How This Brand Became a Thought Leader in the Women's Shaving Market
by Felix Thea Podcasts Sep 12, 2017 30 minute read Leave a comment Email Pinterest Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Trust is a key part of the buying process. If customers don’t trust you, they won’t shop with you. And as an unestablished brand it can be hard to build a repertoire with potential customers.
That’s where content marketing can come into play, not just as a way to drive traffic but to establish your own expertise in an industry and show customers you’re interested in more than just their purchase.
On this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll hear from Karen Young, the founder of Oui Shave: a better shave for women, by women. Find out how she uses her blog to build Oui Shave’s credibility in the health and beauty industry.
It takes 7+ times before they actually build trust in you enough to part with their hard earned money.
Tune in to learn
How to identify your customers’ most painful problemsHow to use your marketing dollars wisely for content marketingWhat kind of results should you expect when you first start your content marketing
Listen to Shopify Masters below…
Subscribe to Shopify Masters
Download this episode on Google Play, iTunes or here!
Store: Oui ShaveSocial Profiles: Facebook, Twitter, InstagramRecommendations: Shoelace, Shogun (Shopify app)
Felix: Today, I’m joined by Karen Young from Oui Shave. That’s O-U-I Shave. Oui Shave creates a better shave for women by women. It was started 2015 and based out of Brooklyn, New York. Welcome, Karen.
Karen: Hey, Felix. How are you? It’s nice to be here.
Felix: Yeah, I’m good. Thank you for coming on. I love the name. Tell me how you came up with the idea of, I guess the brand name for your business.
Karen: That was actually a really funny incident. I’ve always had trouble shaving, so always had irritation, ingrown hairs, razor burn. I mean, I tried every razor that I could think of from the little two-blade type of razors to the five, six, seven-blade crazy, I call them weed whackers, and I will never forget. It was around spring time, like around this time of year in 2014. I had been working in beauty for quite some time, and my girlfriends and I decided to go get a manicure-pedicure type day out. It was a beautiful day, and I … This is something that maybe you won’t know, but any woman-
Felix: Probably not.
Karen: … listening, any woman who is listening knows that especially when the weather turns warmer and you go to get a pedicure or whatever, we normally will shave for the benefit of the person giving us the pedicure.
Felix: Makes sense.
Karen: Because that might give you the massage and everything, and you don’t want them encountering your stubbles, so that’s precisely what happened. They’re like, “Let’s go get a mani-pedi,” and so I grabbed my razor, I shaved. I went and met them at the salon. I put my feet up on the basin to get started on my pedicure, and my entire leg was covered in razor burn, and I had just shaved like minutes ago.
This was my norm. I just got really, really frustrated in that moment by it. My friend turned to me, and she went, “What’s going on with your leg?” I was just like, “Listen. This is, just happens every time I shave.” We just started going off on to how awful the process was and how uncomfortable it was.
A few days later, I was on the train, and it had stuck with me. It was really, really, like, I was really holding on to just how bad this process was. I worked in beauty, and I just couldn’t understand. I had access to so many things, and yet, I was still using a really crappy pink razor and having a bad experience on top of it. I literarily said to myself, “What the F, we shave, too.” Literally, that’s how the name came about, and anyone who saw me on the train that day probably thought I was a mad woman because I just started laughing so hard, and I was just like, “I think I just found the name of the company.”
Felix: Little did you know, that was the beginning of your empire that you were building.
Karen: One that started it all.
Felix: Yeah, okay, so you had this idea, this spark in your head for this brand. What was the next step? How did you know, I guess you knew there was an issue. You had this issue. I’m assuming you already, you knew the other women has the same issue as you. What did you decide to do next?
Karen: Next, I basically went down the rabbit hole of the shaving industry and learned how razors were made, like the, from beginning to end in terms of the history of razors as well and how we had come to the plastic razors and what those were about and so on.
