If you’re a company that has their values out there, you’re going to have people who don’t like you, and you’re going to have people that love you.
John Schuster is the CEO and Founder of JohnFSchuster, a Seattle-based full service digital marketing agency dedicated to building and driving revenue through the e-commerce market. Schuster is an instructor at General Assembly and serves as Vice President of the Seattle Search Network.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Schuster gives his insights into effective digital marketing tactics that brands can use to grow their business.
The E-Commerce Market: Shopify vs. WooCommerce (1:07)
You have a lot of smaller businesses who have grown and aren’t that comfortable with Shopify anymore. They’re running into some obstacles with them.
As a small business owner, Schuster has a deep understanding of the benefits of an online storefront. He credits Shopify as a real game changer for opening up the e-commerce market to a lot of smaller retailers. But as small businesses begin to need more autonomy over their site, as well as better customization, Schuster has seen them switching to WooCommerce and WordPress.
The freedom that WooCommerce brings, however, comes at a price. It requires some technical expertise to know how to properly run, set up and secure an e-commerce site.
Searching for Better ROI (2:31)
The same keywords that you might actually use on Google AdWords is also the same side that you can get the same traffic for free if you use search engine optimization.
SEO is considered a no-brainer to increase traffic for e-commerce sites as it has the highest ROI of any e-commerce strategies, according to Inc. While SEO can take additional time, Schuster believes its key benefit is a constant stream of targeted, free traffic. But most online shops are created with little to no consideration of search engines. Instead many brands rely on paid ads and social media which require significantly more effort and cost to manage.
In fact, search outperforms social and paid traffic by more than seven times as a source of traffic. SEO helps increase organic traffic and rankings better in search engines, a critical necessity for a successful e-commerce market strategy.
Targeted Ad Spend (4:10)
Google ads tend to be lower in the funnel for people ready to buy, whereas Facebook ads tend to be higher up in the funnel.
When trying to figure out which platform—Google vs. Facebook—to use for digital ads, it is important to review a brand’s business objectives as well as where their target audience can be found. Additionally, brands need to identify where on the buyer’s journey they want to focus: top of the funnel or lower down.
Schuster finds Facebook and particularly Instagram to be the most effective strategies for his e-commerce clients. They both contain psychographic and demographic data he needs to create a five-times ROI on ads. In the end, a brand’s choice of ad spend will depend on where they have the highest ROI, which is heavily dependent on their individual business and industry.
Email: The Old Reliable (7:10)
If we don’t have good follow up with the customer, we see a real decrease in the lifetime value of that customer. They don’t make that repeat purchase as often.
Compared to Facebook or Twitter, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers. And once a customer makes a purchase, Schuster finds that email marketing can help them in the customer value journey.
One of Schuster’s clients, for example, created an impressive introductory cold type funnel from a Facebook ad which ended in a customer purchase. He found that if email marketing wasn’t being used, the lifetime value of that customer decreased. But if they had a really good email funnel with a deadline, engagement and repeat purchasing is more likely.
A Group Effort (10:36)
One of the big sources, especially when it comes to Facebook marketing, is being a part of Facebook groups.
Facebook groups are places where people with common interests can share and express their opinions. There are tens of millions of Facebook groups that can range from public, private to secret. There is also a separate activity feed for groups from the main newsfeed. Activity in these groups is shared only to members. In order to join a group, you have to be approved by the page administrator.
Schuster is a member of some Facebook groups that provide cutting edge education from other companies who are leveraging Facebook marketing and ads. This timely and relevant information has helped him in his work tremendously.
This episode of Velocitize Talks was originally recorded in Seattle in 2019 and has been updated accordingly.