Connect with us


SMT Expert Series: Mari Smith Discusses the Growth of Short-Form Video, Facebook Marketing and Live-Streaming Tips



smt expert series mari smith discusses the growth of short form video facebook marketing and live streaming tips
SMT Expert Series - Mari Smith

If you’ve spent any time researching or working in social media marketing, you’ve heard the name Mari Smith

A leading voice in the industry, Mari has been speaking at digital marketing events all around the world since 2007, and has worked with a broad range of well-known businesses to help them develop effective approaches to digital marketing, live-streaming, Facebook and Instagram ads and more. 

Mari has written books on the topic, has built a large online community around her tips and advice, and was even hired by Facebook at one stage to lead its ‘Boost Your Business’ events series, which was designed to help SMBs learn key Facebook marketing approaches.

These experiences have given Mari unique insight into key best practices and trends of note. We recently had a chance to ask Mari a few questions about the evolving digital marketing space.

Q: What do you think has been the most significant trend in social media marketing over the last few years?

MS: Short-form video, a la Stories, across Instagram and Facebook (and Messenger), and now Instagram Reels (which is also being rolled out on Facebook).

In 2016, Facebook said that it was running out of ad inventory in News Feed, which forced the company to look for additional content streams in which to place ads. That same year, the timing was ideal for Instagram to copy Snapchat’s popular ephemeral Stories content format.

Instagram Reels

As a marketer, it’s never really made sense to me to put effort into creating content that vanishes within twenty-four hours, however, we’ve all had to embrace this format, and it can indeed work extremely well to fuel “top of feed top of mind” awareness.

In addition, Stories can also be an even more intimate content format, as getting your audience to subsequently engage via DMs from Stories content is relatively easy. 

Q: Which platforms and/or features have produced the best results for your clients over the last 12 months?

MS: It’s a combo of Facebook Live and chatbots.

Facebook live-streaming videos get the best organic reach and engagement – but the key here is to be consistent. We have to ‘train’ the algorithms by broadcasting live on a regular basis – for example, once a week for a month – and then the organic reach will start to increase significantly.

So, you share some of your best content, education, tips, etc. via Facebook Live, but also combine that with calls-to-action that get your audience into the DMs, where you can implement chatbot sequences to maximize your opportunities. 

Q: Which feature/s do you believe are underrated from a marketing perspective?

MS: Facebook Groups. This is not necessarily a fit for all types of businesses, but groups can be incredibly powerful for building a fiercely loyal community. Definitely link your group to your Facebook Page, and have a clear purpose and ongoing reason for people to join.

For example, I’ve been running my own Social Scoop group on Facebook for many years, and over the past couple of years, it’s really taken on a life of its own. Members provide tremendous peer support, and my team and I contribute valuable tips, news, and updates.

Mari Smith's Social Scoop Facebook group

My group acts as my top of funnel lead magnet, while deepening bonds with my audience. 

Q: What’s the key, in your opinion, to an effective Facebook marketing strategy?

MS: I designed an evergreen model for generating measurable results on Facebook which stand the test of time, no matter what changes, updates and new features Mark Zuckerberg and his team introduce.

The basic approach here is simple: Content + Engagement + Conversion. Rinse. Repeat.

It all starts with excellent content that your audience craves, that they find tremendously valuable, and that they feel compelled to share with their own audiences. Then, engage regularly by replying to comments, acknowledging those shares, and embracing Facebook Live.

However, the key piece in the formula is always conversion. It’s vital to get your social media activity to ultimately generate traffic, leads and sales, and to do this, you need to be adding those all-important CTAs, and making it clear and obvious what you sell, where to find out more, how to buy, etc. 

Q: What’s a key lesson you’ve learned that’s helped improve your approach to live-streaming?

MS: Using the right hardware and software.

Some years back, I switched from the usual webcam set up to a DSLR camera in my home studio, and it’s made a world of difference. In addition, you also need the right lighting, and a good microphone.

During my career so far, I’ve been hired by a wide variety of brands to lead live-streaming educational seminars, as well as appearing as a guest on the likes of BBC Newsnight and other TV shows. The hosts of these events and programs always remark on how my on-camera appearance is professional.

Of course, there’s definitely a place for less-polished live-streams through our mobile devices, but investing just a bit more budget into creating a simple, but high-end studio setup can literally put you head and shoulders above the competition, and enable you to generate more revenue as a result. 

Q: Do you think Apple’s new ATT update will have a major impact on Facebook and Instagram advertisers?

MS: Somewhat.

The thing is, the cookie is crumbling, and I’ve been rather amused by Facebook’s head-on attack of Apple over this issue.

Personally, I’m very much #TeamApple, much as I evangelize Facebook. I’m a big advocate of giving users a choice, and for each of us being able to protect our privacy. I definitely understand why many advertisers have been freaking out over the impending impact of Apple’s ATT update, but the writing has been on the wall for a while, and we’re essentially going through a sea change of online marketing and ad tracking.

Google also announced last year that it would stop supporting cookies in its Chrome browser by 2022. The opportunity now is for marketers to get creative with using first-party data.

Q: What are your thoughts on Instagram Reels and the potential it holds for marketers?

MS: Instagram is currently favoring Reels the most in terms of organic reach and discovery, so now is a great time for marketers to embrace this content format as best they can while the reach is so good.

However, now that ads have just been rolled out in Reels globally, even if a marketer prefers not to take the time and effort to create organic Reels, then there’s a powerful opportunity to reach more of their audiences through paid placement. Facebook is also testing the ability to share Instagram Reels to Facebook, which was just expanded this week.

Facebook Reels

Much like Instagram Stories in 2016, Reels is only going to continue growing. Remember, it’s ultimately about creating more ad inventory, and, of course, staying as competitive as possible.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently stated that TikTok is one of the most formidable competitors that the platform has seen. 

Q: What coming developments do you think will have the biggest impact on Facebook marketing over the next five years?

MS: The complete eCommerce experience across the entire Facebook family of apps and services.

In early 2019, Mark Zuckerberg announced his plan to facilitate interoperability between the three main messaging platforms that his company owns: Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. Initially, the drive was to make it easy for users to communicate on the platform of their choice, however the main driver here is to provide a robust multi-platform shop product for retailers of all sizes – and perhaps, eventually, for service-based and information product-based businesses as well.

Now that Messenger and Instagram Direct have been fused together, and the API is open – along with Facebook’s acquisition of CRM platform, Kustomer – the ability to offer a seamless in-app, end-to-end purchasing experience will soon be unrivaled. And, let’s not forget that the more Facebook’s apps can be baked together, the less likely they will be to get ‘unbaked.’ 

Three other key areas that will impact marketers over the coming five years are AR/VR (building the ‘next computing platform,’ as Zuckerberg keeps saying), payments via Facebook Pay, and Facebook’s digital coin, Diem

You can join Mari Smith’s Social Scoop Facebook Group for more of her insights and tips, as well as support from Mari’s social media marketing community, while you can also follow Mari on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


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

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


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.

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


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.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading