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Marketing Briefing: TikTok is making search a bigger focus, but marketers, agency execs say it’s early days



Marketing Briefing: TikTok is making search a bigger focus, but marketers, agency execs say it's early days

As some younger consumers are changing behavior and using TikTok as a search engine, marketers and agency execs say that it makes sense for brands to be early movers and find ways to stand out. 

“With Gen Z preferring TikTok to traditional search engines as their source for information gathering, brands are going to have to re-think their search strategies,” said Amanda Shapiro, Deutsch LA senior vp, group strategy. “It’s all about content discoverability, which needs to be a consideration from development through posting.” 

Brands tend to follow consumers wherever they go so doing so that makes sense. That said, how much investment or time spent on owning search on the platform, given it’s still early days, will depend on the brand and its focus on the demo spending time there. It’s unclear how much marketers are spending on paid search ads just yet though agency execs say it’s a small percentage of clients are testing out right now and doing so as an experiment.

“The most exciting part about TikTok search for media buyers is finally seeing a legitimate disruptor to Google, at least among Gen Z,” said Neil Sawhney, director of media, west at Pereira O’Dell. “That demo’s increasing preference for TikTok as a search engine is clear, so now it’s up to brands to weigh what level of experimentation is justified.”

Agency execs say that while some brands are using TikTok’s paid search ads, which have been in beta since last March, others are taking an organic, SEO-driven approach. By adjusting organic for search, some agency execs believe that marketers can test out how well search can work for their brand while the value of the paid search ads on the platform are still up for debate.

“It’s not enough placement wise to warrant much excitement,” said David Herrmann, president of Herrmann Digital, when asked for his POV on TikTok search ads. “It’s slowly coming along.” 

Herrmann continued: “Essentially TikTok seems poised to compete with Google in this regard. They’ve built it into their organic side with keywords. One of my brands owns a bunch of key terms organically on TikTok (they have five of the top eight most-watched videos in a popular category). For ads purposes we always include those key terms in our ads. That’s the best way to do this. But still small potatoes right now with reach being very tiny.” 

That TikTok search is often used for “how-to” type content i.e. how to use a product or how to do something as well as recommendations, brands that are looking to do organic content as an approach to search are leaning into that type of content when doing so. As for brand categories, beauty brands, food brands and travel brands, among others, are those experimenting with search.

Aaron Levy, Tinuiti’s vp of paid search, noted that, “We’re not viewing TikTok as a threat to Google Ads, but more an opportunity for horizontal expansion. [Cost-per-click]’s on Google are increasing year-on-year and the market is becoming saturated – we view TikTok as a way to reach new users at a lower cost.” 

How important search ads on TikTok will be for marketers is still unclear. “The story of ‘search on TikTok’ being a threat to Google is a bit overdone though,” said Belsky. “It happens to be true in very visual categories like restaurants or recipe selection, but when you think about things like credit card or insurance research, this is just not true.  Like most things in ad-land, the truth is more in the middle.”

3 Questions with Matt Leonard, CMO at Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal kit company 

The meal kit space took a hit after Covid restrictions ended and people ventured back out. How is Purple Carrot managing those changes? 

The meal kit world was evolving in 2019. It was on the upswing a bit. Obviously, Covid came in and created very unnatural demands. For me coming in new, it’s on the reset time, where the backdrop of that natural demand is not there. I won’t say it’s slowed down to perilous levels by any means. But it’s not the organic demand, obviously, when people really didn’t have many ways to actually eat food, to get the food. We will probably be biasing towards organic growth, strengthening the brands, focusing on conversion [and] building out our LTV [Life Time Value]. It’ll be a mix of organic, local marketing. We’ll be thinking about regions, very hyperlocal, that makes sense, where our product fits well for people, where there’s a need. 

What’s the current marketing mix to manage said changes?

Early on we’ll still be in the demand capture stages. We’re looking at ways to expand affiliate partnerships, things along those lines where our message gets out to a really relevant audience at a controlled [customer-acquisition-costs]. Maybe ballpark 20% of the mix could come from something like that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20%-plus come from customer sharing. We’re doing a lot of work on the virality side to really focus on what that factor looks like, how people share within their network, when they share, what the costs look like in that space. We probably have a 20% allocation from search. [For] programmatic paid social, the display channels, we’ll throw in another 20% there. That left me with about another 20% to really start thinking about influencers, partnerships, developmental channels, CTV and different sorts of areas. 

With the social landscape changing so quickly, does that impact how Purple Carrot is thinking about marketing? 

It’s harder than ever to track. It’s harder than ever to target. When we think about those, and really what the cost is, there’s the trade off of how good attribution is and how much you’re willing to invest in a not perfectly tracked channel. [Where] media costs have gone to with the lack of tracking leaves us in a state where I think there’s other ways to to deliver your message more effectively, or differently. — Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

Although once considered the future of shopping, social commerce and livestream shopping has yet to take off the way marketers predicted it would. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok last year all took a step back from social commerce, and apparently, so are shoppers, according to new research from The Influencer Marketing Factory. Find out how in the data points below:

  • Only 36% of U.S. and 25% of U.K. responders have ever purchased something during a Livestream.
  • The first choice for American responders is Facebook Live (26%), while U.K. responders prefer TikTok Live (30%).
  • U.S. responders (27%) spent between $20 and $50 on Livestream shopping in the last 3 months. Comparatively in the U.K., (31%) of responders have spent between $10 and $20 — Kimeko McCoy

Quote of the week

“The world changes every year or two in our industry, so maybe you have people that were brought in during the huge bubble. There are a lot of people receiving very good paychecks that maybe aren’t contributing to the top or bottom line like they were in 2021 or 2022.”

— A source referencing the growth of tech companies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic when asked about Google’s layoffs.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



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.


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?




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



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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