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Live Commerce and How We Got Here

3 (29)
15Apr

The idea of shopping looks a little different these days.

You used to go to a store and try on a new pair of jeans or search high and low for that one specific sauce you need for your meal. Now, with the rise of online shopping, we don’t even need to leave our homes.

While shopping as a whole has changed in the last ten to twenty years, online shopping has surely evolved as well.

Do you remember the days when online shopping felt a bit impersonal? You’d scroll through product listings, read reviews, and hope for the best when your order arrived. It was convenient but lacked that human touch we often crave in retail experiences.

Then came social media influencers. These creators brought an interesting new twist to the online shopping scene. We started following them not just for style inspiration but also for their insights into products they loved and recommended.

At the same time, live streaming became a sensation on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

This is when marketers saw an opportunity to combine the influence of social media personalities with the immediacy of live streaming, creating what we now know as Live Commerce.

Live Commerce events are like virtual shopping parties hosted by influencers and brands. They showcase products, answer questions from viewers, and create buzz with limited-time offers.

It’s shopping with a personal touch, and consumers love it.

What makes Live Commerce special is its ability to humanize the digital shopping experience. Consumers can interact, ask for recommendations, and get a feel for products before hitting that buy button.

And the results speak for themselves. Live Commerce drives higher engagement, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction compared to traditional e-commerce methods.

It’s a win-win for both brands and shoppers.

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How Far Will Advertising Go Before It’s Too Much?

2 (31)
8Apr

Billboards. Magazines. TV. Juice Boxes. Video Games.

The list could go on. Do you know what I’m talking about? Advertising! Specifically advertisement saturation.

This is a topic that has been on a lot of people’s minds lately.

We see ads everywhere these days, from our social media feeds to the jerseys of our favorite NBA players. But how far will advertising go before it becomes too much?

Let’s start by acknowledging the obvious: advertising is everywhere. It’s on our screens, our streets, our clothes – you name it, there’s probably an ad on it.

While we know advertising is essential for businesses to reach their audience, there comes a point where it can feel overwhelming. Take, for example, the recent trend of ads on NBA jerseys. It’s a bold move that has sparked debates among fans and marketers alike.

Some argue that it’s a natural evolution of sports sponsorship, while others worry that it detracts from the purity of the game.

So, where do we draw the line?

The truth is there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Different consumers have different limits for advertising tolerance. Some may not mind seeing ads on jerseys if it means supporting their favorite teams, while others may feel bombarded by the constant visual noise.

The reality is that businesses need to tread carefully. Too much advertising can lead to consumer fatigue and backlash. So, let’s revisit the question we started with. Is there a limit to how much advertising is too much?

It’s a complex question with no easy answer. However, what’s clear is that balance is key. Ads should enhance the customer experience, not hinder it.

After all, advertising should add value to our lives, not overwhelm us.

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Faceless Influencers and What They Mean for Brands

1 (42)
1Apr

The idea of influencing has changed quite a bit over the years. It started with following a creator and their fabulous life, and it has transitioned into creators not showing an ounce of their face and relying on aesthetics. I’m talking about faceless influencers.

It’s interesting to see how faceless creators have taken a front seat in the influencer world because influencer marketing has always been deeply rooted in the personal connection between creators and their audiences.

Instead, faceless influencers rely solely on being aesthetic, and it’s working.

So, what exactly are faceless influencers, and why should brands pay attention?

At its core, a faceless influencer chooses to conceal their identity and instead, they direct the spotlight onto their content, whether it’s exploring new places, organizing a home, or using new products.

The implications for brands are many.

Firstly, the idea of faceless influencers presents a unique opportunity for brands to diversify their collaborations.

By shifting the focus from individual personalities to the quality and relevance of content, brands can tap into a broader spectrum of talent and perspectives.

In addition, partnering with faceless influencers offers brands a shield against the pitfalls of influencer culture. Let’s be honest, social media is cutthroat. One wrong turn and a creator can be on the path to cancellation quickly.

Faceless creators don’t have to worry about saying or doing the wrong thing because, in reality, we don’t really know who the person is. We just know how great their vacations are.

To wrap things up, faceless influencers are setting up a whole new era of influencer marketing.

With all of that said, as a brand, especially a product-based brand, don’t sleep on faceless influencers.

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Content Marketing Trends in 2024

4 (24)
25Mar

Content plays a key role in all aspects of digital marketing, so here are the top trends that are here to stay or becoming more relevant in 2024:

AI Will Become a Focus

Artificial intelligence has been the topic of discussion in the marketing world for some time now, but in 2024, its influence is set to reach new heights.

From smart chatbots providing instant customer support to networking prompts, AI is becoming a helpful tool for marketers, and it seems it will only become more helpful.

