Social Media


By Elie Y. Katz

Retail stores have always faced the challenge of attracting and retaining customers. This challenge has become even more difficult in a world of increasing competition and evolving technology, making it even more important that businesses find ways to entice new customers and show existing ones they are the best choice.

In my experience within the industry, retail stores have to continuously strive to attract and retain customers. Achieving this requires investing in marketing, advertising, and customer service initiatives. With that in mind, here are six steps any retailer can use to market their independent business.

1. Establish brand recognition.

In my experience, the success of any business depends on its ability to establish a recognizable brand. Part of this process involves creating a memorable name, logo and slogan that help customers recognize and remember your brand. The logo should be easy to recognize and have an eye-catching design. Many studies have shown that the most memorable logos have a simple design.

It’s important to not overthink the logo’s design but also to ensure that it stands out and targets your audience. One way to do this is to conduct market research to understand your target audience’s preferences and design a logo that reflects your brand’s personality and values.

A slogan can also help to differentiate your brand from its competitors and create a memorable impression with customers. Aim to create a slogan that is concise, catchy, meaningful, easy to remember and embodies the business’s core values.

2. Market on social media and search engine advertising campaigns.

Once the logo and slogan are created, the next step is implementing social media campaigns to generate more awareness about the brand. You can create ads that appear when people search for certain products or services. This can help merchants get more leads and increase sales.

I recommend utilizing various social media platforms to reach a wider audience, although your messaging should resonate with your target audience the most. Consider using platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads, as these campaigns allow you to target specific keywords and demographics to ensure your ads reach the right people.

Other online marketing strategies include email marketing campaigns and working with influencers. Combining these strategies can help you create an even more effective online presence and increase your brand’s visibility.

3. Create promotions to attract customers.

Another effective strategy is to create promotions to attract customers to a business’s products and services. Promotions should be tailored to your target audience and designed to be engaging and attention-grabbing. Consider using BOGO, free shipping, free samples, coupons, flash sales and giveaways; I have found that these tactics can do a lot to increase customer engagement and drive sales.

Most people love savings and discounts, so offering promotions and exclusive deals can be a great way to attract and retain customers. Additionally, providing exceptional customer service and personalized experiences can also help you build strong relationships with consumers and encourage repeat business.

4. Build a loyalty program.

An effective loyalty program encourages loyalty by rewarding customers for their repeat purchases. This can also help your brand build long-term relationships with your customer base, giving them a sense of belonging.

Loyalty programs can include a variety of incentives, such as discounts, rewards points and even access to exclusive events. These programs encourage customers to continue purchasing from your brand, but they also provide valuable data on customer behaviour and preferences to help make more informed decisions about future marketing efforts. Many brands use a point-of-sale (POS) system that facilitates the creation and maintenance of loyalty program memberships by automatically tracking the customer’s purchases and issuing rewards at checkout.

5. Advertise at the point of purchase.

A point-of-purchase (POP) display can target potential customers already in the store. Placing ads at the checkout counter can quickly grab customers’ attention, leading them to consider a product they may not have thought of before.

POP advertising can take many forms, including displays, posters, signage and other digital media. Additionally, many retailers will use POP advertising to promote special offers, such as discounts or coupons. These ads can inform customers about new products, promote loyalty programs.

6. Analyse what works best for your customers.

Data analytics can be used to track customer purchases, in-store traffic and website visits. The store can use this data to determine which marketing strategies are most successful. This can include tracking the effectiveness of email campaigns, print advertising, social media and even word-of-mouth. With this data, you can focus your store’s marketing efforts on strategies that are proven to be effective, thus ensuring a better return on investment.

Additionally, you can survey customers to determine what motivated them to shop. Do your customers favour particular brands over their generic counterparts? Do they make choices based on impulsive or emotional needs, such as buying the latest trends and fashions? Pay close attention to what they say, then use this information to tailor your services and products to better meet their needs.

Overall, independent retail stores must continuously strive to attract and retain customers in today’s landscape. I encourage you to invest in marketing, advertising and customer service initiatives and stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Continuously improving and adapting to the changing market can help you ensure long-term success and growth for your business.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Elie Y. Katz

CEO, National Retail Solutions (NRS). POS, NRS Digital Media, NRS Pay, NRS Funding, NRS Purple, and NRS Petro: Helping retailers succeed. Read Elie Y. Katz’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

By Jessie Sampson

Trust between advertisers and consumers is the bedrock of effective advertising, not least when it comes to influencer marketing. The nature of influencers’ relationships with their followers means that transparency and authenticity are non-negotiable when it comes to communicating branded messages to their communities – and doing this successfully requires trusted partnerships between influencers and the advertisers they work with.

So, how are technological developments impacting the industry’s ability to deliver transparency? What does the growth of AI mean for authenticity in this space? And how is affiliate marketing helping to deliver a full-funnel view of influencer activations? Members of our Influencer Group share their views.

AI & influencer content

Melanie Kentish, managing partner, Gleam Futures: “As the influencer marketing industry matures with greater regulation and in-depth reporting, brands’ trust in the channel is building. Not only is the quality of content often as good as a brand’s own content, the production costs are a fraction of the price. But the most valuable asset of all is the trust fostered within influencers’ communities.

“However, the momentum at which AI is growing is startling and – now more than ever – it’s important that influencers are leading the way by turning their backs on beauty filters and holding their accounts to account to sustain that trust. Progressive advertisers will be casting authentic, filter free and diverse talent for their audiences to be truly represented. This in turn will do what’s right for both brands and society at large. It’s time to do better.”

The role of robust reporting

Ceres Cueva, SVP global publisher partnerships, Rakuten Advertising: “With marketers calling for greater measurement and transparency of campaign performance in influencer marketing, we’re seeing more brands combine influencer and affiliate marketing strategies. You get more robust reporting and actionable insights by layering affiliate tracking links into influencer campaigns; getting a full-funnel view into how influencers drive conversions throughout the consumer journey and better understand the creators, messages and creative that resonate most with your audience.

“These insights build trust between brands and influencers, solidifying relationships and allowing creators to make decisions that actively engage and convert consumers. The outcome? Lasting partnerships that transform influencers into brand ambassadors. After all, when a great storyteller or content creator can directly impact performance growth, it’s a win-win for both parties.”

Authenticity is essential

Izzy Treacy, senior campaign manager, Buttermilk: “Transparency and authenticity are key to building trust in influencer marketing. The recent #deinfluencing trend sparked some controversy amongst advertisers, but it also proved that influencers are striving to be increasingly authentic with their audiences and, in turn, brands are taking more action to encourage transparency in their collaboration.

“Technological developments are key to this – providing brands with improved access to the metrics that matter. As a result, they can clearly understand the impact of their investment and build confidence in future strategies. Additionally, with more tools providing API access directly from the platforms, advertisers can also feel more confident about their influencer selection. Finally, the increase in clear disclosure practices from bodies such as the ASA has created a level of assurance and brand safeguarding for brands investing in influencer marketing.”

By Jessie Sampson

Sourced from The Drum – iab.uk


By Lisa Anthony

Social media marketing can be cost-effective when you pick platforms suited to your business and consistently deliver messages that engage your target audience.

Social media marketing, a type of digital marketing, uses social media platforms to deliver online content to a business’s target audiences. Content is generally designed to build brand awareness and promote products or services, but it can also help a business increase visitors to its website and gather information about followers that can be used in email marketing and other campaigns.

Social media marketing allows you to engage in a more direct way with your target audience, even in one-on-one conversations in some instances. It can be less expensive than other forms of marketing, but it’s also highly competitive due to continuous streams of social posts vying for the attention of consumers. Creating an intentional social media marketing strategy can help you maximize your efforts and improve your return on investment.

How to create a social media marketing strategy

Social media marketing works like other forms of marketing as far as defining goals, identifying a target audience and creating content. However, to keep an active social media presence, a business will need to post regularly on their platforms of choice and regularly monitor brand mentions and customer comments.

Determine your social media marketing goals

Plotting out your goals from the outset will help guide you in the other decisions you’ll need to make, such as which social media platforms to use and the type of content to post.

