that category, you want to drive people to a direct to consumer website, try out a few photos and even growing one to two that might make you feel uncomfortable. Right. So utilizing that lip balm example, if you think about it, it may have been challenging for the brand to go against their brand guidelines and aesthetics. And say even though we love this orange slice photo, and it's worked well for us in the past, it's yielding like a four to 5% click through rate. Let's try this authentic photo of somebody just on a hike and holding the lip balm. Let's go outside of our comfort zone. And you can measure that for seven days and you'll find statistical significance depending on how many emails are sent or how many impressions you're getting. And you should ideally be able to draw a conclusion from that so that you're optimizing you know your your ad spend or your media spend or just your email or SMS strategy to drive as many people back to your site up front for the Black Friday, Cyber Monday or five. however you want to call it I mean, at the end of the day, you should just align best to your brand, and utilize some assets and see what's gonna deliver the best results for you and the team.

Aaron Conant 25:09

Next question that comes in is what are the KPIs you're using to determine success? Is it I mean, nearly your click through rate? Is it click through rate? Is it conversion? What are the KPIs you're looking at? Yeah,

Casey Murray  25:22

I mean, it ultimately depends on the channel. But I think the simplest way of thinking about it is how many times did somebody see a digital asset, like a photo or a video? And then how many times did they take action. And so regardless of the channel, whether it's email, whether it's display ads, whether it's social, the goal is to showcase its visual asset, and then have a consumer take action, whether that's a clicker conversion, because if you're displaying one of these photos on your product, Detail page, the goal isn't just to have it shown and maybe have somebody click, the goal is to have somebody buy. And so that's how you should be measuring it is that the image impression, and then the call to

Aaron Conant 26:01

action? Awesome. Love it. Again, it goes. We're halfway through here. Just a reminder, for those who joined you have any questions at all drop into the chat, drop them in the q&a, or email them to me, Aaron, Awesome.

Casey Murray  26:20

Cool. All right. So consideration, this is the second stage in the journey. And ultimately, this is when a consumer has begun doing initial research to rectify your fix the problem that they've identified, you know, and in some cases, this could be directly related to your initial efforts, right? You may have a paid media campaign going on for the same rain jacket, I use this as an example, that actually made me think it's a consumer, oh, shoot, I need a raincoat. Maybe I didn't even think about the problem early on, that's the benefit of being able to deliver more of that authentic content upfront. By showcasing it in real life, you may be in introducing a problem to consumer they didn't realize they had. But after they've acknowledged that that's a problem, and that they need a solution. That's when you get them into consideration. And so similarly to the awareness portion of the buyer journey, what you need to do in terms of testing and optimizing your strategy is again, rely on display ads, you know, you could do retargeting, you could do cart abandonment display, it really just depends. But in the consideration step, we're acknowledging the fact that the consumer has already identified the problem, and they're actively looking for a solution. So that's where you want to tap in and figure out your content strategy. Maybe in this second, in the second stage, where having more than authentic, you know, content be displayed in a banner ad, it might actually do your best to have a product flatlay as that second attempt to drive them back to your site. So yeah, in terms of the consideration phase of the buyers journey, we've already acknowledged that it's a problem. And as a consumer, whether they're a brand new customer is somebody that's been, you know, working and buying your products for years, this is the goal here is to drive them back to your website, to drive them to a particular retail sight, whatever the end goal is, try and work backwards and figure out what worked in the awareness that in the awareness phase, and then here in the second step, do we want to double down on what worked in the awareness tab? Or do we want to maybe try different assets here, with the end goal of driving them to a purchase, right, or driving them to provide contact details for an opt in form. And so the relevant channels here are going to be display ads, once again, where maybe utilizing that raincoat as an example. Maybe initially, what got my attention was seeing more of that authentic visual assets more relatable content is what inspired me to realize that I have a need for a raincoat. But now in the second phase, it might make the most sense to display a product flatlay, which is just a visual representation of what the product looks like. More often than not brands are doing this just directly from their product detail page. And they'll maybe take a standout winner after they've already tested on the website, what drives the most conversion, right? Is that the product flatlays at a close up to the zipper. And so utilizing this in the second phase is going to help, you know stay top of mind and inspire that trust that you need to you know, obviously implement with a consumer that is proactively trying to find a solution to their problem.

Aaron Conant 29:41

So where are people generating the content from this The next question that comes in?

Casey Murray  29:47

Yeah, it's a good question. So a lot of times there will be in house creative teams that are putting content together. But the challenge there is that you know, it may just be 123 to five people. Both are generating, you know, similar content all the time. And so what we recommend is to, you know, almost build your own creative army so to speak so you can work with various content creators, you can seek them out yourself, you can, you know, dm them reach out on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, wherever you may be seeking those content creators, you can utilize a platform like Cohley where we have over 150,000, pre vetted content creators to choose from. But at the end of the day, it's always best to work with a variety of different folks to diversify the assets to increase the likeliness of fighting that real winner, where again, maybe you feel uncomfortable, maybe you have a brand guide that tells you do not trust that photo of the person holding it on a hike. Instead, that flat lay with the orange slices, that's your winner, you don't know unless you test and you don't know whether or not something that's outside that norm is going to work well without getting out of your comfort zone to just try and get. Cool. And then last but not least, is the decision phase. So this is the third and final stage in the buyers journey. And so time doing diligent research whether you know, for Black Friday, Cyber Monday assumably, the consumer is looking to make a fast decision. And so that's the importance of having a buttoned up content generation testing strategy early on, given where we are right now, it would probably just make the most sense for brands or anybody on the line to utilize the assets that they've already generated. But try to diversify the images if you're doing two or if you're doing four or five photos per product, try to diversify the types of photos so you can find trends. And then you can deploy those to make sure that your black friday Cyber Monday strategies optimized for ideally, those quick wins, because these three steps for high consideration items. If you're shopping for a sofa, or you're shopping for furniture that's in the 1000s of dollars, you're going to be doing a little bit more when it comes to your research your findings here comparative analysis across different products that will find you that solution, right. But if you're looking for a raincoat, maybe you are looking at it like oh, I'm getting a good deal, it's Black Friday. And you're seeing that, again, starting with the raw authentic photo, then maybe a product flatlay. And then third and final, you're utilizing both those assets and your product detail page to ensure that you're garnering that trust that we need in the consideration stage to make it to be within the top two top three brands or products that a consumer is looking for. But what's most important, I think in the decision step is to note and highlight authentic content. And what we mean by that is not just visual assets produced by semi professional or just everyday folks on a new iPhone, for instance. Instead, we're also thinking about it from a raw authentic feedback standpoint. And so for a brand if you're driving, if you're looking to drive sales and your direct to consumer eCommerce site, the best way to do that is by leveraging and highlighting product ratings, interviews from individuals, as well as the visual user generated content aspect of it, right, because we want to be sure that you know, without the means of personalizing and without cookies, nowadays, it's especially hard to deliver relevant content. So in this decisions stage, we want to make sure that we're highlighting both review volume visual assets on the eCommerce site. But we also want to deliver relevant content. And that's seemingly impossible without being able to trace back to the consumer, or some of the data points that we used to love before iOS and cookie get in and everything else is coming into play. So it's really, really, really important to understand your winning assets here and display them because more content is going to yield higher conversion rates. 100 times I've done that. And so that also matters heavily an email, because now without the cookies on iOS, how are you going to know that you're delivering the relevant message or your campaign it's relevant to your target audience without having data to back that up. And the same applies in SMS.

Aaron Conant 34:31

Awesome, love it. Do we have any questions here? Nope. I don't have any that have come in yet.