As I got a little further into my research, I saw this razor called the safety razor. I was just like, “Huh. That’s really funny.” Any time I ever go to buy a gift for a man in my life, uncles or cousins or anything, any time I’ve always wanted to buy a beautiful, thoughtful gift for them, I would actually usually go get them a safety razor. I would always been like, “Oh, let me up your game a little bit, you know what I mean? I know you take care of yourself and so on. Let me gift you something that’s on a next level,” and they’ve always absolutely loved it.
I remember when I was young, I would see my uncles in this sort of process of shaving, like this really fascinating ritual where they would lather their face up and use the beautiful boar’s head brush, and then the sink was full of water, and they would do this really slow intricate, very patient shaving and rinse the blade in the sink and so on. I just, all of that sort of came back to me all at once and just flooded me. It was just like, hmm, why don’t women have this?
I dug around a little bit more, and I found that in 1915, actually, that same razor that I saw my uncles using was what women started shaving with from way back then. I learned a little bit more about the difference between the multi blade razors and that single blade, and it seemed as if that single-blade razor was better for sensitive skin and was just more of a real thoughtful process, and so I was like, “Okay, do I have the nerve … ” and I kind of was like, “Okay, I’m going to give this a try.” I was nervous. I was just like, “All right. I’m going to give this a try. I’ve never used anything like this before, so let me just see if I can, if I have the nerve to do it.”
So I ordered some samples, well, I call them samples now, but I ordered some products, basically, and I gave it a try, and I was blown away. I was absolutely blown away. For the first time in my life, I was shaving without any sort of irritation. I couldn’t believe it. My skin felt amazing, and I just didn’t have any of the aftermath of shaving that I was so used to.
From there, I just, I did my research on finding the company that could help me launch this business.
Felix: I’m looking at your website right now, looking at the products, and like you’re saying, these are existing solutions that were pretty much catered to men. It was very much a product for males, but when I’m looking at your site, looking at the branding, it doesn’t look that way. It looks like a feminine product, a product that could belong to women, that you could gift to a woman. What was involved in that rebranding of a product that was predominately focused on selling to men, but now you’re selling it and rebranding it for women. What was involved in that process?
Karen: The biggest thing when I decided to repackage the experience for women was education and problem solving.
For me, I always consider problem solving to be the core of this company’s growth and its existence, actually, because I think that was the smartest and the best approach for us because at the end of the day, what I was really experiencing myself and what all of my friends were experiencing and most women that I talk to was the fact that shaving was inefficient, and it was really uncomfortable. When I thought about the company and thought about pulling the entire product line together in such a way that it would appeal to women, the first that I really wanted to hit on was that the razor was better for your skin, the shave was better for your skin, the products that we compiled around that were actually suited to women’s skin and suited to their sensitivities around shaving.
I thought about like … I had experience in the beauty industry. I’d been in the beauty industry for about four years at that point and working for one of the largest prestige beauty companies, and so when we pulled everything together, concept, packaging, and finally got to the consumer at the end, it really had to be about how we would solve the problems we were having and how we would address women’s needs. I knew that in our packaging, in our orals, in our, even our copywriting, I had to address the issues that women really truly wanted to solve, and that’s where I still always come back to the irritation that’s usually caused by shaving.
The other part of it would be education, which was just we had to figure out how to teach women how to actually shave with this thing.
Felix: The problem-solving aspect of it, how … I guess this is a little bit different, maybe for you, because you had this problem that you were trying to solve, but when you think through it, and if someone out there is trying to solve a problem that maybe they don’t have, but they’re trying to serve their customer base, how do you identify what are the most important problems that your customer has that will help you market your product?
Karen: In our case, I guess I, you might not consider it lucky, but I definitely, I guess I was lucky to say that I experienced it, and I knew that it was enough of a problem because I had the connections and the funds and so on that I could say everyone that I spoke to had the same issue, but if I didn’t have that, I think I would’ve just started from actually getting a sense of who I thought my customers were going to be and starting to talk to them.
Even though I was coming from a position where I could say, “Oh, gosh. I really hate shaving as it is, and these are the issues that I want to address and solve.” I never took it for granted that just because I had them and a few people that I knew had those same problems, I didn’t take it for granted that everyone that I came cross would have those problems, and every potential customer that I reach would have those problems. I still don’t, necessarily.
For me, once I kind of, I started scaling from a very, very small position, so it was like, “Hey, I have this problem,” and then my friends have this problem, and their friends have this problem, and then I started going out after that.
I started looking into the Eco-Beauty and the Green Beauty community and finding bloggers and so on, and I reached out, and I started getting to know people, even before I really launched or gotten anywhere, I stated getting to know people, some of the bloggers. Then there was an event, and I was just like, “Well, I’m just going to show up at this event.”
I think that was actually the first time I was able to validate the idea a little bit more because it wasn’t just I was coming out with something that was just really cool or you know, like, you know what I mean? It wasn’t just like the next iteration of something that was already out there. I was actually able to meet people and say, “Hey. I just launched this line. I have this problem. I’m trying to talk to a few more people and see if they have it as well,” and the validation was incredible. I mean, I went home to find people had ordered while I was talking to them.
It’s just really, really powerful to figure out how to validate that product from a small position as I could and then see if I could scale it from there.
Felix: Yeah, and while you’re going through this validation of the problems that you wanted to solve, did you encounter any problems that maybe you thought were bigger, maybe because they were bigger for you, but then as you were talking more to your ideal customer, you found out that maybe your problem wasn’t as pervasive, I guess pervasive in the marketplace?
Karen: I didn’t, actually. I was pretty surprised to find that even if we were … The thing is with women is that we have so many different ways to remove hair, so even if she didn’t necessarily shave, maybe she had come to waxing or so on, every woman was kind of able to say, “Ah, I may not do it anymore, but when I did, it was absolutely awful.” I have never, to this day, met a woman who’s just like, “No, I don’t have any problem shaving. It’s actually a really great experience.”
We were able to, that sort of kept the fuel going. Even if you weren’t going to use the product because you had made a different choice for your skin, you certainly knew our pain points, and you at least knew other people who would use the products because they shave, and no matter what, it still sucks for women.
I think the biggest things that we had combat, we were not prepared for was the education that had to go into it. I just kind of … I’ll never forget my very first iteration at the site was like some photos that I had taken with my iPhone or whatever with some flowers in the background, and I was just like, “Hey. Yeah. That’s it. I’m just going to put this up there, and people are going to flock to this site.” Not really, but still.
It was like, no. No. You actually have to convince women that this is not just a regular old thing, and also, you have to teach them how to use it. I would say that was the biggest pain point and the very first lesson, not just because I was able to pick it up and use it immediately. Like I mentioned before, I had two of my uncles using it until I had a sense of how this product was used, but many of our customers had never seen anything like it before, and so for them, they were just like, “I have no idea what it is you’re talking about or how I’m supposed to use this,” so education, definitely, was one thing that I was not aware of.
Felix: It’s almost like there’s two stages of education, and the first stage for you was just to convince women, specifically, that this is a product that they should at least learn more about or at least learn about the problems that can be solved by this product, and then once they’re convinced of giving you essentially their time and their attention, then you have to teach them as to how to use it.
As the customer goes through these stages, is your marketing, your education, how’s it different as you help your customer progress down this path?
Karen: I really put a lot of thought into a funnel, in a sense, which is pretty much the progression down a path. What I try to do is start out with educating women. That’s just, for us, that has a lot to do with content. We really put a lot of time and energy and effort into our content, and it’s not just around shaving, it’s also around, our customer is interested in generally taking care of herself. She’s into exercise. She’s into beauty rituals, and she’s into learning about ingredients and recipes and all of that, so we put quite a bit of work into getting a sense of who she is.
We have some really, really wonderful customers who are quick to tell us what they need, what they like, what they don’t like, and we’ve been communicating with them steadily in order to really build a long-lasting, thriving relationship, not just like, “Yeah, you bought this, and now it’s done. We figured out how to server our customers, and one of those is consistently keeping her informed and updated beyond shaving, but just also what are the aspects of her life that she wants to do better at, what are the things that she loves, how can we keep talking to her and informing her as we go along?
We take that position from whether they’re our customer, and they’ve been our customer for two years, or whether they’re someone who, literally, maybe just heard about us and maybe is still thinking about it and considering whether they want to spend the money on the brand.