Here are some general goals that are common to social media marketing:

  • Increase brand awareness.

  • Gain customer insights.

  • Increase sales.

  • Develop leads.

  • Increase website traffic.

  • Respond to customer complaints.

  • Retarget visitors to your website who don’t make purchases.

  • Get followers to share your content on promotional events.

  • Draw attention to a charity or non-profit organization you support.

When possible, be specific when setting goals, but also keep in mind that the success of some of your efforts may be hard to document. For example, it can be more difficult to measure an increase in brand awareness, but the goal of higher website traffic can be documented through marketing tools such as Google Analytics.

Define your target audience

Knowing your customers is important to any marketing effort. Customer information, such as interests, buying behaviors, pain points and demographic details like age, gender and annual income, can help you create content that will interest your target audience.

Also, demographic details may influence your choice of social media platforms. For example, if your target audience is primarily women, you may want to market on a platform that has a higher percentage of women than men. Or, if your target audience is younger, you may want to use a platform that is popular with that age group.

However, with daily users numbering in the millions on many popular platforms, your target audience may be well represented on any platform. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are a few of the platforms that offer audience insights tools you can use to learn about the people using the platform. Talking directly to your customers about which platforms they frequent most can also help inform your social media strategy.

Pick your social media platforms

You may choose to target even more niche social platforms based on your type of business and customers, but here are some of the most popular and how they’re used:

  • Facebook: Text, image and video sharing. A Facebook business page can provide important information about your business and build community.

  • YouTube: Video sharing.

  • Twitter: This social networking platform is mostly used for text-based Tweets, but you can also incorporate images, videos and GIFs.

  • Instagram: Photo and video sharing.

  • TikTok: Video sharing. Compared to YouTube, this is best for shorter videos.

  • Pinterest: Image sharing.

  • LinkedIn: A professional networking platform, LinkedIn is primarily used to market to businesses rather than consumers, or to increase brand awareness by participating in industry-specific forums.

  • Snapchat. Instant messaging, image and video platform.

  • Reddit: Forum-style discussions.

Assess your content needs

The type of content you’ll post on social media will depend on your business, goals and which platforms you’re using. It can range from promotional to educational and should reflect the human characteristics and voice that best define your brand, or your brand personality. For example, if your business sells outdoor gear, your brand personality might be rugged and adventurous. Or, if your business sells products and services for small children, your brand personality might be playful but nurturing.

Social media content can include text, images and videos. You may also be able to link to other content you’ve created such as articles, blogs, e-books and videos. Depending on the platform, there may be limits to what can be included in posts. For example, on Twitter, a Tweet can contain up to 280 characters plus up to four images, videos and/or GIFs.

Your social media marketing efforts might also include the use of digital ads on multiple social media platforms and search engines such as Google and Bing. Each platform will have its own requirements for ads and typically offer content recommendations. For example, YouTube offers step-by-step instructions on creating video ads, with pre-made templates and other tools.

Post consistently

Posting consistently is an important factor in successfully promoting your business on social media. Each business’s posting cadence, whether it’s daily, a few times a week or weekly, will depend on its goals and audience. You’ll also want to factor in the time it takes to produce quality content — a video or high-quality photos may take longer than a text-only Tweet, for instance.

Creating a posting schedule can help your business post consistently — and marketing software can help automate the process. While you can post the same content on all your platforms, it’s better to customize the content for the audience of each individual platform. Plus, as discussed, each platform has unique requirements for postings.

Posting regularly can help a business to:

  • Increase brand authority, credibility and reputation.

  • Build followers.

  • Gain familiarity with the platforms and tools.

  • Establish its brand voice.

  • Improve content rankings on platform feeds.

  • Support paid advertising efforts.

Monitor mentions and respond quickly

It’s important to monitor the mentions of your brand and comments made on your posts. Customers frequently take to a business’s social media when they have customer service questions or complaints. In those instances, responding quickly and positively is key, but aim to resolve the issue privately, by encouraging them to direct message or email your business.

Monitoring mentions — and encouraging customers to post about your business (while tagging your account) — can also help you identify brand advocates and gather user-generated content to repost, which can ease the burden of content creation.

