Building an Ecommerce Business: From Zero to $100,000 in Revenue from Instagram Ads

Social Media Marketing

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This post is part of our Instagram Marketing Strategy series. The series provides you with actionable insights and lessons on how businesses are using Instagram. Next up, Remi Silva shares how his company, Blank Tag Co., grew from zero to $100,000 in revenue using Instagram ads. 

In February 2017, when Remi and his girlfriend Alondra were visiting Tokyo, the last thing they were thinking about was starting a business together. But a chance discovery in a Tokyo stationery store changed everything for the couple.

“We stumbled upon a shelf full of stickers made by B-Side Label,” Remi explained. “The stickers were extremely high-quality and unlike anything we had ever seen.”

The pair purchased a few stickers and didn’t think any more of it until the following day when they chanced upon the B-Side Label flagship store tucked behind the main street in Harajuku, a Tokyo neighborhood. Amazed by the fun and joy these stickers brought to them, and the fact that B-Side Label could run a whole store dedicated to stickers, the couple decided to try the same back home in the U.S.

Their business, Blank Tag Co., now generates more than $100,000 per year — with around 80 percent of that revenue coming directly from Instagram ads. And what’s more, the couple both still have full-time jobs, running the sticker business on the side.

Launching Blank Tag Co.

The couple wanted to use stickers as a way to spread joy and happiness — just as they’d felt in those Tokyo stores. They also believe that stickers are more than just a piece of paper you place somewhere.

“Stickers are an expression of who you are, what you associate with, and a way to capture memories,” Remi told me.

After returning home for the trip, Remi and Alondra decided to build a sticker company of their own, and Black Tag Co. was born.

Blank Tag Co. website

“The stickers we make are chosen specifically with the aim to make all of our customers feel a sense of belonging and pride when they see them. We want to create stickers that will invoke emotion out of everyone who purchases or sees them.”

Building a customer base from scratch

Having a product is one thing, selling it is a completely different challenge. With a background in PPC advertising, Remi decided that the best way to grow a customer base would be through ads, and he began to test out various channels.

A false start with PPC ads

Remi’s first port of call was Google AdWords, but after a few trial runs with PLAs (product list ads) and search ads it wasn’t really working.

What Remi found was that the keyword “stickers” is saturated by people looking to print their own stickers, rather than buy pre-made stickers. “The keywords around that topic didn’t really work for me,” he explained.

But from experimenting with AdWords, Remi came to a realization that changed the trajectory of the business. “I realized that we needed to generate brand awareness, and PPC isn’t the best way to go for brand building.

Building a brand on Instagram

Next, Remi turned to

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