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How a Multi-Million Dollar Ecommerce Brand Uses Video, Facebook, and Pinterest to Close More Sales

What’s working for you in your ecommerce business?

That’s the question I posed to ecommerce expert and Smart Marketer founder Ezra Firestone at the 2016 Content & Commerce Summit.

Within in ten minutes, Ezra shared with me the assets he’s using to create a journey that turns a prospect into a customer

Check out the video (with its transcript) to learn:

  • The best top of funnel conversion asset.
  • The simple video that is working best in Ezra’s sales funnel that you can create, too.
  • What Ezra calls “integrated social commerce” and how it will change ecommerce.

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Video Transcript:

Russ Henneberry: What is working, right now, for you guys in your ecommerce businesses? What are you most excited about right now?
Ezra Firestone: What we’re doing right now, is, of course, amplifying content. That’s what we do, we amplify content to engage people in a conversation that then leads to an offer a la what you guys are doing. We’re using a lot of video. Most of the internet, at this point, is consumed on a mobile phone. Most of the consumption on mobile phones is video, so you’ve got to have video in your strategy. I think, my sort of theory lately, what I’ve been talking about lately, is that you’ve got these levels of your prospect to Customer Journey, you’re getting someone’s attention, you’re letting them know about you, you’re then engaging with them in a conversation, and taking them through a process, and they become a customer.
So, the goal is to figure out what’s the best top of funnel conversion asset. I think of it as a bunch of conversion assets working in concert to create a journey that turns someone into a customer. The best top of funnel conversion asset is, by far, a video. The reason it’s a video is because they can watch it natively, in a social platform, without ever leaving that social platform. They don’t ever have to go to your website to fully engage with your brand. They can consume a piece of content, multiple minutes, of face to camera story time about your brand and never leave the social network, and then, maybe never leave the social network in that initial engagement, but you’re able to track what they consumed, follow up with them with another ad. You know they’re interested.
Russ Henneberry: When you say consume this video natively, I assume you’re talking about things like Facebook, right?
Ezra Firestone: Facebook and Pinterest now, and Instagram for that matter. Basically, all of the social networks are moving to allowing people to consume video content on them, because they are realizing that people are consuming video content, so they want them on their social network. They’re inside of Facebook, watching a video about you, they don’t ever have to leave Facebook.
What’s coming, the next wave of ecommerce, the next generation, the next five years, is something that doesn’t really have a name yet, but I’m calling integrated social commerce. What that is, it’s going to be the ability for someone to engage in an entire sales funnel and purchase from you, without ever leaving Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. It’s already kind of available, it’s not fully rolled out, but that’s where we’re going.
Russ Henneberry: Which network do you think has the head start on that?
Ezra Firestone: Facebook, by a mile. The reason is, if you go into Facebook Messenger, you can now send money to people, peer to peer payments just like PayPal. They’re getting everyone’s credit card on file, for the impending one-click purchase in the newsfeed. Facebook is working to become an Apple, a Google, where they’re handling payments. So, it’s coming.
Russ Henneberry: Let’s talk specifics. If we talk about Facebook, you go and you shoot a video, what are the contents of this video? What are you doing with it? Are you placing it in there as an ad? What does the workflow look like to actually use video on Facebook and ecommerce site?

(Related: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Video Ads)

Ezra Firestone: That will be dictated by where in your sales process this video is being used. If we’re talking about a top of funnel, the first, I call it, awareness, the first time someone is engaged with you, the first time they’re seeing you, well that video you want to have a story about who you are. You’re obviously solving a problem, so the story can be related to how you solve this problem, then a product demo, and then a customer testimonial, and a call to action. Basically, every one of our awareness videos, where people don’t know about us and we’re trying to get them to know about us, start with, “Hey, here’s our story, here’s how we got into this thing, this is the problem we solved, this is a demonstration of our product, here’s a happy customer, check us out.”
Russ Henneberry: Take Boom by Cindy Joseph, for example, I’m guessing Cindy does that video, and what’s the content of the here’s our story type video? What are you guys doing with that?
Ezra Firestone: You have to have something unique. You can’t just be, “Hey, I’m Joe Blow and I’ve also got a dog bowl.” That’s not going to work. You’ve got something that you’re adding to the marketplace. What we’re adding to the marketplace, with Boom, is a different point of view on aging. Everyone else is telling women they’re wrong, they’re bad. Hey, you better stop aging, it’s horrible, your life gets bad after 35, anti-wrinkle, anti-age, Botox. Everyone is telling women, essentially, that they’re screwed. We have the opposite message. We don’t subscribe to that viewpoint. We introduce our videos with, “Hey, here’s this radical viewpoint, that you could adopt.”
Russ Henneberry: It’s just a head-on video. She’s explaining why aging isn’t such a bad thing. This is actually a good thing, it’s a natural thing.
Ezra Firestone: We have some face to camera videos that we’re doing. We also have sort of some more news like, “Check out this story,” and it’s cut between a bunch of shots. But, you know what video’s working the best for us right now? A simple customer testimonial with the ownership, then the product demonstrated. Literally nothing but, “Hey, I’m Jane and I found these products, and here’s what they’re doing for me.” Legitimately, just a customer testimonial with a demonstration of the products and why that customer likes them, is our best, at the moment, top of funnel awareness video.
Russ Henneberry: One of the things we talk about here, at DigitalMarketer, Molly Pittman coined this term, traffic temperature. You’ve got this cold traffic, never heard of you at all, you got warmer traffic that is familiar with your brand, might be on an email list, maybe has bought something small from you, and then you got your hot traffic, people that have purchased multiple times from you, purchased big ticket, more complex items. You go after cold traffic with these more story based ads or these customer testimonials.
Ezra Firestone: Yeah, that’s for cold traffic. For warmer or hot traffic, we’re doing straight up, hardcore pitching, product demos, new product announcements. We also are doing just traditional content: “Here are the five tips about skin care, oh, by the way, remember us, we’re this brand.” We’re using a combination of direct pitches and straight up soft sell content, so kind of like the opposite, soft sell content, direct pitches, they both work really well when people already know about you.
Russ Henneberry: Let’s take your ad dollar, right now. Out of every dollar, how much are you spending, cent wise, on Facebook?
Ezra Firestone: Probably 75 cents on the dollar.
Russ Henneberry: 75 cents?
Ezra Firestone: Yeah, sorry, 75 cents of every dollar on Facebook, and then maybe 10 cents of every dollar on Pinterest, and 15 cents for every dollar on Google.
Russ Henneberry: Let’s talk about Pinterest for a little bit, because that is a significant amount of spend. You’re spending quite a bit on advertising, you’re spending 10% of that spend over on Pinterest. What’s exciting about Pinterest right now? What do you think the opportunity is over there?
Ezra Firestone: Pinterest is attempting to be the next Google shopping. Think about Facebook, I call it a past engine, i.e. you’re creating groups of people that you want to put a message in front of, based on what they’ve done in the past. That’s what you know about them. On Pinterest, it’s all future based, because people type in queries about what they want. They’re searching for things they want. They’re thinking about things in the future. It’s sort of a future engine. They’re building boards of, kind of like the old pin board, where you put up things you wanted, that’s what Pin Pal Pinterest is used. Considering that it is query based, for the most part, meaning people are typing in queries, and then you use that query that they typed in to serve them an ad, there’s not as much traffic at the moment. But, Pinterest is now rolling in contextual data points, so you can say, “I want to target this gender. I want to target people in this location. I want to target people on these devices. I want to target people who’ve shown past interest in XYZ.” So, they’re rolling in contextual data points.

(Related: How Ezra Firestone Generated $41,254.34 in Ecommerce Sales From $775.50 in Pinterest Ad Spend)

Russ Henneberry: Get back to that. That’s a real important point, I think, that you made there. Essentially, what you’re saying, that any particular day, there are only so many people on Pinterest that are interested in an outdoor fire pit.
Ezra Firestone: Or typing in the query.
Russ Henneberry: Or weird oil or whatever it is that they’re typing in that actual query, but if they start to add more contextual advertising, you can blow that up.
Ezra Firestone: Which they are. And, they’re also doing lookalike audiences and retargeting, and so if you’re going to get started on Pinterest today, use it just for retargeting. Add it as people visit your website, as you have groups of customers. That’s the most profitable way to get started because then you’re not worrying about using it for awareness, you’re only using it for retargeting and loyalty. I think, also with Pinterest, what’s cool about it is it’s only mobile. Nobody’s using Pinterest on their desktop. It’s solely mobile traffic. So, you can’t really get anything but iPhone traffic on Pinterest. Most of the traffic online today is mobile.
Where I was going with this, they want to be a comparison shopping engine. They have these things called buyable pins, and they have the ability for you to do integrated social commerce, so you can purchase something right on Pinterest. Eventually, it’s going to be like Google Shopping, where you type in a query, and then you’ve got multiple retailers, you can filter it, you can see the products you want, and you can make a purchase right in Pinterest. Fastest growing social network by percentage. It’s like where Facebook was six years ago.
Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is a digital marketer, speaker, and co-author of Digital Marketing for Dummies. Russ has helped hundreds of brands increase sales, leads, and retention including Crazy Egg,, and DigitalMarketer. Visit Russ's website or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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