How We Generated Sales For A Bootstrapped Meat Delivery Startup Through Digital Marketing
This is quite an interesting project that we've recently worked on. We had a few hurdles we needed to tackle ever since the start. On top of that, this was a new startup or brand nobody knew about. In a market where the majority of brand awareness is dominated by Funded startups such as Licious & Fresh To Home, how does a brand new startup keep up? Is it even possible to make enough noise or do marketing that people recognize this new startup or brand without spending as much as the funded startups do on marketing?
When we onboarded the client Meet The Meat, one of the first things we did was go through their Website - pixel by pixel, link by link, making sure that everything works as it's supposed to and there are no issues with the website. Their website was built heavily on a WordPress + WooCommerce theme so there were some issues right from the get-go. Such as - slow loading speeds, add-to-cart was not working as it was supposed to and would take more than 5 minutes to complete a single action, the UI UX was a bit outdated and was not essentially showcasing them as a Premium or Fresh brand. We corrected all the small errors and patched up the website so it works good enough to make a transaction/purchase without much errors. Once that was done, we revamped their Facebook page - gave it a brand new look and feel that makes them stand out and makes them feel like a Premium or Funded startup and can compete even against funded startups such as Licious or Fresh To Home.
Here's a Facebook cover video we came up with for the client:
After revamping everything, we started setting up Google Ads. The best way to generate sales, leads, conversions, etc. for a product is to go with Google Ads. One of the best parts about Google Search Ads is you can target specific Keywords that people are searching for which means when people are searching for something and your ad pops-up, with the right copy you'll generate a click and once they're on your website if they like what they see, the chances of conversion are higher. For Google Search Ads we focused on 2 Ad Groups - Competitor based keywords and Product based keywords. Competitor based keywords would basically be competitor brands such as Licious, Fresh To Home, Happy Meat, Meatigo, Brown Apron, etc. and Product based keywords would be the actual products such as buy chicken online, buy mutton online, buy chicken wings, buy fish, etc. Another thing to keep in mind when you pick keywords is the keyword bidding. The more the competition for a keyword, the higher the bid. So we had to optimize the Ads for the best Quality Score so that we'd maintain one of the top 3 positions with as minimum bid as possible. On top of that, they weren't delivering entire Bangalore but only a handful of Pin codes close to North Bangalore. So we targeted specific Pin codes they deliver in instead of the entire city. Here are few of the Google Search Ads we ran:
After that, we started focusing on SEO for the website. It already contained the right keywords on it, but it just needed to be framed properly so they rank better on Search Engines such as Google and also get a higher quality score with better Keywords and Website Optimisation.
Once everything was set up, we started posting on Social Media. We created a unique style just for the startup Meet The Meat for their Social Media Marketing. We focused on content such as Educational - that educated people about their products and platform, and Engagement - that engages people on social media, this can be funny, situational, seasonal, etc. Since they didn't have much page likes, we started boosting the posts to the right set of audiences through Facebook Ads Manager. We were only boosting every post for ₹40 to ₹50 and we'd get very good engagement. The cost per engagement most of the time were between ₹0.40 to ₹0.90 and sometimes would go above ₹1.5 per engagement but never above ₹5.
Here are a few Social Media Posts:
After a month or so, we collected as much data as possible from tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Hotjar, Google AdWords, Search Console, etc. to see what's working and what's not working. Here were our findings:
Our Google Ads were performing very well. They maintained the top 3 positions 80% - 90% of the time and with a low cost per click of ₹11.81 and we got a total of 355 clicks and 4.43k impressions. This is pretty good considering that no one had even heard of this Startup or Brand before.
We got great engagement and brand awareness through Facebook. With ad spend of ₹50 per post we were able to reach a good number of people and get great engagement in the form of Likes or Reactions. This, in turn, would help us reach the Organically in the future as they previously engaged with our posts/page.
We started seeing good traction for SEO as well since they had hundreds of pages on their website and we had optimized almost all of them.
But, the key takeaway was that even with a good number of clicks, engagement, and brand awareness, the conversions weren't that great or that many.
This made us go back to the drawing board and see what could be the reason for people not converting. After going through the data, brainstorming a bit, and understanding the consumers' perception, we landed on one particular aspect - the UI UX. Why UI UX? Why not something else? Well, the main thing was that all of the things we were doing to generate clicks or traffics to the website were working great. Google Ads were performing great, Facebook Posts were performing great, SEO was getting good traction, so the first step was working great. But once they got to the website, they were not converting or just bouncing. Now, what could be the reason for that? One main thing we saw was that in terms of Google Ads, most of the clicks we were getting was through competitor keywords such as Licious and Fresh To Home. On Facebook Page, our posts showcased the startup as a premium brand that can go head to head with funded startups. But, their website was not exactly showcasing the same. When people search for Licious or Fresh To Home, they'll have a certain standard or expectations in mind. Why? Because Licious and Fresh To Home are very premium brands, and their website looks pretty great too. So when they're expecting to see a Great website but end up with something that doesn't match that, they'll just bounce from there or they just won't convert.
