Signals

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Reels is lagging behind TikTok

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Looks like Instagram’s copycat strategy isn’t going as well as they hoped.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report on Meta’s internal research document, Reels’ engagement has fallen for four weeks straight.

It gets worse: Overall engagement is down 13.6%, with “most users having no engagement whatsoever.”

In fact, only about 20% of creators on the platform are making content.

By the views: Instagram users are spending 17.6M hours a day watching Reels.

For comparison, TikTok users spend 197.8M hours daily… a staggering ten times higher than Instagram users.

To add insult to injury, a third of Reels content is made on other platforms—usually TikTok. Ouch.

Why we care: TikTok is larger and more engaging than Reels, which probably makes it a safer bet when it comes to performance.

Something to think about if you’re producing short form video content and ads.


META

New guide to developing resilient strategies just dropped

We’re getting strong Nassim Nicholas Taleb vibes from this one…

Time to become antifragile: Meta partnered with Deloitte Consulting to create a Signal Resilience Guide to help marketers take action against signal—also known as data—losses.

Meta recommends:

  • Understanding the position of your business. Is your business aware of the shifting landscape? Do you understand what data you’re using and how? Ask questions like these to determine the next steps.
  • Synchronizing the marketing department with other teams. No individual team is 100% responsible for signal loss. Break down the internal organization framework and create synergy between teams.
  • Building a privacy-first foundation. Make sure you have a strong governance model that enables regulatory compliance.
  • Leaning into available resilient signals. For instance, investing in first-party data has shown to be an opportunity to build relationships with customers while also collecting more data.
  • Rethinking your measurement strategy. The attribution models you’ve relied on aren’t as accurate as before. Plan accordingly.

Why we care: Signal loss is every marketer’s reality now, so all valuable tips are welcome.

Meta’s guide promises to help you lay the proper groundwork for your entire company. Definitely worth a read.


SPONSORED BY READY SET

Create $350k+ liveaction video ads for a (tiny) fraction of the pricearticle-image

It’s true: Your ads can feature real actors and outstanding production without even a whiff of stock video.

And you don’t have to break the bank to create them!

Brands like Goli, Doordash, Coinbase, and hims + hers rely on Ready Set’s creative magic to “wow” customers, supercharge their return on investment, and scale their brands.

Ready Set doesn’t only get you quality videos for bargain prices. They also:

  • Create videos for any social media out there, including Reels and TikTok.
  • Align their messaging with your brand tone and voice, making direct response ads customers will actually like.
  • Help you test ads with their Smart Creative Feed.

You can check out examples here.

And if you’re ready to make customers be all like, “shut up and take my money”…

… Then take your video ads to the next level with Ready Set.


E-COMMERCE

Product photography ideas that will make your ad campaigns and websites pop

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Even the best product is hard to sell without a little visual oomph.

But many marketers worry customers are becoming fatigued with overly similar styles and visual tricks… for good reason, too.

Luckily, Oren John recently shared a useful Twitter thread with a ton of unique product photo styles. The examples in his thread offer you:

  • Different variations you can test for your ads.
  • Inspiration for mapping out your brand’s story and creating a branding deck.
  • Examples creators can send when pitching brands on shoots.

Let’s peep some of our favorites…

The wide angle shot: Consumers’ eyes are so used to static shots and symmetrical square perspectives. This little trick throws them off and makes them stop to look closer.

For example, a frog’s eye view of a person wearing your brand’s sneakers can be more effective than a perfect static shot.

Disruptive circumstances: A coat in the… desert? Taking a shot of your product in an environment where it doesn’t fit can work wonders on the customer’s imagination.

It challenges and perplexes them, but also entertains, making this concept highly engaging.

Hands, hands everywhere: Products look more believable with a human touch – pun intended. That’s why a lot of designers and photographers use this trick.

Adding hands to your product photos makes them relatable and actionable.

Reflection: Here’s an underrated gem—using mirrors or other reflective surfaces to engage the audience and stop the scroll.

A shot of a mirror with your product reflecting in it. Or, just sitting next to a body of water with the watery surface mirroring the product… The effect can be captivating.

That’s just a peek through the keyhole. There are several other concepts to check out in the original thread along with awesome photos that can get your creative juices flowing!


SPONSORED BY AIR

Imagine slacking your marketing team a bunch of links. Now imagine browsing images and videos visually.

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Which one would help you roll out campaigns faster?

That’s right… visual browsing.

You’d instantly find, edit, and approve creative assets for that new campaign. And everyone on the team would be able to access them—no more asking permission.

That’s what Air does. It makes organizing, sharing, and managing the creative assets of your campaigns so much easier… which helps you get those campaigns out the door faster.

Get more done with Air.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

How to say “no” without actually saying “no”

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A funny paradox happens at work: Most people think hard before accepting a task, but hardly think at all when assigning a task to someone else.

So, your Slack and email are full of messages like…

“Hey, can you spin up some new headlines for me?”
“Hey, can you review this campaign we’re working on?
“Hey, can you join this meeting with our Head of Sales?”
“Hey, can you…”

And if you’re like most marketers, it’s hard to say no.

So you sit there on Slack, palms sweaty, writing and rewriting a message that basically says, “Ummm, no.”

Here’s a better way to turn down a request:

Wes Kao, co-founder of Maven, recently shared her approach with Lenny Rachitsky.

Instead of saying “no,” state the tradeoff of doing what you’re being asked to do.

For example, if someone asks you to spend a day working on a new project, you could say,

“Sure, I can do that, but it means I’ll miss the deadline you assigned me for the Facebook Ads project we’re working on. Should this take priority over that?”

It’s simple, but this approach is refreshingly effective for killing those notorious ad-hoc requests. And it’ll make your life a whole lot easier.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

SEO: How much is a premium link from major sites like HubSpot, Zendesk, The Washington Post worth for you? It could be priceless… And that’s what you can get here. Heavy-hitting backlinks to drive sustainable organic growth. Try dofollow.io to get 65+ domain rating links now.*

SEO: Google has no chill. The company just announced the release of their September core update… two weeks after the helpful content update rolled out. Doesn’t seem that helpful. Monitor your analytics over the next few weeks!

TWITTER: The bird spreads the word? Turns out 94% of Twitter users use the platform to check news. 55% of users get all their news from Twitter – more than any other platform. Clearly a good place to reach news-loving customers and journalists.

SEO: Google is hosting a “Search on 2022” insights event September 28. The event will cover the latest improvements and approaches in search ranking. Feels like we’re going to need this, given Google’s recent update spree.

INSTAGRAM: Looks like you may soon be able to reshare Instagram posts without needing third-party tools. Apparently Instagram plans to begin testing a reshare feature soon. Guess good things come to those willing to wait… years.

*This is a sponsored post.


BRAIN TEASER

I am the first on earth, the second in heaven. I appear twice in a week, though you can only see me once in a year.

What am I?

You can find the answer here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

“And the winner of this year’s fine arts competition is…”

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Of all the human skills being challenged by AI, we never imagined painting would make the list.

And yet, here we are.

This is what happened:

  • A clever “artist” mastered the art of data input.
  • He used Midjourney – an AI image generator tool – to generate a literal masterpiece.
  • He upscaled it with another AI tool and printed it out on canvas.
  • He sent it to the Colorado State Fair’s fine arts competition… and won first place.

And to be honest, we think his work is stunning.

So if you’ve ever wanted to paint but your skills didn’t add up to your imagination – now’s your time!

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