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Where Are These Viral Social Media Platforms Now?

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Where Are These Viral Social Media Platforms Now?

From TikTok to Clubhouse to Lasso, it seems like new viral social media platforms are popping up every day. Furthermore, many of the ones that were once en vogue have suddenly waned in popularity. If you’re a marketer, keeping up with these trends can be difficult but necessary in building and maintaining a strong audience.

Over the years, we’ve kept you up-to-date about the social media platforms you should care about. But you may be wondering, where are these viral social media platforms now? And which ones are still worth investing in? Here’s what you need to know.

Viral social media platforms: Where are they now?

  1. TikTok

We first pointed out TikTok as the app marketers should watch back in 2019. At the time, the app had over 500 million monthly active users. Since then, that number has doubled to over 1 billion monthly active users.

In 2019, we saw brands like Guess experimenting with TikTok by creating their own unique viral video challenges. We predicted more industries and brands would start getting creative with their marketing tactics and dabble with TikTok over time.

However, in 2022, brands are still struggling to find their place on TikTok. In 2022, InVideo reported 50% of top brands do not have a presence on TikTok. This includes billion-dollar brands like Google, Ikea, and YouTube.

But this doesn’t mean businesses are counting the app out — far from it, actually. Through our own surveys, we found that 65% of social media marketers who leverage TikTok plan on increasing their investment in 2022.

Leveraging TikTok Influencer Marketing

If you’re a marketer looking to start leveraging the app, or increase your investment, a great way to do so is via influencer marketing. While many brands are still floundering to fit in on the app, TikTok influencers are popping every day and seeing huge success.

One example of this would be Drew Afualo (@drewafualo on TiKTok). The Los Angeles-based content creator rose to fame on TikTok by calling out misogynistic creators and users on the app.

In January, Afualo saw her account grow from 1.5 million followers to 4 million in just two months, according to Buzzfeed. As of April 2022, the account has 6.9 million followers.

Since gaining popularity on the app, Afualo has been tapped to promote films like “The Lost City,” starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum.

 

@drewafualo #ad Make sure you check out The Lost City out 3/25 😎 Sandra Bullock is the baddest period @Paramount Pictures #fyp #xyzbca #girls #men #funny #college #embarrassing #OscarsAtHome #WomenOwnedBusiness ♬ Joy (30 seconds) – TimTaj

 

She has also partnered with the online fashion retailer Shein to promote their SheinX collection.

 

@drewafualo Lmk which outfit is your fave 🤓 Shop the #SHEINX Collection & use my code “DREW” to save 15% off the entire @SHEIN US site! #SHEINpartner #fyp #xyzbca #girls #men #funny #college ♬ original sound – Drew Afualo

 

TikTok content creators like Afualo create meaningful connections with their audience and understand the app in ways that many brands do not. This makes influencer marketing a great method for brands or businesses looking to market themselves on TikTok.

In our survey, we found that 57% of influencer marketers reported influencer marketing as one of the most effective trends they leverage. We also found that 86% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in influencer marketing.

2. Clubhouse

I remember when Clubhouse was launched in 2020. It felt like an exclusive club where you had to know someone who could get you in. And in a way, it was. Clubhouse is an audio chat-based app. When it launched, users had to receive an invitation from another user to join.

In July 2021, app developers removed Clubhouse’s invite-only system, allowing anyone to join the platform.

When we first mentioned Clubhouse back in February 2021, the app was only available on iOS devices. However, the following May, it became available on Android devices as well.

In our initial reports, we said we weren’t quite sure whether Clubhouse could work for brands and marketers. And, in the last year, Clubhouse’s popularity has started to wane as other platforms, like Twitter via Twitter Spaces, dabble with audio chats.

Is Marketing on Clubhouse Valuable?

In February 2021, Clubhouse peaked at nearly 10 million monthly downloads. Just two months later, in April 2021, that number plummeted to just 900,000 downloads, according to Forbes. But don’t let that dissuade you from leveraging the audio app. Numbers suggest Clubhouse could be experiencing a resurgence in 2022.

In December 2021, the app was downloaded 1.3 million times and, as of the start of 2022, Clubhouse is ranked number 12 in social networking on the app store, according to InfluencerMarketing Hub.

So, is there value in marketing on Clubhouse? It depends on your approach. A huge draw for Clubhouse was its association with celebrities like Drake, Kevin Hart, and Tiffany Haddish. With that in mind, utilizing well-known influencers or industry micro-influencers to promote your brand on Clubhouse could be a worthy investment.

Clubhouse can also be a useful platform to host focus groups and to create personal connections with your audience.

However, if you find yourself struggling to find an influencer big enough to draw your audience to Clubhouse, or your audience doesn’t seem to frequent the app, it may be best to invest elsewhere.

3. Twitter Spaces

Launched in 2020, Twitter Spaces is Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse. It’s a feature that allows users to join and host live audio discussions on the Twitter app.

We predicted that Twitter Spaces would be a great feature because Twitter is already a dialogue-friendly platform with very little focus on visuals.

Though there aren’t any statistics regarding Twitter Spaces popularity among users, Twitter itself is a hugely successful app. Twitter reported its annual revenue in 2021 was $5 billion, a 37% increase in its year-over-year revenue.

In a recent HubSpot survey, we also discovered that just 14% of social media marketers leverage audio chat rooms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, however, 68% of those who do say it is the most effective social media marketing strategy they use.

Knowing the popularity of Twitter, and that your competitors are likely to increase their investment in audio chats, Twitter Spaces is definitely a feature you should consider in your marketing strategy.

Your brand can use Twitter Spaces to create meaningful engagement with its audience, connect during over trending topics and cultural moments, or hold large-scale focus groups to gain feedback on a product or service.

4. Houseparty

Launched in 2016, Houseparty was a group-messaging app that allowed video chats and could host up to eight users at a time. For added fun, participants could use unique filters, stickers, and other features to keep the party going. Two years after its founding, the app launched an in-chat gaming feature so users could play games with friends.

In 2019, we wrote, “For example, a small makeup company might sponsor a ‘houseparty’ where an influencer can answer beauty questions and show attendees how to use one of their new beauty products.”

However, Houseparty was shut down in September 2021 after being acquired by Fortnite developer Epic Games. The game developer said, “The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.”

5. Lasso

We first pointed to Lasso as a social media platform marketers should watch back in 2019. Launched by Facebook in 2018, Lasso was a short video platform meant to compete with TikTok.

We stared into our crystal ball in 2019 and wrote, “While Lasso is just getting started, it might be a promising platform in the future because it’s owned by Facebook. This could mean the app might benefit from Facebook’s user base, technological resources, and financing.”

Unfortunately, Lasso never really tapped into the Gen Z audience Facebook was trying to attain, and the app was shut down in July 2020. The platform was scrapped as Facebook began testing Instagrams TikTok-like feature, Reels.

Trying to promote your brand on an app that isn’t as popular as it once was can feel like showing up to a party after almost everyone’s gone home. Fortunately, new platforms are always on the rise, so there will always be new and creative ways to tap into your audience. And you can trust us to share what’s next.

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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