Felix: You’re basically looking for these vocal customers of yours that are talking about other problems that they have, not just related to the problems that, them buying your specific product solves, and then you can add value back to them by not necessarily creating a new physical product or creating an enhancement on the existing product, but through content, through education, helping them improve their lives or solve other problems that maybe your products itself cannot actually solve but through the content, through the brand that you have built, that’s how you solve the problem. Is that the approach that you’re taking?
Karen: Yeah, yeah. We’re really … One of the things is that you’ll see that when you go on to the site, for example, the names from the razors are actually from the Sex and the City characters. I’ve had some people say, “Wow, you’re really into Sex and the City,” and I am. It was a great show, but beyond that, what Sex and the City actually was, was a collective of these girlfriends, and they were there for each other, and it was like they helped solve each other’s problems and so on. It was just like, they were funny, they were attentive, they had the best information on what was new and what was hot and what was in and so on.
The reason the razors are named after those characters is, is that when women come to the site, we want them to feel like they’re at home. We want them to feel like they are hanging out with their girlfriend in her room, in her closet, in her whatever, and just kind of having a good time.
This is a resource for you to know that this is a place that it’s not only about shaving, but it’s also how we can help to nurture you and take care of you as a customer. I just try to weave that into everything that we do. Our marketing is not about, let’s hit you over the head and figure out how to get you to buy a razor. Our marketing is about, what are your needs, how can we help you, how can inform you.
I like to say, in our email, we talk about bikini lines all day long, but that’s because women feel comfortable coming to us and saying, “Hey, I have experienced this, and I want to know will your razors help,” and, “How can they help?” and so on. I think it’s really special that our customers can have these really intimate conversations with us, and that’s in part because we built this really trusting extended relationship with them that’s not just about them parting with their money.
Felix: Clearly, this is paying off for you, but when you think, you sit down and take this approach of creating content, it’s a pretty long-term, long game. This requires a lot of work, probably more work than just running ads to get them to convert immediately, like you were saying.
How do you balance, though, how do you know what part of your, how much of your time should be spent on creating content that maybe who has a longer time to conversion versus just running more and more ads at the customer to try to get them to buy.
Karen: Well, we ran some experiments in the beginning where we just, similar, like we came out the gate like every eCommerce store does, and we’re just like, “All right, put all this money into this, and we put up this great website, so it’s time for us to get some sales,” and so we ran some experiments just pushing ads out there, and it was a waste of money. It takes time, and it takes a little bit of massaging for the customer to get a sense of who you are.
I educated myself as much as I could. I think I, the stats that I had heard was like it takes seven-plus times before they actually build trust in you enough to part with their hard-earned money.
I just thought, well, if it takes that much time anyway, why not just, instead of using our money, our marketing dollars to where it’s just throwing out ads, that’s a waste of time, why don’t we actually just get to know the customer, get to … Let’s run some experiments and see if we’re in the right ballpark of who we think they are and what they’re interested in.
It was truly running experiments that actually helped us to get an understanding of where we should be spending our money.
Felix: Could you say more about these experiments? Let’s say someone out there has some marketing budget that they’ve been throwing into Facebook Ads, and it’s just not getting them the returns they want, and they want to take the same approach as you to run these experiments, to learn more about their customers, and ultimately, use those learnings to create content and do more content marketing. What’s involved in, how do you allocate those dollars, and what do you spend the money and time on to learn more about your customers?
Karen: We started out with just running a couple of ads, so we built a couple of customer personas, and we were super new at this point. I said, “Well, this is who I think the customer is, and this is who I think would be interested, and this is what I think that they do,” and this was at the very beginning. We really didn’t have that much to pull from at that time, so we made up our customer personas. We went out there, and so we took a few of those personas, and we built audiences for them in Facebook. We launched to those audiences, very little bit, not a lot of money thrown at it or anything, but we just needed to do enough to validate, see if we could validate this persona that we had.
It really didn’t go anywhere. I pulled back from that, and I started looking just a little bit deeper at beauty, in and of itself, and basically how the industry has transformed and so on and spent a lot of time on Instagram.
