Pivoting into Alternate Advertising Channels following iOS Update

Jul 28, 2021 3:00 PM4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

With the latest iOS update came significant changes. Tried-and-true channels are experiencing disruptions and even losses after the update on third-party data. While change is inevitable in marketing, this development has forced many companies to reconsider their entire strategy. Brands have to adapt or be left behind, but it can be challenging to know where to refocus your advertising.

Blue Wheel Media, a close partner with BWG Connect, continues to be a leader in the digital marketing space. They are quickly expanding, recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 5,000 fastest-growing businesses today. Their expertise has helped many brands navigate the hurdles presented by the new update to great success. So what’s their advice for your brand?

Aaron Conant hosts Jon McGraw, Vice President of Owned and Operated at Blue Wheel Media, to hear his recommendations on investing in alternate channels. Jon talks about the unique advantages and pitfalls of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. He then goes into depth on the current changes to the digital marketing landscapes and how to circumvent them at your company.

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


  • Jon McGraw of Blue Wheel Media explains the loss of third party data
  • The details of the 14.5 iOS update and how it affects marketing
  • Spending your ad budget through channel diversification
  • What are the marketing advantages of Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest?
  • One day click vs. seven day click views
  • Does Pinterest have any future advancement capabilities?
  • The emerging channels that are suited for higher AOV products
  • Why Snapchat is an often-overlooked platform for marketing
  • How do you create consistent content without breaking the bank?
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Event Partners

Blue Wheel

Blue Wheel is an omni-channel marketing and operational partner delivering excellence in digital commerce -- from click to ship. As a new breed of omni-channel agency, Blue Wheel supports brands from marketplace management to performance advertising, and creative services. With over $1B in revenue managed for our clients, we help brands from click to ship, scaling brand sales across D2C, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and retail.

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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.

Jon McGraw

Vice President of Owned & Operated at Blue Wheel

Jonathan (Jon) McGraw is the COO of Blue Wheel, an omnichannel digital marketing agency. In his role, he oversees multiple independent business units driving 360 digital strategy for the company’s diverse client portfolio. Having worked with Blue Wheel for nearly 10 years, Jon has held various roles, including Content Marketing Director, Director of Brand Engagement, and VP of Owned and Operated. 

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.

Jon McGraw

Vice President of Owned & Operated at Blue Wheel

Jonathan (Jon) McGraw is the COO of Blue Wheel, an omnichannel digital marketing agency. In his role, he oversees multiple independent business units driving 360 digital strategy for the company’s diverse client portfolio. Having worked with Blue Wheel for nearly 10 years, Jon has held various roles, including Content Marketing Director, Director of Brand Engagement, and VP of Owned and Operated. 

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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.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-Founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect, where a giant networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands. If you have other, you know, brands or friends that are out there that you think would benefit from joining these sessions, you know, feel free to connect us with them. We don't sell anything here, we're a networking group. So also, don't ever hesitate to reach out for connections to other brands, you know, other people doing the same thing in your space that you'd like to talk with that are in the that are in the network as a whole. And then obviously, if you're looking for any different service providers across the digital landscape, that's not just performance marketing, but it's also Amazon, international expansion, content syndication, digital age three pls, whatever it might be, just shoot us a note, we'll either throw some time on the calendar or give you a short list from the brands that have been recommended. The brands have been recommending over the past four years here. And the last couple of things we get started, we're kicking this off at three to four minutes after the hour, and just a heads up, we're gonna wrap this up with three to four minutes in the hour to go as well. We're gonna give you plenty of time to get on your next meeting without being late. And I guess the last thing is we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. At any point in time. If you have questions, drop it in the chat drop in the q&a or email them to me Aaron aaron@bwgconnect.com we'll get you an answer. So I'm going to kick off the conversation. So as a note, I'm talking with 30 or 40 brands a week to help them with digital strategy. And listening the pain points. That's how we get the topics for these calls. And I don't think anybody today is surprised that, you know, if they're probably surprised, it took us you know, a couple of weeks to get one of these on the calendar, the the iOS 14.5 update. So I'm feeling a ton of questions around this right now. increased cost of acquisition, what's going to happen with Facebook, you know, it's not as easy to use, they surprise surprise, you know, 90% of the population or whatever the stat is, is clicking do not track. I mean, they they asked that really creepily I think like, you know, do you want this app to track you everywhere you go that ask app not to track is a very easy button to push. And so lots of brands reaching out with, you know, questions and what's gonna happen, how do we pivot? What do we do? And so we got great friends, great partners of the network, they they're great supporters of the network as well in a lot of brands in it over a Blue Wheel. And so Jon agreed to jump on the phone today, kind of give us what they're seeing across the board. things that they're doing, obviously, here, pivoting into all the alternate advertising channels is what you know, people are asking, should they do? How should they do it? And so, Jon, I'm gonna kick it over to you, you know, brief intro on yourself and Blue Wheel would be awesome. And then we can kind of kick off the conversation sound good?

Jon McGraw 3:01

Sounds good, perfect. Yeah. So it's nice to meet everybody today. My name is Jon McGraw. I'm the VP of owned and operated at Blue Wheel. We're a full service digital marketing agency specializing in eCommerce. advertising is a large portion of what we do both in the Amazon as well as owned and operated side, my role is to lead strategy and overall opposite the agencies. So I'm think seeing things from all over the place all over the place. And I even have a unique perspective on how organic marketing is moving. So I'm really happy to and excited to share with you what we're seeing and specifically through the lens of power, looking and assessing other advertising channels to find performance, where Facebook used to bring it.

Aaron Conant 3:46

Awesome. So again, a quick reminder, any questions you have along the way, drop in the question, section Chatman, or email me Aaron aaon@bwgconnect.com. But yeah, Jon was gonna kick it over to you would love to hear from your perspective, what you guys are doing in this space, what you're looking for, and obviously here, what we're going to learn about today.

Jon McGraw 4:07

Yeah, absolutely. And so again, I really want to focus the lens of the conversation through paid today. But what we're seeing and what I want to go through today is obviously the top channels that you should consider from a pivot perspective, that live outside of those traditional search and social networks. Where each channel fits in the funnel, we spent a lot of money, we've done a lot of testing, I have a pretty unique understanding or, you know, acute understanding of where you should be investing and in the funnel of best practices for utilizing each channel and then along the way, I'll be talking about conversion creative things that you can do not only repurposing content, but if you're going to go out and generate new content, things that you should be aware of.

Aaron Conant 4:55

Awesome, love it. Cool.

Jon McGraw 4:59

So Why do we look at other channels? Well, why we're all here today is iOS 14.5 update, and the loss of third party data. So what we're seeing, and that dovetails in this second bullet point, but we are seeing a significant amount of attrition and performance coming from Facebook and Instagram. And that was our money channel, we've invested significantly, we found a lot of scale. And what we're seeing is that just overnight that some of that started to just completely decay. And even from a performance standpoint, you can look at it purely data wise. But what's also happening is that some of the biggest benefits that Facebook brought, which was the massive scale of its overall platform, in terms of active users, on third party data, interest targeting look alike audiences, we're finding dilution in that as well. And so I think the reason that you need to look at other channels is that instead of banging your head, and solely focusing on Facebook, and Instagram, things that you probably found a lot of comfort in, there are other things that you can do to start to understand how the new age of advertising is going to look at look like and that's going to look very diversified. I'm going to talk about the overall effectiveness, effectiveness of other emerging channels. I think even at our agency, we said, we have to do this because we have to be proactive and react the times. But we've been finding good performance and these other channels for a while. And it's really now time to put fire put gas on the fire. And I think that what we've also seen and look, not every brand has the budget to diversify into three, four other different channels. But it's been very interesting to see that our brands who have pivoted into Snap into Pinterest, that they've been able to find a higher likelihood to scale their paid efforts, because they have more levers to pull, they have more data to consume, and then apply it across channel strategies. So I think the biggest thing is that we just don't have the single headed monster that is Facebook to rely on. So we have to look other way otherwise.

Aaron Conant 7:06

And just really quick, a question that comes in. So we have tons of different people on the phone. Can you just recap what the 14.5 update entailed in the major change that took place? Just to last everybody on the call?

Jon McGraw 7:20

Essentially, we all woke up. And you know, a span of a week and you started to open up apps. And it said, Do you want this app to track your data. And I was telling Aaron before the call started that even as a marketer, one who stays up at night trying to think about how to solve this problem. I don't want them to track my data, because I don't know what they're doing with it. And so I think that really the adoption rate of that was very widespread. And so ultimately, what ended up happening is that data transparency and visibility into actions taken from advertising has just completely diluted. In terms of how brands of how brands have had to react, you know, there's have been there been some things we can do, installing Cappy, which is allowing server side data to transmit as opposed to just purely from the app is helped a little bit. But at the end of the day, what we're seeing is just there's less data visibility into the platforms themselves. And so that extends into marketers.

Aaron Conant 8:22

Awesome. So a great question that just comes in. And then we can tear through some of this stuff is when talking about seeing decrease in Facebook, Instagram, are those actual decrease in sales, or just a decrease in tracking those sales?

Jon McGraw 8:36

That's a really good question. And I can say that there's not a single threaded answer to that some of our brands have actually not lost any revenue at all, when they look at what their say average monthly run rate would be. And where we're seeing is that it's just a lack of visibility from where it's coming from. We're seeing a huge lift in Direct None in Google Analytics. So that was happening a lot to begin with, because you Shams will get stripped out of Facebook when they would go from app to browser, but we're seeing a lot of porting that traffic and overall revenue into direct none. But I think in some instances, for some brands, they're seeing that the effectiveness of the platform is hit so hard that they are seeing a decrease in top line. So you know, it's it's a case by case basis. But I think the good news is, is that for many brands, they're not necessarily losing revenue, but they're losing insight into where it's coming from, which in your digital marketing stack. If you don't know what levers to pull at the right times, that can be hard opportunity to understand where do I invest?

Aaron Conant 9:42

Especially, you know, at a time, we're chatting about this a little bit. You know, before we get started here, this is the time where CMOs and even the CFO is now getting a lot more critical around where's the money going? How's it been sped? What's the return on advertising, what's the return on investment, all these different things that we're doing? Looking at, you know, last year, I think, you know, there was kind of a, you know, a year of grace as everybody like, poured digital dollars in here. This year is a lot more scrutiny that's happening, especially when we get to the end of the year. So you're at this time where Yeah, like you're saying is, if you can't attribute it, how do you justify it as a marketer, even though it really may be working? Now? Awesome, and great question. Thanks, Chris. Others, you have questions drop in the question section there, we'll get them. We'll get them answered. All right. Cool. Back to you, Jon.

Jon McGraw 10:30

Yeah, absolutely. And so I'm really gonna be focusing on three channels, didn't want to caveat that I'm going to spend the least amount of time on TikTok, and I'll explain why I know that that's a channel everybody's looking to crack. The amount of time users spend on that daily is ridiculous. But really, if I break it down, you know, I tried to paraphrase these but Pinterest is where social and search converge, they call it visual search. Snap is a fall funnel platform for Gen Z, and more. I think it's been viewed as a platform where you can only reach you know, 17 year olds, like very young people with not a lot of disposable income, we're actually finding that not to be the case in a lot of our brands, instances. And TikTok, it hasn't really advanced content algorithm. I think that's why it's gained so much adoption. But from an advertising perspective, the ad platform is primitive, which is why we are not necessarily dumping as many dollars as the other two.

Aaron Conant 11:30

Awesome. Seems like that might change the TikTok eye over time, right?

Jon McGraw 11:35

Absolutely. They just introduced a new ad unit, and it's called Spark. And I think that's gonna change things quite a bit. Because some of the biggest challenges that brands have been facing is how do I create native TikTok content is different than a lot of your channel content. And what they're allowing you to do is put money into existing viral videos that has shown performance on the platform, and letting all brands leverage that in their efforts. So I think that they're making a lot of big changes. It's just one of those things that it's been around the shortest amount of time, at least in the US. And so the ad platform has had the least amount of time to mature.

Aaron Conant 12:12

Awesome, love it.

Jon McGraw 12:12

All right, cool. So I wanted to pull some roll up stats from our agency to just talk about channel diversification and what it looks like 2021 versus 2020, I think it paints a good picture about how we're investing for Snap our spend is up 143%. When comparing just the first six months versus all of 2020. We're running at a min row as a two plus agency wide. And one thing that is important is that there was no event prioritization like Facebook posts, iOS 14.5. And the same is for Pinterest. And for those who are less aware, Facebook is essentially capping you to track eight total events. And they ask you to prioritize that. For most performance marketers, you're going to prioritize conversions, because that's what you want the most visibility and that's what a lot of your campaigns are optimizing for Snapchat and Pinterest and not mandate the same thing. So we found a little less dilution from from Robin standpoint on Snap and Pinterest, for Pinterest are spending up children 96% when comparing January and June 20 21%, of 20, and similarly. to pinch to Snap our mineral as two plus agency wide. Our TikTok spend is flat. And that is more so because our clients demand performance. And so sliding budgets and feeding the beast is most important to us. So we're spending more in Snap and Pinterest. Again, I do think Tiktok is doing great things that just hasn't manifested itself in a way where we can continue to spend at the same clip. If you look at our paid social channel mix trend 98% of our paid social budget in 2020 was allocated to Facebook and Instagram. Right now we're at 89.5% of paid social budgets allocated to Facebook in 2021. So look, it's not going to seismically shift that much, I still think Facebook has tremendous value, I still think it's going to be the place that we spend most of our paid social budgets. However, it's slowly creeping towards the Snap the Pinterest of the world to where we can find a little bit more diversification. And again, it's a good thing because we're collecting data all over the place to make more informed decisions holistically.

Aaron Conant 14:19

So so a couple questions that come in, is the main row as platform last click or attributed?

Jon McGraw 14:26

So I'm going to touch on that how we assess attribution. But for the most part, we're trying to align all of our attribution windows seven day click one day view. I think that Snap and Pinterest especially, they're really important discovery tools. And I think that the way that those people use that platform, those platforms is not conducive to a last click environment. It's not that we don't look at windows last click because a lot of our clients do but what we try to do is a liner attribution windows that when we're assessing how to slide budgets around They are in a similar viewpoint.

Aaron Conant 15:02

Alright, couple more, what's meant by event prioritization?

Jon McGraw 15:07

So Facebook essentially said that you need to pick an event to prioritize from a data collection standpoint. So we used to be able to have every event under the sun, we all had that little pixel checker and it would show all the events that are firing, it was saying that if you want to really choose something that you can optimize toward and get the most data transparency through, they asked you to pick one, whereas Snap and Pinterest did not ask you to do that.

Aaron Conant 15:38

Awesome. Um, let's see here. So this is fun. We're gonna get over to just the real quick, is Pinterest an option for male dominated brands. You've seen Snap perform and bottle funnel metrics. So you know, Pinterest is just as an overall? I mean, it's a great question. I mean, considering the topic of this is where else do we pivot to? So is Pinterest an option for male dominated brands?

Jon McGraw 16:05

It is I would not realistically, from a strategy standpoint, say this is where we're going all in. But there is a stat that I do provide when I get to the Pinterest best practices. That penetration of the male demographic is starting to get more widespread on Pinterest. It's something like a 40% growth. And I think that what Pinterest is really becoming known for is the discovery platform. So you know, for me, I don't use it organically, like I would an Instagram Snap or a TikTok but I love searching for recipes. I love searching for things. And you know, there's a stat that 98% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded so people go there to discover things. Whereas Snap and TikTok and Instagram you go there to hang out, you go there for entertainment where people are a little bit more purpose driven on Pinterest. So I definitely would test it. But considering that it's it's traditionally bad and still remains predominantly female, I would wait my expectations and try to dip my toes in before I go all in.

Aaron Conant 17:11

So couple more in terms of attribution windows, what's the risk of one day click versus seven day? And then the other one is just following up on the minimum row? As you know, are you seeing Snap and Pinterest drive into incremental top line that warrants additional spend? I think just people are looking to understand how to validate return on adspend if using you know platform attribution as a whole.

