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The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we survive as a business. Businesses are having to pivot to online to stay connected with their customers.
Travis Chambers, founder of Chamber Media, believes one of the key factors in growing an online business right now is the increased value of Ad Creative. During a revealing and candid interview with SHOPANOVA, Chamber shared insights about how his business managed to not only survive, but thrive, during this crisis. Chamber, 32, is one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 and has become an undeniable industry leader in data-crafted video ads. With over 4,000 productions in its coffers, Chamber Media has experienced over $600 million in revenues in the last year. During the pandemic, his company has grown from 20 to 90 employees, all while doubling revenues. Chamber says there are 4 key components for adapting to the new marketplace and growing your business.
1.Invest in Marketing including Ad Creative
Businesses must continue to invest in their marketing, including ad creative. While it is tempting for small and medium sized businesses to cut costs on ad spend in times of economic slowdown, this is not the time to cut costs. In fact, ad creative should be at the top of a shop’s priorities list. The reason for this is simple: we are in a time when e-commerce can reach a captive, quarantined audience. Most adults are home, whether working remotely or home with children attending remote school. They are on their laptops and pc’s and shopping online has gone through the roof. Investing in good ad creative will capture this audience, and they will respond in ways that will contribute to the long-term growth and sustainability of your shop.
2.Forget big productions and focus on mid and low-funnel strategies
Even though many brand marketers have very strong stereotypes about direct response, Chambers says that no matter what the product is, there will always be a problem your product can solve. The secret of effectiveness lies in a basic advertising principle of finding a problem, presenting the solution and offering a call to action.
When asked about high-end productions versus direct marketing, testimonials and product demos, Chambers points out that for most of today’s business founders, top-of-the-funnel production videos are not usually worth the investment. Chances are, unless you are Apple or Nike, you don’t need a flashy or elegant aspirational or spokesperson ads. Those are typically successful for top of the funnel clients with large budgets and a huge following already. Testimonials and product demos are often more effective, as the viewer can see themselves experiencing the product by seeing others doing so. For most companies smaller in size, testimonials, product demos, and direct response ads are most effective.
3. Work on your Business Plan including the leadership layer.
How was Chamber Media able to grow so significantly in employees in just one year? Any company that grows quickly faces challenges – growing during a pandemic adds many new challenges. The answer, according to Chamber, is that their business plan contained a detailed leadership plan, and this plan guided the growth of the company regardless of the pandemic. Often, leadership plans are undeveloped or nonexistent in a small business’s plan, but this layer is critical and should be fully developed.
Although Chambers finds it surprising that many agencies have not grown under the pandemic, noting the captive audience, he also explains that his company’s game plan for growth had nothing to do with the current crisis and they would have grown between 80 and 90% regardless of COVID. The main priority was investing in the task of developing to a solid leadership layer the year before. This leadership plan guided the growth of Chamber Media even during these unprecedented bumpy times. Chambers suggested that entrepreneurs should not rely on dated notions about what works and what does not work and instead focus on planning and develop a leadership plan that will guide your company as it grows. Without this, you will have to adapt “on the fly” and that leaves your business open to potentially disastrous results.
4.Develop the right strategy for your budget, brand and message.
In this era of new media, the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) should not be the first consideration. Instead, mind the UGC (User Generated Content) which has become a pivotal piece of the ad campaign. Chambers is adamant that you must take a good look at your budget, brand and message before making ad creative decisions. Knowing the factors that help grow your business can make a huge difference in keeping on target and creating an effective spot or campaign.
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