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In episode 93 of the Customers Who Click podcast, I had a fantastic chat with Asad Hamir about how DTC brands can use content marketing to grow.
I’ve noticed that DTC brands have this tendency to hide their blog somewhere in the footer of their website and never speak of it again. Why though? Content marketing is an amazing way to engage your customers and provide more value.
If you’re producing proper, high quality content, you’ll keep your audience engaged which is great for generating business and word of mouth, and it won’t be long before you also start to see the SEO benefits as well.
Asad is the Co-Founder of Nolii, a lifestyle-led tech accessories ecommerce brand. He has been involved in the telecoms and tech industry for 12 years but surprisingly, he comes from a medical background. Specifically, optometry. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn or head over to https://nolii.com/
03:42 - 13:58 - The Biggest Contributor to Nolii’s Growth - Growing a brand is hard as it is, and especially growing during the pandemic. And especially getting that first 1000 customers in. One of the first things Asad did with their team was attend a few fashion events in London to capture some leads. Then they started writing useful posts and promoting them through email and in just 10 weeks of doing it, they increased their open rate from 30% to 40%. It’s too early to say whether or not it had a major impact on Nolii’s SEO strategy but they’re starting to see an increase in their organic traffic as well.
14:01 - 22:39 - Biggest Challenge Nolii is Facing Right Now - Asad went down the route of building a bespoke website, specifically headless ecommerce which provides richer customer experience and is generally more flexibility with the design. However, with bespoke design comes maintenance (and associated costs) that isn’t as simple as managing a Shopify platform - it’s now the case of raising a ticket with developers if they want anything changed.
22:40 - 31:09 - How Opening up Physical Stores Boosted Nolii’s Online Conversion Rates - While more and more consumers opt in for online shopping, retail still plays a massive role. Except Nolii approached their physical stores as not a place where sales are pushed on customers but rather an opportunity to provide more value by being genuinely helpful, providing useful information and a great in-store experience with free samples etc. After a while, they actually noticed that many people would leave the store without initially buying anything, and then come back to purchase online.
It also comes down to credibility. It’s easy to stick a label on a website that says “As seen on Forbes” or Telegraph etc, but do customers actually pay attention to these things? Even customer reviews aren’t necessarily as impactful as they once were, so making your brand available to customers in-person is a great way to go above and beyond for your customers.
32:44 - 36:55 - Another Way to Build Credibility - Appear on Dragon’s Den - For one of his other brands, Ocushield, Asad appeared on Dragon’s Den which did wonders for brand awareness. After they got the investment, they saw an immediate uplift in sales that even though has dropped slightly, it’s still 40-50% higher than before appearing on the show. This however, comes with its own challenges because before you decide to do something that could easily double your revenue, you need to ask yourself: is your business ready for it? Have you got the resources to manage all that traffic, fulfill orders and serve your customers in general.
37:27 - 43:24 - At Which Point Do You Quit Outsourcing to an Agency and Hire In-House? - There comes a point as you scale when you have to decide whether outsourcing digital marketing to an agency becomes less effective and you’re better off hiring an in-house team. One way to overcome this is hiring freelancers vs. agencies and building that team of freelancers. Another challenge for Asad as a business owner comes back to marketing agencies and how to determine whether they really are as good as they claim.
43:42 - Who Would Asad Like to Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World? Asad is a huge fan of a wine cafe that opened up during lockdown locally. They’ve created a fantastic brand experience through social media and managed to open a restaurant and even wine subscription box - all in the space of 12-18 months.
45:16 - Asad’s Must-Have Ecommerce Tools: