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Bad news for streaming ads, Stripe downsizes, and Etsy beats expectations

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The season of advertising ups and downs continues.

Netflix, close your ears: Roku reported revenues “substantially below market estimates” in what’s traditionally been a strong revenue season.

Roku’s failure to meet expectations doesn’t offer much hope to Netflix, which launched its ad-supported tier yesterday… or to Disney+, which plans to launch its own next month.

Are e-commerce payments slowing? Stripe—one of the biggest online payment providers—announced it’s laying off 14% of staff in preparation for “leaner times.”

… Not good news for the overall online commerce economy, since Stripe has been one of the benchmarks for internet purchases.

Meanwhile, Etsy’s all smiles: The e-commerce platform reported $594.5M revenue, beating their Q3 expectations by almost $30M.

Like Pinterest, Etsy is one of the rare winners of the previous quarter, and interestingly enough, both are predominantly female platforms.

Makes us think of the “lipstick effect” theory, which suggests that items like beauty products sell well during tough times because they give people a sense of luxury.

Why we care: Some advertising channels are becoming less effective as spending power decreases among shoppers.

Just more signals to pay attention to if you’re running ads, or planning to.


META

Coming soon: Even more tools to monetize content

Soon influencers may have too many monetization platforms to choose from…

After expanding professional mode earlier this week, Meta has announced a couple more features for creators looking to “get that bread” on its platforms.

Please subscribe: All US creators over 10k followers will be able to charge followers for subscribers-only content such as gated posts, stories, and streams.

Apparently, Meta isn’t charging any fees for the service… yet.

Who doesn’t like gifts? Also, viewers will be able to send gifts to creators via Instagram Reels.

And while it’s similar to Stars—a feature that’s also becoming widely available—animated gifts seem to provide an even more engaging experience.

And yes, NFTs are still a thing: Meta is looking to launch a “new end-to-end toolkit” to make it easy for NFT trading and purchases to happen right on Instagram.

Why we care: Meta is doing everything to win new creators and to keep existing ones on its platforms.

If it goes well, that could be good news for marketers investing in influencer marketing. Guess we’ll see!


SPONSORED BY NORTHBEAM

Don’t know which ad creatives are driving sales? Try this e-commerce attribution tool

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Messy spreadsheets. Sketchy data. Uncertainty…

Having multiple acquisition channels creates all kinds of challenges.

Did these sales come from that Instagram ad or the TikToK influencer shoutout?

This kind of uncertainty leads to ineffective decisions and wastes budgets.

Which is why Northbeam is so useful.

Northbeam is a self-service platform that uses the world’s best first-party data attribution to show you the impact of your ad spend.

Northbeam’s algorithms connect all your data sources together in one centralized hub of performance dashboards, tables, and data visualizations.

At any moment, you can log in and see exactly which channels, campaigns, and creatives are driving revenue.

And the good news is, Northbeam’s artificial intelligence models also take into account views – not just clicks.

See exactly what happens between your ad spend and revenue.


SEO

Should you use AI in your SEO writing?

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Rebecca Sentance recently asked three SEO expertsShould brands use AI writing tools in the “age of helpful content update”?

It’s a big question, especially since Google’s recent update says helpful content is written by people, for people. Seems to indicate that AI content is a no-go from the start, no?

Well, not exactly.

Here’s what the SEO experts told Rebecca…

What is “helpful content” actually? Google is doubling down on user experience, which means it’s moving away from ranking articles that are obviously optimized for traffic.

That means businesses will have to think about the content they produce, the audience and topics they cover, and the value they provide.

And while AI output may seem convincing, it’s missing a lot. Cultural nuances, analogies, metaphors are all required to bring content to life.

Take product reviews, for example. You can easily differentiate between SEO content and a real review.

So… can you use AI tools in copywriting? Yep, definitely. A lot of websites have AI content that actually ranks, but as Google’s algorithm becomes more “nuanced,” so should your content.

For instance, you can use AI content for writing first drafts and later finesse it for that “human touch.”

