Test startups smart
We are often approached by IT companies and various startups with a request to test new products, ideas and hypotheses. The key point before launching a global project (before spending a pretty penny on it) is to understand whether it fits the audience in general or not. Otherwise, you can go bust.
Just so happens, perhaps even historically, that Ukraine and Eastern Europe are the places that IT startups often choose to test their products in, before entering the global market. There can be 2 explanations for this.
- First, it’s cheaper here.
- Second, if it works with us, then it will definitely work “there”. Due to the fact that usually the situation in various markets, the general economic situation, and the paying capacity of the population in the CIS countries are worse than in Europe, Canada, or the United States, while behavioral models and patterns are all similar.
We are happy therefore to provide such services and launch test advertising campaigns based on MVP (minimum viable product). Read more about this in our Telegram channel.
MVP is a product that has minimal, but sufficient functions to satisfy the first consumers. The goal is to get feedback on hypotheses for the further development of the product. Gathering such information is cheaper than developing a product with more features. This allows you to reduce costs and risks if the product does not work due to incorrect assumptions.
Usually, these are 2-6 weeks sprints, which make it possible to assess the performance of a particular hypothesis.
How it works:
ShopO is a pilot project in Ukraine and is funded by UPS (United Parcel Service Inc.), an American company specializing in express delivery and logistics.
* An intermediary / shopper / shopping assistant is a person who helps you place and purchase an item on the website of any online store, for a certain cost percentage. If necessary, they will also help you choose the size and style, solve problems with the delivery of goods, customs clearance or returns…
- An incredibly competitive market
- Very tight deadlines
- Pretty much the entire Internet space is crowded with various proposals due to Black Friday approaching.
Launch a comprehensive advertising campaign in 3 weeks up to Black Friday. This task usually takes 3 months.
- Conduct an advertising campaign for each shopper in order to attract new customers.
- Test different channels and measure the effectiveness of each one.
- Find the best ways to attract new customers.
Idea >>> Solution
Hypothesis #1: In the field of personal services, people trust ordinary, flesh and blood people more than brands.
Therefore, the main point of scaling is through intermediaries. That is why we decided not to do branded advertising, but advertising through:
- Personal profiles in social media;
- Live videos;
- Personal websites.
- We made an emphasis not on the scale of the project, but on the fact that these are simple people;
- We used the main trigger: “I am the same as you, you can trust me”;
- We deliberately didn’t hire actors or specially trained salespeople.
Instagram stores are very popular now: see > contact > order. At the same time, it is important to resolve any issues correctly and in time. The video format gives this opportunity even before any objections and any doubts can arise.
What did we start with?
It is clear that it is always easier to work with a client you’ve worked with before because you are already “aware” and know all the ins and outs. But there’s always information that requires detailed analysis at every stage of work. That is why we yet again grilled our client and “extorted” all the missing introductory notes:
- How do shoppers mainly attract customers?
- How do shoppers process applications?
- What are the most common objections from end customers and how do they address them?
Having received the answers, we did a little brainstorming, analyzed all our similar previous cases and:
- Developed 3 conceptually different marketing funnels for 3 different shoppers;
- Developed a step-by-step strategy with a detailed funnel.
And here it is:
Hypothesis #3: Now is the era of video, and video content is the most popular.
To be honest, we were sure that video would work best, but for the sake of the experiment, we did A / B testing of different approaches.
Approach 1. Personal reseller landing pages with lead capture points:
Banner ads led to these shoppers’ personal landing pages, which we made according to all the canons of the most selling formulas.
It’s worth noting that usually such a site is made in three weeks, and we made all sites in one week. Check it out:
Approach # 2. Advertising in social networks (Instagram and Facebook).
We changed up the designs of shoppers’ personal profiles. At the same time, different communication approaches were chosen for each.
What constitutes work with SMM?
- Defining the target audience and the required tone of voice;
- Development of positioning and communication strategies;
- Preparation of a unique content plan linked to current promotions and available goods;
- Preparation of the content itself (design, layout, text content, video and story creation), etc.
Do you want to find out
- What were we guided by when filling out the general profile?