Based on this aspect, we suggested the startup to create a brand new website. Now since they're a small startup and didn't have a great budget and also they'd already spent tens of thousands on their existing website, we suggested they go with a CMS (Content Management System) that's more tuned and refined for E-Commerce such as Wix or Shopify. We told them that we at least need to test and see if a new website with better UI UX would generate more sales. They're an online meat ordering and delivery startup, so their whole startup or business runs through their website. Basically, it's like the heart of their startup or company. Keeping that in mind, we built a temporary E-Commerce website with very minimal costs using a CMS. This temporary website was not crawlable by Google Bots, so it wouldn't affect their SEO, and this temporary website was only going to be used in Google Ads targeting specific pin codes.
We built their temporary website in a day or 2 and launched it directly into Google Ads. One of the main things we looked at when building the website was that all of their competitors had their own style for their brand. For example:
Licious - It's easy to figure out that it comes from the word Delicious and true to that if you go to their website you can make out that the product images, product copies, and everything will focus on making the products look Delicious.
Fresh To Home - This was a bit interesting actually. We don't know if this is accurate, but based on what we saw Fresh To Home was focusing on both meat and groceries/vegetables, which means that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians would visit their website. So if you look at their style, right from the fonts, the images, the copies, they all look very innocent. In the sense that, even if a vegetarian would stumble on their website, they wouldn't feel offended or awkward looking at non-vegetarian products or images.
Brown Apron - Right in their name is the word Apron. A garment worn by Chefs or Professional Cooks. So if you go to their website, you can make out that all the images are raw in nature, they're basically like down-to-earth images and not sugar-coated or made fancy. Since it's meant for Chefs, it embraces that and doesn't try to cover the raw nature of images.
Similarly, we looked at the brand Meet The Meat and came up with their own style. As the name suggests, you're basically meeting the meat, so we thought we'd focus on giving a unique touch to every meat on their website. No similar style, no similar images, nothing. Basically like Tinder, giving each meat its own personality. So each of the product images was different and didn't follow a common style. Basically, making it looks like people were meeting the meat online on their website.
Once the website was deployed through Google Ads, we started monitoring the data such as Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, Page Views, Product Views, etc. to see how it performs. After a week or 2 we saw that people were exploring the website more, staying a bit more longer on the website. And also we generated a good number of conversions.
As time passed, we started refining it in terms of Ad Campaigns, UI UX, and Facebook Posts / Ads. At first, the average order value was around ₹350 but in a few months, the average order value increased to ₹750. Which is almost double than before. Not only that, we managed to make a 100% ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) in a month. ROAS is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that is used to determine the effectiveness of an Ad. The ad can be on Google Search, Social Media, Affiliate, etc. This is used to calculate if the company has generated less/enough/more revenue compared to the amount spent on Ads.
In between, we ran a few Facebook Ads as well. One of the main things we saw while doing Social Media Marketing was that when we posted frequently, with good engaging content, good graphics, and good copy, we saw a spike in the number of searches for the brand "Meet The Meat". Since it's their own keyword, the cost per click will be very low as no one will be bidding on it and since cost per click is low, the number of clicks you can get will be high compared to other keywords with a lot more competition.
While also doing Paid Search Ads, we also focused on Organic Search through SEO. Before we did SEO, the monthly impressions were less than 1000. As we started optimizing it, the search impressions and the average search positions increased. In the 2nd month, we saw the impressions jump to 2,900. In the 3rd month, it jumped to 3,700. In the 4th month, it jumped to 4,600. In the 5th month, we reached 7,200 impressions. Out of which most of the clicks were for the brand keyword "Meet The Meat". So people were actually starting to search for the brand and it was being remembered and recognized by the consumers.
In the end, we did almost everything for the client - right from creating the brand awareness, refining the website, engaging people on social media, increase conversions and average order value month-on-month, SEO optimization for the website so it starts ranking and showing in search results, creating a specific brand style, & more. And it all worked out pretty well. We were also able to give them valuable data as to which pin code most of the search was coming from, which pin code was getting the highest conversions, etc. and based on this data they're able to expand into the right pin codes where there's high demand than a random pin code without knowing if there's any demand.
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