Where did the idea for your business come from?
It came from the realisation and frustration that platforms like Amazon were not considering the impact they were having on the planet, the packaging they use, how the products are made, who makes them and at what cost in both human and planet terms. So the idea to create a platform where all products and businesses listing have a shared set of values, that the products are ethically made and sourced, that they have minimal impact on the planet and are sustainable and that they are vegan or come from a vegan range. This also means they are aligned with Choose Conscious as a business. This provides consumers with an alternative. Interestingly recently like many companies Amazon are having a really good go at green washing themselves, any improvements are important and should be applauded but consumers need to
look beyond the surface.
What's a typical day like?
No day is the same, I like many founders have to wear many hats, so anything from social media planning, to contacting new business to discuss listing on the platform, to bookkeeping and so on!
What is the best part of having your own business?
The flexibility around the working day, work life balance, the freedom to create the business I want. Creating a business for good. Working with sellers that are likeminded.
What's the hardest part?
Always making all the decisions, decision fatigue is real!
What’s your bestselling product?
There is a wonderful array of different vendors listed on the site, from toilet brushes to Vegan Leather trousers but the best seller this month has been a Vegan Candle range.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your market research and always listen to your gut, oops that’s two!
Let's talk tech. Which software do you use in your business? ( Online store, email marketing, scheduling tools, video apps, accounting & banking apps etc) If you're on Shopify, I'd also love to learn your favourite apps.
I use Dokan and WooCommerce, Xero for accounting, Stripe, Mailchimp, HubSpot for CRM, Canva and Sprout Social. I’m always looking for anything that can help automate a process, so I have more time to actually run the business.
Which social media platform works best for you?
Instagram, along with Instagram shop.
What business book/podcast/courses would you recommend?
I’ve not read a business book recently, I should make time, the last one was Freakonomics probably 15 years ago! In terms of courses I’ve also not done any for years but if you are considering it remember how valuable your time is and invest only courses that fill in your skills gaps.
Where can people find you?
Are you an established e-commerce business with previous experience in running social media ads? If you're looking for some help with your social media advertising and are considering hiring someone to take the stress out of the process to help you reach your sales targets with high-performing social media ads, I can help. In this blog post, I outline the exact process I follow with my clients when it comes to my Facebook and Instagram ad management service.
1. Discovery and research
The initial phase is all about finding out more about you, the client. After an initial discovery call where I find out about your business, your goals, and any previous experience and success you may have had using social media ads in the past, I send over my proposal. In order to give ourselves enough data to make informed decisions, I generally recommend we work together for an initial period of three months.
Following your approval of the terms of us working together, I share a detailed questionnaire for you to fill in. This helps me find out more about your business and your targets and goals when it comes to marketing and advertising.
This then allows me to complete further research and analysis and understand how your competitors run their ads, for example. But it also helps me analyse what has worked or not worked for you in the past and why you may not be getting the best return on your investment. Thanks to my digital marketing and retail background and my experience of working with established e-commerce businesses, I can help you understand why your website isn't converting, for example. Or why your bounce rate might be high or why people might be adding products to their baskets but not going through to checkout.
With the information I collect during the initial questionnaire, I pull together various customer personas to test who is interested in your products and at what cost. In summary, I help you look at your e-commerce store as a whole. What's key is that we tackle any issues before we start running your ads. That way, together, we can get the best value for your advertising budget.
2. Audit and strategy
Before I start running your ad campaigns, I will ask you to provide me access to your Business Manager account.
This allows me to:
Once I've gathered and analysed data from your account and your previous campaigns, I will share my findings and discuss the relevant next steps with you. Depending on your budget, I will also advise on an ongoing social media advertising strategy.
3. Campaign setup and execution
As soon as I have your go-ahead, I am ready to start creating, running and managing your ad campaigns.
In order to do this, we will need:
Decisions and recommendations should always be guided by data, which is why I test different sets of audiences, creatives, and ad copy for you. This allows us to understand what give the best best results and make informed decisions.
If you want to find out more about what makes a good social media ad, head over to my blog post: How to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business.
4. Campaign management and optimisation
Managing your ad campaigns can be time-consuming for business owners and entrepreneurs. But in order to achieve optimal results, regular management and monitoring are necessary. This is why as part of my commitment to you, I access your account on a regular basis (often daily) to ensure your campaigns are working.