What I saw was that the most successful, not necessarily even brand, I didn’t really look at too many of the actual brands. I looked at the bloggers and the women who were really into beauty and Instagramming their beauty routine and their, they call them empties, the products that they’ve actually gone through for the month or so on. They were showing these, and they were giving feedback on what they thought about the products and what their routines were like.
These were some of the most engaging conversations that I had ever seen. I mean, they had like hundreds of comments, and women followers were like, “Well, what should I do about this?” It was almost like you were at the dermatologist office. Everyone was asking all sorts of questions about skin care. These women, bloggers, and Instagrammers, and so on, they were just corresponding and having really thoughtful dialogue with their followers, and it just kind of hit me. It was just like, well, we should be doing that as well. We should be positioned as a thought leader in this space but also a trusted source.
I went back and pulled the ads that were just pushing out “buy this, buy that.” I pulled those, and I just started creating the content, instead, around it. That’s when we really started seeing really great results. We were still relatively new, so I feel like if I totally, I did the whole dollar a day thing. I was like … We didn’t … I, currently bootstrapped, and we didn’t have a lot of money to throw at it, and yeah, I totally just put as little as I could just to see if we could validate this idea, and we really started seeing such a fantastic response to that that that’s been our plan since.
Felix: Got it. Just to break this down a bit, you first took that approach that I think a lot of entrepreneurs start with, which is just to run ads, and then you saw no sales, I guess. Is that what made you reconsider your approach? Is that what happened with the initial test?
Karen: Yeah, but even so, we didn’t really see much interest, like clicks and comments or, yeah.
Felix: Got it. You saw that, but when you see that, you didn’t get deterred and say to yourself maybe there is no market for this product?
Karen: No, no. I’ve always really believed in the product, number one, because I use it every day, and I absolutely love it. As I mentioned, I had actually started going out and talking women and meeting them face to face, and even if I just pulled up the website and showed them that here was a product that was actually made for you, I mean, they would just, you would think I had just given them an entire chocolate cake or something, and I say that because I’m a lover of chocolate cake, but-
Felix: I got it.
Felix: You knew that there was a market for it, you just didn’t know how to reach them yet. Then you realized that there was just so much engagement, so much conversation just from people asking questions, curious, asking about skin care, and you knew that there were a lot of demand for that kind of content. There’s a need for answers to those questions, so you went out and created this content. Was it in the form of blogs? What kind of content were you creating?
Karen: We created blog posts, for sure, and so we would just boost those blog posts within Facebook. Then as we got a little bit deeper into it and got much [inaudible 00:28:43] instead, and we started separate landing pages, but simple enough, we just started with blog posts.
Felix: I want to definitely talk about this, then. Did you have success right away with, let’s say the very first blog you created, you boosted that and … Did you have success right away? What was success to you? What were you trying to measure at that point?
Karen: For us, success was people moving from Facebook over to the blog post and actually reading it. Those were, that was our first conversion that we were looking for. As we got a little bit more sophisticated and had a little bit more of a budget to use, we started creating funnel from that, from the people who went over and read the blog post, then we would maneuver them into our funnel. I’ve actually always been a big fan of, I’m going to mess up his last name, is it Gary Vanderchuk?
Felix: Vaynerchuk, yeah.
Karen: Yeah. I read his post Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook or something along those lines. I probably just messed it up.
Felix: I think that’s right.
Karen: I read the book, and I was just like, “Huh. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking.” Anyone who doesn’t purchase from that blog post, we keep moving them into the funnel of more and more content until we actually get a sale from it, and we use Shoelace for that, which is absolutely, they are absolutely fantastic re-targeting. But yes, we have seen incredible conversions from that, and I think it also goes back to us learning so much more about our customer and learning how to target a little bit better in Facebook, too.
Felix: Nowadays, you’ve expanded the … Why is it … I don’t even know how you started, but it looks like this scope with the content you’re creating has expanded beyond just skin care or just using your razor. Did you start off with more specific content at first that was highly related to your product?
