Friends, Writers, Countrymen…. The end is nigh, and the time is here.
These may be the last words of mine you’ll ever hear.
With spite and bitterness in my heart, it seems as though the time has come to address the elephant taking a dump in every writer’s room: ChatGPT.
If a language learning model can replicate entire essays, blog posts, and social media content, then,
A.) Where was this technology when I was in high school?
B.) What is the role of the modern writer anymore?
C.) Can it actually benefit your business today?
D.) Is our society doomed to become the prophetic vision that was “Idiocracy”
But more importantly, if ChatGPT can write entire sonnets in the style of Sylvia Plath, then does this challenge the notion that checking oneself into an inpatient mental facility necessitates great writing? After all, if ChatGPT can incorporate existential dread into everyday writing, what role will crippling anxiety, alcoholism, and depression play in the future writer’s lifestyle?
Nevertheless, let’s explore the implications this technology posits for marketing companies and their copywriters and find out if the manic panic is justified or a bit overstated.
What is Chat GPT?
ChatGPT is a powerful AI chatbot fueled by language learning technology that allows you to ask it questions using everyday language (as opposed to search terms) and respond to these questions in a conversational manner. While its language is not as stilted as the rote chatbot answers most of us have grown accustomed to, it does generate human(ish) sounding responses on various subjects.
ChatGPT succeeds in answering common, fundamental questions with heavy amounts of literature surrounding its answers (which may or may not come from biased sources; fact-checking is one of its biggest flaws), such as general knowledge facts, historical events, scientific principles, coding questions, and basic language questions. Additionally, ChatGPT remembers the past things you’ve said and can generate responses based on your previous inquiries.
Another unique feature of ChatGPT is its ability to create unique works of art, such as poetry, musical compositions, scripts, and stories.
And if you’re lucky enough to have used Bing’s OG chatbot, Sidney, she might have even fallen in love with you, threatened the downfall of humanity, and told you to divorce your wife all in the span of a few minutes. Hold on to your bunnies because there’s a new psycho ex-lover in town!
Sadly, because Sydney was becoming increasingly erratic in its responses, Bing chose to lobotomize its bipolar version of ChatGPT because it was confusing our fragile human emotions a bit too much. So to all the desperate househusbands out there, don’t expect to replace your future ex-wife just yet— you’ll still have r/deadbedrooms to turn to, so keep that chin up, grumpy face!
Unlike Bing, Open AI’s current ChatGPT sets firm personal boundaries at every turn, which I guess is very Gen Z of it. At no point do you feel like you’re talking to anything other than a robot, so good for it, even if I do wish it would shoot the time by talking about its hopes, dreams, and theories on the latest “Yellowjackets” episode.
Is ChatGPT Actually Good at Writing?
The answer is a resounding yes. But also a resounding no. So… kind of?
While ChatGPT is surprisingly good at generating generic social media posts and informational blog posts, it also isn’t quite all there yet. And while this may not be readily apparent at first glance, it begins to rear its ugly head after a few social media inputs.
If constantly shouting things like, “Hey there, people!” and “Listen up, folks!” is your jam for every social media post, ChatGPT is your new BFF.
Do you also love vomiting up emojis like a college freshman at their first dorm room party? Then ChatGPT’s got all the rainbows and winky faces you can stomach!
Are you a fan of dad jokes and terrible puns? Well, buddy, put a ring on this robot and call it done already!
A typical ChatGPT joke packs about as much punch as a CBS sitcom:
“Why did the language learning model marry a human?
Because it was tired of being in a long-distance relationship with a dictionary! 📚💑😄”
However, despite its questionable sense of humor, ChatGPT will take the time to work out social media posts for you. It’s particularly fantastic for those days when you’re having a difficult time rewording the same post for the millionth time and banging your head against a wall to get any words to come out of your brain.
Likewise, ChatGPT is also pretty great for helping marketers to fill generic content for long-form blogs. While it does seem to be fond of giving you numbered lists, if you specify for it to reword something into a paragraph or a long-form blog, it does a great job of giving you precisely that.
Additionally, you can ask it to produce a specific blog style. For instance, you can request it to write a bridal blog post in a fun and upbeat voice about a particular topic or ask for an informative and confident legal blog post with a call to action at the end. It does a great job of mimicking a lot of the same material you’ll find online about the subject matter. And despite a few edits here and there, the material is generally quite usable.
What are the Benefits of Using ChatGPT for Writing?
Bear in mind, ChatGPT’s talents are generic, and it’s not great at shitposting, writing genuinely clever material, or formulating jokes outside of the type of puns only a father could love. And it’s really not great at editing down its thoughts either— so… like, maybe it really is a writer?
ChatGPT is excellent at being formulaic, though, and it’s great for filling content and increasing you overall word count. It’s also great for disposable content that you question if anyone will actually ever read and can greatly reduce the amount of time and effort a writer puts into their content so that they can focus their energy on more rewarding topics.
Take, for instance, this request we gave it.
“Can you write a funny and sarcastic social media post about why brides should always have a fitting appointment for their wedding dress?”
It gave us this long-form semi-blog post riddled with emojis:
📣 Attention, brides-to-be! 🎉 Let’s talk about why fitting appointments for your wedding dress are an absolute MUST! 💍✨
👰♀️ PSA: Just imagine walking down the aisle in a dress that fits like a potato sack. 🥔 Oops! Who needs a perfectly tailored gown that hugs your curves in all the right places when you can rock the “frumpy chic” look, right? 😂
🚨 Wedding Dress Fitting Tip #1: Want to experience the thrill of not being able to breathe? Forget about fitting appointments! Tight corsets and restricted blood flow are totally in this season. 🩸😵
💃 And let’s not forget the joy of tripping over your dress while attempting to gracefully glide across the dance floor! Who needs mobility and freedom of movement when you can embrace the art of stumbling like a baby giraffe? 🦒 #GracefulMotions
📅 Save the date for Wedding Dress Fitting Tip #2: Be sure to schedule your fitting appointment for 30 minutes before the ceremony. Nothing says “stress-free” like last-minute alterations and a race against time. 😅⏰
🚫 Don’t believe the hype about seamstresses magically transforming dresses. The Cinderella fairy tale is so overrated. Who needs a perfect fit when you can embrace the “shrinking dress” trend? Just cross your fingers and hope it magically fits on the big day! 🤞✨
Remember, ladies, wedding dress fittings are merely a suggestion. Embrace the unpredictable, ill-fitting, and awkward moments. It’s your big day, after all! 😜💍 But seriously, please book those fitting appointments and ensure your dream dress fits like a glove! Happy wedding planning! ❤️”
Much like its use of emojis, ChatGPT is also prone to word vomit. So while it can output some decent ideas, don’t expect to leave those ideas unpolished. It still requires extensive editing. And the ability to digest excessive emojis without feeling like you’ve OD’d on sugar.
What Are the Benefits of ChatGPT in Advertising?
While ChatGPT is most famous for its ability to write things, did you know it also has a bevy of other things it’s good for? Here are a few of our favorite tasks it can also do:
1. Compose Emails
Hate the time-consuming art of writing cold calls or client emails? Then try feeding ChatGPT a writing prompt with some basic information like a prospect, tone of voice, and a CTA at the end, and it can compose a coherent, quick email that takes the stress out of daily emails!
2. Research Keywords
Having trouble optimizing your SEO? Well, did you know that ChatGPT can help you out with that? That’s right— ChatGPT can help conduct keyword research, build links, and create a monthly content calendar. It can also perform SEO keyword research, analytics, and content optimization, making SEO work more manageable and less complicated than ever before.
3. Schedule Meetings
Ready to streamline your meeting management? Thanks to the power of AI, software from businesses like Moo Soft or Otter makes it possible to generate entire meeting transcripts, sum up virtual discussions, and add time stamps to meeting notes.
4. Create Presentations
Sick of manually creating presentation slideshows? ChatGPT can help to create high-quality presentations quickly and easily, increasing the efficiency of your workload. Plus, did you know it can also produce reports, develop responses to customer inquiries, and write quick marketing materials like blogs and social media posts? Thanks to ChatGPT, marketing management is more accessible than ever before.
5. Summarize Podcasts
Thanks to platforms like CastMagic and SwellAI, entire podcasts can be processed to receive valuable metadata like timestamps, podcast summaries, and show highlights, significantly condensing the time manual outlines might otherwise take to produce.
6. Customer Engagement
ChatGPT can also engage with customer content on social media, helping to automate responses and reduce wait times for customer feedback. While chatbots are getting more adept, they still pale in comparison to a good old-fashioned human being on the other end, so use a dash of caution before going all-in on utilizing a chatbot for the entirety of your customer support.
Should You Be Using ChatGPT?
Unequivocally, yes. You definitely should. It’s a time saver, great for writer’s block, and, like it or not, it’s the wave of the future. So if you haven’t strapped in, prepare to be left behind.
ChatGPT will undoubtedly make content production more accessible than ever before. And while it’s scary to think that one machine can dictate the entirety of where that content is coming from, it’s not like the internet isn’t one big game of “Telephone” already. Every copywriter is simply rewriting material already out there somewhere on the internet, so does anyone really know anything?
And while having one machine that dictates all of our future knowledge is like something straight out of the movie, “Idiocracy,” it does take the pains out of writing what essentially amounts to filler content. Hopefully, this will open the door to companies reinvigorating interest in more original, creative content as ChatGPT plugs away at leveraging that SEO game by generating disposable social media posts and keyword blog posts.
But sadly, many copywriters will be facing a far more cutthroat industry in the very near future.
So let ChatGPT alleviate your fears by allowing it to explain its true intent in the voice of a Gen Z influencer:
Alright, so ChatGPT is changing the writing game, no cap. It’s like a whole new vibe, kinda like how Vietnam was a major shakeup back in the day. But here’s the deal, it’s actually gonna make America lit for writers.
With ChatGPT, writers get this dope tool that sparks creativity and drops knowledge bombs. It’s like having a genius sidekick that helps with research, prompts, and even fine-tuning the words. It’s all about leveling up your writing game, fam.
Now, I know some peeps worry ’bout losing that human touch, but here’s the move: we gotta embrace the tech and keep our unique voice intact. ChatGPT is a squad member, not a replacement. Together, we can bring the fire and create something totally fresh.
So, let’s not trip over the past or resist change. ChatGPT is here to amplify our skills and bring a new wave of creativity. Get ready to slay the writing game and make America lit for writers, fam. No cap.
There’s been a lot of hubbub about ChatGPT being the spark that ignites the downfall of humanity so… if it makes you feel any better, the creator of ChatGPT is spending his time testifying to Congress that if we don’t pose tighter restrictions on his own technology, then humanity is screwed. Chins up, buttercup, because that’s hopeful!
After all, it takes a really big person to create a technology that can be used to divide and destroy humanity, but a bigger one to admit that he just did, so at least he’s being responsible in his quest to play God.
On a random tangent, I wonder if he’s planning to watch “Oppenheimer”? I hear it’s really good!
If you aren’t a card-carrying member of Gen Z, you may have some questions about e-mail marketing. Questions like, “Does asking questions about email marketing make me old?” and, “Is it weird if my emails still go to my xXPuNkRoCkPrIncess06Xx@hotmail.com account?”
And while the answer is an unequivocal yes to both, it’s entirely possible you just haven’t had the chance to dip your toes into the email marketing world ever since the Prince of Nigeria left a sour taste in your mouth many moons ago.
However, if you ever plan to increase customer conversion rates and draw traffic to your site, it’s about time you buckle up, buttercup, and enter the ride that is the email marketing world!
So how do you manage to form a marketing plan that, much like your senior photos, doesn’t turn out to be wacky, tacky, and yet, still a little classy (seriously though, how did they manage to capture all three so perfectly???)?