If I find that any ads are underperforming, I will remove them. I will also test new audiences and provide recommendations to enhance performance. In other words, if your ads aren't working as well as they could, I will either rectify the situation or contact you if necessary.
I pride myself on being open and transparent. I run a boutique agency with a limited number of clients, so I can give your business the attention it deserves. This is why I will treat your ad budget as if it were my own. If I find any bottlenecks (such as issues with landing pages, seed audiences, or budget limits) I will pause the campaign. My aim is to discuss any issues with you at the earliest opportunity.
5. Insight and reporting
Alongside campaign management, reporting is at the core of what I do. To ensure that you are making the most of your advertising budget, I provide monthly reports as well as weekly email check-ins. I include valuable campaign metrics and results to keep you updated on how your campaigns are progressing.
If I identify any issues that require discussion before one of our scheduled checkpoints, I will arrange a call with you. That way, we can talk through any next steps and actions required.
Are you interested in my Facebook and Instagram ad management service?If you are an established e-commerce business owner and are considering working with me, you can find more information on my Facebook and Instagram ad management service here. Or, you can book a FREE 30-minutes strategy call here.
If you'd like to find out about any of the other services I offer, you can head over to my Work With Me page or download my Price Guide. Please note that prices may vary, depending on your available advertising budget.
Facebook and Instagram advertising have been popular with all sorts of e-commerce and product-based businesses for a few years now. Brands all over the world have successfully been taking advantage of these social media platforms to reach their ideal customers and grow their businesses. But what about 'younger' platforms, such as Snapchat and TikTok? Could these be right for you? In this article, I take a deep dive into the world of Snapchat to help understand whether you should consider using Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
What makes Snapchat stand out? When it comes to social media platforms, Snapchat is quite unique. Augmented reality, engaging filters, and fun face swaps are certainly part of the attraction.
But a key element that makes Snapchat stand out is the fact that it has no 'vanity metrics'. Surprisingly, it's a world free from likes and follows. And for most users, this means it's a safer and more comfortable place to express themselves.
According to Search Engine Journal, "at a time when many people feel anxious or overwhelmed by social media, 95% of Snapchat users—more than any other app tested—say the app makes them feel happy."
And why, as a business owner or advertiser, would you miss an opportunity to reach out to an audience of people who are feeling positive when using a digital platform?
But who exactly is on Snapchat? And will you find your future customers there?
Who uses Snapchat?If you've been overlooking Snapchat in favour of other long-standing social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, it's probably because you don't think your ideal customers will be using the platform. Or perhaps you're not familiar with it yourself, and you're hoping to find new customers through Facebook or Instagram.
While this may be true to an extent, if you've decided not to include Snapchat in your marketing and advertising strategies, you may have been leaving opportunities on the table.
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, in the U.S. alone more than 30% of people on Snapchat are not active on Instagram or Facebook. Also, research conducted by Snapchat shows that the platform "reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-old's and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the US."
When looking at these age brackets, these numbers speak for themselves. And they suggest that Snapchat may be your best bet to make your brand noticed within these demographics. After all, if you're not on Snapchat, you're probably not influencing these audiences.
And while it's important to reach out to your existing customers and continue to build brand loyalty on other social media platforms, exploring the Snapchat waters may help you find new customers who could become your loyal fans and brand advocates.
But let's look at the Snapchat demographic in more detail.
Snapchat is the way to reach Millenials and Gen Z-ers
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, "51% of Snapchat users are 25+ years old" while "Snapchat reaches 75% of 18 to 34 year-olds. The breakdown below, courtesy of Hootsuite, shows similar percentages and includes shares of female vs male users.
With 249 million daily active users in Q3 2020 alone and 4 billion Snaps created on average each day, Snapchat is the go-to platform to influence Millenials and Gen Z.
And why are these generations important? Because they have direct spending power and are also responsible for heavily influencing their parents' buying decisions.
As digital natives, they're open to online shopping and being influenced online. At their age, they are still forming their preferences and exploring the kinds of services and products they want to engage with and buy from. This makes them willing to try new brands. And let's face it, in sharing their choices, they are also directly influencing their family and friends.
