Week of the Whalies: Advice I wish I took Earlier, Reels Growth, Leadership Lessons & More (Week 11)

En Route to NYC....

En Route to NYC 🛫

Coming to you live from American Airlines Flight 1356. On my way from Miami to NYC for the Whalies and some other DTC shenanigans. Weather looking crumby in NYC, but looking forward to meeting many of you in person this week! Please reach out if you’re in town and want to connect in person!

Before heading out to NYC, was able to kick off Miami Tech month at Francis Suarez’s office (Mayor of Miami). Mayor Suarez is a political figure that is actually doing good and making an indisputable positive impact on society.

Kicking off Miami Tech Month with Mayor Suarez at City Hall of Miami.

He’s a main driver behind the booming entrepreneurial & tech scene in Miami. He invites entrepreneurs to his office to see how he can help, how the City could better serve the SMB community, and how we can all make Miami a better place to build businesses. It was a great moment of validation for why I moved to Miami from NJ in the first place. It feels good to live in a place where the local government works with you, not against you. Government providing tailwind (not headwind) to businesses is a great, yet foreign, feeling and how it should be. Unfortunately this is the stark opposite in many other (unnamed) places.

I truly believe there is simply no better place to build than in Miami 🏝️.

1. The ONE thing I Wish I did Earlier in my Career

One of the earliest pieces of advice I got in my e-commerce career was actually from my younger brother/business partner, Daniel Snow. And it had NOTHING to do with ecommerce.

Dan & I in our Miami HQ

So, what was his advice?

BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND.

He knows a thing or two about growing brands online: he personally has 50k+ followers himself and has grown RAPTV to over 30M followers online (from 0). I should have listened a decade ago, but as the saying goes: always better late, than never!

Growing your personal brand doesn’t necessarily mean go launch a newsletter, an info-course, or prioritize growing a massive following. Simply put, it means to put yourself out there. Your thoughts, your presence, the connections you proactively make, etc. The rest follows.

I always had the excuse that I simply didn’t have time for it. I was too busy in the weeds and internal ops. But you can do both simultaneously. I can tell you that since I’ve prioritized it over the past 6 months, it’s opened up new connections and opportunities that otherwise would have never been possible. If anything, it helps you better plan your time to only spend energy in the areas that will move the needle for you and your business.

While not earth-shattering numbers by any means, I’ve grown to over 16k followers on LinkedIn and 𝕏.

If you’re looking to grow an audience online, there may be no better skill to develop than to master the art of writing strong hooks.

I’ve written thousands of tweets/posts and have experimented with endless hook formats. I distilled my learnings into a guide that I published this week:

You could write the best content in the world, but if your hooks are weak, the organic reach of your content will be severely limited.

Check out the guide. Experiment and double down on what works for you.

2. Reels: Meta’s Playground for Growth

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that Meta’s main growth driver on the platform, both financially and for time spent on the platform, is through Reels growth. As TikTok proved out a few a years ago, there’s a huge demand for short-form, engaging content. Meta took note and prioritized this on both Instagram and Facebook, through its launch of Reels in 2020.

So how much of an impact has Reels made on Meta? Probably even larger than you might think.

Prior to launching Reels on Instagram, average time spent by users on the IG app was ~15 minutes in 2019. Fast forward to today… average time spent on Instagram is 120% higher at ~33 minutes. Reels provides engaging, almost addicting, content that mesmerizes users and is hard to snap out of once you’re stuck in the Reels “do-loop.”

Thanks to my friends at Stacked Marketer for the great research and image below highlighting this! Highly encourage you subscribe to their free newsletter if you’re looking for daily updates in the world of digital marketing.

Cool, so time spent on the platform is more than 2x higher. What does this mean for Meta advertisers? It means more ad inventory and thus potentially lower CPMs if ad inventory increase outpaces advertiser competition on the platform.

Meta is so bullish on Reels right now, that it’s actually advising advertisers test “Reels-only” campaigns. Despite this being in direct contrast with its best practice of leveraging Advantage+ Placements, which allows Meta’s algo to decide how budget is allocated across ad placements.

Meta is SO BULLISH on Reels that it even has a new ad credit program that actually even incentivizes advertisers to grow its Reels spend QoQ. If you want to learn more about this, reply to this email. Our agency has direct access to this Reels ad credit program.

I was looking through our Q1 numbers and was kind of floored when I uncovered this one insight….

FACEBOOK REELS MADE A MASSIVE LEAP!👇

Q1 2024 vs Q4 2023: Metrics by Placement on Meta Ads

In Q1 2024 (vs prior Quarter), Facebook Reels was a massive outlier:

  • Spend increased by 55%

  • ROAS increased by 89%

  • CPMs were only down 2% (other placements decreased 20%+ 🤔)

  • #3 highest spend placement in our agency after Feed and IG Stories.

This tells me that Facebook Reels performance was so significantly improved (ROAS +89%) that Advantage+ Placements started diverting more spend to it (+55% in spend) and allowed it to command stable CPMs despite being in a drastically lower CPM environment in Q1.

Our agency uses Advantage+ Placements in the vast majority of our ad sets, so this was not a result of us running Reels-only ad sets.

However, given how positively Reels are trending, how Meta is now incentivizing AND advising us to run Reels-only placements, and our focus on procuring endless short-form content thanks to the rise of TikTok Shop affiliate/influencers- we may very well start running Reels-only ad sets.

Will keep you updated on this! 👀

3. Quick Lesson from Great CEOs are Lazy

Recently started reading this book. It’s my go-to whenever I’m laying on Miami Beach - quite fitting I know.

Whether or not you’re an actual CEO- if you are a leader of any form, this book has some really insightful lessons that are worth sharing with you.

Just ask yourself: What's the one thing holding your business back?

Where, if you solved this one issue, it would result in a disproportionate amount of growth.

Asking yourself this question will help you pinpoint where to prioritize your time based on leverage.

Effective leaders know how & when to wear 5 hats:

1. Learner: forever curious. self-educate both inside and outside the business. enables integration of past experience with present environment.

2. Architect: improving the business model. planning, thinking, plotting strategy for new business and revenue retention.

3. Coach: talent acquisition, development & retention.

4. Engineer: how to execute systems & processes to meet the vision your "Architect" self created.

5. Player: getting into the weeds anywhere in the org whether it be sales, services, marketing, ops, etc to help crank out wins. Keeps you in touch with the business & identify opportunity that you wouldn't have otherwise uncovered.

Introspect and revisit which hat you need to wear at any given moment based on the priorities and needs of the organization.

And, I’ll leave you with this quote from the book:

Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.

- Denis Waitley

Will Chase Media Campaigns go Mainstream?

Chase Bank has officially entered the digital advertising game.

This past week, it announced Chase Media Solutions as a performance marketing platform that will provide its customers special “Chase Offers.” Leveraging its robust first party data set, it knows which users spend on which product categories at which spend levels.

Chase has:

- 80 MILLION American customers (40% of US adults)

- $1.5 TRILLION in credit/debit spend

- $8.5B in Chase Offers Revenue in 2023

With its launch of Chase Media Solutions, it has a major advantage in that it has endless 1st party data on financial/spend history of its customers.

Brands/businesses can leverage this to enhance targeting and personalize offers based on customers' past spending habits & inclinations.

i.e. if you spend a lot on beauty products, imagine seeing a ton of beauty offers in your Chase portal now.

It also has a DISTINCT advantage on attribution and is immediately more reputable than the social media platforms we know which "fight over conversions" and over-report.

Since Chase has the transaction data within its own platform, attribution is clear as day and can be matched 1:1. No gray area really.

And it's iOS-proof 😂 Nothing Apple can do about it.

It seems that this will be more of an affiliate model as Chase stated “On our platform, brands are only charged when a customer views a campaign and makes a purchase.”

Excited to see how this shakes out. This is a sizable opportunity, one that we can not ignore.

What I’m Listening to 🎧

Beats of the Week: AFRO HOUSE MIX 2024 - Thursday Club Podcast #457 By Krap Noise

Thursday Club Podcast by Krap Noise publishes new 2-hr afro house mixes nearly 3x per week on YouTube. This one is especially good. Fast-forward to the ~38-min, 30-sec mark and you’ll have yourself a track that you’ll have on repeat for a long time. Subscribe to Thursday Club Podcast on YouTube and you’ll have like 6 hours of new music to play weekly. It’s one of my go-to’s.

SEE YOU ALL AT THE WHALIES! 🐳🐳🐳

I welcome all feedback. Good, bad, everything in between.

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Yours truly,

Jonathan Snow

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