How We Scaled A Brand From $0-150k in 105 Days

February 19, 2021

What started as a solution for easy and accessible gun storage, quickly turned into an easy way to sell a simple product: Amazon. But this created two major growth problems.

1. Lack of data ownership

2. Lack of ongoing scalability and controlTo get away from these issues, SofHold reached out to 253 Media’s team of e-commerce experts to build a system to grow the brand beyond what they were doing on Amazon. Before our team came onboard, SofHold was averaging one or two sales per day on Amazon and they had zero online presence.

Before we got started, we built a clear, step-by-step process for exactly how we would scale the SofHold brand from $0 to $150 in only 105 days. Keep reading to learn exactly how we did it!

Step 1: Create Content

Before we could do anything, we needed professional content that we could use across all channels. To make sure we had the best of the best content, we worked with our Agency Partner, Chico Media Group, out of Chico, CA to make it happen.

Because we didn’t have an endless budget, we couldn’t get too crazy with content, so we started off with about 50 product lifestyle photos, 2 viral-style videos, and then some basic transparent background product photos for the website.

This gave us enough content for the website, Facebook, and Instagram for about a month.

It’s important to note that our content had a pretty wide range of styles. We wanted to test everything, so we made sure there was as much variety as possible. This allowed us to have a clear idea of what was going to work so we could have a good idea of what to create next.

Step 2: Build A Value Driven Shopify Website

We always preach that a brand’s website is really the core of any brand online. Plain and simple, if your website is not built to convert, no amount of marketing will grow your brand efficiently. If you want to have any real profitability, you need to make sure your website is dialed.

Since SofHold only has one product (premium gun magnets) and a only handful of colors and designs, we went for something simple that really shows the product in action while making it as easy as possible to buy

The faster and easier it is for your customers to buy, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Because SofHold’s gun magnets are a premium product compared to competitors, we focused on building as much value around the quality and craftsmanship.

In addition to making a good looking and easy-to-use website, we also added in one more element that really hit home with the Sofhold customers: Handmade In The USA. American gun enthusiasts are passionate about made in America products and will happily pay extra for something that’s not imported from overseas. 

By knowing the audience through and through, we made sure that they knew that the SofHold magnets are top-notch products that are priced incredibly fairly despite a higher price tag.

PRO TIP: push features/benefits/causes that your audience cares about. Gun enthusiasts care about their products being American made, so that’s what we pushed.

Step 3: Create A Scalable Facebook Ad Structure

Now for the sexy part… Scalable Facebook Advertising.

As with any scalable advertising campaign, structure is key. 

To start, we launched two campaigns. Typically with established DTC Ecommerce brands we will launch at least three or four campaigns, but SofHold had zero data to go off of, no social presence, and no email list so our retargeting audience was basically zero.

Here is a breakdown of the exact structure that we used to grow SofHold from $0-$150k in 105 days.

Top Of Funnel

  • 1 CBO Campaign
  • 4 ad sets with single interests with pretty big difference to reach unique audiences
  • 3 ads per ad set
  • 2 videos and 1 photo

It’s important to note that this was only our starting point. Over the course of the 105 days, we tested more than 25 interests and after about 30 days, we also began implementing lookalikes into our campaign.

We also tested more than 30 different creatives and about the same number of copy variants.

At first, we primarily focused on which benefits/features people responded to best, then we started getting more nitty gritty with everything based on the data we collected.

Starting out, the top of funnel ads were a homerun, however, Facebook’s machine learning definitely gave preference to a specific video and a few specific photos that we tested. Because we started with a clear variety of content, we knew exactly what was working so we could make more.

Middle and Bottom Funnel

Because we didn’t have any previous traffic and no social presence, we really didn’t have much of a retargeting audience, so we actually combined the middle and bottom funnels into one campaign. Here is the campaign structure:

  • 1 CBO campaign
  • 3 ad sets (social engagement, video views, and website traffic)
  • 2 ads per ad set
  • 2 photos

As the top of funnel ads started to get purchases, engagement, and interested web traffic, we quickly accumulated enough data to break up the middle and bottom of the funnel into two different campaigns to create a more traditional ad structure. 

When we broke up the retargeting efforts into two different campaigns we also have more direct control over budget allocation which helped us scale even more efficiently. 

Because Sofhold’s gun magnets are products that people will typically buy more than one of, we eventually created a post-purchase campaign to further nurture existing customers while encouraging reorders.

Step 4: Implement SEO

The last, and newest piece of the puzzle for SofHold’s scaling is a SEO campaign to drive organic traffic to the site. 

Because we didn’t have a huge budget to work with, at first we focused our efforts on what would bring in cash the fastest (Facebook Ads), but as we started to see some traction, we wanted to diversify and reach a different audience.

This diversification came about largely because of the iOS14 changes. Gun products are sensitive subjects on Facebook, so to create a more sustainable, evergreen scaling system, we diversified to Google.

After only a month, we began to see drastic changes organically which also added to our retargeting audiences on Facebook and Instagram.

For any brand, SEO is a slow, long-term process, which is why waiting about two months until doing much with it. Sure we could have started sooner, but instead we focused that budget on paid ads.

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