It's also worth mentioning that older demographics are becoming more engaged on the platform, as content has doubled year over year among those over 35 (source SocialPilot).
In case you're wondering, Snapchat is not just a US phenomenon. It's also popular in the UK and other European countries, predominantly France and Germany. As of October 2020, the UK had 19.5 million users (source Statista).
The graph below from Hootsuite shows Snapchat usage and figures per country.
Snapchat users are engagedRemember when we said that Snapchat users tend to be happier social media users? When you think about this, it's no surprise that Snapchatters are said to be more engaged and willing to take action compared to users of other social media platforms. It's why brands that experience success on Snapchat, report excellent conversion rates when trying to increase leads, downloads, and sales.
Data from Search Engine Journal shows that "a typical user opens the app 30 times a day".
They also state that:
If that isn't the definition of an engaged audience, I don't know what is!
Snapchat is all about videoAnother factor that sets the platform apart is that Snapchat is (and always has been) all about video. It's no surprise to read that the pandemic has increased the amount of time spent watching mobile videos. Data shared by Search Engine Journal states that 82% of Millennials and Gen Zers report watching more mobile video content after the pandemic hit the UK.
Also, "74% of Snapchat users say that vertical video is more personal and immersive than other forms of video". And "seven in ten Snapchat users say they would rather engage with a lot of shorter videos than get completely immersed in one longer video" (source Search Engine Journal).
So if you're going to invest in creating more video content this year, short-form vertical video is the way to go.
This is great news if you are considering Snapchat ads, as you have plenty of formats to choose from, including Snap Ads, Filters, and Lenses.
When it comes to setting ads up on Snapchat, the Ads Manager is an easy and intuitive tool to use. Once you have a linked business account, you don't need a lot of third-party editing services to get the job done, and you can create single-image or video ads in less than 5 minutes. The Instant Create workflow even allows you to input your business URL and will pull in photos directly from your website to help create your ad.
With similar functionality to the Facebook Ads Manager, you get to decide on your goals before creating your campaigns. So whether you want to create:
If you're unsure as to how to get started, you can test the platform out with a small daily budget (as small as $20 a day). With Snapchat analytics, you can then measure the performance and results of your campaigns in seconds. To make the most of your advertising budget, you can install the Snap Pixel, which allows you to collect information on actions taken on your website.
By using the Snap Pixel, you can:
While Snapchat may not be right for everyone, if you're operating in niches such as food, fashion, skincare, subscription boxes, digital products, etc. I hope this article convinced you to look into Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
Sure, what may work for one business, may not work for another. But with a minimum budget spend of $20 a day, the doors are left open for small businesses of all kinds. Start small and set daily budgets and spend caps and keep an eye on your results. By looking at data, you can tweak and adjust your ads to increase conversion without breaking your limits.
In summary, as long as you optimise towards your goals, you don't need to be a big international brand to advertise on Snapchat.
Would you like some help with your social media advertising? Adding Snapchat to your advertising strategy can help you find new customers, build loyalty with existing ones, and reach Millennials and Gen-Zers at scale. Will you take this opportunity?
If you're an established e-commerce business owner and would like some help with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok advertising, get in touch. I offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call, which is perfect for you if you want to find out how I can help you run and manage your ads and make the most of your budget.
Have you started using paid advertising for your business and are wondering how to get the most out of your Facebook ads? In this blog post, I share six best practices that will help you create winning Facebook ads.
1. Keep your ad copy short and to the point
Internet users have short attention spans. And we all know this because we are those users ourselves - don't we all spend hours on our phones and on social media every day?
If you're starting to use ads for your e-commerce business to boost sales, it's important you take your audience's attention span and time constraints into account and create copy that:
For more tips on how to do this, check out my blog post on How to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business.
2. Add multiple images of your product
When it comes to ad attributes, its visual elements, or 'creatives' can have a huge impact on the way your ad performs with your ideal customers. Because when you're trying to encourage social media users to buy your products online, showing them one single picture won't quite cut it.
The good news is that the Facebook Business Manager gives you the options to arrange your imagery into a carousel or a collection, and it's definitely something I recommend you try out.
The carousel format allows you to show two or more images (or videos) and makes it super easy for your audience to consume your content. They simply scroll through the pictures by either swiping the screen or clicking on the right/left arrows.
