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18 Above the Fold Content Examples to Inspire Your Own

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18 Above the Fold Content Examples to Inspire Your Own

The human attention span is short. This means that your website’s content has to inspire, delight, and engage your target audience in mere seconds.

For this reason, you’re above the fold content should be enticing enough to hold a visitor’s attention and keep their interest.

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If your session time is low and your bounce rate is high, then your above-the-fold content may be to blame. Not to worry: We’ll go over everything you need to know about above-the-fold content, including best practices and examples that will inspire you.

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Your above-the-fold website content directly impacts your engagement metrics, because it can inspire users to explore the rest of the website and its offerings. If it’s not properly optimized, you’ll likely see a boost in bounce rate and a decrease in conversions.

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A web page that is slow to load, congested with information, and hard to use will probably not draw the reader in the same way a page with the opposite design would. This can hurt your website’s lead generation potential.

Let’s say you’ve been losing traffic. It’s possible the content website visitors see when they first visit your page isn’t interesting enough to keep them there. Your page might be compelling by the time visitors start scrolling, but if the content isn’t dazzling and user-friendly right off the bat, visitors can easily click away.

This means that your content above the fold could probably be re-done to engage visitors. Keep in mind, content above the fold will display differently depending on the device — whether desktop or mobile.

If your website has compelling above-the-fold content, you‘ll likely see higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. If you’re unsure, try to self-test by looking at your website from a new perspective — if you were a new viewer, would you stay on your site at first glance?

Let’s talk about some ways you can ensure your above-the-fold content engages web users.

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Above the Fold Website Design Best Practices

When you design your webpage, keep these practices in mind. They’ll keep visitors’ attention and encourage them to explore the rest of your website.

1. Keep your design simple.

Above-the-fold content shouldn‘t be extremely busy — if it is, readers might not know where to look first and click away from the page. Alternatively, if they’re not able to find the answer to their challenge quickly, they’ll likely choose another website.

To keep your page looking professional, organized, and user-friendly, try adding one featured image or multimedia, such as a GIF or video, to the content above the fold. Then, add a short headline that introduces your webpage, and a sentence below it that describes your page in more detail.

2. Make the content engaging.

Simple web pages are one way to keep a user’s attention. But when they get there, take opportunities to delight them. For example, when you write your headlines and body text, they should echo your brand voice.

You don‘t have to make huge changes to delight the visitor. For example, if there’s a CTA button on your page, you could try “Ready to get started?” instead of “Learn more.”

If the featured photo on your webpage is static, see if you can deliver the same message with a GIF instead. Additionally, if all of your copy is one color, try adding one or two more — a good rule of thumb is to incorporate your brand colors for professionalism and consistency with the rest of your website.

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3. Design your content for usability.

Above all else, your content should be easy to interact with. For instance, if you’re working on the above-the-fold content for a product page, make sure your above-the-fold content is functioning as it should.

Let‘s say your product page’s above-the-fold content is a video. Does it load correctly, include captions, and offer sound options?

Additionally, think about the experience of the user. If your above-the-fold content features a video that autoplays, will it interrupt the user’s interaction with the page? To combat this issue, make sure the video plays on silent and includes subtitles, if needed. Make sure to incorporate other web accessibility standards as well.

4. Solve challenges for the reader.

Your content above the fold should answer the challenge of the user. To illustrate, let’s say you work for an email marketing service provider, and a user searches “email marketing software” and lands on your homepage.

Your content, then, should include a few, if not all, of the keywords “automated email marketing software” in some form. For example, your headline could read “Email Automation for Marketers,” and expand on that in the supporting text.

Designing all these elements perfectly the first time is a challenge. Next, we’ll cover how A/B testing can help you get better engagement.

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Testing Above the Fold Content

How do you know your page is a knockout? By testing multiple versions. A/B testing is an experiment that allows marketers to test different versions of campaigns, emails, CTAs, copy, web pages or other materials to gauge which performs best.

This process may sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Tools like HubSpot’s A/B Testing Kit come with everything you need to get started. To be sure your above the fold content is the best it can be, you’ll want to do a test comparing the new iteration of the page vs. the original version.

