Powerful & profitable subscriptions

Turns out the experts know a thing or two. So for our Powerful & Profitable Subscriptions Playbooks, we teamed up with 12 of the industry’s most successful ecommerce agencies to talk insight, strategy, and top tips. We’ve covered all the bases—from cross-selling and upselling to customizing the shopper experience—and compiled the best bits into actionable guides. 

In this post we’ll review highlights from Subscription Marketing & Advertising, looking at how you can maximize your ad dollars and make your marketing stand out. 

How does marketing fit into your mission?

Having an amazing product is a great first step, but how do you actually tell people about what you create and who you are? Marketing is how you find new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones, and build a brand community. 

These days, customers are inundated with messages from morning till night, on multiple devices, and different platforms. Standing out and striking a chord is a must. Especially for subscription businesses, which are grounded in the business and customer relationship, marketing functions as a key communication channel. It’s a major element of brand voice and essential for resonating with and reaching customers.

Find your Micro-niches

You already know that when you’re setting up your advertising, you don’t want to blast every person in the world—some people just won’t be a match for your product, and to maximize your spend you want to go after the most promising potential customers. For example, if you make energy bars, you probably target athletes and people who like to work out. But you can take this even further, adding on more layers to truly focus on a customer segment. This super specialization is a “micro-niche.”

Targeting a micro-niche lets you really zone in on your ideal customer and lean into specialization. For example ‘Sneakers for busy doctors’ or ‘Supplements for new mums.’ As you continue to market to this audience, you’ll get more data on how they respond to your creative, and be able to hone your strategy.

By having a more targeted offer, the market is smaller but brands can be sure to deliver a stronger, less diluted message.

Adam Pearce, CEO at Blend Commerce

You can also personalize your message more and make it hyper-applicable for the group you’re targeting.

Leverage an existing audience 

Working with influencers is a tried and true way to reach your micro-niche audience. Influencers already have established followers focused on an area of interest. Collaborating with them gives you access to a curated, specialized micro-niche, and aligning yourself with their name gives you credibility with their audience. 

By collaborating with influencers in your niche, you can deliver your message to a ready-made tribe of receptive, engaged followers. Plus, not only are you getting your brand in front of the right people, this is a tactic that will build trust in your brand from the get-go. 

Matt Abbott, Head of Growth at Swanky and Suzannah Cranwell, New Build Service Team Lead at Swanky
NATIVE instagram

For example, Native worked with Mom Crush Monday, an influencer who runs a millennial mom website. Working with her guaranteed them attention and engagement from her followers, who are also their target audience.

Be the expert 

Demonstrating leadership in your space will create trust and interest in your brand. Think about how you can offer resources and insights into the area your product addresses. If you make coffee pods, you can write a step by step for how to make the best brew. If you sell face wash, you can create videos full of skincare tips and tricks. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Primal Blueprint makes supplements and other health-conscious kitchen essentials, like salad dressing and marinades. They also have a podcast where guests discuss topics from nutrition to movement and mindfulness. This naturally attracts their target audience, and places their products alongside valuable, engaging, and relevant content. 

Jake Steiner Primal Blueprint

This is also a strong move for SEO. Authority metrics are calculated in five major ways (all explained in the full chapter), one being content freshness. Updating and refreshing your content will garner a higher brand authority. 

Having a brand with perceived authority for an industry not only resonates with customers first-hand, but it is the new ‘high water mark’ for SEO growth strategy.

Tate Lucas, CEO at DotDash.io

Look at the data and the blank spaces 

To make the most informed decisions, look at data to guide your process. Go beyond just glossing through the numbers of impressions to really understand how and why your customers are engaging the way they are. Running surveys is another great way to get more insight into how they’re thinking and the reasoning behind their decisions. Even though you think you may know your audience well, check to see what’s working—and also what isn’t. Are there trends you expect to see that aren’t showing? Or blank spaces in the customer behavior patterns you predicted?

It’s natural for growth marketers to base campaigns on what’s worked in the past, but if you want to cut through the noise, look at the landscape and ask yourself what you don’t see. 

Pierson Krass, Founder & Managing Partner at Lunar Solar

In this same vein, instead of basing your next campaign on what others are doing and your past successes, think about what hasn’t been done, and consider starting there. Having a fresh idea, while sometimes risky, can pay off big time. And, worst case, it gives you new data to work from.

Want more? Pick up your copy of The Playbook

There’s plenty more to learn in Subscription Marketing & Advertising, including how to work with “power users” and the impact of personalization. And be sure to download the rest of the Powerful and Profitable Subscriptions Playbooks for all the advice you need to grow your subscription business.