For best results, include headlines, links, and Calls to Action (CTAs) to your ad - these help you add context and detail to your copy and can act as further incentives for your prospects to click on that buy button. Of course, not all carousels will perform in the same way, so experiment with a few combinations of images and make sure you display your better-performing pics first.
It's worth mentioning that your images don't always need to be professional photoshoots. If you haven't arranged one yet, or if you only have a limited amount of professional photos, don't let that hold you back. Lifestyle photography and more 'native' imagery can also prove engaging and enticing. After all, it looks less staged, more natural, and more like a recommendation from a friend than an ad.
Plus, people will react to your creatives differently. If you're targeting prospects who have already clicked through to your website (i.e. retargeting), product photography may work better than lifestyle imagery, which is more appropriate for targeting prospective customers instead.
3. Keep image text to a minimum
According to Facebook, "images with less than 20% text perform better". This is why when Facebook ads were first introduced, a high percentage of them used to be rejected. In my experience, this doesn't happen as frequently anymore, but it's something to bear in mind when choosing your creatives.
Image text, especially when long and cluttered isn't always easy to read, and a large number of words can also take the focus away from your photos, and, therefore, your product. And that's the last thing you want!
If you need to add any text to your product images, such as a headline, a link, or a description, you can use the ad copy or space under the image instead. That makes for a better user experience and reduces your risk of having Facebook reject your ad.
And if, for whatever reason, you feel the need to use text over your images, keep it short, clear, and concise. Get your message across effectively, but ensure you're using fewer words and a small-enough font to keep the main focus on your images, rather than on the text.
4. Use vertical videos instead of square or landscape
If you've decided to include a video of your products, consider recording or creating your video in a vertical format. Why? Most people browse social media on their smartphones, rather than their laptops, tablets, or desktops. This means that when they're scrolling on social media, they're holding their phone in a vertical position.
If your video fits that format - and doesn't force your audience to rotate their phone to turn your video horizontally - you're already at an advantage. You're making it easier for someone to consume (and enjoy) your content.
Research from Buffer conducted in 2019 proved that vertical videos consistently outperform landscape and square videos in the Facebook news feed. And when you think about it, creating videos that utilise the full vertical frame means you have more space at your disposal than when choosing the square format, for example.
When your video takes up the whole length of the screen, you can focus and direct your ideal customers' eyes exactly where you want them to go. And with more space to play with, you can also think of different strategies to make your video more engaging, like splitting the screen in two or adding graphic or design elements to help you elevate the quality of your ad, which leads me nicely to the next point...
5. Enhance your images or videos with creativity and movement
In a busy market space (and crowded news feeds), you want your ads to stand out, and adding movement is an easy and effective way to do so. If you're sharing your ad on Instagram Stories, for example, Facebook provides free templates to help you animate your ads automatically.
But there's more you can do, such as creating timelapse videos, loop videos, animating text, or building videos that include images, text, and narration.
Here are a few apps I regularly use and recommend to my clients:
Never forget to include strong CTA buttons in your ads. You don't need to get extremely creative here. For most products, a simple "Shop now" or "Get offer" will be everything you need.
When deciding on your CTA, feel free to follow the Facebook Business Manager's recommendations, but be prepared to test a few combinations of copy, creatives, and CTA buttons.
For example, if you're running retargeting ads (specifically for those who have either visited your website or added your product into their basket but didn't purchase), you may want to try slightly different language in your copy. After all, these people have already seen your product, and this is your chance to remind them of what a great offer they're potentially missing out on. So perhaps consider giving them a little nudge and adding "10% off with this coupon code," for example.
CTA buttons can have different wording, colour, and formats depending on what you're trying to achieve with your ad, so, as I always say, be prepared to do some testing and see what performs better for you. Whatever you do when picking your CTA buttons, ensure they stand out. You want people to engage with your ad and take action.
Do you need support to get the most out of your Facebook ads?As you've probably gathered by now, running social media ads for your product-based business takes a lot of testing and experimenting. It's all about finding the right combination of ad copy, creatitves, CTAs, and platforms that will deliver the best results for you. So if you're an established e-commerce business and need some help to get the most out of your Facebook ads, get in touch.
I offer FREE 30-minute strategy calls that are perfect if you: