How’s your game?

 

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 INSTAGRAM

Make it branded

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How’s your Instagram game? In the past year or so, the platform has evolved from a popular content-sharing app to include a TikTok clone, fully-fledged shopping options, and more.

It’s quickly become a destination for marketers and customers – as if it wasn’t already – and Instagram dropped an update last Friday that’ll make branded content a little bit easier. Here’s what the company announced:

  • Branded tags are now on Reels. Influencer marketing on Instagram Reels is now easier to do, as branded tags are now available on Reels. It’s a win-win for influencers and marketers – influencers have an easier time letting their audience know about ads, and marketers can have the branded information displayed loud and clear.
  • There’s a new way to create Branded Content ads. Until this update, the only way to run a Branded Content ad was by promoting organic posts from creators. Now, Instagram will let you create Branded Content ads without an influencer having to post first.

There are a couple other minor updates in the full post, which you can check out here. Overall, this is solid news for marketers. As influencer marketing and user-generated content continue to dominate, new options for making this process easier are always welcome!


WRITING

A paid newsletter might not be enough

You’re dining beachfront in Bali. You’ve just sent off your newsletter for the day (or the week), your feet are up and you’re taking a sip of whatever the waiter is pouring. It’s a pretty picture.

In the past couple of years, plenty of writers and marketers have been ditching their jobs and gunning for the perfect newsletter – the one that makes a full-time living from that Bali beach.

It’s not always that simple, though. Hunter Walk just put together a smart Medium piece about why a newsletter won’t always earn all of your keep, but why that’s not a bad thing. Here were his main points:

  • Most newsletters don’t make much money. It’s Hunter’s belief that the majority of writers (or marketers) starting their own newsletter won’t make a full-time living from it. Now, let’s take a look at why he doesn’t think that’s so bad.
  • If you have a newsletter, you have a brand. Hunter is talking about paywalled newsletters in his Medium piece, but this advice applies to those of you out there who are like us and sell ads in a free newsletter. Simply put: If you have a newsletter, you have an audience – which can be more valuable than the newsletter itself.
  • What can you do with that brand? Podcasts, premium content, consulting, freelance work, and the list goes on. If you’ve got a following of people who love what you do, there are ways to monetize that following other than asking them to pay for your newsletter.

The Crew’s take: Well, we do run a newsletter, so here’s our two cents – the amount of money you make directly from a newsletter may depend on the type of newsletter you have. If it’s a personal, blog-style newsletter, there are fewer straightforward monetization options than a targeted, marketing industry newsletter… Sound familiar?

But, like Hunter says: You can be a “multi-SKU” creator by leveraging your audience to focus on doing what you love, even if it’s not solely that newsletter.


SPONSORED BY VOLUUM

The deal of the season with the Ultimate Affiliate Pack, from the media buyer’s favorite tracker, Voluum!

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We think that someone at Voluum is gonna get fired because the promo they launched is just too much…

Their Black Friday 4-in-1 Ultimate Affiliate Pack includes:

  • Voluum at the lowest prices ever.
  • $100 bonus for your next PropellerAds top up.
  • $100 bonus on Zeydoo offers.
  • 1 month of free access to affLIFT Forum.

In short: everything you need to start running successful affiliate campaigns.

Let’s start with the first item in this package! Voluum tracker allows you to connect all the pieces of your affiliate marketing business under one platform. But that’s not all!

Ever heard of campaigns that optimize themselves?

  • Thanks to a full API integration between Voluum and your traffic sources, all you need to do is set up desired “if/then” rules and Voluum will auto-adjust your campaigns for you!
  • You’ll be able to control all of your campaigns from one platform: Activate and pause campaigns, change bids, auto-update costs, create whitelists and blacklists, basically execute everything from Voluum.
  • Traffic distribution AI: Their engine will automatically send your traffic to the best-performing offers, landing pages and campaigns to maximize your ROI.
  • With mobile and desktop alerts you will be always up-to-date with the sudden performance changes.
  • Click farms won’t get a chance: Voluum’s Anti-Fraud Kit is a bounty hunter when it comes to detecting and blocking bot clicks.

These features alone should do the job of convincing you, but combined with free traffic, free offers and free education make a deal you simply cannot reject.

So get Voluum with the Ultimate Affiliate Pack now before they change their minds!


FACEBOOK

The manual bidding race

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One deadly weapon you should use this Q4 for hardcore scaling is manual bidding.

As Depesh Mandalia said in this post, he uses manual bidding for fast scaling every time there’s an event where the time to maximize sales is limited, aka Black Friday.

There are three main manual bidding strategies, plus a high-risk one, and here he listed the main pros and cons of these strategies.

Shall we?

+ Cost cap: This is the Honda of manual bidding. Not the fastest option, but it’s reliable.

  • Pros: Not the fastest way to scale your campaigns, but a steady one. It will safely bring you to your destination.
  • Cons: It needs consistent conversions and stability. It’s better to use this when you have been running ads for a while and you know your metrics.

+ Min ROAS: It’s like a station wagon, practical, but you won’t catch James Bond driving it.

  • Pros: Steady and great for managing profitability.
  • Cons: It needs a large AOV (average order value) range to let Facebook find the right level. Not the best one for scaling. Cost cap might be better.

+ Bid cap: This is the Maserati of manual bidding.

  • Prons: Great for tapping into profitable audiences especially when the performance of your accounts is as high as it should be.
  • Cons: Very easy to get wrong and it needs more daily maintenance than the previous two strategies.

+ Accelerated bid: Here’s the Ferrari of manual bidding strategies. Or Lambo, if that’s more your type.

  • Prons: Superfast at finding scaling opportunities.
  • Cons: Not for the inexperienced, because Facebook takes the ‘pacing’ out of budget management and spends your budget as fast as it can. Like an F488 at 300km/h.

Which car are you driving this Q4?

Once you choose your strategy, Depesh suggests using the CBO (campaign budget optimization) as the optimization strategy because it allows him to spend less time on the Ad Manager to optimize. And more time to improve creatives and funnel.

Cheers to a final wild ride!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

TIKTOK: You can now see analytics for livestreams on TikTok, which is a cool new feature for data-hungry marketers.

SNAPCHAT: As noticed by Matt Navarra on Twitter, Snapchat’s ‘Spotlights’ feature, a TikTok-style video feature, is now live! Here we go again…

TWITTER: Fleets are having problems. TechCrunch reported that Twitter’s new feature had a bug which would allow Fleets to be viewed for longer than the 24-hour window they are allotted.

BIG TECH: Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies are threatening to leave Pakistan. The reason? The Pakistani government is attempting to implement laws which many think will harm the freedom and availability of digital content.


BRAIN TEASER

It’s Monday. If you’ve been following along with us, you’ll know that today is the day when we launch our Twitter poll: Which subject line from last week had the highest open rate?

These were your options:

📱BFCM.
🐦 They’re here
🎥 Videos.
📖 Anyone?

Go vote on the poll here! We’ll be back on Wednesday with the answer.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Goodbye, Arecibo Observatory

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If you’re a fan of studying space – or the James Bond film, GoldenEye – you’ll know what the Arecibo Observatory is.

It’s an iconic (and massive) telescope in Puerto Rico that’s been the source of many discoveries humans have made about space. Plus, it looks really cool.

Unfortunately, the observatory will be no more – a few catastrophic failures in the structure have caused the telescope to be dangerous, and the safest route is to take it apart.

It might be the end of an era for the telescope, but crews are working to preserve the surrounding observatory structures.

The observatory will be missed. If you want to see what it looked like in GoldenEye, you can check out that clip here.

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