How retargeting helped a pooch-loving brand fetch new customers on Instagram

October 3, 2018 Doug Ratner

Musician and dog-lover Doug Ratner is the founder of I’d Rather Be With My Dog—a lifestyle brand for the greater good: a fraction of the business’s profits are donated to a rescue center to help dogs in need.  Determined to grow his business, he turned to AdRoll for help and discovered the power of retargeting on Instagram—both in terms of growing and converting his following.

We sat down with Doug to hear his #DareToGrow story, and find out why he believes investing in retargeting on Instagram is the way forward for e-commerce brands.

From a dog’s song to a t-shirt

My producer and I wanted to make a video to promote my song I’d Rather Be With My Dog, which was inspired by my rescue dog Oggy. We asked people to send us pictures if they wanted us to feature their dog—but we were inundated and had to make a second video because we had more dogs than we needed! I thought: ‘If all these people love the song, I should put the title on a t-shirt’. And that was it: we started a business.

Going viral on Instagram

I bootstrapped the business at first, so it took a little while to take off. But one day, a customer posted a picture wearing one of our shirts on her Instagram page dedicated to Golden Retrievers. She had more than 50,000 followers. The picture blew up and brought in all these sales, which propelled the business and helped it grow in a viral way on social media. It also drove lots of organic traffic to the website.

Working with AdRoll

I heard about AdRoll from Kelsey, my first account manager, who reached out to me and asked if I did any retargeting. I didn’t at the time, so she told me more about it. I was a little hesitant at first because I’d built everything as a self-starter and was proud of the fact we didn’t use any agencies. But I realized that all these other e-commerce businesses did retargeting, and it would be stupid of me to not take advantage. She set me up on the AdRoll platform, and that was that.

I knew Instagram was our bread and butter, and Kelsey told me that AdRoll had just launched an Instagram prospecting feature. After trying it for a month, I discovered that it worked well for us. There are two measures of success with an Instagram post. One is engagement. If your only goal is engagement and extending your reach, just look at comments, likes, number of followers, and the micro conversations going on in your post.

The other measure is sales. If I post a picture of a girl wearing a certain tank top, and over a 12-hour period I see sales of that tank top pick up, I know it’s done really well. But the interesting thing is that engagement on a post doesn’t determine whether it will drive sales.
That’s why AdRoll is crucial when it comes to retargeting. As I’ve learned, we can bring people to the website, but if you don’t have the right funnel and the right systems in place to get them back to buy, it’s a lost sale.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential brand awareness and customer base, and I’d like us to have millions and millions of social media followers. I want people to be wearing I’d Rather Be With My Dog t-shirts all the time! So I see AdRoll helping us reach the next level by giving us the tools needed to make the best ads and the best content in order to reach our customers in the best way. 

Learn how top marketers like Doug turn make-or-break moments into breakthrough opportunities. Interested in getting your campaigns up and running on a growth platform? Update your AdRoll campaigns or sign up for an AdRoll account here

About the Author

Doug Ratner

Doug Ratner // Founder // I'd Rather Be With My Dog

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