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4 Key Elements of Focus for Social Media Marketers in the Second Half of 2023

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4 Key Elements of Focus for Social Media Marketers in the Second Half of 2023

We’re just past the midway point of the year, which means that it’s time to start planning your holiday campaigns, in order to maximize your efforts in the lead-up to the key spending season.

And while it may feel a little too early to be mapping out your full campaign strategy, it’s important to note that different consumers begin their shopping journeys at different times.

This is from TikTok’s 2023 Holiday Planner, which is one of several guides that are already available to help shape your approach. 

Looking for other guides and notes to better inform your marketing plan? Check out this overview of key tips, pointers and best practices for your planning.

Social Marketing Fundamentals

The first place to start is our 2023 platform-by-platform guide, which includes overviews of key best practices and tips for all the major social platforms.

These guides provide a full overview of the collected best practice tips, and while social media is always evolving, these serve as solid starting points for establishing the best approach for your holiday marketing effort.

You also need to establish the core elements that will underpin all of your efforts, and this infographic provides some good notes on these points.

There’s also this guide on handy growth hacking tips, which will provide inspiration for your promotion and brand awareness push, as well as this overview of common social media marketing myths:

Also worth noting these tips on best times to post – which will vary by audience, business, etc, but can still help in your initial planning.

Sprout Best Times to Post Report 2023

Finally, this collection of additional hacks and notes could provide you with some inspiration for your content planning:

New Trends

But as noted, social media is always changing, and we’re seeing new usage shifts that reflect a significant change in how people are using social platforms to connect.

In the early days of social media, the opportunity to broadcast your thoughts and perspective was a key lure, but now, we’re seeing more people pull back from this, and opting instead to share more privately, via enclosed messaging groups and private connection.

That’s an important trend to note, which will have an impact on how you look to market your business – because in line with the shift away from public posting is the re-shaping of social feeds into key entertainment sources, as opposed to connective surfaces.

Led by TikTok, every social app is now looking to provide more video content, primarily short-form, vertical video, because that’s what’s keeping users around. And while post engagement remains a key driving factor in algorithmic amplification, it’s important to recognize why people are now using social apps – to be entertained, much more so than to directly engage and interact, with far more sharing now done via DM.

So how does that change your marketing strategy?

Instagram’s added a range of new elements to tap into the rising popularity of DM connection, including lead forms for business profiles, which prompt users to share their contact info in the app.

Instagram lead forms

Instagram’s also launched Channels, a one-to-many broadcast chat feature. And while that’s only available to creators for now, it could soon become a brand consideration also, which would add another way to keep in touch with your audience.

Back in April, Instagram also shared some helpful tips on how brands can make use of DMs to maximize customer connection.

And, of course, there’s also now Threads – which is still in its early stages, but is worthy of attention.

Threads App

On Facebook, Meta’s also added Click-to-Messenger Ads to your Facebook Reels promotion options. Facebook’s also added Lead Gen form for Company Pages, which provides another way to gather contact info via Page visitors, while Meta’s also improving its connective tools in WhatsApp – which has seen big growth in North America of late.

LinkedIn has also launched DMs for Company Pages, adding another consideration for connection:

LinkedIn Company Page DMs

While Twitter’s just launched new restrictions on who can send DMs in the app, which will force businesses looking to use Twitter messages to subscribe to Twitter Blue, or the more expensive Twitter for Organizations.

Twitter’s almost in its own category at the moment, given the raft of changes at the app. But right now, what brands need to note is that Twitter is continuing to push brands towards subscriptions, by forcing brands to pay up if they want to advertise in the app, while it’s also restricting the reach of tweets from non-subscribers, ostensibly to combat spam.

But the main driver appears to be higher subscription take-up – and if you are considering Twitter in your holiday push, you’ll likely need to subscribe to make the most of the app.

The Generation of Generative AI

The other big trend of the moment is generative AI, and how marketers can make best use of AI tools in their process.

We covered a lot of potential AI use cases in our 2023 posting tips overview, including how to utilize ChatGPT, and similar tools, as idea generators for social posts and the like.

In addition to this, it’s worth noting the various ways in which the platforms themselves are looking to integrate these tools, and what that could mean for your process.

Instagram, for example, is testing a new AI chatbot option, as Meta looks to bring generative AI into its apps, while it’s also testing new generative AI prompts for ad captions, as well as background generation tools for ad visuals.

Meta AI ad tools

This is a key area that Meta’s looking to implement generative AI, in helping advertisers make the most of their campaigns, with a range of tools that could essentially automate the entire ad creation and targeting process for you, based on Meta’s own understanding of what works, and who’s more likely to respond to your campaigns.

TikTok’s also launched a new script generator tool, that can map out your entire TikTok campaign creative through the use of generative AI.

TikTok Script Generator

LinkedIn, meanwhile, has added a range of generative AI prompts, including inspiration for job posts, InMails, and even a tool that can come up with LinkedIn feed posts, with minimal input from you.

I’m not personally certain that this is the best way to go, but it could be another way to get inspiration for your content, in order to maintain an active, engaged profile in the app.

In addition, here are some good tips for creating more effective generative AI prompts, to get better results for your needs, along with some key do’s and don’ts of generative AI use.

Video Push

The final key element to consider in your planning is that with the broader shift towards entertainment, video remains a key focus for all platforms.

Meta says that time spent on Instagram has grown by more than 24% since the company launched Reels, and implemented AI-based content matching, while Facebook usage is also rising, driven by the same.

Worth noting, too, that both original post creation and user-to-user engagement on Facebook is declining – so while people are spending more time in the app, they’re primarily watching more video content, not posting to their own feeds, as per the aforementioned shifts.

Again, it’s TikTok that’s changed the paradigm around what ‘social’ media is in this regard, with people now turning to these apps as an alternative to traditional entertainment options, as opposed to a supplementary element. That’s important to note from a marketing perspective, as people now want to see more entertaining content, as opposed to engagement bait or similar.

Following this trend, Twitter’s also set to make video a bigger focus, led by Tucker Carlson’s new show, and the appointment of former NBC Universal executive Linda Yaccarino as its new CEO.

Expect that to lead to a new push for more exclusive video content, which could facilitate more opportunities for video ads, and could see Twitter put even more emphasis on video moving forward.

While on Pinterest, Idea Pins can now include video up to five minutes in length.

LinkedIn also recently shared some video marketing tips.

If you want to maximize your marketing resonance, you need to consider creating entertainment-focused video content, which aligns with the trends of each app. If you can get into these feeds, whether via your own creation process, or by partnering with relevant influencers, that could play a big role in improving brand awareness for the holiday season.

These are the four key elements that you need to factor into your planning for the upcoming holiday push, and it’s worth considering how you can align with each in your efforts.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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