Episode 266

Influencer Marketing and How to Create a Creative Flywheel in 2024

Cody Wittick - Kynship
January 3, 2024
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

Cody Wittick is the man. College hoops player. Agency owner. Podcast host. And, now, new dad!

Most important for this discussion: Cody knows how to scale DTC brands with influencer marketing.

In this episode, we discuss the right and wrong ways to build an influencer marketing program. We talk about winning creatives and who's smarter: media buyers or the machine. And highlight the parallels between running a business and being a father.

What was my favorite part of the conversation, you ask...?

How to use influencers to build a creative flywheel.

I'm convinced you need enough quantity and quality of creative on a weekly basis to scale on all of your most important platforms.

And in the episode, we talk about how. Enjoy!

Show Notes:


Hey, Brett Curry here. It's time for another spicy curry hot. Take the part of the show when I get just a little bit spicy. So I believe you don't just need a creative approach. You need to build a creative flywheel. You need enough quantity and enough quality of creatives for all of your platforms. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, YouTube shorts. And then this flywheel needs to get better over time so you can test, iterate, improve, and keep the flywheel going. It's not just about one or two hits, it's about finding repeated hits. Because I believe that success as a marketer, as a D two C brand really comes down to three things. Strategy. How are we going to utilize platforms, whether that's Amazon or Meadow or YouTube or Google, to build our brand and attract new customers and grow profitably. And that strategy is going to have to be kind of refined as we go and see results. Then what is our creative? So what are we saying and how are we saying it? And really everything depends on how good your creative is. And it's about execution. How are we calling the right plays and how are we using platforms to their fullest? And what are the mechanics of bids and budgets and campaigns and all these things that go into success? All the little details that make you successful, but you got to have good creatives, and I believe you need a creative flywheel to really be able to scale and scale profitably

Well. Hello and welcome to another edition of the e-Commerce Evolution podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. And today we are talking about creative flywheels. We're talking about influencer marketing, and we're just getting you locked and loaded to crush it this new year with your marketing. And my guest is a returning guest. He's a friend of mine. He is a guy that I admire and just love hanging out with, but I've got Cody Whittick here. He's the co-founder and CO CEO of kinship. Cody, what's up my man? How's it going? And welcome back to the show. Thank you. Thank you. You made that CEO of OMG very clean. Those were back-to-back o's, and I was pretty proud listening. Nice. Well, you must, you're a podcaster now. So you see these things. You hear these things. Did not even notice that I did that, but I will accept that compliment gladly. And that you have to enunciate is the key. There are times when I find myself slipping into more podcast or voice at home, and my daughter's usually like, what are you doing right now? I'm like, I'm just excited. I don't know. I'm just talking in an excited fashion. So some new stuff going on in the world of Cody recently since we last talked on the podcast, but one, you are a podcaster and two, you're a new dad. So which of those would you like to tell us about first?

Well, the podcast game has been like a year. It's been a year. Okay. The new dad game. It's been four months. So any tips? Four months. I got 'em. I got four months of knowledge for everybody out there. Four months, nothing left to learn. You've mastered the role of being a dad and now you're like, next challenge. I've got this. Yeah, I took all that stupid advice that told me to get sleep before the child comes, as if you could over index and build up a pool of sleep to stockpile. But yeah, no, I'm ready. If only were that easy. Just sleep for months before baby comes. Before baby comes. Yeah. Yeah. That does not work. Which by the way, you look well rested, you look good. Are you getting sleep at night or is this just because you're still young and fit and you can fake it?

Actually, baby girl has been sleeping pretty decent at night. Terrible napper at this point. But yeah, I'm getting rest and I'll take the daytime struggle versus the nighttime struggle. Oh man. Yeah, so wild story here. So we have, my wife and I have eight kids that most listeners know that we are officially done. So no more kids. All of our kids, all eight of them slept through the night. They were terrors by day. We had insanity and chaos, and it still is insanity and chaos during the day. But we could sleep at night and if you could sleep at night, I believe you can handle just about anything. So glad to hear. We'll take the no naps if they're sleeping at night for sure. That's good. Are we drawing any parallels between fatherhood and entrepreneurship? Are we too early? That probably is actually the best advice that I got.

Well, I wouldn't call it advice. It was basically, Hey, it's just starting a business. You never really know what you're doing until you just jump in. And I thought that was a perfect analogy because actually it's probably even harder. It definitely is even harder. It is. You're not taking any previous chops of marketing or, oh, I did email at X, Y, and Z brand and into this you just, it's just sink or swim, man, keep this baby alive, sink or swim. And yeah, there's really no advice to fully prepare you for being a parent or being an entrepreneur. You just got to do it. You just got to jump in the pool and swim, try to keep your head above water. And what's also interesting about kids is every kid is different. So even if you were to master how to parent this one kid, the next kid's going to be different and then you got to start over again to a certain degree.

And so yeah, lots of parallels between being a parent and being an entrepreneur and so Awesome. Any cool takeaways from the pods? You're about a year into the podcast. Any cool lessons or takeaways or you feel like you've grown through that process? Yeah, I guess it's actually been a year and a half. I think it was June of 22 we started. Yeah, man, it's just repetition. It's just like anything else you just get, it's more fun to riff. You don't have to prep every single question. You can ask spontaneous questions based on what the listener said. I think I'm getting better at explaining my 2 cents and rolling that into a question, which you do very well. And a lot of great podcasts have been doing this a while. They add context and then roll that into a question. So yeah, I'm enjoying it. I like it.

I generally love asking people questions, so it's very natural, especially once we started doing guests over the past year and there's just so many interesting founders doing cool stuff that have awesome brands for sure. And I think the key to being a great podcaster is really the key to being just a great marketer in general. And that's being curious, being curious, asking good questions, hearing something or seeing something and saying, wait a minute, let's dig into that just a little bit more. And really, I think that's the key to coming up with great marketing ideas or business ideas is being curious and being thoughtful. I love that. And so really glad you're doing that. I thoroughly enjoy it as well. And you talked about reps. I think it's really important that we talk about that for just a minute. Related to anything business, I'm helping our sales team refine our pitch and refine some things internally.

And just been reminded as I've been going through that and going through some resources and listening to Alex Ramzi and a few other people, it takes way more than just a few reps. You may get, Hey, I'm six or 10 podcast episodes in, why am I not Tim Ferriss by now? Why am I not just this? It takes a lot of reps, it takes probably hundreds of reps, it takes years of reps, and you're still getting better even as you're going through those hundreds of reps. And so I think that's something important to keep in mind for us as we develop in our leadership and in our marketing prowess or product design prowess or whatever, or our podcasting abilities. But also it's important to keep in mind with our team as we're coaching and training our team, like, Hey, Tim, you've been on six sales calls.

I would not expect you to be crushing it yet, right? You got to get dozens and then even hundreds of reps. So kudos to you guys for putting in the work. Appreciate it, man. Yeah, that's a great call out. It's the old outage, right? 10,000 hours. Yes. And it just applies to so many things. Almost everything really. Yeah. So awesome, man. Well, let's dive in. I want to talk about influencer marketing. I'll talk about creative flywheels and I think we'll probably spend most of our time talking about creative flywheels, and I have my thoughts there, but your perspective is unique and I really value it. Let's talk about this concept of seeding. And I've heard you guys, and I've heard a few other pros in the social media ad space talk about seeding. What is that? How is that going to make our social ads better?

Yeah, seeding comes from the old farmer like terminology where you're seeding out a bunch of seed and you throw it all across the ground. Some sprouts up as crop and some does not. But the more that you seed, the more crop that you have. So same parallel. Usually when people talk about seeding, they talk about when it comes to influencers, what's an influencer? People with social media following who have influence, for lack of a better word, over a certain audience in a certain category or persona type. And so we're doing that at scale. When you're talking about product seating, you're getting your product, that jacket that Brett's wearing or your hat brand or your consumable brand, all that stuff. You're seeding that out to influencers. And the way that we define it, the caveat, we define it as no strings attached. So there's no expectations for that person to do anything in return.

And that's what I would say is the true definition of seating, not how would delineate it from gifting, which is usually it's a product for post, there's some sort of transactional nature to it. We're very much over-indexing into the relationship. And so that means that no, there is no guarantee of a post in return or some sort of metric that you're analyzing on the backend. But of course, we've created a business out of this doing this. We service brands doing this. So we have certain expectations, and I'm sure we can get into that. But the principle is really build the relationship. Let the person or influencer rally around the brand and product, which is what you want ultimately anyways. And the only way to do that authentically is to just simply give them the product and let the cream rise to the top, if you will.

So let the people that love it reveal themselves. And usually they do that by actually end up posting. So yeah, it is really good. And I love the analogy, and we can look at the principle of sowing and the harvest and you reap what you sow and stuff. There's the biblical component and there's all kinds of agriculture imagery, and it's been used business for a long time. You got to plant, you got to water, you got to cultivate. And there's something really powerful about as we plant these seeds, that's not the thing we want, but you want to just put the seed out there enough times because you really don't know what's going to grow. Where's it going to find a good place to put in roots and where is it not? And really just putting kindness out there, putting a great product out there, connected with the right people, and the cream will rise at the top.

Good things will happen. There will be a harvest, there'll be a return on this if you do it correctly. So yeah. Well, anything you want to say on that? And then I want to get into how do you determine who you're giving stuff to? Yeah, founders are just too impatient, right? It's like we would a lot be better. I planted the seed yesterday, where is the crop? Where, yeah, exactly. Yeah. So yeah, I remember talking to one of our sales guys and he is like, I don't know what to do. This prospect's not getting back to me. And I'm like, cool, when did you email them? And they were Monday. And I'm like, it's Wednesday. We're just going to need to give a little bit of time. They're busy. We are going to follow up, we're going to do the things. But yeah, this is a big deal too.

It's not going to happen in one day. So we we're okay. Yeah, that's awesome. So then if we're going to go through this process of seeding and we're not really asking for anything in return, which I think is a great way to do this, how are we choosing who are we sending our products to? Where are we casting these seeds? That's important. Yeah, it's not spray and prey. Most people confuse it with. So there is a very targeted and documented, and you should have a very methodical approach to how you identify people. One just quantitatively and qualitatively matching it to your brand and product. But also you need to be able to identify people based on what you're hoping to get out of it, which is, for us, we're very much a performance marketing mindset. We're a performance marketing agency. We're thinking the end game of Facebook in mind.

What is going to help convert? So we want content, we want organic posts to happen. So we prioritize video content creation ability. We prioritize how good is Brett on camera and does he talk clean? Is he nervous? All these different things. Has he separated his O'S and back to back words and things like that. Great call out. Yeah. So those things are what we're taking into consideration. It's not, oh, seeding, I'm just going to spray and pray and spread it out to anybody and everybody. I mean, you're going to get a very fractional return based on if you're very targeted. And obviously it's kind of like no, duh, if you're a coffee brand, reach out to people that love coffee. There's basic things that you should just be doing. But you'd be surprised how many people, like this is the step that most people screw up, which is the train.

It goes into the wrong direction. It doesn't matter how good the service is, you're going to end up at the wrong destination. So same thing with this or how fast you go. If you're going in the wrong direction, you're going in the wrong direction. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So you got to nail identification. Yeah, it makes a ton of sense. And so both quantitatively and qualitatively, is this the type of influencer that one would have the right audience, the two would really likely my product and want to talk about it? And then have they proven that they can do this? What we want is video content if they've proven that they're great on video, and do we think that our audience would resonate with their video content? Because if they haven't done it yet, you shouldn't expect them to do it just because you give them your product.

And so yeah. Very good. Any tips or tricks or things you would add to that? How do we make that manageable? Aside from hiring kinship, which I think is a great idea, and I do encourage that, but aside from that, how do we make this process manageable? Yeah, I mean, if you Google influencer marketing software tools, platforms, it's actually probably going to be overwhelming. And that's just because there's so many resources. I mean, you can use free tools at your disposal. One of 'em being Instagram, one of them being TikTok creator marketplace, those are free and they're on platform. Meta has one called Meta for Creators or something like Instagram for creators. So use those tools. I mean, obviously you need to hire against how important this is to your business and just back out from that. But there's the low level overseas contractors to a full-time employee.

And how most start is they give it to their organic social person, and it's a fractional thing. Hey dmm, some influencers, but you also have to be realistic about the return on that as well. It's going to be a fractional return because it's, it's going to be a fractional thing. You're going to get fractional results. And so yeah, just how important is it? And yeah, my belief is, and obviously I run an agency like you, although we do different things, it's hard to hire the same talent you're going to get in an agency unless you've got a really big budget in a big department and you have multiple people you can hire. So yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Let's talk a little bit, I want to get into this creative flywheel concept here pretty quickly, but talk to me about macro versus micro influencers.

I think the name alone probably allows most people to know what we're talking about here, but define that for us, and then why is it important to make that distinction? Well, the general recommendation and what I would advise is that you start micro, however you define micro, we define it sub 150 K. That's probably broader than what most people 150 K followers. Yeah, exactly. And then I would start there because I think you can get a 10 to one return over starting with a million followers and the investment leap that you're making on that one person, you're putting all your eggs in that one basket versus spreading your investments out. It's kind of like one stock versus diversified portfolio. That's how I would put it. And think about it, you're going to have a diversified portfolio, not in potentially, it could be in different categories if it's applicable to your product and brand, but you'd want to spread it out to a number of different people with 10, 25, 50,000 followers, a hundred thousand followers.

And that's where you're identifying people, a pool of people to pick from, but more engagement. They've built their following on the content, not because they're on the Bachelor or they're a pro athlete or all these different things, and they kind of just got hundreds of thousands of followers overnight. So that's also why you're looking at it better engagement rate overall, if you're looking at organic metrics, I think very few brands earn the right to entertain macro talent, and there's a stepping stool process actually getting to that point, whether it be an annual revenue that you're actually getting to or just you as a brand have established that credibility and you're just kind of looking for that next thing, think Hex glad and Gordon Ramsey, all these different things. So yeah, makes a ton of sense and this part way better than I do. But the shift with most social platforms, it seems is kind of away from or less dependent on this follower model and more dependent on content.

And so great content can just go off. I know that's especially true on TikTok, but it seems like it's true on reels and YouTube shorts and things like that. The right content can take off whether someone's got a thousand followers, 10,000 or 150 or a million. So yeah, one want to know your thoughts on that, but I also love that you said, Hey, with some of these micro influencers, they built that off their content, not off of sports or something else that happened in their life. This was about content. And what we're talking about here is influence. So you can take the million followers and their influence over their audiences, a fraction of a fraction in terms of the people that actually see the content, let alone engage with it, versus the 10,000 followers that might have a smaller audience to pick from. But they're highly, highly engaged.

Food recipes, mommy blogger, how they're raising their kids. That's been proven at this point. So I would go from a micro to macro approach. If you're trying to go up the influencer pyramid, which is the terminology that we use, that there's stepping stones actually getting to that capstone. So that's how I think about it. Nice. And it really allows you to kind of perfect the game and understand what do I do with this content and how do I make the most of this content? And start with micro influencers where you're likely have a lot of quantity of content and influencers. And then as you work your way up, now you're maybe ready for those macro influencers. Any other insights that you would want to share on that influencer pyramid and how you help guide companies through that? Well, I mean the pyramid real quickly goes from seeding to organic posts to content, which all handles kind of in the seeding process.

And then there's affiliate where there's no upfront payment even at this step, but you're rewarding. Folks that love you are ambassador of your brand, and then you're going into more an ambassador level where they're may be more on longer term contracts. And then you have that capstone, which is what we call flag bearer, but it's a macro level person, the Gordon Ramsey of hela and I brought up again, kind of just the face of the brand, they're sticking the flag in the ground and saying, Hey, I represent this company. I'm a part owner, or I have equity or what have you. That's a name recognition type of deal. Got it. It's the Rob Gronkowski and built apparel. It's the peak, it's LeBron James and Nike, and then that sort of thing. Right. That's awesome. Well, I think that this is a good transition. Let's talk about building a creative flywheel.

And I want to kind of set this up a little bit and then I know we will riff on this for a while, but I'm a believer that really success as an agency, success as a brand comes down to a few things. One is strategy, and then we talk about this a lot thinking about strategy of the platforms that we work with at OMG, it's Amazon. So how are we using Amazon to build our client's brand, to generate sales, to position it long-term? How are we using Google and YouTube to build full funnel growth and new customer acquisition at affordable cost? I know you guys are using influencer and the socials to do the same thing. Then how are we using email to retain that revenue and grow that existing those customers? And then it's really creative. So the strategy and strategy is going to change as we go based on results.

You got creative and really creative drives everything. And the difference between mediocre creatives and creatives that just crush is 10 to one, a hundred to one sometimes, or getting the right creative is essential. And so I want to dig into that. And then it comes down to execution. It's like running the plays well, running the campaigns well and managing our budgets well and getting them proper media mix. And so that execution piece is really key. But let's dive into creative confident. If creative's not there, you're just sunk. You're wasting your time. Well, first of all, anything you would add to that, the strategy, creative and execution piece, any interesting? No, I think that's a great framework. I love that. Awesome. So then we're looking at creative, and I know every platform is different where tiktoks super creative, hungry, that's my understanding. And Facebook and Instagram are pretty creative hungry.

YouTube is not as creative hungry, but it is with YouTube shorts. And so we've got to create a lot of creative and it's got to be good. So talk about how you guys use influencer marketing to build a creative flywheel. Yeah, I mean it comes down from seating. So generally what our agency is getting a minimum of is 150 assets that come from organic posts, from influencers, no strings attached. We turn that organic posts into ad creative and we get usage rights to it, and then we launch it within meta. So I'm going to give you a very meta focused answer because that's how we think and that's where we're servicing our clients. I still think that's, even though I'm a Google guy and I love YouTube and I love Amazon, most D two C brands, Facebook is the largest share of the budget and that's it.

And so meta will tell you, and this comes straight from them, that you need two creative refreshes a month minimum. Got it. So we're doing once a week, so that's every two weeks. They're recommending minimum to get greater efficiency within your ads. We're doing it every week, so we're beating their minimum recommendation, but that means you need a lot of content. What you just said, that is the bottleneck that every brand, for the most part, 99% of the people that I get on the phone with that is the bottleneck that they are experiencing. It's very hard to keep up. It was what Gary V was preaching 10 years ago. It was just like content, content, content. Absolutely. So you need volume. And then what also meta recommends is create a variety. So you need a variety of different content. So what typically people do is they see, okay, product on white background, let's put on black background, different ad, but it's our best performer, so we should just rinse and repeat Facebook.

And the auction sees that as the same ad. So if you do that over and over again, what I just shared as an example, you end up in creative fatigue a lot quicker. What seeding does is it lends itself to volume and variety. And also just because you need volume and variety doesn't mean that you can't spend lots of money on each asset. So you also need to keep your costs down. So you need volume, but you need to keep your costs down. Seeding obviously for the right cogs of your product and unit economics, it can be very cost effective. And once your cost of goods start going above a hundred, it can be very astronomical, especially for the scale of which we work, right? A hundred creators getting product every month times your cogs is $10,000. Both of those things are very important and that's what sets us up well to have a creative flywheel for brands, and maybe people have heard this creative is the new targeting, 2018, 17, all the button clickers on the backend that Facebook media buyer gurus back in the day, those days are long gone in terms of all the manipulation that you could because Facebook's a business too.

And they saw all these button clickers that were making stupid decisions because the machine was smarter than the human. And so they've made it very simple with something called advanced shopping campaigns, a SC plus, those sorts of things that make it very simple to launch a campaign. And the main thing that leverages that new campaign structure is creative. So that's what I talk about with creative is the new targeting. You're removing all those buttons, things that you can move on the backend, but creative is that variety and volume that you can really manipulate to get better performance and efficiency. And I totally agree. I think there are still some cases, and I think with YouTube, especially in the beginning, you really need to guide the algorithm and there are some targeting things you can change, but I still fully agree that creative is the new targeting.

Without the right creative, none of the rest of it matters. And really then we begin looking as media buyers, we're looking at how do we feed the algorithm good data, how do we feed a good content, read the performance, make more great content, and then continue expanding and building on what we've got. But yeah, it becomes really hard, especially for these platforms that are creative hungry on the YouTube side, it can be easier. We can run the same two to three ads for months and months, but not necessarily with shorts. So it can become very expensive. How do we build all of this creative and it can't just be the same thing, but let's just tweak this one component or tweak the color or whatever. That's not enough. It's got to be seen in Facebook's algorithms, eyes as unique. So yeah, then what does that look like?