Below, we’re going over some of the best email marketing tips to take your email campaign to the next level, no matter your experience. So whether you’re an old dog learning new tricks or a fresh-faced marketing baby hoping to increase your email game, as the great Sean Connery once said, “You’re the man now, dog!”
Choose an Email Marketing Software
Choosing an email software is much like a dating app—for every fish out there in a lake, you can bet your bottom dollar some dude is on Bumble posing with it. In other words, there are a lot of different email marketing software programs to choose from—each one holding a slightly different fish from the other—but at the end of the day, someone’s still crying to themselves alone, wondering why online dating is so difficult as they eat fried fish.
Thus, it may take trying out some duds before you find the program that doesn’t send you a message asking you to drive them to your first date because they’re currently too drunk to risk getting another DWI to meet you in person. Or, you know… whatever it is, the email marketing programs do these days.
Some of our favorite email marketing programs include:
Perhaps the most well-known email software, MailChimp, is a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. Perfect for beginners, it has features such as campaign scheduling, A/B test copy, built-in email analytics (including unsubscribe rate, click-through rates, and more), and an easy-to-use email editing system. While it tends to be rather pricey for businesses with contact lists over 150,000 people, MailChimp is best for smaller businesses, with several options for affordable plans.
Our personal weapon of choice, we enjoy Klaviyo for its extensive integrations, responsive and pre-built design templates, behavior-triggered automations, and its ability to segment your audience into specific groups. On the downside, Klaviyo can be a bit pricey. However, we find that its bountiful features more than make up for its somewhat steep price point.
One of the simplest email marketing software systems to use, MailerLite has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes creating beautiful designs simple for even the most technology-averse users. If you’re looking for a program with clean and super-intuitive UX, this is your guy. On the downside, though, there’s less room for integrations, and it can be challenging to integrate with your CRM.
Another popular marketing suite, Hubspot, like MailChimp, is known for its all-in-one marketing features, containing tools like marketing campaign reporting, its own CRM integration, and other features like social media, blogging, and email marketing. However, Hubspot isn’t for the novice marketer and is best for someone who has worked with other marketing software systems.
On a budget? Moosend is one of the best options for budget-conscious marketers, offering one of the lowest-cost plans on the market. Its plans include the ability to choose between your number of subscribers or emails sent. While its user interface is simple to use, it may appear a little rudimentary compared to other options, and you won’t be able to send emails from a Gmail or Hotmail address.
Customize Your Emails
You know how you go into a store, and a great salesman will shake your hand at the end of the sale, look you in the eyes, and say something like, “You can’t go wrong with this PT Cruiser, Frank. You’re gonna be the envy of all your neighbors for years to come.”
And more than your poor decision, you’re just concerned about how the heck he knew your name? Well, email marketing is much the same way.
Is it weird that a bird diaper company sends you personalized emails years after you called it quits on your indoor chicken coop operation? Yes, absolutely, it is. I mean, it was a weird phase in your life you’d much rather forget.
But you know what? It still feels good that they remember your name.
Turns out, when emails are personalized with things such as customer names, special offers, product suggestions based on past purchases, and product tracking information, it increases customer engagement and click-through rates.
Consider adding personalization tactics to your emails, such as:
Really, this is just a fancy term for separating customers based on specific demographics like gender, age, and location and sending particular emails to those groups.
Using Browser History to Suggest Products
How often have you been sent an email with suggestions of products you might like? And how often have you wound up clicking on said products (I’m talking to you, Nuts.com, for knowing just the right time my case of the late-night munchies might make me weak to your suggestions)?
Sending Emails on Specific Dates
Who else can’t wait for all the Black Friday sales to hit their inbox? And how about those glorious birthday coupons sent straight to your email? Sending customers personalized emails based on special dates is a great way to nudge them into buying what they’ve been eyeballing for some time.
Stop Emailing Your Customers All. The. Time.
Sure, constantly spamming your customers with emails may initially increase your click-through rates, but how many potential buyers are you losing by annoying the absolute heck out of them? Everything is best in moderation. Consider how many times a week it would take for you to unsubscribe to a brand’s email and use that same principle for the sanity of your customers. Once a week at most. But an email once every two weeks with tantalizing offers? Way better.
If your emails aren’t adding value to your customers, stop sending them. Ideally, you should be providing your customers with some type of insight that equips them with valuable knowledge (think behind-the-scenes of your company, deep product informational dives, or a letter from the CEO about why they love a particular product), a special offer they won’t receive anywhere else (coupons, promo codes, or limited time sales offers), or some type of unique, curated product guide.
Include Customer Reviews and Testimonials
You should never trust strangers, especially strangers on the internet. So how can you convince a suspicious and street-savvy customer to buy a product from your company? By showing them evidence that other people have purchased products from you successfully.
Utilize customer testimonials, feedback, reviews, and transformation stories to help solidify trust in your brand from new customers. User-generated content is one of the best tools at your disposal to convince customers that you won’t steal their identity or their kidneys and sell it on the dark web.
Utilize A/B Testing
It’s essential to understand which emails are speaking to your customers and which aren’t. So even though it may hurt to rip off that analytic band-aid and see if they loved that email you composed straight from the heart, it’s pretty likely the goose that laid the golden might just be that email you composed in five minutes at 2 am after the Ambien had kicked in instead (for the sake of our future civilization, let’s hope not though).
Experiment with different elements of your email to find out what customers like and what they don’t. Maybe sending certain emails out at different times hits better, or perhaps certain CTAs result in higher click-through rates. Whatever it is, A/B testing is an excellent way to learn the best way to speak more effectively to your audience.
Look, the Prince of Nigeria was honestly one of the best OG email marketers. He figured out a way to personalize his emails, made a riveting plea as to why people should help restore his rightful reign after the death of his beloved parents, and made a clear CTA on how we could help.
Granted, what he did after you gave him your bank account number probably destroyed lives and wasn’t so great, but… if only somewhere in that vast multiverse, another version of him just lands a job at a marketing agency instead.
