It takes time for a new, sustainability-focused brand to build awareness in the marketplace – particularly in a crowded field. Here are five key things to keep in mind when trying to reach a hard-to-reach audience.
Connecting with new customers online is challenging for any business. But that task becomes even more difficult when you’re a sustainability-minded brand targeting blue-collar buyers in a saturated market. However, with the right digital-marketing strategy, brands can break through the noise and attract dedicated customers to fuel future growth.
Over the last few years, Logical Position (LP) partnered with a sustainable lighting brand to revamp its digital-marketing strategy with the goal of attracting a new group of blue-collar buyers. What we learned offers a roadmap other brands can use to find similar success in the marketplace.
About Revolve LED
Revolve LED (RL) is a direct-to-consumer supplier of LED lighting systems for indoor and outdoor applications. Their products include simple offerings like lamps and overhead lighting to more complex illumination solutions for commercial and residential buildings. All RL products are mercury free and sustainably manufactured using 100 percent recycled materials.
RL’s target customers are contractors that install lighting systems in commercial and residential construction projects. Eager to grow, the company wanted to invest significant resources to reach this demographic through online advertising.
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With this goal in mind, Logical Position partnered with RL to create and implement an updated digital-marketing strategy that would target blue-collar buyers at every point of their purchasing journey. The updated strategy included five key elements: Google Ads, YouTube, product reviews, email marketing and Amazon ads.
It takes time for a new brand to build awareness in the marketplace — particularly in a crowded field. But RL was patient and willing to test different approaches — which ultimately paid off with impressive results and sustained growth.
Learn about the buyers
The first step in launching RL’s updated digital-marketing strategy was understanding how blue-collar buyers shop online. Google offers artificial intelligence tools that can do most of the work for advertisers. However, we wanted to obtain as much incoming search data as possible to see how blue-collar buyers found RL and make informed adjustments to our advertising approach. To do this, we rebuilt RL’s Google Ads account from scratch and took complete control over ad placement. Once we had the data we needed, we slowly began turning the account over to Google’s automated software without sacrificing any results.
We also expanded RL’s paid strategy to include Microsoft’s Bing ads network. Bing is often the default web browser on many work computers; so, this was low-hanging fruit in our efforts to reach more new customers.
Paid ad results
From 2021 to 2022, RL’s impressions grew from 12 million to 16 million, clicks increased from 116,000 to 143,000 and return on ad spend grew by 113 percent.
Grow brand awareness
Contractors aren’t always willing to take chances on new brands, because their results are synonymous with their reputation. Therefore, we needed to take the time to build brand awareness with our target audience.
YouTube played a significant role in accomplishing this. We used the platform for retargeting users who had previously visited the RL website to keep the brand top of mind. We also created dynamic, illustrative and informative videos to promote RL products to blue-collar buyers.
Build customer trust
In addition to building brand awareness, we wanted to instill confidence in RL’s products. To do this, we partnered with Shopper Approved to implement a star rating and product-review system that connected potential first-time purchasers with satisfied customers. Once prospective buyers could see how much others loved RL’s products, a new level of trust was established that ultimately drove additional sales.
Product review results
After hitting its 100th review in February 2022, RL’s click-through rate doubled from .7 percent to 1.4 percent the next month.
Email marketing was a big part of RL’s success story. However, before implementing this strategy, we worked with RL to understand how to best communicate with this particular, blue-collar audience. Under the direction of keeping the tone professional and never cute, we crafted creative that used straightforward language and supported RL’s commitment to customer service and beating the competition.
At the end of 2022, nearly 15 percent of RL’s total business revenue came from email marketing.
Sell where customers shop
Of course, no eCommerce strategy would be complete without an Amazon presence. After all, 56 percent of consumers visit Amazon first when researching a new purchase. To capture blue-collar buyers on Amazon, we built a strategy that took full advantage of the platform’s advertising offerings — so RL could reach buyers whether they knew the brand, were new to the brand or shopping with its competitors.
Amazon returns grew to more than $54,000 in average monthly revenue.
Tips for achieving similar results
After more than a year of active management, Revolve LED saw a significant boost in eCommerce results. Impressions grew to 16 million, clicks rose by 68 percent and the company’s return on ad spend increased by 113 percent. Targeting blue-collar buyers in authentic ways through a cohesive digital-marketing strategy not only enabled RL to scale its business, but it also did so profitably.
Here’s a summary of our learnings that other sustainability-focused brands can emulate to achieve similar results:
Be patient: Building a new brand takes time. Revolve LED accepted lower initial returns knowing it would pay off over time with increased profitability.
Trust your partners: RL gave its marketing partners the space they needed to run tests and optimize results.
Take a diversified approach: Layering in Amazon, email marketing, website improvements and brand awareness promotions enabled RL to target blue-collar buyers on multiple channels.
Stay flexible: Digital marketing constantly changes; so, be prepared to adjust your approach when necessary.
Keep advertising budgets open: If you’re exceeding your targeted return on ad spend, you’re leaving money on the table by limiting your advertising budget.
Cutting through the noise
Despite the inherent challenges, sustainability-focused brands can successfully fuel growth by keying in on the specific needs of their demographics — from the blue-collar worker to the soccer mom. However, it requires patience to allow time for proper brand-building and a crystal-clear understanding of how each customer set buys products. When customized factors are incorporated into a thoughtful digital-marketing campaign, sustainability-focused brands can shine brightly even in the most crowded markets.