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SMT Expert Series: Nick Cicero Discusses the Latest Analytics Trends and Opportunities



smt expert series nick cicero discusses the latest analytics trends and opportunities
SMT Expert Series - Nick Cicero

Nick Cicero is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable minds in social media analytics.

Nick made data analytics his primary focus with the launch of his company Delmondo back in 2014. Delmondo was the first platform to offer in-depth data on Instagram and Snapchat video performance, and quickly rose to be the leading provider in the space, with clients including Viacom, Red Bull and ESPN. Delmondo was acquired by Conviva in 2018, and now, under the Conviva banner, Nick focuses on real-time measurement and intelligence solutions for streaming video across all platforms.

Given his experience, Nick is uniquely placed to provide insights on the evolving digital marketing space, and the importance of analytics and performance measurement to improve your efforts.

We recently had a chance to put a few questions to Nick, worth noting in your process.

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

NC: For sure the growth of video. In the first wave of social, it was all about using text, conversation and images to communicate. Today, nearly all social platforms are video-first. The cost to produce, distribute and consume video has decreased exponentially, and this has now pushed businesses to think about how they position their message to a video-first consumer. 

This isn’t just about media companies or sports teams either. Consumer brands are growing their video output significantly. As measured by Conviva Social insights, from January to June 2021, across more than 2,500 consumer brands, video output on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube is up more than 60% year-on-year. And that’s not even counting the surge in video content published to TikTok.

Q. In terms of data trends, what’s been the most interesting shift over the past 12 months?

NC: Two in particular – first is the growth of TikTok in terms of share of the time spent by social media users. Of the 900 TikTok accounts measured in our recent Conviva TikTok Benchmark report, the profiles gained a staggering 604k new followers, on average, over the past year. 

Conviva TikTok report

Second is the growth of YouTube as a player in OTT/Streaming Video. Among our thousands of customer accounts, we found a 69% increase from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 in terms of connected TV viewership on YouTube. Today, YouTube is becoming more and more like Hulu or Netflix for a wider scope of content. 

Q. Which types of brands are you seeing perform best on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat?

NC: Sports and Sports Media accounts have long been some of the best performing accounts anywhere on social, but we saw a shift in the last year as to what was keeping people entertained, and streaming services, as a result, have really taken off.

In our Q1 2021 State of Streaming report we saw that most streaming service accounts grew their total audience by nearly 100% over the last year. Streaming services are building empires of regional accounts, and show specific accounts to increase their brand footprint. This works even better if a show has a nostalgic following – the iCarly reboot on Paramount+, for example, has a massive cross-platform audience of 27.8m, which is more than Netflix’s golden goose, Stranger Things’ audience at 26.4m.

These shows, their actors, the services are all performing very well on social right now.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the key element of an effective Stories strategy?

NC: Consistency. In our previous Stories research we’ve noted that the brands who are able to grow their Instagram Stories reach consistently always have two things in common – they post multiple times per week, and their Stories are always, at minimum, 6-7 frames long.

One frame Stories here and there simply aren’t going to cut it for brands trying to be competitive in today’s world ruled by social algorithms.

Q: Which platform do you think is underrated in terms of brand opportunities?

NC: While TikTok is the newest platform with tons of opportunities for brands, Snapchat is the most underrated, by far.

In May this year, Snapchat added Brand Profiles, which means you can now get your brand verified on Snapchat the same way that Sports teams, influencers and Discover shows can. 

Snapchat brand profiles

This gives brands something on Snapchat they didn’t have access to in the past – viral organic reach. Currently, only verified accounts show up in Snapchat’s Discover/For You page. As such, a good brand story on Snapchat is no longer limited to just the people who follow you.

Snapchat’s ad products are also highly user-friendly, and very effective.

Q: How significant a role do you expect to see AR play in future social marketing strategies?

NC: I still think that it’s early days, but the potential upside for all the various applications of AR within social platforms is massive.

Today it’s still fairly experimental, but it can be a great piece of the engagement toolkit for user-generated content. We’re also seeing the physical and digital worlds converge through NFTs and the Metaverse, and while a lot of this exists in pure VR or gaming environments, I can see more and more AR applications used as ways to customize an individual’s content creation tools.

For example, superfans of a brand could be given access to unique, exclusive AR effects. Combined with the social graph, the possibilities are endless.

Q: What’s the most common error you see brands make in analyzing their analytics?

NC: I’d say the most common error we see is twofold.

First, you need to set benchmarks. What’s your baseline engagement, video viewership, average watch time, engagement rate, etc.? What are your benchmark for engagements or video views among your competitors or industry? 

You can’t measure what content works and what doesn’t if you don’t know the baseline. 

Second, once you establish your baseline, you need to categorize your content based on initiatives. These could be your Content Messaging Themes, Video Series, or Campaigns (and there are many other ways to segment content). This way you can identify what social media investments are moving the needle, and which ones aren’t. 

It’s important to remember that while we all set out to be successful with every post we publish, or every interaction we have, you need to be honest about what’s working, and what’s not producing results. 

You can swing for the fences, but to hit home runs in social, just know you’re going to need a lot of chances and you’re going to strike out a lot. 

You can be a solid position player, and be more consistent in your hits, but you might never hit that home run.

Try to balance these two extremes when you look at the data to adjust your strategy.

Q: Do you think that Facebook will remain the key social platform of focus for the majority of brands moving forward?

NC: From a content creation perspective, I think the primary focus has quickly shifted to other platforms for the majority of brands, with more brands doubling down on paid spending. That being said, their groups are home to rich, vibrant communities, many of these are brand-curated, and there’s still a large audience on Facebook, and these active group/community users are highly valuable.

Also, Facebook’s ad platform, spanning both Facebook and Instagram, is highly valuable, and I don’t see the majority of brands moving away from using the platform for driving conversions.

Nick Cicero is the Vice President of Strategy at Conviva, which leads the way in digital video intelligence. You can follow Nick on Twitter for more of his industry insights.

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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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