It may take months before you see noticeable progress toward your marketing goals, but social media management tools like Hootsuite, Zoho Social and Buffer can help you monitor your content as well as help with posting, scheduling and measuring results.

By Lisa Anthony

Lisa is a small-business writer at NerdWallet and has more than 20 years of experience in banking and finance. Read more

Sourced from nerdwallet

By Dawit Habtemariam

Destination marketing organizations are gaining followers fast. Now, they have to figure out what actual value Threads can bring to their marketing.

Destination marketing organizations are rushing to join Meta’s Threads: Destination Toronto, Visit Orlando, Visit Utah, Myrtle Beach, Fort Myers and many others have already signed up for the direct competitor to Twitter.

Because Meta owns Facebook and Instagram, these destinations have been able to grow their audiences quickly. Users login to Threads with their Instagram accounts and automatically follow the same people they follow on Instagram.

“We’re at about 10,000 right now. I would say a good 80% of that happened over the weekend,” said Paula Port, Destination Toronto‘s vice president of marketing. Visit Orlando has over 32,000 followers.

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users worldwide, according to Insider Intelligence.

So far, posting activity on Threads by these groups is uneven. Some haven’t posted anything while others like Visit Orlando have been posting daily.

Threads doesn’t offer advertising at the moment, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok are the top spenders on social media advertising.

Destinations have been devoting fewer resources to Twitter. A new problem for Twitter has been the new blue check verification process, which requires a subscription. “We just kind of gone back and forth on what’s the value that we’re seeing there and it seems very unpredictable,” said  Utah Office of Tourism Director of Marketing and Communication Ben Cook.

Destinations haven’t developed a strategy for marketing on Threads. Destination Toronto hasn’t posted much and is reusing the text-based strategy and repurposing content it uses for Twitter. Utah is experimenting with a more humorous voice.


“There is not a huge lift and we’re not going to put a lot of time into developing a huge strategy until we just sort of see where it goes,” said Cook. Audience engagement on the platform looks good so far, he said.

What strategies destinations come up with for Threads depends on the platform’s evolution.

“It feels like it wants to be Twitter, but everyone from Instagram is there,” Port said. “Is Threads going to reduce our need for that news-driven content or is it going to be more like Instagram, which is more curated and has more of a visual aesthetic?”

Meta has not made Threads available in most European countries but hopes to in the near future, Tech Crunch reported.

By Dawit Habtemariam

Sourced from SKIFT

destination marketing, destination marketing organizations, instagram, social media, twitter,

By Samantha Dilday

Who wins in a showdown between user-generated and brand-generated content? Below we dig into the benefits of both (and where influencer-generated content fits in).

Brands today need a high volume of high-quality content to reach social consumers.

But how much of that content should be user-generated vs brand-generated?

Good question! Increasing your social search presence and word-of-mouth means ramping up content production. Bonus points if those posts come from creators.

Chances are you’re producing content in-house side-by-side with sourcing UGC. Both are valuable types of content for brands but scaling either is easier said than done.

Below we dig into the debate of user-generated content vs. brand-generated content. We’ll also look at how influencer-generated content can be a scalable middle-ground.

Defining the Differences Between User-Generated Content vs. Branded Content

Although many marketers use these terms interchangeably, they are not the same.

Let’s quickly recap a couple of definitions and examples so we’re on the same page.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) is content published by customers promoting a product (or brand) that they love. These posts are unprompted and organic.

UGC has become a sort of catch-all phrase among marketers. The rise of UGC creators has made the definition of UGC even more confusing.

That said, “true” user-generated content is organic and created with no direct input from the brand being promoted. No compensation from the brand, either.

This is the key difference between user-generated content and both brand-generated and influencer-generated content. UGC can refer to everything from photos and videos to written content related to a product. This includes:

  • Product reviews and recommendations
  • Tutorials showcasing how products work and fit into daily routines 
  • Stories where consumer share their personal experiences with a product

Short-form video formats like TikTok and Reels are the sources of most UGC today. Below is an example from a TikToker that went viral with a glowing review of a colour-changing lip balm she found at a dollar store.

user-generated content example

Source: @cecelia_styles

Authentic and off-the-cuff, this post is a prime example of how unprompted content can be compelling. The video’s 330k “Likes” and 72k saves speak for themselves. Genuine excitement and enthusiasm are like lightning in a bottle from a marketing perspective.