Karen: Yes. Yeah. I definitely did. I wanted to establish Oui Shave as a thought leader in the women’s shaving market, so it was really important to just continually focus on the product and the things related around it.
Our customers, we were also gaining more customers at this time as well, and so we also utilized the feedback that they gave us, and those were some of the things that they wanted as well, so it was just like, “Tell me how I can shave this area better? How can I do … ” just basically things related to shaving, so we knew that that was an area where we could dig our heels in for a bit without exhausting it for a while.
Felix: Okay, so now that you’ve gotten them over to your page, and then if they didn’t buy right away, you would re-target them with other content. How much content are we talking about at first. If someone wants to take the same approach as you, how much legwork should they do at the beginning to start building out a funnel like yours at the beginning?
Karen: It really only takes, I’d say maybe about like four to five blog post to play with. That gives your audience enough to see as you move them through the funnel without them getting too bored.
Felix: Now, you said that nowadays, you have moved on from just the blog post into creating separate landing pages. Can you say more about that?
Karen: Yeah, yeah. Now, what we’ll do is, we use Shogun in the Shopify store to create these really fantastic landing pages. Since we’ve gotten a little bit more sophisticated now with our targeting, and we actually have enough customers to get a really good sense of customer personas and who they are and what they’re interested in, we just create these landing pages using Shogun and move our audience through to those.
Then depending on what they do once they get to that landing page, we continue moving them through the funnel or obviously directly into a sale, but that helps us track a little bit better, like how are different blog post are performing, and it also helps us to tailor a little bit, so there maybe something where we’ve said, “Well, we have an audience. We have a potential audience. We want to build out this audience in Facebook.” I don’t necessarily know if this is something that needs to be on our blog.
Let’s say we think that this woman is interested in organic foods or something like that. We’ll build a page for that specifically using Shogun in order to test, and then we’ll drive that customer there instead of creating a blog that feels like it’s all over the place. That allows us a little bit of a separate platform outside of the blog in order to test our content.
Felix: Yeah, that’s a good point about how you have to curate what shows up on the blog because the separate landing pages that you’re creating, there is no way to get them from your site. You have to almost come to it from an ad?
Karen: Yeah. Yeah, you’ll have to come to it from an ad, so we make sure to … It’s a very slim funnel.
Felix: Yeah, I mean, it sounds like it keeps the funnel focused, though. What else does it do for you? You said, you mentioned there was data elements that are … I’ve never used Shogun before. I actually have never of them but it looks very interesting now that I’ve looked at it and that you’ve spoken about it, but you’re creating these landing pages. It gives you more data than you would normally on the blog or what kind of specific benefits leads you to choose to create a landing page versus just posting a blog?
Karen: It actually, our data, our marketing manager and data analyst actually suggested it, and she really, she likes it because tracking it using the Facebook Pixel actually helps her to see very specifically, like if this only, like there’s, basically, there’s no other information or anything else going around that she has to dig a little deeper and figure out where the traffic came from or anything.
If we know very specifically, this is the landing page that we created, and we’re using it for this particular audience, we’re really able to segment the information and get a sense on how it’s performing. For every landing page that we create, we’ll also create a Bitly link. When you’re in there and it’s all about collecting data, we just basically want to brush aside any potential dust or anything else that could get in the way of us seeing what we need to. That’s why we create these separate funnels.
Felix: Got it. It makes it a lot easier for you to get actionable data from these landing pages. Now, when you are setting up a, when you create a landing page and you start to run ads to it, is there a budget that you have in mind? What’s a budget that maybe a beginner or someone that’s looking to get into this for the first time, what should do they, how much should they be spending to boost a post to drive traffic to a landing page?
Karen: For us, it really, like I mentioned, we were, started out super small. We’ve been bootstrapped the entire time, and literally, we said, “What’s the least expensive option?” If we just, when you were just running ads, I think the minimum for a Facebook Ad is like $5 a day or something like that, so we said, “Okay, what’s even less expensive than that?” because we’re truly experimenting here. We were feeling our way in the dark a little bit.