Jon McGraw 17:33

Yeah, absolutely. Um, in terms of the pitfalls of one day, click, I think we've all dealt with reps before, they would all prefer around a 28 day click model. I don't believe in that. I don't think that's how the internet moves. It's too fast. But I think that where you fall short there is that Snap is not a place where people are still really, really, really used to getting ads. And I think that where we've seen the most value is that we are getting really, really cheap cost per swipe ups significantly cheaper than any other awareness or new customer acquisition channel. And so we're trying to view it holistically, we do see some really good numbers in the retargeting phase bottom funnel, I just think that if you're looking at it from a last click perspective, you're gonna see a lot of clicks that are empty. And then from a conversion standpoint, it's look like nothing's happening. I do think though I'm a big believer though, and not just looking at a single attribution window. Because we have looked at last click revenue from our retargeting campaigns, and they've been very strong. So look at retargeting more through the lens of ultimately trying to convert on a one day click. But if you're looking at your prospecting, I think you're gonna come up short most the time, if you're just looking at last click.

Aaron Conant 18:52

And the next one was just following up on them in row, as you know, trying to understand how to validate the row as if you if they're using platform attribution, right? are they seeing incremental Snap and interest in Pinterest.

Jon McGraw 19:07

And I think what's been really fun to see is because we are seeing incremental top line is that for most of our brands, these are new channels. And so it hasn't been status quo, where it's like, we're running our search, we're running our display, we're running our social, our Facebook, there, we introduce an entirely new channel, and we're able to introduce that into the analytics and we can literally see, you know, we're getting cost per swipe ups or clicks at a rate that we couldn't before. And what does that doing to our traffic, and then we're seeing spikes come from and you know, even when you get deeper into the analytics on Snap, because it is skews younger, you can see that you're starting to reach younger folks, that that's something that you opened up your targeting in and that they're converting as well. So I will say that that's a conversation that we have with all of our brands, like how do I know that this isn't just pure overlap, but the fun part is When you're not doing this at a high level, or you're newly introducing it, and you see spikes of revenue you did not have before, it's very difficult to not attribute that to the new channels itself, especially when you do see last clip revenue pouring in.

Aaron Conant 20:13

Awesome. Love it. Great questions, everybody. Okay, back to the agenda, we can keep rolling.

Jon McGraw 20:18

Cool. And so in terms of where each channel fits in the funnel, and this is from our experience, I know that there are marketers have experienced really good things at TikTok, I think it heavily hinges on Native content. But when we look at TikTok, I've right now am purely viewing it as an awareness tool, again, capabilities targeting smarter pixel, it's gonna make it there sooner than later. But when I look at how each channel fits in the funnel, I do view Snap and Pinterest as a full funnel strategy, because I think that there's good merits and cost efficiencies on the upper funnel. And then we see really strong performance in the lower funnel. So I just thought it was worth just calling out that. If you're going to do this, and you're going to look at it, try to look at it a little bit more holistically, and don't look at your channel the actual tactics within each channel completely siloed. So we touched on this quite a bit. But why do we look at seven a click one day view, we're trying to find parity in the attribution windows to assess these platforms equally. Again, I want to be able to pivot my budgets following performance trends, and finding scale where possible, everyone has their own viewpoint and attribution, speaking clearly about how we look at it at Blue Wheel. And we like to take a holistic viewpoint to measurement and work to understand how these different funnel tactics may show up or impact blended performance across all of our channels. Pinterest is especially most valuable for upper funnel media, people literally go there to discover things. Whereas again, I'm going to point back to your more entertainment based things like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, where they're there. And ads are part of the experience for Pinterest, people are going there to discover. So on top of this, and again, I am a big hater of wide, wide windows. But we do like to look at the 30 day click one day view just to gain a larger perspective on the platform itself. And we are seeing less decay in performance and data transparency and Snap and Pinterest compared to Facebook, less disruption of what we were doing before. So I want to jump into Pinterest. And I'm not going to bore you guys with a bunch of stats, but it's worth framing about how big the platforms are getting. And so when we look at Pinterest, they have 478 million active users, they have a 45% base of users who make 100k. So what you would consider high household income. That means that it affords our brands the ability to confidently market high ABV products and fit into a CPA window that maybe is not necessarily for lower priced products like Snap 60% of global Pinterest users are female. And this is where it's getting interesting is that male and Gen Z users are up 40%. When we look at audience behavior, two or three pinners say Pinterest is where they go to find a product idea or service they can trust nine out of 10 pinners use Pinterest as inspiration for a recent purchase. And over half of all weekly pinners have use Pinterest in the store while shopping. And so again, like what this tells me is that this base is changing. And it's growing. I think that it's Facebook's greatest asset has always been it has a massive pool of nearly 3 billion active users. And all of the data that comes along with that, but with all of the iOS havoc brands and marketers are just looking for other channels that have users with high purchase intent. And Pinterest is proving to be that. When I look at the funnel, again, I highlighted discovery because it is truly where we're saying we're finding people who are looking for our brands, and they didn't even know that they were looking for it or it's a prime opportunity to find somebody and this is why Pinterest is unique is that it's a push poll platform. It incorporates search, as well as all of the functionality of the ad advertising systems and platforms that come with paid social. And in addition to that we're finding lower CPCs in comparison to Facebook and significantly cheaper CPCs than non brand search on Google and Bing, I was pulling keyword reports for some of our brands that were running on Pinterest, especially the ones that are doing really well. And some of the short tail keywords with massive volume, we're getting clicks at like $1. Whereas if you look at Google Keyword planner and just running them ourselves, you know, we might be expecting to pay $15 to some of those clicks depending on the industry. So it's really that that hybrid approach to search and social that's so interesting about Pinterest. In terms of media types and target So talking about visual search talking about its capabilities, it's nice to is because it's got a parallel match type to traditional paid search buying. So you know what it could be working on search for you, you can incorporate some of those strategies. In contrast, like you could do broad match, and then whittle it down to something a little bit more specific. But someone who's familiar with search could probably be pretty successful on Pinterest as well. There is a keyword planner that's approach it, use it, try to understand how it should impact not only the way that you set up your campaigns, but the way that you set up your content. And from a search perspective. It has all of the similar ad units and targeting styles from Facebook. So we don't necessarily always take a mirrored approach. But we can take a lot of those learnings and apply it to Pinterest as a whole, the new thing to Pinterest that they're really pushing our shopping ads product pins, a shop tab that shows inventory, and are sorted in stock inventory for all these things depending on search depending on affinity. But it's got a really wide robust set of overall media that you can run. So a lot of testing can go on to refine strategy. From a creative perspective, the biggest thing that I want to call out here is that one, if you are running a search strategy, which I would recommend within your campaigns, just make sure that you're looking at the pins themselves and aligning keywords and pins because we find a lot of really good performance within that search function. And if you're devoid of those core keywords that are going to drive clicks and conversions, you're not even giving yourself a shot. We've it's a very product based platform. So what we found is like avoiding editorial, very editorial content that's not product focused. And really, really rough UGC, something that might win on a TikTok might win on Snap. It's more product focused. And the way that content is laid out on Pinterest is that it's a big grid. There's a lot going on. So logo prominence, prominence, CTA and just ultimately, what you're trying to convey is really important to do within first glance.

Aaron Conant 27:20

Really quick, so a question that comes in. Have you heard of any future Pinterest capabilities? advancements? Yeah, great question. We'll probably apply it to each one of these and you kind of went over TikTok already, but, and Pinterest heard any future Pinterest capabilities, advancements. And just a quick reminder, those who have joined have an awesome conversation with Jon McGraw from Blue Wheel Media around you know, these pivoting advertising sales channels with the iOS 14.5 update as a whole. If you have any questions drop into the Questions tab there or email them to me Aaron aaron@bwgconnect.com will field and answer as many questions as we can. So anyways, back to you. Jon, have you heard of any future Pinterest capabilities advancements?

Jon McGraw 28:06

I haven't heard anything seismic. And our Pinterest wrapped emails us about seven times a week. So I feel pretty informed. They're really going all in on the shop capabilities. They have a native Shopify Shopify integration which I know a lot of you are on that is really trying to connect your inventory to that and kind of work on the dynamic side of advertising but I haven't heard anything like groundbreaking but I do believe that Pinterest is very dedicated to making the product better. So once that happens, we're going to be the first to tested but I haven't heard anything that would make me jump out of my chair to be completely honest. So cool. In terms of the the fall funnel, paid strategy, I just wanted to call it some of our clients that we're seeing a lot of success on, I think or Erno Laszlo Grande Cosmetics to beauty brands that can skew a little bit older have higher ABV products, they're really good fit, which is why we put them on the platform, but we always just kind of look at it and breaking it into both traffic acquisition as well as our conversion campaigns. What we did is we focused on skin detoxification centered around their best selling products, the vitality treatment, math, and the combination of keyword based targeting, using broader keywords longtail keywords around benefits, it drove $1.42 CPC at mass scale and that really set the table for us to drive and build a funnel within Pinterest. From a retargeting standpoint, nothing you know groundbreaking here but just running campaigns around engagement based audience so people are engaging with pins, people are engaging with the website, we're able to drive a 14.76 return on adspend. Now that's not that fluctuates time after time. But what we're able to see out of the gate which has allowed us to remain on the platform and scale is like Ridiculous performance. I think this was an example of the perfect brand, the perfect product and the perfect platform. But these are things that we were having struggling to find on Facebook. And we've been able to lean into Pinterest extremely heavily. The next one is Grande Cosmetics, similar focus, similar strategy here but traffic focus campaign with the sole intent of driving users a different product pages. And so again, I'm going to get to another slide here shortly that's going to talk about why you should be looking at these things, not just what is my return on adspend, cut the things that aren't working, you know, we're really bucketing out what we're trying to do here. So for our prospecting and our traffic campaigns, we're trying to get qualified traffic for as cheap as possible, make sure that the bounce rates are horrendous, and just getting people into the funnel, and then continuing that story, through creative through different messaging points. And this one was another one that was really, really successful. Our return on adspend was 21.9. And we drove 701 purchases, in terms of the overall campaign. Now, I want to caveat, I call that some of our best campaigns here. But what I'm trying to allude to is that we were running similar mirrored campaigns on Facebook, on Instagram, and we couldn't find similar success. And this is a perfect tale of there is a really qualified user on Pinterest. And if you find the right way to reach them, you can get some ridiculous results.

Aaron Conant 31:30

Yeah. Awesome. Another question comes in, you touched briefly on AOV. But how are these emerging channels suited for higher AOV products, you know, specifically $1,000 in up.