These tests can help you:

  • Identify visitor pain points and solve them
  • Identify any usability obstacles
  • Increase conversions
  • Reduce bounce rates

Once the results from testing are in, you’ll want to analyze the metrics and use them to inform any design changes. Now that you have a few guidelines to work with and tips for testing, it’s time to look at some above the fold examples that will inspire you.

Above the Fold Website Examples 

1. Wistia

above the fold content: Wistia

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Wistia lets its users create dynamic videos for marketing campaigns. The above-the-fold content introduces Wistia’s services using a mix of multimedia: GIFs, videos, and short copy, to show off the capabilities of the service.

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Wistia‘s homepage feels casual, welcoming, and professional at the same time. The homepage video stops visitors in their tracks. They’ll likely spend more time watching the talk-show-inspired clip that explains Wistia‘s services. As a consumer, when I see real people on a webpage, it’s inviting and compels me to explore further. After the video, users will have an idea of the software’s offerings, straight from expert marketers.

2. Velocity Partners

above the fold website example: Velocity Partners

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Velocity Partners, a B2B marketing agency, doesn’t have a company overview video for their above-the-fold content. Instead, the homepage has a fascinating 3D animated video and a paragraph of content that explains why innovative marketers should leverage new content formats to tell more refreshing stories.

The phrase “Great marketing moves” describes what the business is all about, and is short, simple, and to the point, letting the summary do the heavy lifting when it comes to attracting visitors. Velocity Partners’ above-the-fold messaging sparks curiosity, and in turn, the incentive to keep scrolling.

It‘s important to note, however, that if you want to use above-the-fold content similar to Velocity Partners’, make sure the first few seconds of your collateral, as well as your copy, are the most engaging. If they aren’t, the visitor probably won’t feel inclined to stay on the site past reading the headline.

3. VeryGoodCopy

above the fold website example: Very Good Copy

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VeryGoodCopy is a creative agency that crafts articles, landing pages, web pages, and emails for brands. Above the fold, the website lets the copy describe what the company can provide for users.

The headline conveys the opportunity for marketers to learn how to persuade by leveraging ample white space and social proof. It also includes an enticing headline, a brief description of their content topics, and a vivid call-to-action. This simple and engaging above-the-fold design ensnares their visitors’ attention and convinces them to check out their micro-articles.

4. Shopify

above the fold content: Shopify

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Shopify’s above-the-fold content leverages images to invite the reader to explore. Shopify allows entrepreneurs to begin their own ecommerce business. The above-the-fold content uses images of products sold on Shopify to show how the software is used.

The homepage includes artistic images to make a lasting impression on the user. And, even though copy is sparse, the tagline is packed with purpose and compels visitors to click that green CTA to start a trial.

5. Ann Handley

above the fold examples: Ann Handley

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Ann Handley, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and partner at MarketingProfs, uses the homepage on her website to impress users by highlighting her marketing prowess. Hyperlinking and linking are heroes here — linking to other pages on a website can earn more clicks on various pages on a site.

She also leverages white space, a welcoming picture of herself, a catchy tagline, compelling copy, and a vibrant call-to-action to persuade her visitors to consider working with her. From this homepage, the visitor knows what Handley looks like, what she has done, and how to contact her. As far as above-the-fold content goes, it’s a home run.

6. Mint

above the fold content: Mint

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Above-the-fold content can maximize on simplicity, like it does for Mint, a budget tracking and planning software. The simple, yet professional, homepage effectively conveys the company and how they can help customers.

Notice the copy in the headline — it emotionally connects to the reader in two sentences, opening the door for them to explore the app of a company that knows them.

Mint also has a video of their app in action to catch their website visitors’ attention. This helps the visitor visualize how the app will look if they decide to sign up.

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7. InVision

above the fold content: InVision

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How do you show customer stories dynamically above the fold? Let‘s take a look at InVision’s sleek example.

InVision is a digital product design company that helps users easily build sleek impressive websites, so the design team at the company knew the homepage had to impress visitors. It does, auto playing a silent version of the company’s overview video, complete with testimonials from decision-makers at companies such as Uber and Twitter.

The copy that‘s layered above the video does a great job of concisely explaining what the company does for users, and the “Get Started Free” CTA even entices me, a marketer who isn’t looking to design a website, to learn more about the company’s offerings. It also doesn‘t hide the titles of those decision-makers from the video — “Dantley Davis, Netflix Design Director” is large enough that it can catch users’ eyes when they aren’t looking.

8. Animalz

above the fold content: Animalz

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Similar to VeryGoodCopy, Animalz is a content marketing agency whose website doesn’t bombard visitors with messaging about their services in the above-the-fold design. Instead, visitors are greeted with the headline, “The world’s best content marketing happens here,” which entices a marketer like me to read further.

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The CTA copy is different from run-of-the-mill CTA buttons. “Let’s talk,” rather than, “Click here to learn more!”, implies that when visitors click on the CTA, they will be taken to a real person who can offer them more information about the service.

The website also leverages white space, and uses simple, hand-drawn images to entice the reader to scroll down. The purple squiggle runs down the webpage to introduce Animalz’s top customers, and leads to a form to get in touch with the company.

9. Ahrefs

above the fold website example: Ahrefs

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Maybe you work for a company that wants a no-nonsense homepage that conveys the benefits of the product without congesting the page with an overload of information. If that description fits you, take a look at Ahref’s above-the-fold approach.

The headline describes what the service does: It helps users improve their SEO without necessarily being an SEO expert. The CTA seals the deal by communicating pricing information.

Satisfied customers are listed at the bottom, right before the fold, to give a rounded-out overview of how Ahrefs can be a benefit to successful companies. If you want your homepage to use more copy, rather than visuals, try presenting it in a simple way that doesn’t use more than 30 words, like Ahrefs did.

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10. Twitch

above the fold design example

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After typing in Twitch.tv into your browser, you’re immediately immersed into what the website offers: live streams for gamers. This is because as soon as your browser accesses the website, a featured live stream begins autoplaying.

While it can be a bit jarring to suddenly hear voices coming from your browser, Twitch‘s above-the-fold design doesn’t use any copy to describe their services. Instead, users can jump right in and demo the content themselves, browsing streams without having to make an account or read anything. They can keep scrolling to see popular streams, click one, and explore the site’s capabilities from there.

Because of how the site works altogether, this above-the-fold approach works. Twitch offers visitors to trial their services without doing any reading. Visual platforms similar to Twitch can benefit from this method, pulling in visual learners and non-visual learners alike.

11. Skillshare

above the fold content: Skillshare

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Skillshare uses video to explain the bulk of their services above the fold. Because the software offers online classes in a variety of subjects, the video displays an overview of what Skillshare can help you accomplish, learn, and feel.

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The video highlights confident-looking adults diving into their passions, which is what Skillshare helps users with. The sign-up box inspires visitors to explore their creativity with the software — and get started for free.

12. Flock

above the fold content: flock

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The messaging app Flock doesn’t waste any time: It right away includes an email capture form above the fold. The key to including an email capture form is to design it so it doesn’t interrupt the experience of a first-time visitor to your website.

The supporting images illustrate how Flock works, and the CTA text displays a little personality (“Get Flocking”). Using a form to spice up your homepage can be simple and effective when you include a clickable button and an image to display an overview of your company to visitors.

13. King Arthur Flour

above the fold content example: King Arthur Flour

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The above-the-fold content of this Boston-based baking ingredient supplier, King Arthur Flour, is top notch. It gives visitors the choice to watch a video tutorial on how to make sourdough bread, right away inviting them to engage.

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I could get a feel for the company‘s offerings: a Facebook Page (which houses the business’ baking show), recipes, a baking FAQ, products for purchase, and even a “Baker’s Hotline”, which works as a Contact Us page.

The slideshow features, equipped with a glossy photo and their own CTA, gave me a complete overview of everything the company can do for aspiring bakers. It goes outside of just the business’s products, and instead, offers helpful information for bakers in general, which is welcoming to someone who may be intimidated about bread baking.

14. Clarkisha Kent

above the fold design: Clarkisha Kent

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Are you a freelancer wondering how to make your above-the-fold content stand out among your competition? If so, when you design your homepage, make sure it accomplishes two things: displaying personality and offering easy navigation options.

This is because, while your work has to precede you, so does your personality, especially as a freelancer. If you’re a writer, like Clarkisha Kent, your copy has to sell it, like her website does.

