Community Marketing: Leveraging Your Brand’s Biggest Fans with Archive’s Cofounder Geoffrey Woo
Disappearing stories. Missed content. Lost posts and tags.
For merchants, there’s inherent value in accumulating and sharing user-generated content (UGC) across branded social media platforms. From increased revenue and conversion rates to social proof, UGC can be a game-changer for today’s DTC brands.
But, what happens when posts expire or tagged posts go missing in the vast sea of content? How can brands effectively manage, categorize, and share organic social posts?
That’s where Archive comes in.
The Archive App, featured in the Shopify App Store, automatically saves Instagram Stories and tagged posts and then uploads all content to a central, easy-to-access location within the Archive App.
To learn more about how Archive is changing the digital marketing game for DTC brands, we sat down with Cofounder Geoffrey Woo to chat about the value in creative content and the future of ecommerce.
What’s the Most Important Aspect of Marketing? Community
Similar to many in the industry, Geoffrey Woo remembers what ecommerce was like in the early days—especially pre-pandemic. A few years back, Shopify wasn’t the dominant platform that it is today.
When Woo launched Health Via Modern Nutrition (H.V.M.N) in 2014, he built and optimized in-house platforms. He saw the need for more tools beyond the buying and selling component of the ecommerce experience.
Fast-forward to 2022, marketing and advertising—especially as it relates to the Facebook pixel—have drastically changed for ecommerce brands. There’s no playbook.
Due to these ongoing roadblocks and hurdles, most marketers have shifted their focus to community building. Woo says, “We realized the power of unlocking community. Marketing is just a structured way of amplifying goodwill within your user base.”
What’s worked in recent years isn’t going to necessarily work in the future, either.
Woo adds, “We’ve seen so many playbooks and growth hacking techniques. But when we stepped back, we realized some of the most important questions in marketing: How do you build a community? How do you scale a community? How can you amplify the excitement of customers who are already passionate about your product?”
Those questions—and the insights he gained from founding H.V.M.N—led Woo to launch Archive.
“Behind every brand is a powerful community. Brands need to amplify their fans. Empowering their voices and content is more powerful and authentic than buying Google or Facebook ads.”
Key Marketing & Community Components
Woo has seen firsthand how much the marketing game has changed over the past few years. He admits, “Landing page optimization, targeted ad creative, and smart audience selection worked well for the first generation of DTC ecommerce companies but not so much anymore.”
So, what does successful community marketing look like today?
Now, there are complex algorithms. “Meta has shifted Facebook's broad-based algorithms to be more effective and smarter than any marketer manually creating audiences,” says Woo.
Instead of focusing on finding the right target audience for ads, Woo suggests prioritizing the creative and letting the algorithms do the hard audience work.
He explains, “With access to UGC, brands can run 3,000 pieces of creative and let the data inform target audiences and paid media spend.”
Audiences are now way savvier as it relates to influencer marketing tactics. What worked early on doesn’t work anymore. So many brands spend massive amounts of money on influencer marketing instead of intentionally partnering with influencers who are totally brand-aligned.
With Archive, Woo hopes to remove the clunky nature of influencer marketing and automate the process in a way that makes sense for both brands and creators.
“Take the same marketing budget and spread it across 100 or 1,000 nano-influencers and you’ll get amazing results and a more authentic community.”
The Ecommerce Ecosystem and Archive’s Place in It
To learn what resonates with an audience, DTC brands need to dive into the numbers.
Aside from categorizing attributes from the biggest customers, Woo suggests looking at the following key metrics from influencer marketing campaigns:
- Engagement ratios
- Comment ratios
- Like ratios
- Community engagement: How does an influencer engage with the community?
Brands need to hone in on the bigger picture and look at the overall ecommerce ecosystem. Each sector has its own set of enablement tools, and each tool unlocks new opportunities for ecommerce brands to work in conjunction with the big players.
To run an effective ecommerce brand, Woo says brand builders need to pay attention to retention, loyalty, marketing, and analytics. Additionally, they need to use tools like Archive to build out brand communities and better understand how content attracts an audience.
What does Archive’s future look like, especially as more and more ecommerce brands start thinking about the next generation of the web?
Woo wants Archive to be at the forefront of ecommerce innovation. While Web3 is relatively new, he anticipates growing Archive as the ecommerce ecosystem evolves. For now, the Archive team is focusing on solving problems for the largest number of users.
He notes, “If we do our job right with the Archive App, we can be the start of every marketer’s workflow. We think the creative asset is the start of any advertising campaign. Knowing what your customers say about your brand impacts all marketing efforts.”
Archive has ambitious plans to empower and enable the next generation of digital marketers.
“Our goal is to give superpowers to digital marketers,” says Woo, “There are so many unnecessarily manual parts of a digital marketer’s job. So much of it is moving assets around. If we can be the pipe and tubes connecting all the different touchpoints and channels, we can add a ton of value across the entire digital marketing ecosystem.”
“We want to unlock interesting, creative ways for communities and brands to popularize themselves versus using the two playbooks that everyone uses: paid search and paid social.”
- What to pledge
- How to improve
- Which tools will set you up for success
I think the most important thing brands can do in 2023 is to better manage their customer data—both ethically and effectively. There’s an opportunity for brands to know their customers better than ever before—a clear benefit for both the customer and the brand. When you manage your data correctly, you’ll create stronger and more personalized ads, creative, site experiences, and so much more.