The beauty of UGC is that it’s totally organic and produced by real customers — not marketers.

This also highlights the biggest challenge of leveraging and collecting UGC. The fact that user-generated content comes from customers organically means it’s unpredictable. This rings true in terms of its quality and the messaging conveyed by the customers.

However, this is exactly what makes a glowing user-generated post so valuable (and why consumers seek them out when researching brands).

What is Brand-Generated Content?

Brand-generated content is promotional content made by marketing teams (in-house or by agencies).  Messaging and creatives are approved and coordinated by the brand.

In short, brand-generated content represents content that your marketing team puts out. These are posts that you control over when it comes to messaging, format and publishing frequency.

Brand-generated content represents a place to establish your brand’s voice, values and aesthetic. Most branded posts are created to raise awareness and keep customers in the loop.

Common examples of brand-generated posts include:

  • Announcements such as upcoming events, product launches and availability
  • Promotions, including time-sensitive offers and deals
  • Culture-centric content like behind-the-scenes videos showing off employee life

Below is a textbook example of a brand-generated post that builds hype for a new product.

crumbl cookies brand-generated content

Source: @crumblcookies

Given that social media (and social search, in particular) is so massive for product discovery, brands are rightfully doubling-down on social content creation and distribution in-house.

Beyond scaling in-house, brands are also collecting user-generated content and sourcing posts from influencers. Doing so is key to keeping up with the TikTok and Instagram algorithms, not to mention the demand of social consumers looking for their next purchases.

The Effectiveness of User-Generated vs. Brand-Generated Content

User-Generated Content Brand-Generated Content
  • More trustworthy and engaging than brand-generated content
  • Always authentic because it’s produced by real people (but quality varies)
  • Can be sourced on an ongoing basis (but requires permission to be repurposed and republished)
  • Offers brand control and conveys the exact message you want to say
  • Authenticity varies depending on the brand’s voice and creatives
  • Can be produced consistently (depending on your bandwidth) and is owned by your brand (no rights management required)

Important: it’s not a matter of either-or when it comes to both types of content for brands.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that exclusively posts UGC. On the flip side, every successful consumer brand on social media features customers and creators in their content strategies. In short, brands need a combo of both.

Debating the effectiveness of user-generated content vs. brand-generated content also requires context. Both types of content for brands have distinct benefits which we break down below.

UGC is More Trustworthy Than Brand-Generated Content

When was the last time you bought something without reading a customer review first?

Chances are you probably can’t remember. Hey, neither can we!

The same goes for your target audience, though. Shoppers today rarely rely on brand messages alone when it comes to researching products.

On the flip side, consumers crave real feedback from real people. Makes sense. This is why it’s no surprise that UGC significantly lifts conversions when customers interact with it.

From customer photos and videos to reviews and beyond, user-generated content can supplement each and every phase of your marketing funnel. This explains why repurposing creator content is such a priority for brands today.

User-Generated Content is Always Authentic

Relatable, unfiltered content helps potential buyers imagine a product in their own hands.

Fact: 88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know above any marketing channel This explains why micro-influencers are so effective when it comes to establishing trust.

Authentic creators with smaller followings feel more like friends or family versus a celebrity. This phenomenon also explains why brands are turning to UGC creators to make promotional content that feels organic.

User-Generated Content Can Be Sourced Long-Term

When there’s a high volume of happy customers posting about your brand, more people will follow suit. Done right, this creates a snowball effect that yields UGC long-term.

Brands with an established branded hashtag can do this organically. The more satisfied customers that tag your brand, the bigger your library of UGC becomes. Below is an example of Billabong’s #KnowTheFeeling tag which has earned over 29k pieces of UGC.

user-generated content example

On that note, creating thousands of pieces of content in-house isn’t realistic (or even possible). Achieving such a high volume of content means leaning on creators and customers to spread the word.

Brand-Generated Content is Yours (With No Strings Attached)

This is a big one.

The benefits of user-generated content over brand-generated content when it comes to authenticity and trust are clear. That said, the housekeeping required with both sourcing and promoting UGC often flies under the radar.

Specifically, user-generated content can be a time-sink when it comes to rights management. This includes reaching out to creators to get explicit permission to republish posts.

With branded content, all of the above is a non-issue because you own your posts full-stop.

Brand-Generated Content Lets Brands Say Exactly What They Want to Say

The unfiltered nature of user-generated content is what makes it so powerful. Creators’ off-the-cuff delivery and unique style really resonate with consumers.

That said, organic UGC usually isn’t necessarily ad-worthy (or even marketing-ready).

Not every satisfied customer is going to align with your brand. Heck, some customers might get details about your products wrong. They might show off your product but never mention your brand by name or explain where followers can find it in-store or online.

But hey, you can’t blame them! Customers aren’t employees.

Branded content created in-house puts you in total control to highlight key benefits and emphasize the specific details of the products that you need.

Brand-Generated Content Can Be Produced Consistently

The inconsistency of UGC isn’t solely limited to quality.

Brand-generated content can be anticipated when it comes to scheduling and publishing frequency. Likewise, your in-house content can align perfectly with launches and promotions.

On the other hand, user-generated content is more sporadic and random.

Organic posts don’t always align with what you’re currently promoting. For example, you can’t source organic user-generated content for a product launch until after the product is released.

Although the value of UGC can’t be denied, it isn’t always consistent in terms of quantity or quality. With branded content, you know exactly what you’re going to get.

In-house content is also reliable and consistent when it comes to meeting your brand’s standards. For example, this post from Vital Proteins is aesthetically pleasing, professionally produced and conveys the brand’s vibe.

brand-generated content example

Source: @vitalproteins

These types of posts are necessary for both establishing your brand and keeping followers in the loop about your products.

How Influencer-Generated Content Gives Brands the Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to user-generated vs brand-generated content, there’s a sort of tug-of-war between authenticity and control.

But consider how brands can find a balance between both via influencer-generated content.

Influencer-generated content refers to posts produced by content creators with creative input from brands (in exchange for compensation).

Done right, posts from influencers feel like organic UGC. This is especially true for brands that partner with micro-influencers that publish relatable, authentic content.

Food for thought: 71% of consumers prefer to discover products through consumer content versus branded ad channels. Although influencer-generated content is brand-directed, it’s not brand-generated. Influencer posts retain their authenticity as a result.

That’s why savvy brands are prioritizing influencer collaborations to create content that looks organic but still aligns with their specific marketing goals.

In short, influencer content bridges the gap between UGC and in-house content. Brands can get their desired messages across while benefiting from creators’ authenticity and personality.

influencer-generated content example

Source: @junebabylove

Let’s wrap things up by breaking down the benefits of influencer content (specifically content from smaller creators versus celebrities).

Influencer-Generated Content Balances Authenticity and Control

Consider that consumers rank influencers as one of their most-trusted marketing channels.

Shoppers trust opinions and seek out the content of authentic creators they can relate to. Unlike organic user-generated content, influencer content offers brands a say in what’s published.

While UGC ticks the boxes of authenticity, most organic UGC isn’t exactly ad-ready. Most brand-generated content is marketing-ready but lacks reliability or personality.

Influencer-generated content is a happy medium between the two as brands provide direction but empower influencers to take the reins when it comes to creativity and delivery.

Brands running creator campaigns in-house are tasked with sharing influencer briefs that balance creative freedom and brand messaging. This process requires keen attention to detail and is exhausting if you plan on running long-term, always-on influencer campaigns.

With Statusphere’s platform, brands can actually streamline and optimize the briefing process without sharing directions themselves.  Our creators are vetted and matched with products based on 250+ first-party data points based on brief brand input.

This means that creators are only matched with products they actively want to promote. Stronger matches mean that creators have a stronger pulse on what to say, what to post and which types of content will resonate most with their audiences.