Hyper-personalization Will Only Get Bigger

In today’s world, social media is riddled with content of all sorts. This is why personalization has become a focus and powerful tool for marketers to use to cut through that noise.

However, in 2024, it’s not just about addressing customers by their first name, it’s about understanding their interests, behaviors, and even emotions.

Everyone Can Be An Influencer

Over the years, the definition of influence has expanded beyond traditional celebrities and influencers. In 2024, everyone has the potential to be an influencer, regardless of follower count or celebrity status. Micro-influencers, in particular, are gaining traction as brands recognize the value of authentic niche communities.

Using real-life customers is the perfect way to become more relatable and authentic about what you provide as a brand. The best part? Modern-day social media has opened up so many doors for regular users with little to no following to leverage their audience, no matter what size it is.

Relatable Content is Key

In a world where authenticity is king (or is that content?), relatable content is more important than ever. Consumers crave content that speaks to their lived experiences, challenges, and aspirations.

By humanizing their brand and showing the people behind the products, companies can create deeper connections with their audience and a sense of community.

Live Streaming is Still Relevant

Despite the growing interest in pre-recorded video content, live streaming continues to be a driving force for many brands. It says something about the brand when they go out of their way to live stream and speak one-on-one with their audience. There is a certain level of authenticity that greatly outshines other forms of content.

In 2024, live streaming will remain a powerful tool for brands to engage with their audience in real-time, whether it’s hosting Q&A sessions, product launches, or behind-the-scenes tours.

In conclusion, it is set to be an exciting year for content in 2024. Who knows, we may even see something completely new this year!

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The Power of Personal Branding for Professionals

3 (23)
18Mar

Let’s talk about something that’s not often discussed in our world of metrics and strategies: personal branding. Yes, you heard it right. Your personal brand matters just as much as the brands you promote.

In fact, it might even matter more.

Think about it. In a sea of LinkedIn profiles and X feeds, what sets you apart from the rest? It’s your personal brand – the unique combination of your skills, experiences, and personality that makes you, well, you.

So, why is personal branding so powerful? Let me break it down for you.

Authenticity Always Wins

Think of it this way: your personal brand is your secret weapon.

By sharing your story, values, and passions, you can build trust with your audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Whether it’s through blogging, speaking engagements, or social media posts, authenticity is key to building meaningful connections that align with your audience and other professionals.

Be Different

Let’s face it: the marketing industry is crowded.

With thousands of marketers seeking the same attention, how do you stand out from the crowd? Simple, by being yourself.

Your personal brand is what sets you apart from the competition and makes you memorable to potential employers, clients, and collaborators.

Whether it’s your quirky sense of humor or your knack for storytelling, embrace what makes you unique and let it shine through in everything you do.

Show What Makes You Great

Your personal brand is your chance to show what makes you an expert and demonstrate why you’re the go-to person in your field.

Whether it’s through thought leadership articles, case studies, or speaking engagements, use your personal brand to share your knowledge and insights with the world.

Fuel Your Career Growth

Last but not least, personal branding is the best way to excel in your career growth.

Whether you’re looking to land your dream job, start your own business, or climb the corporate ladder, your personal brand can open doors and create opportunities you never thought possible.

So, there you have it, the power of personal branding for marketing professionals. If you’re just starting out in your career or looking to take it to the next level, your personal brand is your most valuable asset.

So, embrace what makes you unique, share your story with the world, and watch where your personal brand takes you!

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Personalizing Your Email Marketing Strategy

2 (25)
11Mar

Personalization will only get more and more critical in marketing, and when it comes to email marketing, this is the place to get extra personal. Your subscribers have actively either purchased from you before or shown interest in your brand in some way. Compared to your audience on social media, your email subscribers are more important (there, I said it).

Don’t get me wrong – your social media community is very important, but until they make the step from being a silent follower to actively interested, your email subscribers should be your top priority.

Personalization in email marketing goes beyond simply addressing recipients by their first names. It’s about understanding their preferences, behaviors, and interests – and using that knowledge to deliver relevant content that resonates on a deeper level.

So, here is how you can win them over.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

The receipts don’t lie when it comes to the benefits of personalization in email marketing: higher open rates, increased click-through rates, and ultimately, improved conversions.

When recipients receive emails that speak directly to their needs and interests, they’re more likely to engage with the content and take the desired action – whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a freebie.

By delivering relevant content at the right time, personalization helps build stronger connections with your audience and better conversions for your brand.

Personalization Techniques to Try

Here are a few ways you can hyper-personalize your email content.

  • Use segments or tags. When you organize your audience based on their specific interests, you can easily tailor your content to their specific preferences or pain points.
  • Analyze their behavior history. Your emails should look different going to the customers who consistently purchase from you versus the customers who have only purchased once or not at all. Also, consider when they purchase. Is it more during the holidays? During the summer? Tailor your content to reflect the time of year they purchase the most.
  • Keep your emails visually appealing and the content engaging. While your focus is to drive a call to action from your customers, sometimes it’s nice to just get a response in general back to make sure they are still interested. This can be through fun games, polls, surveys, quizzes, or incentives.
  • Your subject line needs to be spot on. It is the first thing your customer sees in their inbox, so you want it to be click-worthy.

Personalizing your emails is easy when you understand the audience that you are addressing. Take into consideration their interests, pain points, preferences, and history, and from there, tailor your content to reflect the data.

You’ll see results in no time!

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The Importance of Micro-Moments in Marketing

1 (34)
4Mar

With smartphones never more than an arm’s length away, our society is constantly looking for quick and easy answers. This new behavior is the reason why marketers have begun giving attention to what are called “micro-moments.”

Micro-moments are the brief, intent-driven interactions that your consumers take in their journey to either purchase your products/services or keep looking.

So, let’s take a quick look at why these micro-moments have become such a staple in modern-day marketing and how you can master them.

What Are Micro-Moments?

Micro-moments are the actions consumers take to either learn, discover, buy, or watch something.

These moments are usually short and easy ways for consumers to find the answer they are looking for or check out of reality for a few laughs.

Some are searching for specific products or services. Maybe they need a suit for a wedding or they are looking for a new raincoat. A quick Google search can bring up hundreds of options to choose from locally or online.

These are the micro-moments that are critical touchpoints in a customer’s journey.

Why Micro-Moments Matter

The internet is loaded with dare I say…too much information. However, if marketers learn how to tap into these micro-moments, they can make meaningful connections with their audience at the right time and place.

Here are a few things to consider when you are learning how to tap into these moments:

  • You want to stay relevant. You want to offer the consumers personalized recommendations based on what they are looking for at that moment. So, it’s important to understand the context of these moments your target audience is having so you can provide the perfect solution.
  • Keep your audience engaged in all parts of the journey. Even if they aren’t looking to purchase right this second, you want your brand to be fresh in their mind when they are ready. This is where your content marketing skills will need to be handy. Remember, attention spans are short so don’t overthink it. Keep it short and interesting.

How to Master the Micro-Moments

First, make sure your brand is visible and accessible on all channels where your customers may visit.

Next, by using customer data, anticipate common questions and pain points that arise during these moments and provide solutions.

In your content marketing, focus on delivering value during these short interactions. It can be as simple as providing helpful tips, answering questions, or asking for their help.

Lastly, experiment with different approaches and messaging to determine what resonates most with your audience.

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Three Important Email Marketing Sequences Every Small Business Needs

4 (23)
23Feb

As a small business, you’re constantly looking for cost-effective ways to increase traffic, nurture your customers, and improve ROI. Email marketing is the perfect way to do this.

For years, email marketing has been a useful tool for brands everywhere. Even now, large companies that started small more than likely executed a successful marketing strategy that helped get them to where they are today.

Here are three email sequences every B2B and e-commerce business owner should use to improve customer retention and ROI.

Welcome Sequence

This is the first time you are contacting them via email and you want this impression to be a good one! The last thing you want is a new subscriber immediately unsubscribing or marking you as spam because your emails aren’t hitting the mark.

This sequence is all about introducing your brand and its products or services. Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate it. Every email should be straight to the point, visually pleasing, and a positive experience.

Welcome them to the community, show them around your business, rave about the benefits of being a part of this community, and then offer them an incentive for being there.

There is no right answer to how long the sequence should be. You just need to get your point across without exhausting your subscribers.

Re-Engagement Sequence

A re-engagement sequence is a check-in with your customers. Let’s say the customer hasn’t purchased in a while or some time has passed since you worked on a project for them.

This is the sequence where you re-engage them with your brand and tell them about new products, promotions, or offerings.

Just because a customer hasn’t come back in a few months doesn’t mean they won’t come back at all. Life gets busy and we all need a little push sometimes.

Remember, though, with every sequence you want to provide a positive experience. Be careful about coming off too pushy. You want them to feel like they are choosing to revisit your website.

Lead Nurturing Sequence

Lead nurturing sequences are there to help push your customers along their journey.

When someone visits your website and shows interest in a product or service enough to input their contact information, they get entered into a variety of sequences, including a welcome sequence and a lead nurturing sequence.

This sequence drops little incentives on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis (depending on how you set up your automation). These emails should be tailored to where the customer is in their purchasing journey and their interests.

