Brita Turbyfill, Holly Gilpin and Katelyn Rutland contributed to this article.
What do you do when a client calls and says they’re going to be on “Shark Tank”?
- Scream in excitement
- Set the DVR
- Make a plan to maximize sales
- All of the above
When Ski-Z called us with the news, A, B, and C happened. In that order. We had to make sure they capitalized on the massive amount of exposure they were about to receive.
Your company may not be on “Shark Tank” yet, but these same principles apply to any business that’s about to increase exposure through marketing, advertising or public relations efforts.
Here’s the approach we took.
“Shark Tank” airs in TV homes across the nation, so we knew that thousands of people would be looking for Ski-Z’s product during and after the airing. Photo Courtesy of ABC
1. Optimize the website for sales.
We started by asking ourselves the following:
- Did they have a website?
- Could it handle the traffic surge?
- Was it easy to use and, more importantly, easy for customers to complete a purchase?
Like most startups, Ski-Z’s website got the job done for their existing volume and product line, but they were shooting for the stars and it was time for an upgrade. We changed their e-commerce solution and designed a simple site that’s easy for Ski-Z to manage. Don’t let the size fool you; even a one-page site like Ski-Z’s should look professional and incorporate search engine optimization and user interface/user experience (UI/UX) best practices.
We also made sure the site could grow with them and easily handle additional products and traffic flow. In addition, we integrated their accounting software, shipping apps, and added CRM email capabilities to streamline business processes for their small staff.
BAM! Ski-Z is now a full-blown e-commerce superstar that’s ranked in the top one percent of Shopify sites launched around the same time.
2. Make it easy for viewers to find Ski-Z on the web.
“Shark Tank” airs in TV homes across the nation, so we knew that thousands of people would be looking for their product during and after the airing. We also knew they’d likely go to Google or social media to search for Ski-Z by company, brand, and product name, and other phrases used on the show. The goal was to ensure prime placement for Ski-Z’s owned and paid media channels among search rankings.
Google rankings are competitive, but there are several ways to earn a top listing. The first step is to build domain authority, which can be accomplished through organic SEO and paid search. Here’s what we did:
- We built a keyword list and searched those terms to scope out the competition and see where Ski-Z fell among the rankings.
- We optimized the website for their brand name and keywords.
- We established brand consistency across all communication channels and mediums (logos, messaging, product names, and product descriptions).
- We launched paid search (Google Ads) and social media campaigns.
When Ski-Z called to tell us they’d be appearing on “Shark Tank,” we immediately made a plan to maximize sales. Photo Courtesy of ABC
3. Supplement with paid search.
Generating organic traffic by incorporating keywords into your site, as well as generating outside referrals, is a successful but long-term process. It’s certainly not one that can be achieved between “Shark Tank” taping and airing dates - or when you first launch your site.
To give Ski-Z’s search ranking a boost, we supplemented SEO with paid search. We used Google Ads to launch campaigns on keywords, and the company, brand, and product names. Our goal was to get Ski-Z at the top of the list whether you were looking for Ski-Z specifically or trying to solve the problem the product answers.
By week three, Ski-Z was among the top rankings, and continues to hold their ranking today.
4. Establish a social media presence.
Ski-Z came to us with zero social media presence. They didn’t have a Facebook or Instagram, and they certainly didn’t have a strategy for increasing brand awareness - or selling products - on social media. Just like with any new brand or product, we knew social media would play a crucial role in telling their brand story and establishing their reputation. People who watched “Shark Tank” would look for Ski-Z on social media. They needed to be able to find Ski-Z, and their presence needed to effectively position their brand and product. They needed to look reputable.
Here’s what we did:
- We created Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and used imagery from the website to create a cohesive brand experience across platforms.
- We populated their feeds with graphics and illustrations designed to drive product discovery and establish brand trust.
- We encouraged Ski-Z to get as many of their existing customers as possible to review their product on their website and social media channels.
- We connected their Shopify website to their Facebook and Instagram, and enabled shopping tags for easy in-platform shopping.
- We outlined an advertising strategy, including target audiences, remarketing opportunities, and ad creative and budgeting.
Whether you’re launching your first product or your hundredth - or you’re hoping for your own “Shark Tank” break - they key is to optimize conversion opportunities through a cohesive web, marketing, and public relations strategy. Photo Courtesy of ABC
So how did they do?
We’re proud to report the following performance highlights from Ski-Z's airing:
- Over 1900 people viewed the website simultaneously during the airing.
- We saw a 7 to 10 percent average conversion rate the day the show aired. This conversion rate holds steady today.
- Sales started at zero, so anything would have been an improvement. Although we can’t share actual revenue figures - let’s just say it’s a lot. They paid for their new website before the commercial break and haven’t had a break since.
- Ski-Z’s site is ranked in the top one percent of Shopify sites launched around the same time.
- Their social media channels continue to grow as more and more people learn about Ski-Z.
You may not be ready for your “Shark Tank” debut - that’s an opportunity that comes along once in a blue moon - but whether you’re launching a new product, your 100th product, or an entirely new brand, these tactics will help you maximize your conversion potential along each phase of the customer journey.