Jon McGraw 31:43

I think that if there was a channel where you're gonna find that success, I think that this is a pretty good opportunity, especially for Pinterest because it one benefit of the platform, at least from my viewpoint. But when you're on your grid on Pinterest, it's it's a lot harder, in my opinion, to dictate sponsored content versus organic, a lot of organic pins look like ads, they have the text overlay feature. And so I think that if you have the right creative, and you have the right product, putting in front of the right people, that's really good. The other thing too, is that if your product is disruptive, and expensive, I think there's an opportunity because one thing that's cool about Pinterest is that if you have a pin that is worthwhile, where do they click it, and they ultimately want to save it. Even if that ad is off, that pin stays in their board, and you can continue to generate impressions that are essentially free at that point. So if you have somebody disruptive enough, it's makes it into their inspiration board, and they continue to click it, that's gonna lower your CPA, because you're not paying for every single click. But yeah, I mean, I think we've got some brands that are not necessarily in that $1,000 Mark, but have AOV's of you know, 500 $600, and we found some success there.

Aaron Conant 33:03


Jon McGraw 33:03

And actually, this next slide speaks to a beauty device that is pretty expensive. And all it says is trust the process. But the tale that I wanted to tell around this is that we started running, and we had a traffic campaign and we had retargeting campaigns. The This is also a client who really likes to run off of a last click model. And so we started running both in conjunction with each other, the upper funnel side of things was running at a really efficient cost per click, especially when correlating and comparing to other channels that were running prospecting on. The return on adspend was pitiful, like it was barely driving conversions. But as time started to go, we started to see pretty profitable retargeting. They were very much kind of in the mode where they were trying to be as efficient as they possibly can with all of their spends. And they said, Look, guys, we know that you have a plan, but what we need you to do is we need you to cut off the traffic campaigns and just keep retargeting running. What followed was a precipitous drop off in terms of overall performance. Even the retargeting campaigns dried up because we weren't feeding the discovery aspect of Pinterest enough and so really making sure that if you're going to do this approach it full funnel, I don't think that there's as much it doesn't drive as much value if you're just retargeting people are there to discover things. Next slide. just recap why we love it combined power research and social in a single platform, inherent high household income users with buying power to make up the lion's share of those users. And unlike Facebook, it's an app users flocked to the platform to find new brands and products. 98% of presented searches are unbranded and so they're there to find product categories, problems, solution, things like that. So if your product is can solve something and you put the right trader in front of them, it can be really Powerful, I just call this out but promoted pins to me are less easy to spot and other platforms. And channels performance is extremely strong despite larger emphasis and upper funnel tactics. Any questions for me Aaron before I move on to Snap?

Aaron Conant 35:15

Yeah, just came in is there no before after rule and Pinterest like there was in Facebook Instagram?

Jon McGraw 35:23

There is there is but it is significantly more lacks. And so if I even paste back here to this one, that's a before and after ad that we could literally run we got shut down a couple of times. But we were actually able to run this uninhibited for quite some time. And so especially our we have a very heavy beauty portfolio where before and after is probably the most impactful creative that you can run. So being able to do that has been a big benefit for us for sure.

Aaron Conant 35:59

Awesome. All right, moving on.

