Andrew Maffettone is the Founder and CEO of BlueTuskr, a full-service marketing agency for eCommerce sellers. BlueTuskr helps brands expand their reach through robust digital strategies, targeted media-buying, and data-driven analysis. He and I worked together at a B2B eCommerce company where he showed me the ropes of content and partner marketing.
Andrew has plenty of client experience, having worked both at agencies and in-house. He’s tested his hand at a few different acquisition channels, including podcasts, SEM, SEO, and more. Read on to learn how he prioritizes top content channels and his advice for marketing teams.
Focus on your top content channels first
You don’t have to do everything
Andrew was listening to an interview when he heard the topic of content production mentioned. They were discussing a marketer who was prevalent across every channel imaginable and published an insane amount of content every day. The interviewee said he understood why some businesses take the far-and-wide approach. However, he planned to sell the business one day and didn’t want to have to keep up with the volume.
“You don’t have to create an insane amount of content on every platform.” – Andrew Maffettone
That’s when Andrew realized you don’t need to produce a flurry of content; it’s the quality that matters. After that, he took a step back and looked at how much content was necessary and how much was a distraction.
Perfect your top three channels
Andrew broke down every media channel (podcasts, newsletters, articles, social media, and webinars) and labeled them in order of priority, based on which ones he thought were most important and where his potential clients were likely active.
Look at each of your channels through the lens of where your clients spend the most time. Then, take the top three and focus on those.
“We take the first three on the list — for example, Instagram, podcasts, and email — and focus on just those three. We put all our resources behind doing them as perfectly as we can until we feel like we’re nailing it, then go into how do we make them more efficient. We’ll build out SOPs, outsource, and figure out how to get those channels running like a machine.” – Andrew Maffettone
Once your top three channels are running efficiently and effectively, you can move to the fourth or fifth channel, but not before.
“I see marketers go out and make a profile on every platform, then there’s so much you have to do – and if you want to do it correctly, it takes a lot of time. Just Instagram alone can take 2-3 hours every day.” – Andrew Maffettone
How to choose your top content channels
If you’re starting from scratch without any historical data to use as a baseline, you need to do your own external market research to decide which channels to target.
“Look at how your competitors are doing it, before you make a mistake you don’t need to make.” – Andrew Maffettone
To determine your top three marketing channels, look at:
- Where your customers are active.
- How they interact on that platform.
- What your competitors are doing.
Selecting your tools
“If you’re doing anything keyword-related, you can use SEO software. If it’s more on the social media side, you’ll need more specific platform tools.” – Andrew Maffettone
Andrew says if one of your top three channels involves targeting keywords, you can use tools like Semrush and Ahrefs to assist your SEO. This could be turning a podcast into a blog to rank in search, or optimizing a YouTube video for the right keywords.
Partnering for podcasts
“You can make a podcast and post all the time, but if you’re not promoting it, nothing will happen.” – Andrew Maffettone
Andrew started a podcast in 2020, but stopped when he realized he was doing too much to invest enough time to get the results he wanted. He says podcasts are like Instagram, where you can post all day, but if you don’t reach anyone, you won’t get any momentum.
According to Andrew, a successful podcast involves partner marketing. You need to speak on other podcasts to draw listeners to yours, and invite guests onto your show to bring their audience to you.
Provide value with every email
“If you keep a newsletter going consistently, make it worth reading every morning, and stay beneficial to the audience you’re targeting, it tends to snowball.” – Andrew Maffettone
Andrew had a daily newsletter at one of his former agencies, which was discontinued after the agency was acquired. However, he asserts the newsletter itself was a great lead acquisition and nurturing channel since their audience enjoyed it and would sign up even if they weren’t interested in the agency’s services.
Prioritize your audience
Andrew runs social media ads for a client who sells 3D body scanners in the $5,000 price range, and has been working with them for about a year. Prior to BlueTuskr, they ran a few social media and Google ads without many results.
“Test as many audiences as you can think of. Get rid of what doesn’t work, double down on the ones that do.” – Andrew Maffettone
To help them optimize their ads, Andrew adjusted their messaging and tested their targeting. He noticed their content was generic and didn’t speak to any particular market, although their tool could apply in specific scenarios for apparel companies, chiropractors, and gyms. They decided to test content targeted toward fitness centers, and began experimenting with ad audiences.
They started to acquire top-of-funnel leads so quickly with their new ad strategy that they’ve since gone from a four-sales-a-month goal to 50 sales a month.
Andrew’s advice for marketing teams: Document everything
“Document every single thing that you possibly can.” – Andrew Maffettone
Andrew creates weekly and monthly reports to stay on top of his and his clients’ data. The weekly reports are specifically for paid advertising, with the monthly report being a catch-all of every initiative they do for a client.
Every week, he grabs data from each audience and campaign he’s running and fills in information like cost, leads, revenue, orders, impressions, and clicks. From there, he can set up automatic calculations for things like clickthrough rate and cost per lead. He can also aggregate everything to see total clicks, breakdowns by channel and campaign, and other important metrics.
Use data to observe trends and predict seasonality
“Once you get enough data, you can see percentage fluctuations and what’s actually working. You’ll also be able to catch attribution issues and trends.” – Andrew Maffettone
According to Andrew, when you align all your data, you’ll be able to pinpoint what moves the needle. For example, it may seem like your Facebook ads didn’t do well upon launch. However, you also notice explosive growth in your lead campaigns, and when you sync up the timelines, you realize it’s overflow from the Facebook campaigns.
Likewise, the more data you have, the better you can judge seasonality. For example, if January is a slow month for your store, it might not be because of marketing or ad performance, but because January is always slow for that industry. You can only obtain these insights once you’ve recorded and documented the data.
Document your cost and ROI to find profitability per channel
Andrew also analyzes marketing profitability for his eCommerce clients. He looks at the cost of tools and marketplaces to learn things like:
- How much does it cost to run on Shopify?
- How much is your email marketing platform?
- What leads/revenue have you earned from this channel in the last quarter?
Then, he analyzes the ROI of associated tools and channels to determine what clients should cut, and what they need to invest in.
Andrew’s team at BlueTuskr has picked up speed and is growing their eCommerce client base. Andrew is also planning to relaunch the podcast once he decides on the style he wants, which will likely be an interview format.
When it comes to future trends, he believes there will be tons of smaller social platforms for every type of person.
“We’re going to start seeing micro social media platforms for specific groups of people.” – Andrew Maffettone
Instead of one giant social media platform like Facebook, we’ll see an abundance of smaller platforms that cater to specific interests. If you’re into fitness, there will be a social media site for that. If you’re into fashion or outer space, there will be platforms for those as well.
Andrew predicts social media will shift to a leaner, niche-focused model that concentrates more on getting to know others who share the same interest.