The inclusion of a headshot and interesting headline quickly displays more of who Kent is as a writer, and the angle she is likely to take as a contributor to websites. Her navigation bar includes links to viral tweets she‘s made and clippings from other publications, so her homepage doesn’t have to.

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Instead, her homepage serves as an introduction, which can precede her before the rest of her website. When users are drawn in by a minimalistic web page with cliffhanger text, they’re likely going to be interested in exploring the website to fill in that gap. For instance, when I read, “Chaos bringer,” I instantly wanted to know how, which prompted me to look at her past work.

15. Good Witch Kitchen

above the fold design: Good Witch Kitchen

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This is another example of how to convey the personality of your brand if you‘re a freelancer or small business owner. Good Witch Kitchen is the name of Kristen Ciccolini’s holistic nutrition business. The website’s above-the-fold content contains an introduction of who she is and why she does what she does.

Ciccolini’s logo and copy accurately provide a quick view of the services Good Witch Kitchen provides: A non-diet approach to nutrition management from an expert.

16. Aya Paper Co

above the fold design example: Aya Paper co

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This stationery brand makes good use of the area above the fold by including a slideshow that prompts visitors to shop for birthday cards, explore new products, and build a gift box for someone. This works exceedingly well because it gives users a chance to find what they need from the slideshow alone.

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The website then includes a series of customer testimonials to sway visitors into becoming customers. From the above-the-fold content alone, you get a sense of the brand’s aesthetic, ethos, and commitment to environmental sustainability.

17. BREAD Beauty Supply

Above the fold design example: bread

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For those who’d like to keep their brand imagery strong above the fold, BREAD Beauty Supply’s example will be sure to offer some inspiration. The brand includes a video of customers showing off their curly hair — which is what their products are used for — with a large version of its logo placed over the video.

The brand then seals the deal by including a “Shop All” button at the bottom. You can still make a “splash” with your above-the-fold website content; you’ll only need to include a CTA.

18. Ceremonia

above the fold site design: ceremonia

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Ceremonia is another haircare brand that, like BREAD Beauty Supply, uses a video to catch visitors’ attention. It also includes a CTA button at the bottom that invites visitors to “Shop All.”

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This above-the-fold website example is effective because it conveys the brand’s mission and aesthetic while still fully using the available real estate. The video inspires one to take care of one’s hair using the products. It shows people being carefree and enjoying the environment. The brand’s products are made from naturally derived ingredients, and the video hints at that without using text.

In the same way, you can hint at your products’ background using strong imagery in a video.

The Benefits of Above the Fold Optimization

Above-the-fold optimization is critical to ensure your website visitors don’t bounce off the page. That way, you can increase the chances of visitors becoming customers. By optimizing the content above the fold, you can:

  • Increase user engagement by right away inviting users to shop or reach out to you.
  • Greet users with on-brand messaging.
  • Establish the value of using your product or service.
  • Show the results your website visitors can see if they choose to purchase from you.

Now that you have some inspiration about how to keep your customers engaged on your landing pages, which strategy are you going to use for yours? I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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MARKETING

How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

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How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

It’s the age of AI, and our job as marketers is to keep up.

My team at Foundation Marketing recently conducted an AI Marketing study surveying hundreds of marketers, and more than 84% of all leaders, managers, SEO experts, and specialists confirmed that they used AI in the workplace.

AI in the workplace data graphic, Foundation Labs

If you can overlook the fear-inducing headlines, this technology is making social media marketers more efficient and effective than ever. Translation: AI is good news for social media marketers.

Download Now: The 2024 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

In fact, I predict that the marketers not using AI in their workplace will be using it before the end of this year, and that number will move closer and closer to 100%.

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Social media and AI are two of the most revolutionizing technologies of the last few decades. Social media has changed the way we live, and AI is changing the way we work.

So, I’m going to condense and share the data, research, tools, and strategies that the Foundation Marketing Team and I have been working on over the last year to help you better wield the collective power of AI and social media.

Let’s jump into it.

What’s the role of AI in social marketing strategy?

In a recent episode of my podcast, Create Like The Greats, we dove into some fascinating findings about the impact of AI on marketers and social media professionals. Take a listen here:

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the benefits of this technology:

Benefits of AI in Social Media Strategy

AI is to social media what a conductor is to an orchestra — it brings everything together with precision and purpose. The applications of AI in a social media strategy are vast, but the virtuosos are few who can wield its potential to its fullest.

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AI to Conduct Customer Research

Imagine you’re a modern-day Indiana Jones, not dodging boulders or battling snakes, but rather navigating the vast, wild terrain of consumer preferences, trends, and feedback.

This is where AI thrives.

Using social media data, from posts on X to comments and shares, AI can take this information and turn it into insights surrounding your business and industry. Let’s say for example you’re a business that has 2,000 customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or a software review site like Capterra.

Leveraging AI you can now have all 2,000 of these customer reviews analyzed and summarized into an insightful report in a matter of minutes. You simply need to download all of them into a doc and then upload them to your favorite Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) to get the insights and data you need.

But that’s not all.

You can become a Prompt Engineer and write ChatGPT asking it to help you better understand your audience. For example, if you’re trying to come up with a persona for people who enjoy marathons but also love kombucha you could write a prompt like this to ChatGPT:

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ChatGPT prompt example

The response that ChatGPT provided back is quite good:

GPT response example

Below this it went even deeper by including a lot of valuable customer research data:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Consumer behaviors
  • Needs and preferences

And best of all…

It also included marketing recommendations.

The power of AI is unbelievable.

Social Media Content Using AI

AI’s helping hand can be unburdening for the creative spirit.

Instead of marketers having to come up with new copy every single month for posts, AI Social Caption generators are making it easier than ever to craft catchy status updates in the matter of seconds.

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Tools like HubSpot make it as easy as clicking a button and telling the AI tool what you’re looking to create a post about:

AI social media caption generator step 1

The best part of these AI tools is that they’re not limited to one channel.

Your AI social media content assistant can help you with LinkedIn content, X content, Facebook content, and even the captions that support your post on Instagram.

It can also help you navigate hashtags:

AI social media hashtags generator example, HubSpot

With AI social media tools that generate content ideas or even write posts, it’s not about robots replacing humans. It’s about making sure that the human creators on your team are focused on what really matters — adding that irreplaceable human touch.

Enhanced Personalization

You know that feeling when a brand gets you, like, really gets you?

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AI makes that possible through targeted content that’s tailored with a level of personalization you’d think was fortune-telling if the data didn’t paint a starker, more rational picture.

What do I mean?

Brands can engage more quickly with AI than ever before. In the early 2000s, a lot of brands spent millions of dollars to create social media listening rooms where they would hire social media managers to find and engage with any conversation happening online.

Thanks to AI, brands now have the ability to do this at scale with much fewer people all while still delivering quality engagement with the recipient.

Analytics and Insights

Tapping into AI to dissect the data gives you a CSI-like precision to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what makes your audience tick. It’s the difference between guessing and knowing.

The best part about AI is that it can give you almost any expert at your fingertips.

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If you run a report surrounding the results of your social media content strategy directly from a site like LinkedIn, AI can review the top posts you’ve shared and give you clear feedback on what type of content is performing, why you should create more of it, and what days of the week your content is performing best.

This type of insight that would typically take hours to understand.

Now …

Thanks to the power of AI you can upload a spreadsheet filled with rows and columns of data just to be met with a handful of valuable insights a few minutes later.

Improved Customer Service

Want 24/7 support for your customers?

It’s now possible without human touch.

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Chatbots powered by AI are taking the lead on direct messaging experiences for brands on Facebook and other Meta properties to offer round-the-clock assistance.

The fact that AI can be trained on past customer queries and data to inform future queries and problems is a powerful development for social media managers.

Advertising on Social Media with AI

The majority of ad networks have used some variation of AI to manage their bidding system for years. Now, thanks to AI and its ability to be incorporated in more tools, brands are now able to use AI to create better and more interesting ad campaigns than ever before.

Brands can use AI to create images using tools like Midjourney and DALL-E in seconds.

Brands can use AI to create better copy for their social media ads.

Brands can use AI tools to support their bidding strategies.

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The power of AI and social media is continuing to evolve daily and it’s not exclusively found in the organic side of the coin. Paid media on social media is being shaken up due to AI just the same.

How to Implement AI into Your Social Media Strategy

Ready to hit “Go” on your AI-powered social media revolution?

