May 17, 2019


IG adds stories in the Explore tab

A new update from Instagram dropped, and for the first time Stories are eligible to show up in the Explore tab.

Instagram will now personalize which Stories users see on Explore based on the content from accounts similar to ones they engage with. This means it will now be possible for Stories to generate more Likes and engagements than ever before.

Instagram is aiming to build the Explore tab into something that provides users with the full breadth of content from across the platform, while still remaining relevant to their personal interests.

How will this work?

Suppose you tap on a Story about dogs on Explore. After interacting with this you’re likely to see more dog Stories queued up for you. Rinse and repeat.

The Explore tab is also getting redesigned to include large, shortcut icons for Shopping & IGTV, followed by channels for topics like Travel, Food, and Design. All of this right there within the Explore tab!

“We’re really investing in making IGTV and Shopping a big part of Explore experience. A home for Instagram’s big bets like Shopping and IGTV. We want to provide a more immersive experience so people can actively engage with content and be more specific about what they want to discover.”

Basically, the more content users discover through Explore, the more time they will spend on the platform. The result? They will end up seeing more ads. Simple!

How the algo will work and how to get featured on the Explore tab

  • The algo will show users Stories similar to the ones from accounts they follow and engage with.
  • Since videos auto-play in Explore, they get more attention and have a higher chance of getting featured in the Explore. Although remember, great photos will still rank above mediocre videos.
  • Highly-visual Stories that don’t include too much text will get preference.
  • Stories with content similar to the creator’s typical feed posts are more likely to show up on Explore.
  • Certain content types like reposts of other people’s feed posts are demoted by the algorithm.
  • A slightly weaker signal, but it will also use Computer vision to detect the content of Stories and show users similar content based on their previous interactions.

What does it mean for advertisers? The chances are that Stories coming to the explore tab will open up another slot for us to place our ads.

Stories in the Explore tab are coming. Our ads will follow.


12 Successful direct-to-consumer brands

In the last few years, platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Instagram and Kickstarter created an explosion of direct-to-consumer companies, changing the way people shop.

Direct-to-consumer brands are companies that manufacture and ship their products directly to buyers without ever relying on traditional stores or other middlemen.

Some of the most successful examples are Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, Casper and Barkbox.

CB Insights have put 12 of the most successful DTC companies under the microscope to better understand how they have been able to shake up their respective industries.

Casper, for instance, sold $100M worth of mattresses in just 2 years. But what did they do differently?

Casper was founded with this idea in mind: Buying a mattress is an “awful consumer experience.” The sales people are pushy, the prices are high, and the options available are confusing.

So they built a mattress company that solves these issues: Just one type of mattress at an affordable price, and delivered straight to your home.

This back-to-basic strategy helped Casper sell $1M worth of mattresses in their first month on the market.

What about their marketing? Casper has been able to disrupt the $15B mattress industry by choosing not to be seen as a typical mattress company. Rather, they presented themselves more like a tasting company.

They also leveraged various Instagram and Twitter influencers, using its Hollywood connections to get some high-level buzz going around its mattresses.

For example, in 2018 Kylie Jenner posted a picture on IG promoting Casper. What do you think happened? Net sales doubled immediately.

Another example is Dollar Shave Club.

It’s a razor company that decided the best course of action wasn’t just to sell razors. Rather, they offered men a subscription package that would save them time, money, and effort.

The razors are affordable, and with them being a routine purchase the savings customers get from Dollar Shave Club are compounded over time.

Their success lies in their 4-year retention numbers, which are well above average for a consumer-facing subscription product.

After 12 months, about 50% of customers still use their service. After 48 months, nearly 25% of all signups are still paying customers.

Their launch strategy is something you might want to take note of too: Scientific virality.

The famous “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” video they used to promote their launch has now been viewed over 26M times. If you haven’t seen it, here it is. This is a great example of how to launch a brand using viral content.

The video production cost was just $4500 and resulted in 12K orders almost immediately.

There was a whole framework of preparation behind this viral hit, with the whole launch designed to amplify and power the video’s signal. Yet if you were just watching along with everyone else, it all looked totally organic.

You can read the whole article here if you want to discover more on how Dollar Shave Club managed their launch, along with the other 10 companies featured in it.

A good read for the weekend. Hopefully it will inspire you to build the next blue ocean company. Or maybe just some killer marketing strategies to use for your existing businesses…


What’s a great employee worth to you?

Think about it… How much does your business grow because you aren’t working alone but instead have skilled people working towards a common goal? How much would you pay for someone great? $5k? $2k? $1k? And how hard is it to find someone great anyway?

We’ve been in that situation recently… In October last year when we were looking for 2 great marketers to join The WTAFF Crew to help write this daily piece of marketing goodness and we wrote about it here.

It was when we experienced first hand what kind of marketers read this newsletter: skilled, hardworking, ambitious and well informed. It made us think: “Hey, maybe others want to put jobs in front of WHAT THE AFF readers too!”

So now you can post your jobs in Jobs in Digital Marketing – a simple, focused job platform followed by WHAT THE AFF readers, a group of smart marketers who are up to date with latest trends on all digital marketing. Because they take a few minutes every day to read this, just like you!

It’s nothing fancy, purely focused on utility:

  • Post or apply for jobs.
  • Search resumes of job seekers who want to be hired.
  • Have your job openings featured in a special WHAT THE AFF section.
  • Manage your hiring flow straight from the platform.
  • Lower price than all those broad, general platforms without an industry-specific audience.

Just use the code WTAFF to get a 35% discount on any job listing. No expiration date on it and you can use it on multiple listings!

To make it even sweeter for you, the next 5 jobs that use our code will get featured in WHAT THE AFF for the rest of May (that’s 10 times) in front of 7k top marketing professionals for $130. What do you think?

Post your job and let us send you the perfect fit!

PS: If you want to promote Jobs in Digital Marketing, you can sign up for our affiliate program for it right here.


Tweaks to the NewsFeed algorithm. Marketers’ take on mediocre performance of 1% Lookalike audiences. Alternative way to build audiences

FB updates on the Newsfeed ranking. Have you noticed any flaws with your 1% Lookalike audiences? Why you should add FB videos to your website and store.

Facebook algorithm updates

Yesterday, Facebook announced some tweaks to its Newsfeed algorithm. Two core changes were mentioned: One is meant to prioritize a user’s closest friends, while the other prioritizes the links a person might consider most relevant.

Facebook said it surveyed people asking them to list the friends they are closest to. Based on their responses, they used patterns to predict the connections from whom they might want to hear from the most.

However, this change that prioritizes friends’ post, won’t mean that you’ll only see posts from certain people. Nor that you will actually see more content from friends, in fact. Rather, posts from those closest to you will appear higher in your Newsfeed.

Obviously, the prediction models will continuously update based on your interactions as well.

What about the update that concerns links?

Facebook also surveyed people to ask them what posts they thought were worth their time.

Based on these results, they’re updating the Newsfeed ranking to show people links that the algorithm predicts will be valued by the user.

These changes will roll out gradually, so you won’t suddenly see a completely new Feed.

What does it mean for Pages?

Facebook said that these updates are not designed to show more or fewer links and posts from Pages. Rather, they arrive to serve the user with the most relevant content for them.

So don’t worry, as long as your Pages’ posts are valuable to your audience this update won’t push them down the Newsfeed.

Performance drop in 1% Lookalikes

“Lookalike performance dipped somewhat after Facebook stopped using third-party data for a while last year, but began to return a few months after. However, now 2% and 3% Lookalike Audiences seem to be the best and I’ve also had higher — 4% and 7% — doing well in some accounts.”

What? Who? Where?

MarketingLand interviewed some FB marketers about the effectiveness of 1% Lookalike audiences. To save you the time, pretty much all the responses were similar to the above.

That statement is from Gil David, and the other marketers have also noticed similar performance from their 1% Lookalike audiences.

One said that 1% Lookalike doesn’t work like it did in the past unless you build the audience on your Pixel and you send FB enough traffic to make it accurate.

What’s the new sweet spot? Gil David said that 2-3% Lookalikes are working well for him at the moment. Although he hasn’t completely stopped testing 1% Lookalike, because a resurgence could be just around the corner.

According to Pierre-Olivier Carles, 1% LA only work when the audience is very specific.

What’s the reason for this performance decline?

The reason for the lack of performance could down to too many advertisers being focused on leveraging this audience. The result would be a crowded 1% audience pool.

According to Carles, another potential cause could be FB’s efforts to protect people’s privacy.

While we’re on the subject of privacy, the Clear History tool is coming your way and it will probably lower the performance even further.

What about you? Did you notice a similar trend with your 1% Lookalike audiences?

Building audiences from your website videos

Do you use videos on your websites and online stores? If so, this trick shared by Julija Agusi could help you gather more data from your audience.

How? If you have videos on your webpages, take them off. Then, reupload them to your Facebook Page and embed them on your webpages.

Doing so allows you to collect data based on the video views. Then you can build Custom Audiences that watched the 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% of the video and retarget them with different campaigns based on the video view percentage.

The comments section of this post brought another useful tip too: Hammad Bin Iftikhar suggests doing the same with YouTube videos and using Google Tag Manager to track the views.

If you want to ask any questions about this tips or just say thanks, head to the post above.


Top traffic referrers from 2016 – 2018

Britney Muller from Moz shared a list of top traffic referrers and reminded us just how powerful Google’s search traffic still is, despite so many disruptive shifts in the digital media over the last few years.

Of all top traffic referrers, alone is responsible for over 57% of all traffic. Facebook ranks at the second spot, accounting for a humble 5.2%. Notice the difference?

One debatable part that comes to mind is how much of this traffic is commercial in nature.

Also, note that this 57.8% of Google referred traffic includes both organic and paid traffic.

What does this mean?

SEO traffic is something that works in the long haul, whereas PPC is more like instant gratification. But, but, but… If one masters the art of both, they can clearly dominate the search results.

Still, that doesn’t take anything away from the huge traffic potential that Google used to hold, still holds, and will continue to hold for many years to come.


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

Using technology for nasty purposes

Self driving Tesla cars have been here for quite a while. They sit in an area of innovation poised to change the way we use cars forever, providing immense flexibility and convenience in our lives.

It’s not just the great minds and forward thinkers who are innovating though. All sorts of people find innovative ways to take new inventions to the next level.

Take the example of Tyler Jackson, a adult film actress.

She became the first person to shoot a adult video in a moving vehicle without a human driver. An innovation that could have led her to new heights… Including death.



Here’s what Elon Musk had to say about this:

“Look, we knew that people would bone in self-driving cars. This is something we all saw coming (I haven’t decided if I intended on that being a pun or not yet).”

He’s right! He definitely saw it coming, especially when he decided to name this AI as Autopilot.

But the truth is that autonomous technology isn’t anywhere near safe enough to allow for this kind of distraction yet.

You might want to give the video clip a watch, and that’s okay. But all we gotta say to you is this:

Don’t try this at home. Stay safe kids, stay safe.

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