Jason and Stefanie talk about they take an idea and turn it into an actual business.
For The Media Captain, DermWarehouse and Park Perfection, before being an established business with a solid customer base, they were just ideas. How did Jason and Stef take their ideas and make the necessary implementations to start a business and then grow it? They will do a deep dive in episode 50 on this very subject.
What's exciting about this episode is so many entrepreneurs have great ideas yet aren't able to execute. Before executing, it's important to make sure you have a viable game plan and are selling the right product or service so you don't go down a rabbit hole of spending time and money on something where there's not consumer demand.
Jason offers an interesting perspective on this subject because in addition to starting multiple businesses, on the Agency side, he also deals with many entrepreneurs who have ideas that completely flop. He goes into detail on why this happens and how to avoid this.
This podcast episode is perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners wanting to start another business and many others. We hope you enjoy!
Stefanie takes on episode 49 solo and goes into detail on what happens on Black Friday/Cyber Monday for DermWarehouse. How does an eCommerce company prepare for the busiest time of the year? Stef goes into detail on marketing preparation. From choosing a discount to planning out email marketing and text messaging campaigns. Stef also talks about how inventory is managed. Many people outside of the eCommerce world don't realize how much inventory must be purchased in September and October leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Stef also talks about how the sales results from Black Friday/Cyber Monday sets the narrative for the following year. We hope you like episode 49!
Jason and Stefanie started The Media Captain together in 2010. They were partners and growing the business for approximately three years. Then came the date when Stef realized agency life wasn't for her. In podcast episode 48, Stefanie reveals what led to this decision to leave The Media Captain and how because of this decision, DermWarehouse was formed. For anyone in a small, family run business, this podcast will be great for you. This episode also teaches important business lessons pertaining to doubling down on your strengths, working on what you love to do, family run businesses, diversification in business and openness and communication when working with a business partner. We hope you enjoy!
Jason Parks talks about the importance of writing when it comes to digital marketing. During episode 47, Jason hits on the following areas where writing can help improve your online presence.
Improve SEO with better written content throughout your site
Drive more long tail search queries through well written blogs
Garner more social media engagement by writing compelling copy and content
We are fortunate to live in a time where anyone can distribute their content on a blog. It's time to get started!
Jason discusses what goes through his mind during his first call with a prospective client. From gathering preliminary information to devising a strategy, this is a conversation in coming up with a plan of action.
Tom Walters is the President/Co-Founder of Noxgear, an eCommerce company that creates obsessively engineered active-lifestyle products for runner's, cyclists, and those with pets to keep them safer and enhance their experience.
Jason and Stefanie run daily. It' s a part of their morning routine. They recently purchased Noxgear and came to love the product.
Jason and Stef reached out to Tom to get him on the podcast and he obliged.
On episode 45, Tom talks about how the company was started by himself and a co-worker in Buffalo back in 2008 when they were working a full-time engineering job. He discussed how the idea for the product was brought to life based on a real-life issue pertaining to Frisbee golf. Tom dives into what brought him back to Columbus, how he acquires customers for his eCommerce company, the importance of customer service, his Facebook and social ad strategy and much more!
We hope you enjoy episode 45 as much as we enjoyed the interview.
Prior to episode 44, Jason and Stefanie wrote down 5 questions each they wanted to ask each other pertaining to The Media Captain and DermWarehouse. Neither Jason nor Stefanie saw the questions prior to them being asked.
Hear what the brother and sister due had to say about business, routine, digital marketing, work ethic, hiring and much more!
In episode 43, Jason and Stefanie hit on everything and anything Google Shopping.
What differentiates Google Shopping from PPC and other marketing channels.
The value of Search Terms within Google Shopping
How DermWarehouse leverages Google Shopping
How ParkPerfection leverages Google Shopping
Understanding your Google Shopping Feed
Cleaning up your Google Shopping Feed
Critical thinking needed for high-level strategy for Shopping
Importance of mobile bid adjustments
Different types of bidding (Manual CPC, Max Clicks, Target ROAS, etc)
Aaron Rubin, the Founder and CEO at ShipHero is our guest for episode 42. ShipHero offers Flexible fulfillment & software built for ecommerce. They work with eCommerce companies like DressBarn and the Dallas Mavericks. During episode 42, Aaron talked about how he got into the eCommerce space with his martial arts company, Zengu. He also discusses how the idea for ShipHero came about, the future of eCommerce, his move into a 150,000 square foot warehouse and much more!
In episode 40, we talked about driving traffic to your website. A lot of what we hit on was paid ads (Google/Bing and FB/Instagram). In Podcast Episode 41, we’re going to talk about how to make sure your advertising copy is great.
Jason and Stefanie discuss how important advertising copy is and how it's helped both of their companies, The Media Captain and DermWarehouse.
We first dive into the foundation of a Google PPC advertisement so you understand the structure:
What does a Google advertisement look like?
3 headlines (30 characters each)
2 descriptions (90 characters each)
We then dive into understanding keyword relevance:
You bid on keywords. Keywords trigger advertisements
There needs to be a correlation between your keywords and your advertisements
When you have good keywords that align with good ad copy, you improve your relevance score. A high relevance score will ultimately drop your average cost per click.
We discuss the importance of understanding your business and its customers:
Understand and create great unique selling propositions
Avoid fluff. You need to make your ad copy hard hitting
Deals & Promotions: They Work
Facebook/Instagram Ads vs. PPC
There is correlating media (photo/images) associated with Facebook and Instagram ads. In many instances, the media is equally as important than the ad copy. This is a key difference between social advertisements versus PPC advertisements. PPC ads rely strictly on verbiage.
Driving traffic to your site is one of the most critical components if you are looking grow your business.
The Media Captain helps brands come up with strategies to drive qualified traffic from the right channels. This is how DermWarehouse has grown from 0 customers to nearly 100,000 in less than 5-years.
In episode 40, Jason and Stefanie talk about traffic driving tactics to help out your business. We hone in on SEO, PPC, Shopping and Social. We then discuss ways to convert your site visitors after they leave your site without purchasing (email marketing, shopping cart abandonment, retargeting).
Enjoy Episode 40!
In episode 39, Stefanie and Jason discuss the importance of capturing email addresses and why it's critical for eCommerce companies. Below is an outline that we used for our Podcast on email automation and shopping cart abandonment for eCommerce.
Important Resources referenced in podcast:
Sumo Email Capture
Email Marketing ROI Stats
Importance of Collecting Email Addresses:
Being able to capture email addresses on eCommerce site (or any site) is very important
With eCommerce, you’re often paying money to get people to your site (Google Ads, Facebook ads, etc). So, you want to get their email so that even if they don’t convert you can try to convert them later.
We used SUMO for the past 5 years which is awesome, but recently switched when we switched our email marketing company, since they also had a solution for this.
Have been using MailChimp for DW since we launched in 2016
Strategy has always been to send a limited amount of emails (around 2 per month).
When we started out, Stef would spend hours putting together emails but we quickly realized that we got the best results when keeping them simple.
So, we started sending out about 2 emails per month with a 20% off sale and the results were amazing.
We were lucky that we were able to send out sales, as these did extremely well for us. Any other content that we tried (blogs, etc), didn’t yield great results.
Money Left on the Table:
As we continued growing, we realized that there was a lot of money left on the table from customers that we weren’t capturing, but we never found a great solution to do what we wanted to do.
We tried several different plugins for shopping cart abandonment, purchase reminder emails, but none of them functioned properly or looked good.
Recently we switched to Klaviyo, which is much more advanced than something like MailChimp.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Browse Abandonment → When someone is looking at a product on your site but they never actually make it to the checkout page, can email them about the product they were looking at
Anniversary emails → gift for 1 year anniversary with DW
Birthday emails → Send gift card on customer birthdays
Loyalty Program emails → Letting people know they have points they can use so they make purchases
Replenishment Reminders → If someone hasn’t shopped in 3 months, remind them they may be running out of their products
Subscription Automations → If someone has shopped for an item multiple times but never signed up for a subscription, you can suggest they sign up
Your blog can be a key element to your websites overall online marketing success, The issue is that most businesses don't fully understand how to utilize their blog. In episode 38, Jason and Stefanie share best practices for laying the proper foundation along with coming up with a successful blogging strategy for your business.
Why Blogging is Important:
Will bring new traffic to your website and can help generate new business
If you provide great content, other authoritative sources can start linking to you, helping you build up SEO
Great place for internal and external linking
Can be helpful resource to answer employee or customer questions
Tips to follow for blogging:
Make sure all old blogs on your site are still relevant
Make sure to continuously go back and update content on your blogs
Make sure you have an authoritative author with a bio that explains who they are
Make sure the content isn't thin (over 750 words)
Make sure to have good internal and external links and continuously check these and go back and fix any broken or irrelevant links in old blogs
Make sure content is evergreen (meaning it makes sense anytime someone is reading it - i.e., don’t say “now that it’s summer!”)
How to Choose a Great Blog Topic:
Long-Tail topics do best - explain why
Use Google to find “related searches” to important keywords for your business
Keep notes about questions that customers or clients ask that would make good topics
Blogging is really important for many reasons and if you have a blog and are not following best practices, it can actually be harmful to you in the eyes of Google.
Writing really good content up front is the best way to succeed with your blog
The purpose of your blog is to be a resource for visitors - it’s not about quantity of blog posts, it’s about the quality of them.
We've been on a hiatus since the start of COVID-19 but we're back and better than ever for episode 37!
Stefanie and Jason do a deep dive into the state of our two businesses, The Media Captain and DermWarehouse. We've seen crazy growth on the eCommerce side with business doubling. Topics covered on the eCommerce side include the following:
How'd we scale?
What'd we do from a staffing perspective?
Why'd we at first scale back on advertising only later to pivot our positioning?
What are our plans for the future if there's a second wave?
Topics on the agency side include the following:
Scary first 14-days at the beginning of COVID-19
Resilience were seeing from business owners
Importance of technology for a marketing agency
How we're rebounding and planning for a second wave
In episode 36, Jason Parks of The Media Captain talks about remaining optimistic and positive during tough times. If you look at the bigger picture, there's a lot of upside on the digital marketing side for businesses and Jason discusses this in Episode 36.
There are going to be challenging times ahead of us with the impact Coronavirus is having on our economy. How is your business going to adapt? What are marketing tactics you can take if you have to cut advertising budget? Jason Parks goes over all of this in episode 35.
In episode 34, Stefanie and Jason talk about what goes on behind the scenes of an eCommerce operation. Stefanie leads the way in discussing how DermWarehouse grew from an operation with 0 customers upon launch in 2016 to over 50,000 customers by the end of 2019.
If you are looking to launch an eCommerce operation or take your eCommerce shop to the next level, this will be a great episode for you! Below is the outline we tried to follow during the podcast!
Packing and shipping
Open mindedness on returns
Striving for perfection
Getting back quickly
Christmas two years ago
prepping for busy times
nerve-wrecking with amount of money putting up
Inventory in stock
In episode 33, Jason and Stefanie discuss how you should formulate an advertising strategy for your business. From how much money you invest to selecting the right channels. Jason and Stefanie cover how they went about advertising for their eCommerce company, DermWarehouse, along with the tactics they use for the clients they represent on the agency side.
In episode 32, Jason and Stefanie talk about the 15 most important tools used to run their businesses. From accounting to project management to analytics, the brother and sister duo cover it all. Below is their list:
Google Sheets/Google Docs
In Episode 31, Jason and Stefanie talk about the mindset needed when starting a business. You should not be thinking about making a quick buck in the first couple of months. A long term mindset is needed for optimal results for your business. Jason and Stefanie share their experiences through The Media Captain and DermWarehouse.
Jason and Stefanie discuss how you can perfect a blog strategy for your business. In the outline below, we've included links to all blogs and resources referenced in Podcast #29.
Create a 12-month calendar
Determine whether you’re a national or local player (even if local, you can get backlinks if you rank at national level)
To find topics, you can look in Google Ads Keyword Planner (free tool) and look at Moz Keyword explorer and Google related search terms
Examples of The Media Captain: Opening Up a Second Location on GMB & Video Verification for Google My Business
Examples of DermWarehouse: Is TNS Essential Serum worth the price?
Stats Courtesy of GetCodeless.com.
The average blog post takes 3 hours 16 minutes to write
On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without
Jason and Stefanie talk about how they built up their three brands. More recently, they started Park Perfection, their own private-label skin care line. The brother-sister duo do a deep-dive into all the steps needed to start a brand.
Jason and Stefanie discuss how each of their businesses (Media Captain and DermWarehouse) benefit from a recurring revenue model. This episode will get you thinking about how to grow revenue for your business by tapping into your existing customer base.
Jason Parks of The Media Captain discusses E-A-T and the importance this plays in the SEO space. E-A-T in SEO stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. If you are unfamiliar with E-A-T, this podcast will get you thinking differently about how you write content for your site and the importance of linking up with other sites.
Jason talks about how to pick the right channels for your eCommerce strategy. You should be able to determine if Facebook, Instagram, Google or YouTube work best for your business. He also dives into the importance of a good site and tracking all data.
Jason Parks discusses the importance of Google My Business and local directories. With the advancement of mobile search and an uptick in "near me" searches, it's more important than ever to populate prominently in the maps on Google. Jason walks you through the important first steps of getting listed on Google My Business and what's next after that.
In Episode 22, Jason and Stefanie talk about needing to have thick skin when owning a business or working in marketing. Business is fast paced and clients and customers want results instantly. Jason and Stef discuss how they deal with rejection and defeat on a daily basis and how you can strengthen your business by learning from your mistakes.
We discuss the importance of bidding on profitable keywords for your services and products. We primarily cover profitable bidding on the Google PPC and Google Shopping side of things. We also dive into the importance of proper bidding on Facebook and Google SEO. The key takeaway from this podcast is to make sure your profitable services or products are getting the attention they deserve with your digital marketing strategy.
In this podcast, Stefanie and Jason vent about entrepreneurship. While the photos on Instagram may glorify entrepreneurship, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that the non-business owner isn't aware of. From working long hours to constantly thinking about the business, there is a lot to juggle between your business and life. Jason and Stef dive into this more in-depth in Episode 19.
Stefanie and Jason dive into the big difference between Google PPC vs. SEO. Does PPC actually work? Where should I invest my time and when? We answer these questions and discuss how we've grown our businesses (Media Captain and DermWarehouse) using the beast that is Google!
In Episode 17, Stefanie Parks and Jason Parks dive into the topic of properly tracking your conversions from your paid ad campaigns. Whether you have an eCommerce, B2B or B2C business, Jason and Stef will walk you through the first steps you have to take to ensure you are tracking properly. Without the right tracking in place, it'll be hard to make proper adjustments needed to get your best results.
Do you have the right up front strategy for your businesses digital marketing? If your foundation is not set-up well, you can be wasting time and money, which will set your business back. In episode 16, Jason Parks of The Media Captain gives examples of how the wrong foundation can cost you big time. He dives into Facebook versus Google Advertising along with PPC and web design mistakes.
We dive into one of the most important topics yet - Search Terms within Google Ads. If your business is investing money into Google PPC, you need to be aware of the search terms coming through, which is what people are actually typing into Google to see your ads. Search terms are the first component we look at for new client accounts at The Media Captain. It's such a strong indicator of the success of a campaign so make sure you are constantly monitoring this and adding negative keywords based on the search terms! There is also a lot you can do to improve your SEO with search terms, which we explain in the podcast! Enjoy.
In episode 14, Stefanie and Jason talk about retargeting and how this form of advertising (where ads follow you) can have one of the best return on investments for your business. If you've been to a retailer's website and then go to Facebook and see the same pair of jeans following you around it's not magic, there is a science behind it and we dive into that in episode 14!
Jason dives into lead generation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. There is a common mistake Jason sees amongst business owners when it comes to their social media marketing strategy and that is impatience. Jason will discuss how introducing people to your brand via lead generation campaign and getting prospects into your email marketing funnel can help you generate a long term ROI.
LiveChat can be a game changer for your business. You can close more sales and completely change the perception of your business from a customer service perspective. Jason Parks of Media Captain and Stefanie Parks of DermWarehouse talk about how they each utilize LiveChat for their businesses.
Pay Per Click Advertising can be instrumental in growing your business. Jason and Stefanie will help you determine whether your business would be a good fit for PPC along with the best practices on getting started.
Many people debate whether to hire a marketing agency or bring a team -house. There is no right or wrong answer. Stefanie and Jason dive into the pros and cons of utilizing an agency versus building a team from within.
Email marketing is cheap yet can yield one of the best ROI's for your business. Learn how we've utilized email marketing on the B2B side for The Media Captain and the B2C side for DermWarehouse. We also dive into the best platforms to use for email marketing and discuss strategies and tactics to acquire email addresses for your email marketing database.