Lead nurturing sequences can oftentimes be more effective than salespeople because, let’s face it, no one likes being called and sold to anymore. As I have mentioned before, customers want to have control, and being called non-stop until they purchase something is more pressure than decision-making, don’t you think?

A good rule of thumb with all of these sequences and every email you send out is to create a positive experience for your customers, make them feel like they are in control, and use the right hooks and CTAs to do so.

Email marketing is still a highly effective tool for every business. It gives customers an inside look at new products, exclusive deals, and fun events that non-subscribers wouldn’t receive.

Give them a reason to stick around with every email you send.

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The Platforms We Loved and Then Forgot About

3 (20)
16Feb

Before TikTok and Instagram could run, platforms like Vine and MySpace had to first walk and pave the way for modern-day social media.

Believe it or not, TikTok and Instagram didn’t always dominate the social media world, nor did they start it. Before platforms such as Medium or Blogger, Tumblr was one of the main outlets for people to share their thoughts, interests, adventures, and photos.

Before Facebook became the main community-based platform, we had MySpace.

Watching how the social media landscape has changed over the years is an interesting sight to see, so let’s take a look at the platforms we used to love but have now forgotten about.

Vine

The platform that paved the way for TikTok’s success, Vine, was launched back in 2013. It was created for users to upload short six-second videos for their friends and the public to laugh about. This app grew into a popular creator platform with over 200 million users and became the platform where influencers such as Shawn Mendes and Jake Paul got their big break.

Unfortunately, even with the influx of active users, the rising competition of Instagram and Snapchat forced Vine to throw in the towel due to them not being able to keep up with the new monetization avenues for their videos.

For those who do remember Vine, it will remain in our hearts forever!

Google+

Google+ was an attempt to create their version of Instagram or Facebook. Users were able to share photos and new updates to different groups of friends called “Circles” and also have group chats called “Hangouts”.

In order to try to draw more usage and interest to the platform, they even tried to integrate Google+ with everything, including YouTube. This ultimately became way too complicated for users.

As you can imagine, this app quickly lost the interest of its users. The layout wasn’t appealing, and the app was all-around confusing. So, Google called it quits in 2019.

YikYak

Ahh YikYak, the unique short-form messaging platform (like X) that combined features that now X and Reddit have. What made this app interesting was the local community aspect of it. To see who posted, you would need to be within a five-mile radius of the poster. If you weren’t, it would show up as anonymous.

You could also vote on posts that you liked and disliked (like Reddit) and the most popular post was pushed to the top of the page.

YikYak was more popular on college campuses because it allowed students to connect and chat back and forth. Unfortunately, as the internet does, the platform became toxic. Unlike Reddit, YikYak didn’t have moderators.

So, after a lot of hate speech and cyberbullying, college campuses blocked the usage of the platform and users lost interest, leading to its shutdown in 2017.

There seems to be a bit of a pattern here. 2017 was the death of many great platforms. What is a platform you remember that is no longer with us?

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From Twitter to X In a Single Year

2 (23)
9Feb

When Twitter was founded in 2006, no one would have guessed that Twitter would become a main hub for creators, entrepreneurs, politicians, and celebrities to connect, debate, and grow businesses. We would all come to love that little blue bird because that little icon gave so many voiceless people voices.

Throughout its lifespan, Twitter gained a name for itself because of the impact it left on society. It wasn’t your ordinary social media platform. This platform helped communities raise money for a local member in need, helped protesters express themselves, and gave people a voice to speak on their views. They were also a news-focused outlet where journalists would come to update viewers on current events right when they were happening.

It has been a great place to grow a blog, connect with others who enjoyed your hobbies, and of course, find funny memes.

While Twitter has been an iconic name in social media, there were dark sides of Twitter that began to take root in recent years, causing investors and users to become concerned.

In the years before Elon Musk purchased it, Twitter was struggling to keep up with the changing social media landscape, leading to the company being less profitable. This was due to the increase in spam accounts, the spreading of misinformation, and cyberbullying.

When COVID-19 hit, more people than ever were online and stressed out. Pair that with the 2020 election, and it was a nightmare for Twitter.

Fast forward to 2022 and the present day. Elon Musk purchases Twitter for $44 billion and quickly gets to work making the changes he sees fit.  This includes removing the little blue bird entirely, and changing to what we know now, X.

His goal was to rid the platform of spam accounts and bots while protecting free speech, but his success on both fronts has been… doubtful at best. Beyond that, his changes have alienated both users and brands, putting the platform on even shakier ground than when he bought it.

Now that advertisers have pulled out of X, more competing platforms like Threads and Bluesky have popped up, and X’s engagement has plummeted.

Where will 2024 take X? I guess we will find out!

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Bulletproof Marketer