Thursday, 6 June

đź—Ł Running a B2B and want to reach 40,154 DTC Brands? Start here

Ask Ibrahim: If you need advice for your business, ask our DTC expert here

Hi All

Don't count the hours in a day. Make the hours count.

🚨 In today’s newsletter đźš¨

  • Why Does the Cost of Your Ads Keep Changing? Let’s Unpack CPM!

  • Ibrahim’s Nuggets: 3 UGC Ad Examples

  • Top 3 Latest News: Saudi Arabia Says Its Readying for Fashion E-commerce Renaissance and more.

Let’s get into it👇


We totally agree with Daniel here!

Building a business can get lonely at times, or even worse, get burnt out. And that can take huge toll on your mental health. You keep doubting yourself if it’s the best way forward, but we’d like you to know you’re not alone in this journey, and pretty much every Founder at some point has gone through this.

This is one of the reasons why we wanted to build this DTC community as well. Stay strong fellas! đź’Ş


LIVE PANEL: How to Win Through Smart Business Finance

No one ever said that running a small business was easy. But when business owners, tech leaders, and financial advisors come together to share their knowledge, it can spark new ideas and solutions that empower you to thrive.

On Wednesday, June 12 at 12 p.m. ET, we’re bringing together business leaders from Shopify, Dext, Relay and more, to discuss some of the biggest challenges—and opportunities—facing small businesses today.

You'll walk away with tips on how to build an unstoppable partnership with your financial function and how to unlock opportunities for your business in challenging markets.

Why Does the Cost of Your Ads Keep Changing? Let’s Unpack CPM!

Have you ever wondered why the cost of showing your ads (your CPM) keeps bouncing around?

Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just dipping your toes into the digital advertising pool, understanding these fluctuations can save you headaches and cash!

Here’s a friendly breakdown of what’s behind those changing numbers.

1. Who You're Targeting
Ever notice how aiming for a very specific group of people can get pricey? That's because the more specific your audience, the more you might have to pay to reach them.

2. Where Your Ads Show Up - Placements
Reels are expensive over Stories and Feeds. Feeds are expensive over profile view ads. So, the narrower you go with placements, the higher the CPM.

3. How Good Your Ad Is
Platforms love ads that people interact with. If your ad is engaging and relevant, you might pay less because it's doing the job well. Keep those ads interesting!

4. Seasonal Shopping
Yep, the time of year matters, too! During holiday seasons or special sales times, everyone is advertising. More competition means higher costs.

5. Everyone Else’s Ads
What’s everyone else in your industry doing? If you compete for the same interest stack as your competitors, you pay a premium. It’s just supply and demand. Go for less-targeted interest stacks.

6. Economy’s Ups and Downs
General economic conditions can also influence ad costs. A country undergoing or waging a war will have a different CPM than other countries.

7. Changes in the Ad World
Sometimes, platforms change the rules of the game. Updates to how ads are shown can make your costs go up or down without warning.

8. Where in the World
Different places can have different costs. Advertising in New York isn't the same as advertising in a small town.

9. Type of Ad
Finally, the kind of ad you run (video, image, text) can also affect your costs. Videos often cost more but might be worth it because they catch more eyes.

Understanding these points can help you determine the best ad strategy without breaking the bank.

Got questions or need help sorting out your ad strategy?

Hit reply – let’s make those ad dollars work smarter!


3 UGC Ad Examples

UGC ad campaigns on Instagram and TikTok can be game-changers for boosting your brand’s reach and engagement. But just like the content on these apps differs, so do their ad formats. Here’s a breakdown of three types of user-generated content (UGC) ads, plus real brand examples to get your creative juices flowing..

1. Spark Ads (TikTok)

Spark Ads are pretty simple: take an existing video from a creator and turn it into an ad.

Take Kiala Nutrition for example—they racked up over 75 million impressions and more than 10,000 conversions with their Spark campaign. No wonder Spark campaigns are a favorite among TikTok ad formats, boasting higher views, engagement rates, and conversions.

One of the best parts about TikTok’s UGC ads is the quick setup. With a Spark Ad Code, you can launch campaigns fast without needing to tweak ad creatives endlessly.

Best practices for brands:

  • Keep TikTok UGC ads spontaneous and authentic: Authenticity is the key to connecting with viewers. TikTok’s own mantra is "make TikToks, not ads," and it really works for UGC ads. When a user watches your ad, it should feel like a native content, and not like an ad, and I love such ads!

  • Trust creators for product promotions: The best UGC ads come from people who genuinely love your products. Creators know their audience’s challenges and what resonates with them

  • Use top-performing creator TikToks: If an organic creator post goes viral, it’s likely to do well as an ad too. UGC ads give you the chance to test your video ideas through organic engagement

2. Partnership Ads (Instagram)

Quick note: Instagram's UGC ads used to be called "Branded Content Ads"

Instagram loves UGC ads and has a whole suite of tools for them. Like Spark Ads, Instagram Partnership ads turn organic content into paid promotions, with creators getting credited through “paid partnership” or “sponsored” labels.

Best practices for brands:

  • Instagram ads are often more polished than TikTok ads: Authenticity matters on both platforms, but Instagram ads usually have more edits and creative touches

  • Show off your products from multiple angles: This is why UGC video ads via Instagram Reels are so popular. Branded content ads should bring your product to life, featuring real people in real-world settings

  • Add value-packed captions: Unlike Spark Ads, Instagram ads often have longer copy. This applies to In-Feed Posts and Reels, where ads should both show and tell

3. UGC-Style Ads

UGC-style ads can be a bit tricky, but stay with me! These are paid social media posts that look like organic influencer content, but are run through your brand’s @handle, not the creator’s account.

Check out the examples below to see the difference between Spark Ads and UGC-style ads. Notice how the engagement rates and presentation differ.

Creating UGC-style ads involves more steps compared to using TikTok or Instagram’s native UGC ad tools. This process, known as influencer whitelisting (or allowlisting), varies between TikTok and Instagram. It lets brands turn real UGC into ads with just a few taps, reaching the creators’ audience directly, unlike UGC-style ads.

So, why would brands go for UGC-style ads over allowlisting?

The short answer is—control. You get to edit and control the messaging of your promotions. Instead of just turning an organic UGC piece into an ad, you’re basically directing the creator to fit your brand’s vision.

Conclusion: I wanted to share 3 different styles of UGCs with y’all, and while I think some formats can outperform others, there are pros and cons to each of them, so my recommendation would be test all the formats and see what works best for your brand. That’s the best way to go about it!

Alright folks, that’s it for today!

If you can spare a minute to share feedback regarding what you’ve been liking and disliking about my content here, I’d totally appreciate it! It can help me guide through on what I should be writing more on. And while you’re there, feel free to ask any question or suggest any topic you’d like me to write more about.


Have any questions that you need help with?

Ask here - and look out for Friday’s Issue where Ibrahim will answer them.

If you want to reach our audience, email [email protected] or set up a call here