Don’t just start the engine and hope for the best. Remember the importance of building a strategy first. In this video, you can learn some of the most important factors ranging from (but not limited to) SMART goals and leveraging influencers in your day-to-day work:

The following seven steps are crucial to building a social media strategy:

  1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals
  2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions
  3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research
  4. Select the Right Social Channels
  5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs
  6. Choose the Right AI Tools
  7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

Keep reading, roll up your sleeves, and follow this roadmap:

1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals

If you’re just dipping your toes into the AI sea, start by defining clear objectives.

Is it to boost engagement? Streamline your content creation? Or simply understand your audience better? It’s important that you spend time understanding what you want to achieve.

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For example, say you’re a content marketing agency like Foundation and you’re trying to increase your presence on LinkedIn. The specificity of this goal will help you understand the initiatives you want to achieve and determine which AI tools could help you make that happen.

Are there AI tools that will help you create content more efficiently? Are there AI tools that will help you optimize LinkedIn Ads? Are there AI tools that can help with content repurposing? All of these things are possible and having a goal clearly identified will help maximize the impact. Learn more in this Foundation Marketing piece on incorporating AI into your content workflow.

Once you have identified your goals, it’s time to get your team on board and assess what tools are available in the market.

Recommended Resources:

2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions

Assumptions are dangerous — especially when it comes to implementing new tech.

Don’t assume AI is going to fix all your problems.

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Instead, start with small experiments and track their progress carefully.

3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research

Social media isn’t something that you can just jump into.

You need to understand your audience and ideal customers. AI can help with this, but you’ll need to be familiar with best practices. If you need a primer, this will help:

Once you understand the basics, consider ways in which AI can augment your approach.

4. Select the Right Social Channels

Not every social media channel is the same.

It’s important that you understand what channel is right for you and embrace it.

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The way you use AI for X is going to be different from the way you use AI for LinkedIn. On X, you might use AI to help you develop a long-form thread that is filled with facts and figures. On LinkedIn however, you might use AI to repurpose a blog post and turn it into a carousel PDF. The content that works on X and that AI can facilitate creating is different from the content that you can create and use on LinkedIn.

The audiences are different.

The content formats are different.

So operate and create a plan accordingly.

Recommended Tools and Resources:

5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs

What metrics are you trying to influence the most?

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Spend time understanding the social media metrics that matter to your business and make sure that they’re prioritized as you think about the ways in which you use AI.

These are a few that matter most:

  • Reach: Post reach signifies the count of unique users who viewed your post. How much of your content truly makes its way to users’ feeds?
  • Clicks: This refers to the number of clicks on your content or account. Monitoring clicks per campaign is crucial for grasping what sparks curiosity or motivates people to make a purchase.
  • Engagement: The total social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This metric reveals how effectively your audience perceives you and their readiness to engage.

Of course, it’s going to depend greatly on your business.

But with this information, you can ensure that your AI social media strategy is rooted in goals.

6. Choose the Right AI Tools

The AI landscape is filled with trash and treasure.

Pick AI tools that are most likely to align with your needs and your level of tech-savviness.

For example, if you’re a blogger creating content about pizza recipes, you can use HubSpot’s AI social caption generator to write the message on your behalf:

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AI social media generator example

The benefit of an AI tool like HubSpot and the caption generator is that what at one point took 30-40 minutes to come up with — you can now have it at your fingertips in seconds. The HubSpot AI caption generator is trained on tons of data around social media content and makes it easy for you to get inspiration or final drafts on what can be used to create great content.

Consider your budget, the learning curve, and what kind of support the tool offers.

7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

AI isn’t a magic wand; it’s a set of complex tools and technology.

You need to be willing to pivot as things come to fruition.

If you notice that a certain activity is falling flat, consider how AI can support that process.

Did you notice that your engagement isn’t where you want it to be? Consider using an AI tool to assist with crafting more engaging social media posts.

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Make AI Work for You — Now and in the Future

AI has the power to revolutionize your social media strategy in ways you may have never thought possible. With its ability to conduct customer research, create personalized content, and so much more, thinking about the future of social media is fascinating.

We’re going through one of the most interesting times in history.

Stay equipped to ride the way of AI and ensure that you’re embracing the best practices outlined in this piece to get the most out of the technology.

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 

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For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.

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Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 



Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

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According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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