Casey Murray 34:37

Alright, cool. So main takeaways here. Again, buyer's journey can be bucketed into three buckets, the awareness and consideration decision stuff. So as a strategy, thinking about it for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and for future campaigns moving forward, understand that each one of these phases requires different content and it requires an always Content generation testing strategy that the left. But awareness, the most important thing is to deliver diverse content to allow your target audience to recognize that they have a need for your product or your services. The consideration phase, it's the most important part here, in my opinion, because this is where they are proactively searching for your product, they've already acknowledged that they have a need for this. And so your product or service should be displayed in various forms, for you in the team to be able to analyze and understand what performed the best. And let's triple down on that as it comes to the decision phase when they're comparing your product with maybe two or three others to narrow down and beat a winner by inspiring trust and highlighting and showcasing authentic content to help consumers feel confident their purchasing decision.

Aaron Conant 35:54

So quick question that comes in here is is there amount of testing that you over index on on any particular stage? So do you? Do you do more testing, learning and awareness and consideration or on decision making? That's That's a really good

Casey Murray 36:10

question. I think ultimately, it depends on the end goal. And so if your end goal is to get opt in via email addresses, or phone numbers, or if your goal is to drive conversion, I think it all starts with the awareness tab, right, or the awareness phase rather, the reason I say that is because that's where you're getting the most impressions. And from a statistically significant standpoint, that's where you're going to see who are my winners and losers in terms of my customer acquisition goals, the consideration decision phase, those kind of blend in to one another, because what you can do is understand what's driving people to your website from the awareness tab. And then you can utilize as much content as possible on the product detail page, to garner that trust, right? To allow customers to envision themselves in that raincoat, or envision themselves taking that lip balm on a hike. And so you don't know unless you're testing throughout each. But I would say that awareness is going to give you the biggest statistical significance just based on the amount of impressions you'll get by utilizing a platform like AB roll or anything like that, or utilizing Google Analytics to understand what's driving action from the consumer.

Aaron Conant 37:26

Awesome. All right.

Casey Murray 37:27

And then last slide here. Again, here's all my contact info. Our website is It's c o h l e y Cohley is in the batch just spelled a little different. My name is Casey Murray, I'm the Director of Partnerships. So if you have any questions around agency or technology platforms, or anything else, or even just want to stop by, say, Hi, feel free to add me or get in touch with me that way. And, again, I'm happy to share this deck out to anybody that's interested.

Aaron Conant 37:57

possible. So I'm going to anybody you want a connection 100% worth a follow up conversation with the team over there. Casey, I don't mind if you take a couple minutes. I have a couple other questions that want to get to but I have a couple people just asking about the Cohley platform as a whole. You've done an awesome job like not like sales pitching it, but just has some people say pay what exactly they do. So I don't mind if you take a couple minutes and explain to people, hey, this is the platform that we do. You guys come highly recommended from a ton of brands in the network. So you know, more than happy to have you share how you're helping other brands out? Yeah,

Casey Murray 38:32

of course, and I am director of partnerships and non sales for a reason. I think

Aaron Conant 38:37

we appreciate that these calls. Yeah, yeah.

Casey Murray 38:41

So certainly trying to avoid any sort of sales pitch. I think at the end of the day, it's it's important for you, I you know, to recognize as a brand, that continuous content generation testing strategy is hard. And any marketer that we've asked, we've surveyed hundreds of brands over the last few months, one of the leading questions that we always say is, do you like to test content in various channels? And are you currently doing it at scale? And what was almost noted every single time was obviously Yes, if you're a marketer you need to be testing. And if you say no, we don't like testing, you're probably going to be without a job if you're not already. But on top of that, doing the testing at scale across various channels, is seemingly impossible. And the reason I say that is we think about our content testing strategies sophisticated as 50 visual assets across one channel every day. It's really, really hard to accomplish. And so the beauty of Cohley is that we're a platform that connects brands and agencies with pre vetted content creators. We have over 150,000 folks within United States, the UK and Canada to generate custom content on demand. And what that means is if you're a brand or an agency, and you're looking to generate content, like I just mentioned with the raincoat Maybe you want to send out a raincoat to 50 folks, some in a rural setting seminar or urban setting, for the sake of testing on social media buying or display ads, or email or SMS, whatever the preferred channel is, maybe it's across all of them. Cohley enables you to not only generate the content directly with our content creators, but we enable you to activate it in those channels automatically. And so you no longer have to worry about, you know, I want to test 50 photos in my cart abandonment, email flow, sure, you could do that on your own, you could set up 50, unique flows within our partner, Klaviyo, email flow, right. But the challenge is keeping up with that, and turning off images that aren't performing well. And, you know, doubling down on images that are Cohley enables you to not only generate a lot of content across a diverse pool of people, we enable you to activate it in various channels at scale, we are a platform that delivers back some of the analytics and metrics that you'd be looking for to acknowledge a winner or loser. And then from there, we are giving you everything you need to make an informed decision for future content generation. And so in short, it's a platform that connects a brand new agency with a content creator to test at scale. That's awesome.

Aaron Conant 41:19

You know, cold people saying, hey, he been able to get access to the presentation as a whole. I think you noted you're able to send that around. Is that correct? We're able to connect you with people.

Casey Murray 41:30

Yes, yes, absolutely. And there will be in certain events, if maybe you've never spoken with Cohley, that's your first time hearing about us. There are folks here, that would be happy to put together you know, maybe some unique content strategies for you and give you a hand. And that's whether that's utilizing our platform or not. And so we'd be happy to talk and put you in touch with the right folks. But yeah, this deck is absolutely shareable. Just get in touch with Aaron or myself. And we can definitely send you this and then maybe some other Doc's and resources. So it'd be helpful, and building out your own respective Black Friday Cyber Monday campaign. I think right now, just given certain bandwidth and timing of everything, it would likely be best for a brand that's on the line now, to not think about launching a brand new campaign or brief necessarily to generate content. But instead, think critically around the assets you have available today. think critically around the content strategy you've implemented to date, and start testing some assets that maybe make you feel uncomfortable, or maybe that you haven't tried in the past. Because our whole philosophy is you don't know unless you try. And so we again, be happy to share any of our findings over the last six years of being in business, and ideally help you out to have the best Black Friday, Cyber Monday you can this year and every year following.

Aaron Conant 42:51

Yeah. Awesome. Well, we'll love it. If there's any last minute questions, people can drop them in now. But other than that, the last thing would be how long does it take to roll out a program? If people do want to get started for Black Friday, Cyber Monday or even into 2022? How long does it take to to fire up Cohley? And then with you know, right after that, I think we can kind of wrap it up? I don't have other questions coming through.

Casey Murray  43:16

Okay, yeah,

cool. So I mean, for the first brief, if you've never worked with Cohley before, I mean, timeframes will differ by brand and product. However, we like to say for the first one, anticipate at least six to eight weeks to, you know, conceptualize a creative brief, and then to have the product be delivered and have the content be delivered subsequently. So six to eight weeks is typically the timing for the first brief. However, Cohley is a platform to test assets. So if you have assets readily available, we can chat with you in that way, and how to utilize Cohley and theoretically be deploying, you know, content across your channels yesterday.

Aaron Conant 43:59

Awesome. Well, I Well, with that, I think like we promised at the beginning, we're going to be able to wrap up and get everybody plenty of time to get on to the next meeting without being late. I think, you know, just a quick follow up here last minute no here you know, anybody has any more questions whatsoever across the board. 100% worth of follow up conversation with Casey and the team over Cohley. They're great friends, partners, supporters of the network and a lot of brands in it. They've got some of the really neat, innovative and I think it's it's this digital 2.0, where we're getting to the next level of everything and being able to create content almost on demand and tested almost on demand. And so you know, with that, I want to say thanks again, Casey, for your time today. Thanks, everybody who dialed in and all the great questions that came through. with that. I think we're going to wrap it up. hope everybody has a fantastic Monday. Have a great rest of their week. Everybody. Take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Look for follow up email from us. We'd love to have a conversation with you. Take care now everybody. Thanks again, Casey. Have a great one of my friend.

Casey Murray 44:58

Awesome. Thank you. Alrighty, see you my friend.

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BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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