My data analyst suggested that we do the boosted post and those, you could start as low as a dollar a day. I’m in a few Shopify and eCommerce groups and so on, and I think one thing is that I’ll see people say, “Man, I spent $20 a day on this Facebook Ad for two weeks, and I didn’t see any sort of conversions and no sales, and it’s just so frustrating. I’m going to give up.”
For us, the way we saw it was like, if a dollar a day can get us at least a little bit of exposure, that’s still some sort of data to work with. Then from there, we can figure out if we’re doing the right thing and if we see any returns from that, and then we can scale.
I’m not necessarily saying that anyone who’s beginning needs to do a dollar a day, but I think what I am trying to say is that it’s okay to start small and set realistic goals for what your conversions are and understand that there are different conversions, like do you want to see people engaging with the ad? Do you want to see likes and comments? Do you want to see click-throughs to the website or the blog post or the landing page?
I think one of the mistakes that we make when we’re starting is that we get out there and say, and I did this as well, we get out there and say, “No. My only conversions are sales.” No. Set different conversions for yourself. Get an understanding of the different types of conversions and how you can develop from there a potentially warm audience to go back to now target and increase your budget. Then you’ll get close to your actual sales.
Felix: Yeah, I think what you’re also saying that’s important is that when you do run a campaign, and it’s not successful in terms of conversions or sales, a lot of times, people will just scrap the entire thing and say, “That was useless. Let me move on to the next thing,” but you’re saying there’s a lot to glean from that, still, there’s still data to be used, there’s still a, at least, warmer audience than before that you could re-target against because they’ve seen the content or the ad from you before, so don’t just toss it all out, but to work from it.
Now, when you talk about the data piece, what are you paying attention to, specifically, especially when you’re just starting out and you’re just experimenting and driving traffic to a landing page that has content on it. What are you looking at to determine what to do next?
Karen: For us, we look to see if, from there, anyone who has come to this, like that they come to that page and bounce off, that they come to that page and bounce off really quickly, that they stay awhile, what’s their average time on that piece of content or the landing page that we’ve driven them to, and then from there, what have they done after that? Have they actually looked around the site? Did they spend a little time? Did they read the About Us page? Did they actually put anything in their cart?
That’s where we start looking to, and that’s how we use the data to develop if we have a potentially warm lead from there that we could nudge into another aspect of the funnel or if we just have like, that that just wasn’t the right audience, and it’s just a very cold lead.
Felix: Do you use that information to determine what kind of content you create as well?
Karen: Yeah, yeah, because the more clicks and the more engagement and the more time on that particular page, have they gotten halfway through, have they read the entire page, that kind of thing, it helps us to see, well, we determined two things from that. One, did we figure this audience out correctly? Are we in the right area for them? Then also, are we going to up our ad spend on that audience based on their interactions with the content or with the site.
Felix: When you do drive traffic to the page, and you find that it’s maybe a flop. There’s not many people interacting with it, maybe not a lot of people clicking on it, and they’re bouncing quickly off of it, is your gut reaction that it’s an issue with the content or it’s an issue with the audience targeting? Which one do you pay attention to first?
Karen: Well, the quickest thing to change, because content really does, it is a little bit intensive to create good content, so the quickest thing to change is the audience. The first thing that we’ll do after that is come back and say, “Well, where may have we gone wrong in this audience? Is it the age or the interest or so on that we need to shift? We’ll play around within the audience itself, but I never let content die on the site because we do have this really fantastic engaged community, so for us, if it’s a well-written piece, and we just really didn’t find the right audience, we’ll actually move that piece maybe into MailChimp, which we use for our email marketing, or we’ll move it on to the Facebook Page and boost it to our regular audience as well.
Felix: What’s your process for creating this content? Are you still doing this yourself? Do you have a team working on it now? What’s the process?
Karen: I’m so excited because I just hired our first content created. Before, it was literally me … As the expert of the brand, I think it was important for me to not only create this thought leader position for Oui Shave and the women shaving space, but it was also important for me to get a sense of our customers, how they speak as well so that we could learn to speak back to them in the same language and get a sense of what it is, what kind of information would really drive them and so on.