Also, large websites that need a lot of “basic content” output can leverage AI to do the legwork. For creative writing, this is much more difficult.

Can AI replace SEO writers? The experts aren’t convinced it can. The role of an SEO writer is not to slap down a floor of text, but to think about user search intent, schema markups, formatting, etc.

But SEO writing may evolve into a more of a “managing” and “editing” role, where AI writing tools can come in handy to automate certain processes.

After all, the output is only as good as the input. And a great SEO writer will know how to handle these tools better than the average one.

To wrap up: Think of AI writing tools as gifts that can help you better master your craft, upskill, automate, and earn more money.

As long as your final draft is fresh, new, and “human,” you should be all set.


SPONSORED BY THE DAILY UPSIDE

If Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tim Cook agreed on something, it would be this business newsletter

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Founded by investment bankers, The Daily Upside is our favorite source for premium business news that’s actually worth reading.

The Daily Upside is jam-packed with equal doses of charisma and insight:

  • Want to know if Twitter’s changes since Elon took over give the social network a bright future?
  • Or if Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse can turn the ship around after Apple’s iOS14 put a big hole in Meta’s ad business?

The Daily Upside goes a level deeper to instantly boost your business IQ and upgrade your investing know-how. Simply put, we love it.

Read The Daily Upside for free.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

How a $50k-per-month business chooses which influencers to sponsor

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If done right, influencer marketing can make you a lot of money.

It can also be quite difficult.

Want to know how Plain Jane—a casual apparel brand raking in more than $50k every month—selects their influencers?

Here’s what Plain Jane focuses on for optimal results:

  • Completely disregard follower count. Instead, focus on engagement and alignment with your brand. It’s easy to have a lot of followers; it’s hard to have a truly loyal and interested audience. You want influencers with the latter.
  • Sponsor people whose content is at least two-thirds interesting and original. If you see a creator who’s creating sponsored content as more than one-third of their output, stay away. They’re probably not a good choice.

And here’s another tip, this time from The Food Diary:

  • Smaller influencers can often lead to bigger results. There’s something about the relationship a small creator has with their audience that large creators can’t replicate. Depending on what you’re selling, you may see more bang for your buck sourcing micro-influencers who have highly engaged audiences.

There you go: You’ve got a couple influencer marketing tips to try out. And if you want more stories on how companies successfully use e-commerce growth channels…

… Sign up to Stacked Marketer Pro and you’ll get access to our e-commerce growth channels report. It’s packed with useful tips like the ones above.

Happy influencer marketing!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

AUGMENTED REALITY ADVERTISING: Want to make your ads more captivating? Simply add augmented reality (AR) to your campaigns. Snap has 250MM AR daily users1, its AR is 1.7x more immersive than any other platform2, and Snap drove an ROI 1.78X higher than total media averages across CPG3.

SNAPCHAT: Speaking of augmented reality (AR)… Snapchat partnered with Amazon to introduce thousands of eyewear brands to their AR experience. That means shoppers can find, try, and buy their next pair of glasses directly from the platform. Nice!

REGULATIONS: Britain’s Online Safety Bill—a law meant to sanction platforms that allow hate and offensive speech —is going back to Parliament due to public backlash. It’s believed platforms would use censorship to “avoid hefty fines,” which could endanger free speech.

E-COMMERCE: eBay reported low, but still better-than-projected revenue, with its main drivers being refurbished and luxury goods. It seems like shoppers are turning to better value buys amid surging inflation. Not surprising.

*This is a sponsored post


BRAIN TEASER

What is 3/7 chicken, 2/3 cat and 2/4 goat?

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.

Brutal nursery rhymes

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“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”

That’s just a catchy children’s song about Mary’s love for her garden… right?

Well, maybe not. Apparently the song might be about Queen Bloody Mary and her gruesome reign.

And it’s not the only nursery rhyme that can be interpreted as dark and mysterious.

“London Bridge Is Falling Down” tells the story of a Viking Attack in the eleventh century, and Goosey Goosey Gander is a tale of religious persecution. Yikes!

Of course, it all depends on how you interpret it. You know what they say about art… It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

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