5 Ways to Make Your DTC Commercial Work

As new and unique direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands emerge, the sector continues to see strong growth. However, eMarketer notes that increased competition in the DTC landscape has resulted in higher customer acquisition costs. DTC brands need to scale their advertising efforts to get their products in front of the right audience.

To reach internet users, social media ads have been the most effective, according to a survey from Toluna. Out of those surveyed, 34.6% of users first heard about a DTC product they bought through social media ads. This surpasses other brand discovery channels such as online search (24.8%) and word-of-mouth (16.4%). However, eventually most ‘digital-only’ DTC brands begin to see diminishing returns due to audience saturation.

Many DTC brands are embracing the power of TV advertising to broaden reach by expanding their prospecting pool. According to a study conducted by the Video Advertising Bureau, TV ads instantly resulted in a double-digit increase in unique visitors for DTC brands on their digital platforms. Longer airtime also resulted in better digital engagement due to increased brand exposure.

To make sure your advertising spend yields justifiable returns, you need to put out DTC commercials that make an impact. Here are some proven best practices to help your brand create DTC ads that deliver results.

1) Bring in Testimonials

Testimonials are a powerful way to advertise DTC products. They help consumers relate to the problem and see the value of the product benefits from the perspective of real customers. They add credibility to the claims and convince consumers that there is truth to the value proposition.

For customer testimonials to work, authenticity matters. Best practices dictate that you should utilize real people with real experiences. Paid actor portrayals often fall short of emotion and credibility.

Recently, many DTC marketers have found success with story-based testimonials, where they focus on a single customer. This approach helps the audience build an emotional connection with that person by showing their character, lifestyle, interests, and emotional story of how the product helped them or why they like the product so much.

Take the case of Listen Lively user Brett. He shared how he was initially worried that using a hearing aid would tarnish his image and that one of the joys of his life is riding his motorcycle with his wife. He believed his hearing loss was making it difficult to ride safely. Brett claimed the process of getting his hearing aids from Listen Lively was simple, and his confidence soared because of it.

Casper’s DTC mattress brand leverages video testimonials from influential content creators such as the Mattress Clarity YouTube channel. While these content creators are affiliates of the brand, consumers trust their testimonials because the reviews are honest and relatable. They’re still coming from real people who have used the product and are in a position to give unbiased feedback.

Casper also includes real customer testimonials in their ads as social proof. One of their ads even featured a testimonial from radio host and podcaster Kim Komando.

2) Dumb It Down

When it comes to marketing DTC products, the simpler the message, the better. While it’s good to get creative to stand apart from your competition, creativity shouldn’t come at the cost of clarity.

Brands have to fight to get the attention of distracted consumers with short attention spans. Therefore, you need to get the message across clearly and succinctly in the shortest possible time. The goal is to make sure the audience can instantly understand what the product does and why they need it without giving too much thought.

Your DTC commercials should answer these three biggest questions:

⦁ What is the problem?

⦁ What is the solution?

⦁ What is the offer?

3) Change the Pace

Speaking of short attention spans, DTC commercials should be strategically paced to make an impact. Consumers typically interact with advertising when they’re bored or seeking information. They’re either flipping through channels on TV or searching on the internet. Unless an ad instantly catches their attention, they’re likely to overlook it and keep flipping or scrolling.

This gives you a very short window to interrupt that experience. As such, the commercial should be able to make the audience pay attention within the first few seconds. Compelling, faster-paced creatives might be able to help improve response. In addition, the messaging should be relevant from the get-go. That means it should immediately address the issue. Even simply laying in a more upbeat music track with an energetic V/O can do the trick.

4) Price Point, Price Point, Price Point

Price plays a crucial role in convincing people to buy (or not buy) products. In fact, it’s been shown that conscious price variables significantly influenced purchase intent in consumers. Similarly, the price point is perhaps the single most important factor that can influence consumer response.

For DTC commercials to work, you must constantly test offers – whether it’s lowering the price, raising the price, offering a free trial, or providing a multi-pay option. These tests can help find a sweet spot between demand profitability and response to ensure the success of your DTC product.

5) Look at What Your Competitors Are Doing

It’s easy to have tunnel vision and pay too much attention only to your brand and marketing effort. In the process, you can fail to see what advertising approaches others in the market are deploying. That means brands often don’t realize it when they’re knocked off or being copied. Sometimes, you won’t even notice your competitors are doing something revolutionary in the marketplace. As a result, you could miss out on opportunities to differentiate your DTC marketing.

To scale advertising efforts, shift your focus and see what the competition is doing.

⦁ What kind of unique value proposition are they making through their ads?

⦁ How can you take competitive positioning and make it even better for your own brand?

Looking at the competition will help your DTC brand uncover valuable opportunities to capitalize on competitors’ shortcomings or uncover revolutionary ideas to replicate.

Creating Impactful DTC Ads

As the DTC marketplace gets more competitive, it can be a challenge to scale advertising efforts. Following these best practices will help you get a good start and create successful DTC ads:

⦁ Use testimonials from real people to gain credibility and win audiences’ trust.

⦁ Apply the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) to create easy-to-understand messaging for maximum clarity.

⦁ Employ fast-paced advertising as an effective way to capture the audience’s attention quickly.

⦁ Experiment with different pricing offers and find the sweet spot between demand, profitability, and response.

⦁ Research the competition to discover opportunities for improvement and differentiation.

Coupling a high-value product that solves real-world customer problems with impactful advertising is your recipe for DTC success!

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