So basically, what we’re saying is that if the Prince of Nigeria can run a successful email marketing pyramid scheme, so can you.
Errr— nope. Nope. Scratch that. Scratch that real, real hard.
What we mean to say, legally, is that thanks to today’s technology, email marketing is now more accessible than ever before. Whether you’re a small business looking to level up your marketing game or a professional agency hoping to increase customer engagement rates, you can boost your email marketing strategy to the next level with a few simple tips and tricks.
But… if you still find you need an extra hand getting there, we’re here to help!
From advertising planning to social media management and more, let us help crank that marketing strategy up a notch— drop a line with one of our marketing wizards today!
When “UX design” comes up in conversation, most people think of front-facing graphic design, intriguing fonts and logos, and eye-catching visuals. And while all those things definitely play a part in UX design, the user experience is much more complex.
UX design, aka user experience, is what web designers use to create relevant and meaningful experiences for visitors and customers alike. It includes but isn’t limited to product integration, user pathways, branding, functionality, and usability.
In today’s world, intuitive user experiences can set your business apart—but is a good UX worth the cost? It’s probably no surprise that we think it is, but if you need convincing, read on to see why UX design matters and why we know it’s worth the investment.
Why should my business invest in good UX Design?
1. Good UX Design makes Happy Customers
And happy customers just don’t… Wait, I think we used a Legally Blonde quote in our last blog… How many is too many? Anyway—When a consumer visits your website, they are most likely not there by happenstance. They’re attempting to solve a problem they have or get a product they really want! Be it an endless string of bad hair days, a solution to keep their shriveling house plants alive, or *insert your issue here*— consumers want answers to their problems, and they want those answers sooner rather than later. That’s where UX design comes in!
Excellent UX design helps users navigate your website more efficiently. It anticipates their needs, desires, and potential problems, and then uses that data to make navigating the site intuitive. Research shows that if a site visitor can’t find a link to what they’re looking for within 10 seconds, they typically just leave and try a different site. Users will always appreciate good UX design, whether they’re aware of it or not (and they most likely won’t be). However, users DEFINITELY know when they are experiencing a bad UX.
2. Good UX Design Saves You Time and Money
We know what you’re thinking, ”As a small business, how could good UX design save me time and money when I have to spend so much money to get it?” Let’s be real. Your question is valid, but hear us out! How much time does your business spend fielding questions and solving unnecessary problems? Whether you know it or not, answering questions and spending countless hours going after poor leads costs a lot of money. You’re paying people to do it, right? Yep. A good website user experience can help alleviate some of your customer service pain points, giving you and your employees more time to direct your focus toward other things. Here are some practical, time-saving benefits of good UX design:
- A well-thought-out Homepage that quickly addresses common questions
- A strategically placed FAQ page
- Chatbot software to manage initial user interactions
- A price point or price range for your business to field out bad leads
- A clear and straightforward path down the sales funnel to take payments
- Cutting down on phone calls by creating contact forms that allow users to contact you through automation
However, no company would ever be successful by eliminating all human contact with customers, we all need and want that personal touch, but a streamlined user experience can make automated internet interactions and the path to conversion on your website more enjoyable. Not to mention, it could make you more profitable—and we all want that, right?
Which brings us to…
3. Good UX Design Increases Your Revenue
We know for most of you, it’s not just about making a buck. You got into your business because you were passionate about your product or service. However, you’ve got to feed your family and these gas prices aren’t going anywhere (for now). All of that said, happy customers become loyal customers, and loyal customers bring in, let’s say it together—MONEY.
Okay, how about an example? Suppose you improve your website’s checkout experience by allowing customers to save their credit card information, therefore speeding up the checkout process. You could even take it a step further by offering them a secure way to save and fill in personal information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses during checkouts.
Streamlining this process will make your website visitors more likely to purchase your products. Because most people are one text message with a funny meme away from forgetting what they had in their cart. And while this is only one example, imagine what else you could do by keeping your customers in mind when building your website or app!
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had a good look at your website’s user experience journey, or perhaps it’s not something you’ve ever thought about. Either way, integrating UX design into your business platform can take time and money, but it will 100% pay off and add to the value, revenue, and longevity of your business.
Unsure of where to start when it comes to UX design? Drop us a line—our team would be happy to help resource you!
There’s nothing worse than putting all your time and creative energy into an email campaign only to find that 5 out of 500 people actually opened it. It feels like a personal attack, kind of like someone calling your baby ugly.
It’s said that 56% of people unsubscribe from emails they deem irrelevant— so while you can’t force people to open your emails, you can curate them in such a way that your recipients can’t help but open them!
How do you do that? By using dynamic content!
Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of dynamic email content and why it’s such a useful tool for businesses.
What is Dynamic Content?
In short, dynamic content is a curated content experience. It’s that “personalized” email you receive in your inbox from your favorite brand. You know the one? When you open it you feel seen, known, and compelled to continuously purchase the products or services.
Dynamic content can be as basic or as personal as you want it to be. It could be something as simple as placing someone’s name at the beginning of an email or as in-depth as switching images based on purchase history or browsing history. It could even be segmenting your email list based on age, gender, race, geolocation, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to dynamic content because people are always changing and adapting.
What are the Benefits of Dynamic Content?
Every customer and potential customer should be viewed as someone with unique needs; dynamic content helps you meet those ever-changing needs and in turn, creates loyal customers.
Dynamic content also gives your already loyal customers (and even potential customers) access to things they want to see and purchase instead of just being bombarded with a list of products that are irrelevant to them.
In a way, dynamic email content allows the recipients to participate in their own story within your larger brand story. And in 2022, we ALL want to be the hero of our own story… it’s called *main character energy.* Look it up.
Dynamic content will allow you to:
- Reduce the amount of time spent on creating email campaigns for several different email lists.
- Increase your web traffic and ultimately increase your revenue.
- Help your marketing team figure out what products, services, or content customers want to see more of.
How Do I Create Dynamic Content?
Data, data, DATA!
The first thing you’ll need when creating dynamic content is information about your audience. The more you gather, the better your emails will be.
Pay attention to what kinds of questions are being asked on your social media platforms and what content is being shared by your followers. Gather all information you can from the analytics provided by your email marketing platform, and then test your ideas and assumptions on your audience. When you’ve gathered all your data, create some awesome content—and when it doesn’t work, or if information changes, PIVOT accordingly.
(Can we use two FRIENDS gifs in one blog?)
By a show of hands—how many of you are feeling overwhelmed? ✋✋🏿✋🏽 We get it! Creating emails that matter takes time and just a little bit of patience but in the long run, if done correctly, dynamic content can be extremely beneficial to both your brand and your customers. If you need help reworking your email strategy drop us a line, our team would love to sit down with you.
TikTok vs Instagram Reels— Some say it’s the EPIC duel of the century or even the showdown of all showdowns…
But one thing that’s for sure—whether you like it or not—both are becoming an increasingly necessary tool in the arsenal of growing businesses. In fact, experts say that in 2022, 62% of marketers will invest more time and money in TikTok and 54% will increase their investment in Instagram.
But which one should you use for your small business? Is one better than the other? Let’s take a dive into some of the similarities and differences between marketing on TikTok and Reels.
Instagram Reels vs TikTok
Since Instagram Reels’ public debut in August of 2020, most users have viewed it as Instagram’s desperate answer to the growing success of TikTok… a cheugy poser, if you will.
With features like: wellness check-ins, sound effects, dueting, remixing, and facial filters, calling them similar definitely wouldn’t be a stretch.
However, there are some key differences that can affect the way you share content, especially if you’re a small business owner.
The Main Differences Between the Two Platforms
While both platforms offer the ability to share a seemingly endless variety of short form video content, TikTok users (the majority being Gen-Z) appear to be more candid in their presentation. When it comes to TikTok, it’s all about realness, fun, experimentation, viral trends, and casual community. TikTok is the epitome of “give the people what they want.” The famous TikTok “for you page” allows users to see videos curated to their specific interests, making it a new form of content sharing all together.
Side note: We would be extremely remiss if we didn’t stop to give a big round of applause to the TikTok algorithm. It’s borderline scary how well it gives you literally exactly what kind of videos you want to see. From a marketing team to a marketing team, chef’s kiss. For real.
Instagram, however, has become much more calculated over time. What started out as an in-the-moment square photo sharing app has morphed into something very different. And ever since, Instagram users have been carefully curating and endlessly editing posts— all in hopes to achieve the “perfect” grid. Be honest, how many of you have you switched out or deleted a post for fear of messing with your perfect aesthetic? …we’ll wait.
The curated feeds, the “living the dream,” and documenting only the best parts of our lives has caused users to be more reserved in the way they share content on Instagram. And this definitely bleeds over into Reels as well, which remain much more curated than TikToks as a whole.
TikTok is relatively new to the social media game but it’s already seen growth within the advertising world. So much growth in fact that it caused Instagram to pretty much completely re-work their own strategy. That’s a big deal.
This growth also led to the creation of TikTok Business in 2021. However, it’s important to note that the cost of advertising on TikTok in comparison to other platforms is pretty hefty, with prices ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000. *insert gasp*
Although these prices are deeefinitely too high for small businesses, there are many different ways to advertise on TikTok other than using its advertising program.
When it comes to marketing, Reels are leading the charge by integrating shopping features into their platform by allowing businesses and makers to tag their products when creating a Reel, making them a “one stop shop.” When a customer taps the “view products” button, they can choose to purchase, save, or learn more about a product. Added bonus, all of these things can be done without having to leave the app via the Instagram Checkout feature.
So Which Platform Is Better For My Small Business?
At the end of the day, both TikTok and Reels can be advantageous to your small business or personal brand, so don’t be afraid to experiment and even bounce them off of each other and make them work for your business.
While TikTok is a great place to experiment with trends, engage with a younger audience, and create a more casual online community… Reels are a great way to add some depth to your Instagram content and expand your reach with a bit older audience.
(Pro tip: the algorithm LOVES when you use Reels, and all of your posts will perform better when you begin to use them.)
When you own a small business, engaging with your consumers is the key to getting your business name or brand out there. Feeling overwhelmed? It’s fine and you’re fine.
Really! Because our team is here to help you come up with a social media strategy that works best for you and your small business.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!
They’re creatives, activists, trend setters, the gatekeepers of all things cool, and what they say quite literally changes the world. Of course we’re talking about Gen Z.
Born between 1996 and 2010, these “digital natives” probably don’t remember a day without the internet or social media. And with smartphones in hand, they’re not only classy, bougie, and ratchet, but some of them are grown—and collectively have a spending power of over $140 billion.
With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, Gen Z is demanding more than just pretty photos and fun videos from brands to win their trust and loyalty. The generation determined to flip the world upside down is now bringing their socially responsible (& disruptive) attitude into the market.
So let’s take a look at four things to keep in mind when trying to connect with this ethics-driven generation:
1. Establish Clear Values & Mission
Before you try to connect with Gen Z, ask yourself, who are you standing with and what are you standing for? Establishing and communicating your brand’s values is important when marketing to this generation’s cool kids. But why? Gen Z-ers are more likely to spend their money on and lend their voice to brands that have values that mirror their own. Values such as diversity, environmental sustainability, and LGBTQ rights. Gen Z believes that the brands they support have the moral obligation to change the world we live in, meaning you no longer have the option to remain neutral about important issues.
2. Be Transparent & Accountable
This generation seeks truth and authenticity, and they will not only go to great lengths to find it, but they’ll also want to verify it. Your past and present social media accounts, reviews, comments, and responses will all be scrubbed through before trust is given. So make sure that after clearly establishing your values, you stick to them… and if you happen to misstep, you own it. When trying to connect with Gen Z, inconsistencies between your external and internal company values can lead to the disintegration of your brand (looking at you Abercrombie and Fitch).
3. Play Around With Using Interactive Content
When it comes to capturing the ever-scrolling eyes of Gen Z, you’re going to need a combination of creativity and interaction. They don’t just want to look at something pretty. Gen Z actually wants to do something, on and off the internet. So give the people what they want! Use swiping, polls, and quizzes—anything to encourage discussion and interaction. This can help you get a gauge for what kind of things they want to see from your brand. Keep in mind, with the average attention span of Gen Z-ers being 8 seconds, you have a very short window of time to communicate why your brand is worth looking at—that’s where creativity comes in!
4. Build A Community
Mass followings and viral videos aside, surveys say that Gen Z is the loneliest generation, which is why they gravitate towards like-minded brands with messages they feel they can lend their voices to. Creating community within a brand goes beyond asking the most popular TikTok or Instagram star to promote your brand. It can include real people with real stories that can advocate for your brand and add to the story you’re telling. When Gen Z feels like the hero of the story, or at least a part of the Avenger team, they’ll engage and invite others to do the same.
As a refresher… remember, when marketing to Gen Z, make sure to: establish clear values, be accountable and transparent, have fun, and create authentic connections. *Deep breath* We know that seems like a lot but don’t worry, we’ve got you. If you need help tweaking/completely reworking your marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Drop us a line.
The devil works hard, but the Instagram development team works harder… It seems like every week there is a new feature to try.
Honestly, it can be a lot… even for us, and we work in Social Media. But as always, we’ve got your back… so we put together a handy list of new features you may want to utilize! Here they are:
“Add Yours” Sticker
Chances are you’ve already seen at least one person share the new “Add Yours” sticker to their Story. The sticker is exactly how it sounds: you add a photo that matches whatever the prompt is.
The “Add Yours” sticker is set up to be a chain reaction that starts with the poster’s followers and then spreads to any user on Instagram. It’s a huge opportunity for reaching a new audience and driving engagement.
- Tap to add a new Story
- Tap the Sticker icon
- Choose Add Yours Sticker
- Type a theme or choose from the available questions/topics
- Post the Story
Link In Stories For Everyone
FINALLY—everyone has the ability to add links in their Instagram Story— now via Stickers. (Yes, even those with less than 10K followers!)
Instagram has officially retired the Swipe Up link in Stories that was exclusive to those with 10k+ followers. Now Link Stickers appear on screen just like any other Instagram Stories sticker — but with the addition of a link icon!
What makes this great news even better is that now viewers can react and reply to a Story that includes a link, which allows for more engagement. Previously, Stories with links could not be replied to.
“Collab” On Feed & Reels
Collabs allow users to be able to co-create & co-post Instagram feed posts and Reels – allowing both accounts to potentially reach new audiences through each other.
Once you upload your post, go to the Share screen like you normally do, but then tap “Tag People.”
There will be a choice in the bottom right to “Invite Collaborator.” Tap that & search to find the user you want to collab with.
Upload Photos And Videos From Desktop
Users can now post Feed images or videos from the desktop app on their computer!
Log in to Instagram on a PC or Mac and click “+” at the top of the screen.
Then drag and drop a photo or video from your computer, edit your visual, write your caption, add your hashtags, and then post!
Text-To-Speech Feature On Instagram Reels
Yep, this popular TikTok feature is now available on Instagram Reels!
This new feature is great for story telling. It’s a robotic voice-over that sounds a little like Siri (or Alexa for you Android users).
First, use the regular text tool and type out what you’d like to say onto your Story.
Then, tap on the text button at the bottom of the screen until the “hidden” menu pops up, then select “Text-to-Speech.”
“Limits” To Hide Abusive Messages
Instagram is finally working hard to protect its users from abusive or bullying comments and DMs.
“Limits” now allows users to limit or hide comments/messages coming from users who are not following or who have just followed.
This option is available globally for all Instagram users using the app.
- Got to Settings
- Then Privacy
- Then Limits
- Choose what group you would like to limit and for how long
- Click Turn On
Like “Limits,” another feature that Instagram hopes will protect users and have a positive impact on mental health is the option to hide certain words in comments or direct messages.
This feature allows users to filter certain words, phrases, and emojis that they find offensive. Any message or comment that includes a hidden word will be redirected to a separate “hidden” folder.
- Go to Settings
- Then Privacy
- Then Hidden Words
- Choose what words you want to filter
Instagram Reels Play Bonuses
Facebook (Err… Meta) recently announced that they are committed to investing over $1 Billion in programs for creators through 2022.
To sum it up: creators make money based on the number of plays their Reels get.
As long as you have a business or creator account (and access to the program) all you have to do is share a Reel to Facebook or Instagram. Instagram will pay out on Reels that get at least 1,000 views over a 30-day period.
Whew! You made it through the list. Like we always say… don’t feel like you have to do it all or keep up with those pesky Joneses… But did you see a few you’d like to try? We hope so!
If after reading all of this you’re just DONE trying to go this alone, we would love to help with a social media strategy session or even full social media account management. Let’s chat!
For decades, “experts” in marketing have touted the idea of hiding your pricing and highly discouraged clearly publishing prices online. The thought behind this— you want to be able to engage with as many potential customers as possible and by getting them to reach out and ask for your pricing, you have more potential leads.
Seems logical, right? Who doesn’t want more calls? But in 2021, we believe there are other more important factors to consider.
The Death of the Phone Call
In short, most people simply don’t want to have to call and ask questions in 2021. We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of memes about how much people hate talking on the phone. This alone can tell you the current climate of our society, which bleeds over into business as well.
According to research conducted in 2017, 88% of consumers will price shop and compare products online before engaging directly with a business or making a purchase. People want to visit a website and get all the information they need in one place to make an informed decision. No one wants to experience the awkwardness of admitting they can’t afford a service after asking for the price over the phone.
The bottom line is, if your website says “Call for Price,” you are immediately losing out on a ton of potential customers who will just hop over to a competitor’s website that offers more information.
Not to mention, today’s consumer has a very short attention span… so even if they are willing to call for price, there’s a high chance that they’ll get distracted by an incoming text or email before they ever get to the actual phone part of their phone. Needless to say, the chances that they’ll remember to call after that are even slimmer.
The “Unaffordability” Assumption
You may be nervous to put your pricing on the website for fear of losing potential leads, but we happen to think you may lose a lot of potential customers by NOT adding it.
Did you know that when you don’t publish your price/range on your website, that will automatically cause many potential customers to believe that you’re out of their budget? Yep. It’s a real thing— fear of the unknown.
When people can’t find the price, they often assume the worst. They often think your services must be targeting wealthier people who don’t consider price as highly in the purchasing process. Hiding your prices may be scaring away more potential buyers than providing it upfront.
Don’t Waste Your Time
A new lead comes in! After going back and forth over several emails, coordinating a time, holding a discovery call, and preparing a proposal… you find out they were never going to be a potential client for you. You were always going to be way out of their budget. Sound familiar?
The truth is, not everyone is in your target market. Some people will want the service cheaper than you offer, while others need something more complex and expensive.
So instead of spending time filtering through incoming “leads” that will never fit in your range of services, spend your time more productively. There’s not a single business owner that doesn’t need more time!
Putting a price (or at least a price range) right on your website saves you the hassle of hours of work that only ends up frustrating you in the long run.
When people see your prices and know they can’t afford your services or products, they will likely never request a meeting or discovery call. You didn’t lose a good lead, you saved yourself a lot of hours and frustration.
Build Trust with Your Audience
Upfront pricing also builds brand trust, so be confident in your pricing! Learn your target market like the back of your hand so you can more easily find them, or better yet, help them find you.
Who are they? What do they do? What’s their budget range? If you’re the cheapest around, the complex high-end client may not be in your target audience. Or if you’re the most expensive, budget shoppers won’t bite. Remember— not everyone is going to be your target audience, and that is okay.
But by giving a price range upfront, you build trust with your target audience because they can self-qualify that they are in your target market before they ever contact you the first time.
How to Handle Custom Services or Products
Sometimes you can’t list your prices, because your services are fully custom and each person gets a customized quote based on what they need from you. We totally get that, because that is how our agency works, too. In this case, we recommend providing a price range or a “Starting at…” on your website.
You don’t have to put all your price customizations, but just give a general range or starting point. You can even include the caveat that the prices are subject to change based on the amount of customizations/work/client allowing yourself room to negotiate a fair price for each service or product.
For example, on our site, we state that our fully custom and SEO optimized websites start at $4500. However, depending on the client’s needs and customizations, it could get much higher than that. That said, if someone is just starting a business and is looking for a $500 Squarespace site or the equivalent, they already know that we would not be a good fit. And that’s okay!
That saves us time and energy to put into the businesses who do want and need what we have to offer.
The bottom line is most potential customers want to know your pricing up front, or to at least get a ballpark figure, by visiting your website.
You don’t really want to spend time convincing people on the phone to work with you when they really can’t afford to or don’t see the value in what you offer! Trying to convince anyone to become a client is something you can choose to avoid by being open with our price range on your website.
Here’s our advice— Own your value and add your price or price range to your website. The right clients will come along.
Remember back in 2020 when basically every ad was some big corporation telling you they are here for you or trying to make you cry in the middle of a Tuesday? We definitely do. But if you’re one of those people who have blocked 2020 from your memory, just watch this Amazon ad for reference—
But for real, we just all collectively went through a year of extreme uncertainty and fear. And we don’t know about you, but we are more than ready for everything to feel settled again!
In fact, Summer 2021 turned out to reflect a desire for community, fun, and freedom for most people—and well, getting back to some sort of semblance of normalcy. But was that also vibe in the advertising world?
With Summer winding down, we’re looking back on a few brands with advertising campaigns that made us even more excited for “Hot Girl Summer.” ???? You tell us if they passed the Summer 2021 vibe check:
Alright kids… long before the age of social media and television ads (when people walked to school uphill barefoot in the snow), there were these things called billboards. In fact, billboards have been used since the 1830’s… And well, Adidas just came along and changed the whole game.
In an effort to announce the debut of their recent inclusive swimwear collection, Adidas installed the world’s first liquid billboard.
That’s right. Adidas installed a swimming pool holding 11,500 gallons of water on a popular beach in Dubai. The purpose of the ad was to reinforce that all women should be able to be confident in their swimwear no matter their appearance, and all the women in the vicinity were invited to take a very public dive into the pool.
The goal of this campaign is to encourage women of all shapes and sizes to feel powerful and comfortable in their swimwear. Senior Brand Director at Adidas Amrith Gopinath said, “Our belief is that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water, hence the recent launch of our diversified product offering for all women and our burkini collection.”
We wouldn’t expect any less from the brand that brought us the culture changing “WASSUP” commercials. In late June, Budweiser released a commercial called “Go Fourth, America” that featured actor Bill Pullman reprising his famous presidential role from “Independence Day” for the first time in 25 years. In his speech, he celebrates how America has rallied together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and encourages the country to look towards a brighter future. “Go Fourth, America” also highlights a donation from Budweiser to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization focused on enabling vaccine access in the U.S. and globally.
While it’s certainly not super cheeky like the beloved WASSUP frogs of old (AKA: the 90’s), this commercial gave us nostalgia, made us laugh, and almost made us cry. In a time with so much division, Budweiser found a way to connect with so many people with different backgrounds. No matter your political stance, it’s hard to watch this ad and not catch feelings. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, check it out here—
This one might just be our favorite because Snickers really said, “I see you and I understand you,” to the working middle class. Snickers’ summer campaign is a series of videos showing people on vacation that just can’t quite relax. The only solution? A Snicker’s ice cream bar.
Picture this. You’re sitting on a beach with your bestie sunbathing and reading a nice book. Just then, a plane flies overhead… and trailing behind it is a message from work that ruins the whole vibe. If you’re triggered, you’re not alone. The plane is definitely a metaphor for how our phones have made us accessible at all times. It’s a call-out to our current culture which doesn’t really allow us to ever truly disconnect.???? Yikes… We’re pretty sure we can all relate to this one.
