Ponto Footwear

icepop + Ponto
December 9, 2022

Made from recycled and bio-based materials, Ponto's goal is to make sustainability a priority. Ponto's sleek dress sneakers, made with a sugarcane sole and recycled leather top, do just that. Every time you purchase a pair of Pontos, they’re shipped 100% carbon neutral, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to efforts to protect our oceans. Plus, the blend of sneaker-level comfort with dress shoe elegance means Pontos can easily take you from dressed up at the office to a casual day around town.

Ponto is innovating the ethical shoe game.

Ponto’s Unique Marketing Challenges

Ponto developed an amazing product with cutting edge sustainability efforts. However, as a direct-to-consumer-first shoe company, the brand needed to tell the world about its product in order to generate sales. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, Ponto had already begun initial efforts to build an audience of loyal customers. But, the brand’s founders were ready to take things to the next level and go direct to consumer on their own website.

That’s where icepop came in.

When Ponto first came to icepop, the brand was looking for creative solutions to generate brand awareness, educate consumers about the sustainability of the brand and how it works, drive interest in unique aspects like the product’s unisex design, generate sales and revenue, and overall grow the brand’s reach. Put simply, Ponto’s goal was to reach customers that share a passion for sustainability, love for the environment, and have an interest in fashionable footwear.

Ponto has a great product, but needed help building brand awareness and driving sales.

icepop’s Creative Solutions

At the beginning of icepop’s partnership with Ponto, the approach seemed straightforward: icepop would collaborate with creatives like Kelsey Wisdom who were already working with Ponto to create engaging advertisements. Working cross-functionally with Wisdom allowed icepop’s graphic design team to use the elevated, branded assets that Wisdom curated through Ponto’s photoshoots and implement them into different ad strategies.

In addition to the positive signs we were seeing with ads generated from Wisdom’s photoshoots, icepop wanted to continue to move the needle faster. Instead of waiting on new assets from brand photoshoots every few months, the icepop team got scrappy and came up with new creative ideas to test ads like:

But, just as things were kicking off for the brand, an entirely new obstacle was thrown our way and both icepop and Ponto’s teams were forced to answer the question: how do you market shoes during a pandemic when consumers aren’t necessarily concerned with updating their footwear collection?

The number of shoes people bought per year decreased dramatically during the pandemic. To combat this new obstacle, icepop created a strategy that repositioned the shoe for a COVID-centric world. The goal? To encourage consumers who were cutting back on the amount of footwear they were purchasing, if they’re going to only buy one shoe they may as well buy the most versatile shoe possible. We communicated this through ad messaging like:

As a result of this messaging, Ponto not only saw strong sales, but the brand actually saw a 50% increase in ROAS during COVID.

Paid Social Media Strategy

In today’s social media-driven world, it can be difficult to create content that catches a user’s attention. Now more than ever, platform-specific social media content is crucial when it comes to engaging an audience. Because the demographic on Instagram varies drastically from the demographic on Facebook and TikTok (and vice versa), different ad styles see different success rates across each individual platform. For example, the best performing ad on an Instagram Story may be very different from the best performing ad on Facebook and Tiktok. Because of this, icepop prioritized the following paid media strategy to garner optimal results:

The icepop team felt very strong about using video on Instagram Ads. After testing video creative we found that in certain cases, in-feed video ads outperformed standard static photo ads click through rate (CTR) by up to 128%. We helped plan and source the video.

With the success in video ads, we pushed Ponto to launch YouTube ads. YouTube increased branded search interactions by 470% in Q3 of 2022.

Paid Search Strategy

icepop deployed ads across Google's network leveraging Search, Performance Max (formerly Google Smart Shopping), YouTube, Display, and Discovery ads. On the performance max side, we integrated reviews on the products to increase click through rates.

In Q3 of 2022, conversions have increased 23% for Ponto’s performance max campaign, without increasing spend.

icepop also implemented sequential youtube ads to Ponto’s search strategy. With ad sequencing, an advertiser can tell a product's story through a series of ads shown to a potential customer over time. Every time a user opens a new session on YouTube, they will get the next sequence of the advertisement. Ad sequencing opened up the door for Ponto to share its message, and show the benefit each purchase has on the environment.

Organic Content Strategy

icepop saw an opportunity to write about sustainable footwear and the sustainability movement in general. Because of that effort, we saw increased organic search traffic that drove customers looking for sustainable shoes to Ponto’s website. Some blogs that took advantage of this strategy are:

The Dress Sneaker: A Complete Guide

5 Fall Fashion Tips To Elevate Your Style

5 Creative Ways To Upcycle your Old Stuff

Here are just a few of the keywords Ponto has started to rank for since launching icepop’s blogs:

Dress sneakers
Dress shoe sneakers
Sneaker dress shoe hybrid
Elevate your style
How to elevate your wardrobe

Ponto’s website saw a boost in site traffic following each post, and continues to see organic traffic each month from relevant keywords such as these positioned throughout the blogs. There was also a need to optimize title tags, meta descriptions, and product descriptions sitewide to capture those same relevant keywords. icepop also reworked Ponto’s website content to improve Ponto’s chances of ranking for more keywords. The proof is in the traffic numbers.

In the last 12 months, Ponto has increased organic impressions by 42% and organic clicks by 157%.

Major Win

icepop’s innovative approach to content has had an impact on other areas of Ponto’s marketing. In fact, a text ad campaign we came up with at icepop two years ago has evolved into an amazing billboard ad seen by thousands of drivers in the United States today. The same Ponto text ad is also scattered across subway trains in New York City.

From 2021 to 2022, Ponto saw a 112% increase in sales.

Looking Ahead

As Ponto looks to expand into more retail locations, icepop has begun Geo-Fenced Ads. Geo-fencing uses location data to push relevant ads to smartphone users in a specific area - essentially creating a digital “fence” around a location, and everyone in that “fence” can be served the ad. These geo-fenced ads target users near physical locations where Pontos are sold, prompting them to head to stores and purchase Pontos.

Ponto’s rapid success over the past two years has exceeded our expectations and helped to establish Ponto in the market as a high-quality, sustainable shoe brand. icepop will continue to build creative digital marketing campaigns to connect Ponto with like-minded consumers and to see conversion rates grow at an even faster rate than they ever have before.