This is a classic: Let the data guide you. Go where the buyers for your products are and communicate with them on a personal level (i.e. by persona and funnel position) and nurture those relationships (past, present, and future customers). It’s possible—all through data.
We recommend that Shopify brands analyze and update their websites using data-driven decisions. Using analytics tools such as heatmaps and scrollmaps can help brands better understand how customers are interacting with their store.
Store owners tend to make assumptions about the way customers interact with their website. Most never go back and analyze their design choices to find pain points or areas of opportunity. By using heatmaps and scrollmaps, they can see where real customers are clicking and concentrating their attention. Leveraging this data, brands can start to iterate on design and make their online store experience streamlined and intuitive.
Hotjar provides a simple way to implement heatmaps, scrollmaps, and recorded user sessions on your site, helping you acquire incredibly informative user data. Additionally, it gives you the ability to create on-site surveys, which allows you to obtain direct and often critical feedback from users about their experience.
Test various attribution models and analyze the impact on your business. At Fifty Six, we are always here to help our clients identify and optimize their approach—a critical step in any successful marketing strategy.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times–Customer Lifetime Value. And even more importantly, Future Lifetime Value (FLTV). With the ever-growing importance of first-party data, it is crucial that brands take a good look at their CRM and FLTV metrics.
Stop allocating budgets to low-hanging fruit that doesn’t move the needle on conversion. Think about what’s really going to improve your CX and the return of undertaking different initiatives—not just on what’s top on your list of bugbears on the site!
One of the best ways to understand your customer behavior is by using HotJar. Their heat-mapping and screen recording tools shine a light on where customers are navigating to and from on your site, where they're rage clicking and experiencing frustration, and where conversion is dropping off within real life customer journeys and flows!
Understanding your customers’ pain points via data and analytics , will allow you to work with your CRO/CX Agency to solve customer frustrations and improve conversion.
Rewind backs up all product, customer, and order data for Shopify sites—essential since Shopify itself doesn’t provide this solution. It's saved so many of our clients time and money from administrative accidents.
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33% of customer service inquiries are pre-sale questions. What does this mean? If you’re not investing in customer service, you’re missing out on revenue-generating opportunities.
The benefits of elevating your customer experience:
- 10% to 25% increase in AOV for customers who engage with live chat pre-purchase
- 21x higher conversion rate for customers who reach out via Live Chat or SMS compared to other site visitors
- 87% of customers who have a great customer experience will make another purchase
- 72% of customers share positive experiences with 6 or more individuals
Gorgias is our favorite Helpdesk platform. They can reduce costs by 35%, primarily by decreasing the average ticket handle time. Their machine learning algorithms are trained on millions of ecommerce-related interactions across Gorgias’ customer base and provide accurate, automated replies for the most common ecommerce inquiries. This helps our agents resolve tickets faster, which provides the customer a seamless experience.
Trust your agency! Agencies do the same things across multiple brands and niches, so we see the trends and have the practice and experience!
Don't be afraid of data and insights. If customers aren't clicking on your emails, try a new CTA. If your ads are driving good metrics at a small spend, start scaling. If your customers are complaining about a product, look into QA! If the data tells you something isn't working, let it go and try something else!
I'm supposed to say Tydo, right? 😉
Double down on differentiation. There will be a lot of headwinds this year and standing out from the crowd will set you apart.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video? Probably millions. In ecommerce that value translates into engagement, acquisition, and retention—everything you need to impact your bottom line.
At soona, we've seen the we've seen the impact of creative and the continuous split testing of it yield results. Our resolution is to challenge ourselves and double down on innovation and creative optionality so that each brand we work with can distinguish themselves in a crowded sea of D2C ecomm. We'd love to see our brands share this resolution and keep pushing the creative limits.
Klaviyo. We're using it to power our email and newsletter at soona too!
Optimize your returns strategy! This can lead to valuable customer insights, enhanced user experiences, and increased revenue and customer loyalty.
Brands need to dive deeper into understanding their customers to set themselves up for success. Conduct research to gain insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By doing so, you can develop targeted strategies that will enhance customer experience and boost overall retention.
Right now I would say Gorgias. Having a good customer service tool is crucial to building strong customer relationships.
Start paying heavy attention to data, specifically around retention. We see a lot of effort put towards acquisition with the assumption that once someone buys, they are your customer forever. Instead, get to know your customer, understand their needs, and analyze their behaviors once they are on-site and judge their sentiment after they have visited. Work with a retention focused and data-driven agency to implement tools that contribute to repeat business and customer delight. It will pay dividends.
When surveyed, about 80% of ecommerce merchants think that they are delivering a great experience to their customers. However, when the same customers are surveyed, only 8% of those customers think that they are getting a great experience from the merchant. Now, more than ever, retaining loyal customers is an essential part of any online business and you should spend time with your customers to judge their experience with your website and products and offer improvements based on that feedback.
Tydo's report cards are an essential tool, along with Klaviyo for email and SMS, Recharge for subscriptions and memberships, Okendo for reviews and surveys, Rebuy for AI driven collections and upsells, Loop for self service returns... each tool is great on their own, but their strength as the ultimate tool comes from when they are used together!
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