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When H&H Outfitters (STLHD Gear) came to us they were spending less than $10,000/month in online advertising, with mounds of opportunities ahead of them. Like many apparel startups, they were scrappy. The guy who was running their Facebook ads, was the guy who was designing their apparel, printing shipping labels, responding to Instagram comments, keeping track of their COGS and managing the day-to-day. Meet: the do-it-all owner/founder of STLHD Gear, Alex Hudjohn.
Before working with us, H&H Outfitters proved a few important things that were instrumental to the success of the partnership; they had a great product/market fit, an existing following of niche fishing fanatics, and they had already proved Facebook and Instagram advertising could work for them. Before working with us H&H had put in a lot of hard work to get them to a point where they could really benefit from working with hyper-specialized Facebook ads agency.
The biggest problem that H&H Outfitters was facing was knowing how to scale and grow their fishing lifestyle apparel brand through digital advertising while finding the time to create, optimize and launch ads, as well as keep up on the ever changing world and best practices involved with running successful Facebook campaigns.
Audience overlap. Competing audiences. Ad frequency. Audience frequency. The list of daily optimizations had not only fallen by the wayside, H&H didn’t know the right levels to pull to scale their ad spend while maintaining a high return on ad spend (ROAS).
Furthermore, in those early days of growing a business, every penny counts. There’s not a lot of room for test budgets and brand awareness campaigns when you’re self funded and carry a lot of skus.
This is the foundation for the case study. This is not a case study about impressions and clicks. This case study is about the hard work and and follow through on a comprehensive strategy that quadrupled a brand’s revenue over nearly 3 years.
Of course, a tremendous amount of work went into growing this brand through Facebook & Instagram advertising —much more than we could ever put into this case study. But if we had to pick the strategies gave us the most outsized results, we would narrow it down to these three;
Let’s take a deeper look at how we approached these three strategies and what worked:
There are two ways to grow a business: 1. You can find new customers and 2. You can get more from existing customers. We’ll hit on the second point below, but finding and converting new customers who had never heard of STLHD Gear was instrumental to their growth success.
Here’s how we did it:
“Fall Line helped us look beyond our core customer base and helped us grow our business into sections of the outdoor consumer group that we may have otherwise neglected.” – Alex Hudjohn.
There’s a saying in e-commerce advertising that Q4 starts in July. This is certainly the case for e-commerce apparel brands. The prep work to prepare your website, ads, pixel, data and strategy starts well before BFCM, and even well before Oct. 1. We work hard all year to best set ourselves up for success when we know consumer habits change and consumers have a higher propensity to purchase, and purchase more. Here are a few triggers we pulled beyond simply running sales and increasing spend over the holiday season:
Our main goals for the holiday season were to (1) increase average order value (AOV) and (2) make sure we weren’t leaving money on the table and focusing on growth. By running specific promotions, and highlighting certain “add on” stocking stuffer products we were able to increase AOV by 40% over the holiday period. By increasing our spend to match holiday CPMs (cost/1000 impressions) by 450% compared to our typical ad spend, open up our retargeting audiences to a wider period of time, and focus our ads to those who had already heard of us at least once we were able to increase our revenue in Q4 by 63.8% year over year while maintaining a 4X ROAS.
To say that this holiday promo was a success was an understatement. Because we worked with H&H the previous holiday season as well, the bar was set high and the typical levers to pull had already been pulled the previous year when we increased their revenue 68% compared to the previous year, so increasing revenue another 40% year over year was no easy task.
“Fall Line worked with us to tailor ads targeted to customers who landed in all the active funnel categories. They helped us create a funnel before the holiday season hit, that we could convert at peak time.” – Alex Hudjohn
Earlier in this case study we mentioned two ways to grow your business; 1. finding new customers and 2. getting more revenue from your existing customers. Getting your existing customers to purchase again seems simple in theory, but like everything else in this case study the devil is in the detail. Here’s what worked:
The power of social advertising is being able to target the right person, with the right message, at the right time. The message is going to be completely different for someone who has never heard of your brand, vs. someone who has already heard of you vs. someone who has already purchased. This message also changes throughout the course of the year as online shopping habits change. Taking each segment of your audience and looking at them differently throughout the year is key to Facebook advertising success. Facebook advertising will never be set-it and forget it for this reason.