- What was our reference?
- How did we involve users?
- What were our deadlines, and how did we deal with them?
- Or maybe what were the results?
To be honest, this needs a separate detailed analysis of the case with the interrogation of our main SMM manager 🙂 So let’s just move on.
Approach #3. Video
We want to pay special attention to this approach in this case. Our video director and partner Evgeny Shvets worked on the development of the idea and creation of all video content together with his team.
Idea. Simplicity and trust. To achieve this, we decided to make a very simple video that is easy to recreate at home. We wanted to provide a soft, cozy picture a viewer can relax into, and not think about a huge corporation behind it.
Decision. For shooting, we selected a studio that created a feeling of home comfort. We took cinema optics, a mini-cinema camera. There were only a few people in the team: two operators, an illuminator, and a sound engineer.
The professional work of the illuminator helped to achieve the desired effect because it was the right light that created the right atmosphere of trustworthiness.
The main part of the preparation for the shooting was done by the shopper herself. She prepared the products for the demonstration and wrote detailed descriptions. Together with her, we also selected costumes for each video.
Two-camera parallel shooting was carried out. The person sees themselves in the monitor, understands how it looks and can correct their speech, posture and actions along the way.
Right on the day of shooting, before the start, we gave her a mini-briefing…. “Action!” and… “Shoot!”
VIDEO #1 – Shopper Elena introduces herself and describes what she does.
Here Elena talks about herself, her job, what she does, describes the service she provides.
The goal is to break the ice. ⩗ Done
VIDEO #2 is about unpacking one real group parcel with goods from America.
Here, Elena unpacks a parcel for her customers and gives clear examples of real savings possibility. In addition, unboxing is a global trend. In this video, viewers saw examples of what they could buy. This format has an effect of anticipation of a purchase.
The goal is to show that this is a real company and to focus on the benefits that a potential buyer receives. ⩗Done
VIDEO #3 tells about the Black Friday sale, world sales, which stores have good promotions, what to look for in stores, as well as little things about brands that are not well-known in our country, but very popular in the States and Europe.
Here Elena makes a direct call to action, given that it’s Black Friday, and explains what is going to be even cheaper now. She also provides information about stores in the United States that are not very popular in Ukraine.
The goal is to entice the viewer to buy. ⩗ Done
- we made a personal design of the text boxes in order to maintain the same style through all videos >>
- additionally, we demonstrated the process itself to the viewer >>
- and smoothed out the actor’s inexperience through the brand’s image communication.
- All three campaigns have generally performed well;
- Engagement across all funnels is about the same;
- Banner and video ads on FB + Inst worked best;
- CCM advertising got 2nd place;
- Google search ads have proven to be the most ineffective in this niche;
- YouTube’s ads were the most engaging;
Hypothesis #2 proved to be true: people are ready to buy when they see a real person and when they receive answers to all their questions and doubts on time.
Hypothesis #3 was confirmed: 80% of the orders were given by the video with the unpacking of goods from the parcel for 4 buyers, where Elena showed real goods, their quality and announced the amount of real savings.
Hypothesis #1 was also confirmed: Time for real people, not global brands.
- The most effective funnel turned out to be video ads that led to the landing page. The largest number of registrations on the service was made there (210 registrations);
- Landing page registration worked well, but not in all directions;
- Videos require higher cost per click and signup, but users are warmer, which leads to more actual purchases.
- Faceless social networks fall short, since people are not ready to place their trust and order from a profile without a personality. The shopper has to constantly interact with the audience and have some kind of acquaintance with yourself as a personal brand;
- Social personality-centered networks require attention to customers, quick response to comments and messages, an individual approach to each (to provide recommendations for a suitable product and assist in choosing a size or delivery option).
- Instagram’s content requires live communication with users;
- It is important to post reviews, selected articles, recommendations, tips, photos of new packages for customers (to build trust), etc.
- The promptness of the reaction is important.
And, of course, we’ve met the deadline. It’s taken us 3 weeks to implement this strategy.
The one deciphering hypotheses and results was Yulia Tsesarenko.