Instagram will place ads in its Shop tab


Ads. Ads everywhere.

Instagram has announced that it will be testing a new ad format within the Shop tab. The test is limited to a few U.S. advertisers and will be expanded in the coming months to other, non-US, markets.

Details, more details: The ads will appear as a single image or as a carousel. They’ll only show on mobile devices because, duh, Instagram Shop is mobile-only (for now).

Who gets this first and why: U.S. advertisers JNJ, DEUX, Boo Oh, etc. Instagram chose businesses in the travel, beauty, pet, and home decor niches on purpose. Why? Because these are some of the most popular shopping categories.

Women “own” Instagram: You are not alone in noticing that most of the above niches cater to women.

84 percent of Instagram influencers who create sponsored posts are female. The platform’s demographics may be close to 50-50, but ladies appear to shop on Instagram far more than men.


E-commerce sellers go to great lengths to remove negative Amazon reviews

Let’s face it: A bad review can really hurt sales.

And if you’re on Amazon, good luck removing that review. You don’t have access to any email addresses, and contacting customers directly or asking them to modify their existing review is against the platform’s terms of service.

Some sellers don’t care: According to Gizmodo and the Wall Street Journal, some Amazon sellers are directly contacting and incentivizing customers to remove their existing one-star reviews.

Sellers discover customer emails in a variety of ways. They then attempt to bribe customers (via a refund and/or cash) to have the negative review removed or modified.

If at first you don’t succeed, annoy: Sellers who do not receive a response to their first email will follow up and continue to offer larger incentives until they get their way. Some even offer twice the original price in cash.

Backfire: The only thing worse than bad reviews is bad reviews that claim you tried to get people to remove them. The result: Amazon suspends your account (yes, this actually happens).

The Crew’s take: When playing on someone else’s turf, it’s a good idea to follow their rules. Plus, it is far more productive to focus on getting more positive reviews to offset the negative ones than it is to risk annoying someone who is already irritated with you (i.e. the one-star reviewers).


How these retailers are using a one-million salespeople team to put competitors in the corner


Cut costs.

Turn more website visitors into customers.

Increase the average order value.

Boost long-term revenue.

That’s what every e-commerce business wants.

And that’s what companies like NASCAR, MZ Wallace, Thrive Market, Fabletics achieve every day using Sailthru.

Sailthru analyzes the behavior of your users. One by one. And delivers hyper-personalized marketing messages, to each and every customer, across different channels: SMS, in-store, social, email, your website content.

It’s like having one million salespeople working for you, interacting with your customers, and leading them by hand through the purchase journey.

To top it all off, Sailthru is incredibly easy to use and implement for marketers such as yourself.

Discover how to create unforgettable experiences for your customers.


Please, don’t leave your blog in 2015


While blogging is still a lever to attract leads and customers, the way blogs are structured is evolving.

Kevan Lee analyzed the blogs of some SaaS companies, and he noticed that blogs, as we’ve known them, are changing.

They are starting to be much more than just blogs.

Some examples? Polly has an array of blog-like pages:

  • Guides
  • Templates
  • Customer stories
  • An actual blog, sharing posts in chronological order
  • A help center, which is like a blog for customers

And you can see this trend elsewhere too:

Hubspot has an education section with a blog, ebooks, guides, courses, and microsites section.
Wistia has a learning center with its blog, customer stories, events, and programs.

“In 2015, everyone had a blog. In 2021, everyone has a blog plus two or three other content destinations.”

What’s this evolution driven by?

The evolution of blogs is driven by the three core limitations that blogs have:

  • At their core, blogs are reverse-chronological lists of posts about a topic. This works if you’re writing about a subject that has time relevance. This also works if your audience keeps coming back to your blog to check your latest articles.
  • Blogs are not sequential. If you’re learning about a new topic, you should start from the beginning. Blogs don’t lend themselves to deep learning.
  • It’s hard to do immersive storytelling or craft experiential content. A standard blog is 1000 to 2000 words in length. Readers now are looking for more.

How do you break these limitations?

Kevan Lee suggests some ideas here to bring your blog to the next level:

  • Add a resource of guides and long reads.
  • Build an academy or university.
  • Layer on podcasting, videos, and multimedia storytelling.

Adapt or get left behind. There are many options to help you keep up with the evolution of blog reader’s demands. It’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense for your business model.


ADVERTISING: Google Ads attribution is improving. Google now includes YouTube and Display in their attribution modeling.

AMAZON: One company’s loss is another company’s gain. Amazon is luring advertisers away from Facebook after Apple’s privacy change.

SEO: Those visitors are not real; Google Search Console doesn’t filter all bot traffic, according to Google’s John Mueller.

BUSINESS: People are sick of the virtual world and ready to return to reality. As a result, ticket and event app downloads are skyrocketing.

ADVERTISING: If marketing data was a lake, its water would be slowly dwindling, according to Eric Seufert.

PPC: It’s not a bug, it’s a feature; showing all search terms inside the Google Ads Search Terms report was a test, according to Google’s ads product liaison.

INSTAGRAM: It’s Instagram vs. fake likes all over again. The company shut down yet another fake likes factory.


What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

NASA has a job for you: Spend a year pretending to be on Mars


If you’re a fan of “The Martian” and Matt Damon, this could be your dream job.

NASA has announced that it is looking for four paid volunteers to participate in a simulated Mars exploration mission.

Some of the benefits include: lots of spacewalks, restricted food, special space food and frequent equipment failures.

It’s not all doom and gloom. On the upside, you will have a lot of free time. Chris Hadfield, former Canadian astronaut, played guitar and recorded a cover of David Bowie while he was in space.

“Just think how much you’re going to be able to catch up on Netflix,” Hadfield said. “If they have a musical instrument there, you could go into there knowing nothing and come out a concert musician, if you want.”

Wanna apply? For a start, you need to be a permanent U.S. resident and have a master’s degree in engineering, science or math. You also need pilot experience.

Hey, nobody said it would be easy to be a (fake) astronaut!

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