I’ll tell you a funny story. A few months ago, we had like a, it wasn’t like a big snow storm, but you know like New York is always like, “It’s going to snow. It’s going to be 50 inches, and-”
Felix: All the time, yeah.
Karen: It’s just like, oh my God, so everything shut down, and I was sitting at home, and I was just like, hmm, today would be a good day to write like a nice, a good email because a good amount of our customers are in New York. I said if they’re like me, they’re probably inside all solid because everything’s shut down, and we can’t go outside.
I sent out an email that listed, gosh, I think it was, oh, it was five face masks that you could make from your kitchen right now with the ingredients that I know you have your kitchen. The open rate on that was absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I think we had like 70% open rate on that email that was just well-timed, hit our audience with something that they care about, and just really touched them in all the right places. Well, that actually sounds a little bit weird.
But that’s an idea of how we really try to get to be unique with our content.
Felix: Awesome. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense that you try to find the time too, to hit them with the content. I think that’s just as important as getting them the right content to them. Now that you’ve hired someone to join the team, to create the content, how did you, first of all, where did you find someone to hire for this role and … Well, we’ll start there, then I have some other followups.
Karen: It was actually someone that I have been aware of her writing for some time. I’d admired her writing, and I’ve seen her writing for a few beauty blogs and a few beauty companies and so on, so automatically, the hardest thing when you’re working to, when you’re trying to hire someone and bring someone on to the team is that level of trust.
I was just like, okay, it’s sort of that social proof a little bit there for even me as a brand and a CEO. I just was like huh, well, other people work with her, so that’s great. She had written about the brand before, so I knew, well, she had written about Oui Shave before, so I was aware of how she saw the brand and her perspective and so on, and she also has these connections in the beauty industry. That was really our first step. We actually plan on building out our content team quite a bit since it’s been such a driver for our business in the last two years. We’ll be adding some more from there.
Felix: I’m not sure how much involved she is at this point, but what are your plans for, essentially, giving the guidance and direction to someone that you’ve hired to create content?
Karen: As we’ve hinted at before, we’re definitely in the long game here with Oui Shave and with building the brand out, so a good amount of our content thesis are probably just, to begin with, are probably going to revolve around SEO and continuing to build Oui Shave as a thought leader in the women’s shaving space.
Our first plan for her within the first month or so are going to be around that. One thing that I’m actually really excited about is that her will will also include video content, which isn’t something that we’ve done too much before. We’re launching a new collection in June, and coming from this beauty perspective, we just have so much that we could hit on to create content that I’m super excited. I mean, women, our audience cares so much about ingredients. They care so much about rituals and process and the scent and efficacy in all of that so there’s quite a bit that we’re going to be able to do, so that’s what it’ll look like in the next couple months.
Felix: Very cool. Thank you so much for your time, Karen. Oui Shave is the [inaudible 00:48:50] O-U-I S-H-A-V-E dot com. Where do you want to see the brand go next? Where do you want to see it be, I guess, this time next year?
Karen: Well, I’m pretty excited. As I mentioned, we’re building, we’re launching some new products come June. I think one thing that I’m really, really, really super excited about is that we will also be introducing some new razors, some new colors, but more than anything, we have been building this brand, hand in hand, with our customers, which is really, really interesting and a fantastic journey, especially for a startup.
What I’d like to see is that we become the number one platform for women shaving in the next couple of years, and that will include content, education, and commerce.
Felix: Awesome. Very exciting times for you, then. Thank you so much again for your time, Karen.
Karen: Thanks, Felix. It was really awesome to be on the show.
Announcer: Here’s a sneak peek for what’s in store the next Shopify Masters episode.
Speaker 4: You just need to focus on one thing. If you can eliminate all of the other distractions that you have, so much can get done.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to Shopify Masters, the eCommerce marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. To start your store today, visit shopify.com/masters to claim your extended 30-day free trial.
Ready to start a business of your own?
Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify today
About the author
Felix Thea is the host of the Shopify Masters podcast, the ecommerce marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. Got something to share with Shopify Masters listeners? You can submit your story for consideration.