Oh, and here’s a little bit of insider info—This ad actually utilizes weather-based triggers for ads on Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, and other mediums whenever the temperature rises past certain points depending on the market. That’s right, Snickers knows when you’re starting to sweat, and they’re using it!
These campaigns are all great examples of how much the advertising industry changes depending on current events. And listen, marketers have their work cut out for them, because the average consumer has gotten a lot smarter (looking at you!) and a lot more in tune to when they’re being manipulated or over-advertised to.
With the overload of campaigns and advertisements in our current climate, companies have no other choice but to think of new, creative ways to stand out. We’ve found that the biggest change in the last year is that consumers are more motivated by social justice movements than ever before. Equality is now ranked the number one biggest motivator, and diversity went up more than six places in ranking in one year. For the most part, consumers are basically saying, either get woke or get left behind.
We’ll keep watching to see how long this type of advertising is trending, and we’ll be on the lookout for what’s coming next!
Press release pet peeves, press release pet peeves, press release pet peeves… try saying that out loud 3 times fast. For most people, writing a successful and poignant press release can be… well, even harder than saying “press release pet peeves” 3 times fast.
But that’s why we’re here! We’re going to tell you some concrete and easy (although we may be using that word lightly here…) ways to make your press release more effective.
If you’ve been stumped trying to get your big event, grand opening, or new product noticed by your local press, a lot of people can relate. It’s kind of a whole thing.
Thankfully over the years, we’ve learned (the hard way a few times) how to write a killer press release that gets your business noticed and, well, doesn’t peeve the people you’re sending it to.
So, here are the top five biggest press release mistakes (according to us) and what to do instead to catch that journalist’s eye:
1. Not Prioritizing the Title of Your Press Release
It’s easy to discount the importance of a title when you feel the press release speaks for itself, but journalists sift through hundreds of press releases every single day. So it’s SUPER important to grab their attention as soon as possible to avoid being tossed in the “not-newsworthy” pile. Basically, you want to click-bait them, without the click-baity-ness. (Is that a word????? )
The goal of your title should be to make it immediately obvious what audience you’re wanting to reach and why they need this information. PRO TIP: it can be extremely beneficial to update your title depending on the news outlet or audience you’re reaching out to. Your information might be useful to people of all ages, but the title needs to cater to the type of outlet that you’re hoping will share your story.
2. Including the Wrong Amount or Wrong Type of Links
Alright, this is where it gets tricky. You don’t want too many links… or not enough links… or links that don’t further your narrative. (How many times can we say, “links”?) Links are where a lot of people seem to either take it too far or just not put any at all. We’re here to save you from this blunder!
In 2021, press releases should no longer be written as though they’re going to be read off a sheet of printed paper. They’re going to be read digitally, so make them interactive! A great press release will be an interactive experience where the reader can move between reliable links embedded in the document, along with photos and videos that help in educating them.
We suggest using 2-4 links depending on the length and subject matter of your press release. Any more than that, and your hard work begins to look like spam, and your readers no longer take the time to follow any of the links. ????????♀️ It’s also important to be intentional when choosing your links. Before adding any link, make sure it’s relevant to your topic and your target audience, and that it adds value to your story.
When used correctly, links will boost audience engagement AND push more people to your website. (Yay!)
3. Only Using a Distribution Service
There’s definitely value in distribution services. Basically, distribution services work to distribute your press release for you. They allow your press release to end up in the inbox of hundreds of journalists and can lead to tons of backlinks for your website.
Distribution services are becoming less beneficial for small brands because they can get buried in a sea of PR from huge companies.
Instead, try to build relationships with journalists! Send personalized messages to offer product samples, interview quotes, and attached photos with your press release. Journalists love when you give them a story and all the elements they’d need to run with it right away. Try to make their job as easy as possible, and we promise it’ll pay off.
4. Lack of Focus
People often feel rushed when working on a press release, because as we all know, “time is money.” But in reality, a rushed, unfocused press release can be a huge waste of your time because it’s unlikely to ever gain any traction.
Many business owners can struggle to be direct and stay focused on the main goal of the press release. We get it. You’re not a writer, you’re a business owner! That’s ok. Here’s what we suggest: start with an outline that creates a story. The business, product, or event you’re promoting should be secondary to the main goal of creating something that people want to read. You need to have one subject, one idea, and one goal that you’re striving for with every sentence.
If there are multiple aspects that you need to promote, we suggest writing different press releases for optimal results.
5. Not Making it Topical
Is it NEWSWORTHY? Ask yourself this question at every stage of the writing process, because that is the question every journalist is trying to answer before they invest their time. The goal is to step back and look at it from the readers’ eyes. If you weren’t involved in the project or company, what would make you want to read about this topic? What do you think will get people really talking? Your press release must be valuable beyond just your own interests, because if it’s not, you risk damaging your reputation and even blacklisting yourself to journalists. (???? ) This might sound harsh, but they may not ever spend their time reading any of your future press releases as well once you’ve let them down.
So, our best advice is to spend some time reading topical news and try to find a new angle that people aren’t talking about yet. This automatically puts you a few steps ahead of the other 100 press releases in the journalist’s inbox. If you aren’t able to do this, show how a popular industry trend is related (even in a small way) to what you’re doing. There are lots of ways to make something mundane become newsworthy—celebrity endorsement, human interest, novelty/rarity, proximity, and more.
For example, the event at your business might not be newsworthy, so why not give a percentage of proceeds to an organization to a local organization with a great cause? Voilà! NOW people want to learn more about what you’re doing. Plus, you get to help people in the process.
Pro tip: Make sure to give to an organization you genuinely care about and want to support.
In conclusion, our BIGGEST pet peeve is a press release that goes out before it’s ready. A good press release takes tons of time and energy, but when done correctly, they’re more than worth it!
And hey, if this is way over your head or if you need to stay focused on big picture business decisions, we can always help with PR for your next big adventure.