Jon McGraw 36:04

Moving on to Snap. And I will say that I think Snap is probably the channel that I'm most excited about. Because I as a user and a marketer pigeonholed it a little bit, I thought this is for very young folks with very little disposable income. I don't think it has the potential to drive high AOV purchases like Pinterest. Pinterest does, but I think that what we're finding is that you can reach audiences that you didn't think that you could. And I think that just in general, we're seeing strong performance across the board. I it's exciting to me. And so obviously, people think of it as Gen Z, I can't deny that 75% of millennials and Gen Z are reached on this platform. That being said, they're the next generation of consumers and the estimated spending powers around a trillion dollars, they spend over 30 minutes on Snap every day. So they are spending an incredible amount of time just sitting there you know, and I think that you need to have the right creative and it needs to feel native. But there's so much opportunity to put your brand in front of them tell the right story and get them interested to ultimately convert. Where I think this platform shines the most is awareness. The reason for that is because especially when we're running with a really powerful brand, that's kind of the right fit for the platform itself is our cost per swipe up, which is in their terms, a cost per click on the super high side or 25 cents and our bounce rates are under control. They're equivalent to that of Facebook, they're equivalent to that of Pinterest, some of our CPSU is have even been five cents. And so really turning on the jets in the acquisition phase to get that traffic to our landing pages and then converting, it's very efficient. And that can be all the difference when you look at profitability. From a conversion standpoint, our retargeting campaigns across the board are doing very, very well. And so when you tie all those things together cheap traffic ability to convert in the bottom funnel, that's why we've been able to find success and then ultimately scale. So from the advertising ecosystem, there's it's very similar, I would say to Facebook, there are some really unique things like lenses and commercials, the the lenses are definitely an investment on the brand side. And I think it has to be the right product fit but beauty of you know, apparel, sunglasses, things like that you can be really successful, we have not spent an exorbitant amount of money on lenses. But I know that it's something that's pretty unique. And that whole AR movement I think is going to be the future. And then filters, that's a really easy way to get your brand infused into things. And you know, ultimately make sure that you're pushing your brand forward in a creative way. And Snapchat is a creative platform, you need to think about it differently. You need to think about the way people use it. But in general, there's a lot of similarities to Facebook and Snap in terms of the type of content you can deploy just need to think about it the right way. From a targeting standpoint, Snap shares, similar targeting parameters as well look alike affinity interest based the product catalog driven stuff Snap audience match, ad engagement audiences, there's opportunity. It costs Marini, that partnership, but there's third party custom audiences that they have with Oracle and Nielsen, and just pixel based audiences. So the full gamut of targeting parameters and again, we've noticed that in terms of like our look alike audiences and our interest third party audiences, they didn't decay as much as Facebook and Instagram did. So I think the thing that we've also found because a lot of this stuff had to happen overnight, or our brands were like, We want to get into Snap, but we don't have the right creative. We've found really easy ways to repurpose Instagram and Tiktok creative. And so if you have that stuff, there's ways that you can ultimately make it work without having to go to the drawing board and shoot, trade. It was expensive. We are a creative agency, we know the costs associated with it. So the first thing that we did with a lot of rands was, let's be scrappy. Let's see what we have, and what feels native to the platform. I mean, really, if you think about how people use Snap, it's people on their phone talking into their phone, you know, very raw. And so that's what we try to make it feel like it's just very real, very raw. From a filter standpoint, relevance is key, like, Don't try to jam promotional message, just make it cool. Just make it like something that people want to use. And we've been able to see a lot of really good brand impressions served through filters. So talking a little bit about some of our brands. XMondo is the hair color brand by ultra influencer, Brad Mondo, this is the most profitable Snap account that we have, we're in single digit cost per swipe ups, and returned at a 33.5 return on adspend lifetime. But what was really nice about this is that we were even taking some of his branded YouTube content and repurposing it and cutting it down and making them into really good Snap ads. And so I think that if you're going to take the first step, or you're going to dive a little bit deeper, you don't have to say what do I need a $50,000 budget for Snap? I think that you can get started and start going and start to get data and ultimately learnings. And then once you've taken the best of what conversion creative looks like, you can go and create bespoke stuff. But I think that from a cost efficiency perspective, we've had a lot of success pivoting, because our brands can do it quickly without a lot of added just creative needs in general. So XMondo to me, if I if you had to tell me take a client, put them on Snap, make sure they're gonna win. put a gun to my head doubt about the one the one that has been really surprising is Erna Laszlo, I touched on that and Pinterest. It was a perfect fit. But they have pretty significant budgets. And we were not finding the performance and Facebook's. And we said, Look, we're seeing a lot of success for a lot of brands on Snap, let's give it a try. Let's take some of the best performing trade that we have an Instagram that we think would work for a Snap audience. So these are a little bit lower price point, they're a little bit stickier, in my opinion. And so we're able to run a full funnel strategy, we were able to get really cheap cost per swipe up. And the return on adspend was a seven. And we are continuously feeding this platform with budget. To me logically, it doesn't really make sense. But I think that's what's so surprising for us and it's been really rewarding is that we're finding Snap can really be the next frontier for paid because the audience I think part of it too is that the audience, people, folks, my age where they were early adopters, they may or may not have been the perfect fit back then we're aging with the platform. And so with that comes the ability to market to older people a little bit more disposable income as well. So a recap a Snap, why do we love it? So look, it's hard when you do have a brand and you're like we fit very well with the younger Gen Z young millennial demographic, there's not a better place to reach your users Snap is really getting in gaining market share from a user base perspective. And I think that Instagram is losing ground because it is an extremely sponsored content environment. And I think people are getting really sick of it. And so they're starting to go to other platforms and try to understand like, Where's my time better spent. CPC is that rival display without the horrible bounce rates, I think that can be a huge difference in planet channel Roy's when compared to Facebook, the amount of time that they spend in the platform 30 minutes a day that's rivaling Facebook at this point, ad auction less crowded than on Facebook, there are less ad placements, but we're finding just that the competition is less fierce because I think a lot of people don't even know where to start with Snap. And then the lower funnel tactics, I would say that we find a lot of consistency in terms of how to capitalize and all of that customer acquisition and traffic acquisition that we do. We find just a lot of profitability there. And so I think a couple of years ago, it was looked at as an awareness Tool not so distant past, but now we're really finding a lot of profit. And it's just interesting to see how the space is shifting because there's some accounts where we're actually spending more in Snap that we are on Facebook and Instagram. Not gonna touch on TikTok quickly. Again, I think it's amazing. The pros are that they average monthly user time is also nearly rivaling Facebook and Instagram. The media types are expanding rapidly, I touched on Spark ads, it can solve your creative conundrum in the sense that looking at content that's already winning on the platform can now become a quick ad unit for you at the click of a button. The cons, the ad tech is just simply not as robust as Pinterest and Snap, I think that they're working out the bugs, they're working out the kinks. But from a targeting standpoint, just an optimization standpoint, we just don't find the same success. That being said, I'm still bullish on this entering the fray is like the next frontier of advertising, the user base is there and the adoption rates too high. But we're just finding it a little bit more difficult to find the performance there to Warren continuing to spend. I'm going to close out with some bold predictions. Snap is becoming the next Facebook, we consistently are finding the most performance in Snap, despite some weird fits from an audience perspective, I just think that they've got their act together and the performance is there. 2022 will be the year brands are forced to diversify. I encourage you all to take this year to dip your feet in, especially with q4 coming around the corner. We're always big proponents of spending early on the platform that once all of the inflated CPM and CPC has happened in q4, you're not necessarily paying for it, then the payment advanced siloed channel row as is dead. I think that with all of the issues that iOS 14.5. And I'll even touch on iOS 15. I've been reading a lot about it. I've been talking to a lot of people, it's even gonna affect email marketing. And I think everyone said when iOS 14.5 hit, like, you know, as long as you ever email build your first party data, they're saying now that Apple is going to be assigning ghost emails that people can opt in to say like, Yes, I want to sign up for this. But I don't want that my actual email. I just think that looking holistically across the board, at where performance is coming from, or just what performances as a whole is going to be really important. And I know that makes our lives difficult because we want levers to pull, I just think those levers are becoming less clear, at least in the immediate future. So looking at silo channel rise, purely last click and saying this channels not doing it, you might find that you turn that off, and you see some poor ramifications from it. Marketing infrastructure should be top priority. What I mean by this is that I think that the days of the digital native brand that just only pumps money into Facebook is going to have a really rough time moving for I think you need to invest in your website, you need to look at your UX you need to have, you need to have chat, you need to have nurture campaigns and all of your, your email stuff. I just think that building your marketing infrastructure with some of this data dilution attribution issues, super important. I think that there's even an additional frontier that's happening now. But outside of paid social, but I think like looking at CTV podcast advertising, you know, podcast advertising now is able to hook into your attribution or your analytics significantly more than ever before. So that's going to be something that people look to, especially as some of this channel stuff is just getting harder to make sense. what's what.

Aaron Conant 48:47

So a question that comes in is around creative. Content is, you know, it's in demand more than it's ever been before. Now, there's all these channels at the pump into I mean, you mentioned even TikTok and I agree, I mean, TikTok is tough, because it's UGC. And even if you, it's really hard to mimic that raw content in an ad. How are brands tackling this content issue? They got to make more than they've ever made before, and it's being consumed faster than it's ever been consumed? And yet, there's a price tag on it. That's, that's huge. love to hear your thoughts there.

Jon McGraw 49:27

Yeah, I think that creative is gonna remain expensive. But I think that what we're trying to do with our brands is that understanding that this multi channel strategy is going to be there. And I think that the ethos of what conversion creative is, just although might look a little bit different on these different channels, the principles remain the same. So looking at them, stop understanding that you have two seconds to grab somebody's attention and drive through your own. All message. That's really important. But I don't know, if there's a magic bullet to this, I think that that's why I've been sort of pitching this idea of dip your toes in, look at the content you do have now, can you be successful with that, and then make your creative efforts significantly more strategic and tactical, because you've tried this, you know, it works. It doesn't work, I think, where some of the brands misses. They're like, I need six content, and they go and trade it without any basis of what's going to perform and what's not going to perform. So I don't know if that answers the question, but I just think that start, start small, and then dive in once you have a basis for performance, and keep those conversion crater principles at the root of everything, because that's not going to change no matter what platform you're moving from.

Aaron Conant 50:49

Yeah. Awesome. So let's say we probably have about a minute and a half here. And Jon, I'm going to kick it over to you for key takeaways, you know, things to look out for, or, you know, things that people should think about over the next. You know, six months, I mean, then who knows what's coming up next. But I do want to say a quick thank you, to everybody who dialed in today, thanks for all the great questions, you have more, you want to learn more Blue Wheel, Jon and his team are great partners, supporters of the network and a ton of different brands in it. And that's both on the owned and operated side, as well as the Amazon side, they're really unique from that standpoint as a whole is they have a holistic view of the advertising budget. But if you are more than happy to make a connection after the call, 100% we're setting up a half hour just to pick their brains and find out what they're doing in this space. Also, you know, we'd love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today, too, I see a lot of, you know, people I've connected with in the past, we'd love to catch up, see what's top of mind for you in the digital space. And we can put together, you know, an upcoming either virtual event, or we're also kicking off in person events again, as well. So you're going to be around retail x, you know, let me know, if you're going to be in Dallas or anything like that upcoming events, we're going to be you know, getting back to in person events would be great to you know, see people rub elbows again, Jon, key takeaways for, you know, people on the line today would love to hear those and we can wrap it up.

Jon McGraw 52:13

Yeah, absolutely. Um, I mentioned to you for coming. And a lot of us make our years during that time. And so I think that I would encourage you talk to your agency, talk to your internal teams about if you're not in Snap, if you're not in Pinterest, I would recommend you really think about doing that now because q4 is a very expensive time to test that. And I think we were all saved a little bit, because a cookie gate Armageddon, right, like it's continuing to happen, Google, thankfully pushed it back to 2023. But I don't think digital advertising is going to get easier, let's put away I think it's going to get harder. And thankfully, in a field that is very hard, we found it becoming a little bit easier. By having these levers that we can, we can pull. And if you're not in the channel, again, I think there's a unique opportunity where it's not status quo. If you introduce a new channel, understanding what's going on with your top line should be the clearest it probably ever will be in terms of you know, we weren't running this before we put significant budget behind it. Look what happened. Um, so yeah, I really encourage that. I think that we're kind of on a Warpath right now with all of our brands who are not willing to take the leap to take the leap. But this has allowed us to find some equilibrium, some homeostasis with Iran's revenue without completely sacrificing everything that we're doing with them. So it's not a doomsday conversation, but it's more or less, you know, we've been fortunate to be able to do this. And I think that when I showed that number of going from 98%, spend and Facebook to 89.5, that's going to skew even lower right, it's gonna get to 80% soon, and I'm, I think it's gonna only be beneficial for the rest of our brands and for you.

Aaron Conant 54:03

Awesome. Well, thanks again, Jon, for your time today. Thanks for all this great information. Thanks. You know, when this puts you on the hot seat for the past 15 minutes or so, thanks again to everybody who dialed in today. Hope everybody has a fantastic Wednesday. Have a great rest of the week. Everybody stay safe looking forward to having you at a future event and hopefully one of the in person ones we're putting on. With that. We're gonna wrap it up here. Get Everybody chance to get on the next meeting without being late. Thanks again, Jon. everybody. Have a great day. All right. We'll be in touch anyway, everybody

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