So you are refreshing, creative about every two weeks, every week. Then how long are you letting winners ride? How long does that, and I'm sure it's different for every account. It is very different. Independent winners never leave. So let's just take an example. We launch a hundred assets. You could typically see a third of those tops get actual spend, but if you think about it, it's just a numbers game. If I launch a campaign with a hundred assets, you launch a campaign with 10, I just have more at bats than you. It's just pure math. I'm just leveraging the machine so much more and giving it so many more at bats compared to you. So that's where creative is just crucial to being able to launch. And this gets into, well, if I launch a hundred creatives, Cody, how much budget should I get into?

And this gets into kind of cost controls and cost caps, and that's a huge hot topic on Twitter and the Twitter share. It's we are big proponents of controls. The ddcs Twitter space is blown up with cost cap discussions and whatnot. So if you don't know what that is, essentially we're telling Facebook we're willing to spend X and no more than that to acquire a customer. And so when you match that with your actual unit economics, whether you're on a subscribe and save model and you want to break even, or you want to actually go into the red to acquire a customer, your LTV is very strong. You can make those decisions because meta is motivated to spend your money. And so when you give it a daily budget, it's going to spend that money baby, but it's created something where you can actually mitigate that risk and only acquire customers at a target that you're comfortable with.

And meta doesn't have any insight into your unit economics. So they're going to spend, but you do so you can dictate the machine to spend accordingly. And how good is meta at that? So you give it a cost cap of what we're trying to hit 50 CPA or whatever. Are they going to kind fudge with that and go over that for a little bit and then bring it down? Or are they just pretty good about they'll hit it or just stop spending? What does that look like? Yeah, so this gets in the difference between cost controls or cost per result versus bid cap. So bid cap is going to actually be more strict and say it's not going to spend over $50. The cost control is going to take the average or the cost cap is going to take the average. So we'll spend not astronomically above, not even a lot, but it's going to spend above and I'll get to that average CPA that you want.

So there's a little bit more wiggle room to unlock spend, but whether you do have it cost capped or big cap, people need to understand it. It's also not perfect. We're talking about an advertising platform, you're in the game totally, so it's not going to be perfect. There's days where it's like, wait, it overspent. Yeah, you need to be monitoring your account. And that's our job with all of our clients is daily monetization of the cost controls adjusting up and down. Yeah, totally makes sense. And so then I want to key on something you said a minute ago. So you said this, I know it's all hypothetical, but I'm sure this is likely based in reality, got a hundred creatives, you put 'em in and you're testing them, only a third of them get spend. What if some of the two thirds that don't get spend, you're like, I think there's some winners in here.

I think there's some potential gold in here. Do you do something else to try to get those creatives to have spend or do you say, Nope, algorithm knows best, we're just going to move on? There was something about those creatives that the algo did not like. We definitely lean into we're dumber than the machine just transparently. The machine is smarter than all of us. But yeah, there's something to be said about there's definitely investment that brands make in certain creative that they want to give more legs to. So we definitely give more opportunities sometimes to people and to creatives that we see could be successful. But again, we're getting so much creative if it doesn't get spend. And Facebook also will tell you that spend is the leaning indicator of predictive results that you're trying to achieve. So if it's spending Facebook's basically saying, we believe in this content spending, we believe in this, we believe this has got something, there's something to this.

Yep. Great. Great. Yeah, totally makes sense. So then, okay, so we're seeding, we're getting kind of that initial batch of content. Now we're a third of those, maybe more get some spend. How many of those then end up kind of being winners? And then when do we go to round two of creatives or how do we keep the flywheel turning? Yeah, so we're just doing this every single month. I mean, you're just constantly seeding out product and getting new fresh content weekly. And we're not waiting for all 150 assets to launch in a campaign, for example, we're just implementing new content weekly. So even a campaign that I was just looking at recently, 93 ads, three of the pieces of content got 85% of the spend.

So that's even less than a third, which is what I just said. But again, that's what we want. That's not the 80 20, that's like the 95 5 rule. Yeah. So yeah, it just becomes really effective in launching as much creative as you can. And as we're launching creative into that account, we're simultaneously seeding out new product. And again, it goes into greater efficiency because that variety and volume is there. That's awesome, man. That's awesome. What are some of your favorite examples or favorite case studies for how this influencer driven, influencer powered creative flywheel has helped brands grow? Some of our favorite case studies, I mean for the lower tier people, I would say we've launched a couple brands that have gone from zero to 15 million, zero to 2 million within six months. 15 million was over 18 months off the backs of this. Now, again, I say this context too, it's like agencies I think get a bad rap because they want to take credit for the whole business.

It's definitely not true. Obviously there's a product, there's a brand, there's manufacturing, there's inventory, there's all these different things. We're servicing a great brand at the end of the day that has great legs and we're just throwing gasoline on the fire. Totally. You can't market your way out of bad unit economics. You can't market your way out of a broken sales process or lack of cashflow or lack of capital management or it's got to be a good business. And that's why we talk about we're here to accelerate growth. We can't, we're not turnaround artists. We can't save something that's fundamentally broken, but if you're growing, we can pour fuel on that fire. So love that. So yeah, so those are pretty impressive growth levers for sure. What else can you say about case studies or examples? Yeah, and then there's other examples of, we worked with M and msms of the world a couple of years ago.

We might've talked about it on the first podcast. We worked with them for over a year and saw incredible results. And then I would say predominantly the brands that we find ourselves working with are in that five to 20 million. They're kind of looking for that upper echelon of scale. And so one brand in particular, we've had him on our podcast as well, Jack Rubin and his brother Charlie at Purdy and Fig Natural Cleaning Supplies. You'd never think it's the most viral product, but man, I mean crazy post rates, crazy amount of assets that we're, again, numbers game. We're able to leverage that within that account. And just usually as you scale ad spend, and I'm sure you see the same thing on Google, CPAs just generally rise with more spend generally except the low hanging fruit, and then it gets harder to acquire customers. We've seen Inverse where it's like we're scaling ad spend and CPAs are going down, and sometimes we're taking over something that's kind of fairly easy to make changes and improve.

But that is our proposition is that we can reduce your CAC while scaling ad spend. And that comes from just the volume of creative ad target. And I think the reason that works, the reason that's possible within platforms is you got to think about what is the motivation of Meta or Facebook or YouTube or whoever. It's to deliver ads that people want to watch and want to click on. And so as you create better creatives, and often it takes quite a bit of iteration to get there, but as you create better ads, the platforms will reward you and they'll show your ad more, and Google will drive down your CPC on search and they'll potentially drive down your CPM on YouTube where your cost per view is going to go down as your ads improve. So then as you continue to tweak and dial that in, and as you improve your landing pages, then at scale you can maybe lower your CPAs.

I think usually the principles apply where, okay, but yeah, you hit some sort of scale, you 10 x that, 20 x that, whatever, you're probably going to get diminishing returns. But yeah, there's a level that most brands have not experienced where you're like, Hey, we could achieve more scale and better CPAs because there's just a lot of things broken here in what's going on. And that's another huge point that you just brought up about what is the point of diminishing returns. That is something that we're really as an agency over the past three to six months, we've helped people understand is how much can I spend at this target before I actually spend too much money and my incremental row is actually bad for my business? And that just comes through forecasting. That just comes through historical data. And we're really getting better at helping people understand that because I think a lot of founders just generally don't know, and their forecast is kind of some black magic out there.

And so it's like, well, let's just spend a hundred thousand dollars next month and then 200, I guess it should go up. What number feels right now? What number did I hear someone say on a podcast? Or what number did this guy say on, yeah, I heard two row eyes is good. Yeah, that sounds I want to be smart. Yeah. Yeah, really insightful. And this is one of those things where I think sometimes when you hit points of diminishing returns, you hit a cap, then that's often a time when you need another channel. So to give you an example, a couple of examples actually. One is with a long time client and friend, true Earth laundry detergent strips, shout out to my boy Ryan McKinsey. We helped them launch in the early days. We ran all their Google search and shopping and stuff. Once they started YouTube, it did fine for a little while, once we got to like 50,000 a month and spent on YouTube and then beyond, we saw Search Grow by 30 or 40% branded search went up more than that, their Google shopping results grew like 300%.

Remarketing grew. So you introduce this new channel, which makes sense, you're feeding the funnel, you introduce this new channel and it unlocks new growth. We've seen the same thing with Facebook, and we had this auto client where we just could feel it and see it in the search and YouTube or search and shopping accounts if they had to pull back on Facebook. We saw it. And I think there's also this area where Facebook can hit a cap and the introduction of YouTube strategically can help both spend more at affordable CACs. And so yeah, that's where you're like, Hey, if we're hitting a cap, we probably need to introduce a new channel and create some synergies with these channels to be able to unlock the next level of scale. I'm glad you brought that up too, because that's actually the other half of the value. I know a lot of my responses have been very focused on Facebook, but when you're talking about 60 to 90 organic posts going live from influencers organically, there's no paid distribution.

We're not whitelisting. We're not paying them to post. They're posting organically. And I had Matt Tuli from Pela case and Lumi, one of nine operators guys on the podcast. I had him on our podcast. And one thing that I said that has really stuck with me, and I've even used it in sales calls, is the two things that you're optimizing for, because they're huge on seeding, they seed out 3000 creators a month. So it's not just me preaching this folks, people have been doing this. He was like, two things. You're optimizing for trust with an audience, mass amounts of people communicating product and brand, you're optimizing for trust. Then two is signal because of iOS, 14 off-platform, signal went away, but Facebook still really loves Signal. So when you see all these organic posts, that makes your ad more efficient because you're getting all this signal into the platform, whether it's organic or paid, which you're already running paid.

So when you talk about unlocking new channels, that's one thing that's just happening. When you're doing seeding, you're unlocking a new channel, whether you admit to it or not, you could be doing this, no strings attached relationship focus, but it is a new channel that you're unlocking and helping your other channels. You just brought up great call out. So we're building trust. And it makes sense if you see something in the wild two or three times, especially when you get that, that the third time I've seen someone post about something, I'm like, there's something going on here. There's something going on about this product or this thing, and I got to check it out. So yeah, that trust is really built, and then the algorithms need signal. And so this is a way to provide that signal. It's brilliant. I really like it, and it makes a ton of sense.

And that's where I also look at any opportunity we can create like this. And I think a lot of these platforms do offer it, whether it's TikTok, meta, YouTube or whatever, where we can drive direct measurable conversions, but then there's a halo effect or some other benefit that comes with it, then all the better. And influencer marketing has that in spades because now you get all this organic lift as well. Totally. You're optimizing for word of mouth as well, which is untrackable, but so important. Everybody admits to it, but they are too impatient to work for it. Yeah. What's the most valuable form of advertising? The most trusted form of advertising? It's word of mouth, but it's a little bit slow, and you can encourage it and you can kind of guide it, but you can't control it fully. And so most of us are too impatient, but influencer marketing helps fuel that.

So really, really good. Cody, this has been fantastic. I'm all fired up about influencer marketing. So if someone's listening to this and they're like, all right, I need to get Cody and Taylor and the gang at Kinship working for me, how can they learn more about you and how can they connect with you? Yeah, connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn at Cody Whittick, W-I-T-T-I-C-K. I think there's an underscore on my Twitter in between Cody and Whittick, and then LinkedIn. I think it's just straight. So whoever the real Cody out there on Twitter is Twitter pulled up. And then our agency, K-Y-N-S-H-I p.co. And if you book a call, you'll talk with me. Yours truly, if you book a call, you'll talk with the one, the only, the podcast, hope Podcast host, and hope. Yeah, you'll provide new hope for your business, for your creative flywheel.

You'll be filled with hope after. That's call, no doubt. So Cody Whittick, ladies and gentlemen, Cody been a ton of fun, man. Thank you so much. We will have to schedule round three, and we should probably not make it like a year and a half or two years from now. There we go. I like it. Always enjoy talking to you, Brett. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. And as always, thank you for tuning in. My ask of you is, Hey, if you found this valuable, if this was inspiring or interesting to you, share it with another D two C professional, a store owner, a professional in the space. That's how we get the word out. We'd love to impact and help more people in this community, and hopefully we're having fun doing it as well. And so with that, until next time, thank you for listening.

Have questions or requests? Contact us today!

Thank you for reaching out! We'll be in touch soon.
Oops! Something went wrong!