Influencer Content is Scalable (with the Right Platform)

Relying solely on organic UGC is a challenge when there are so many question marks regarding both volume and quality. Meanwhile, scaling content in-house can only take brands so far when competitors are earning hundreds or thousands of posts per month from creators.

That’s yet again where influencer marketing campaigns can pick up the slack.

Working with a high volume of micro-influencers long-term offers an actionable way for brands to scale content production without sacrificing quality. Making this happen means using an influencer platform like Statusphere that generates a guaranteed number of posts for brands.

Influencer-Generated Content Boosts Paid Social Performance

The value of influencer-generated content extends far beyond your social feed.

For example, consider how brands are transforming their top-performing influencer posts through whitelisting (AKA “allowlisting”) on TikTok and Instagram.

Check out the Spark Ad on TikTok from Isle of Paradise below. This ad campaign earned 45+ million views in total, not to mention a 68% boost in weekly paid revenue (versus the previous nine weeks of their campaign).

spark ad example

Source: TikTok

Note: having content rights built into your influencer platform means you can use your creator content in ads without any manual outreach or back-and-forth.

How to Earn  Influencer-Generated Content at Scale

Shoppers crave honest recommendations from people they trust. Simple as.

That’s why creator content is a goldmine for marketers.

Sourcing organic user-generated content and creating thoughtful brand-generated content are both important for brands today.

Meanwhile, ongoing influencer-generated content keeps your brand visible in social search and likewise means more potential for marketing-ready content you can promote elsewhere.

If you need a scalable way to earn authentic branded content, Statusphere’s platform can help.

Our micro-influencer software matches brands with vetted influencers from our creator community. Unlike other platforms, we can guarantee a specific volume of content for brands.

Statusphere eliminates the most time-consuming pieces of running an influencer campaign in-house thanks to our advanced matchmaking and fulfillment technology. We’ve already generated 75,000+ pieces of content on behalf of 400+ consumer brands.

Want to see how our platform works? Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how we can optimize your brand’s marketing efforts with guaranteed content at scale.

By Samantha Dilday

Sourced from STATUSPHERE

By Cynthia Littleton

How do you make money in the emerging creator economy? Who better to answer this question than street-level entrepreneurs who were on duty working the show floor and environs on June 22 at Vidcon, fan convention for creators and influencers held annually in Anaheim, Calif.

If you’re going to hawk a product or service all day at a convention, you’d better master the 60-second pitch. The seven street-level entrepreneurs who spoke to Variety‘s for this week’s “Strictly Business” podcast offered insights into where the opportunity is and where the market is heading for creators and influencers who aim to ply their trade largely virtually via social, streaming and e-commerce platforms. The companies represented are involved in distribution, technology and visual effects, e-commerce, marketing and promotion and matchmaking between brands and influencers.

Here’s a sampling of observations:

From Annette Lapham, head of marketing for DeepMotion 3D animation firm, on the use of AI in content creation.

“We see it as a tool. People can use it as a tool. Even animators, we work directly with animators, and they use it as a tool to really cut out a lot of that hard work that can now focus on the elements of their craft that can involve like polishing and making things really refined. But as to where we’re going with generative AI, we’re about to announce a new product of ours, generative AI animation. And so we think about how easy it would be to do just input text alone, and create animation. That’s kind of the direction where we’re going,” she said.

From Nathn, growth marketing manager for MyShop, an e-commerce platform owned by China’s DHgate.

“This is what we call social commerce. And right now, the three main problems is like the link sharing is an organizational nightmare. The payments, usually every platform pays the same and it’s kind of hard. And also the art of choosing the next product you’re going to talk about, it’s usually a guess work. We want to help you. We have like AI technology that will analyse content from platforms in Asia, from Tik Tok, etc. And we give you recommended trends depending on your niche. So if you’re a makeup creator, we’ll give you some makeup tools that are viral in Asia or viral over regions of the world that you should maybe consider checking and making content about,” he said.

From Jeff Ruby, head of sales for StreamYard, a stream-hosting platform that makes it easier for creators to incorporate professional touches into their feeds.

“The likes of streamyard, some of these other platforms that allow, because we’re not we’re not competing with the YouTubes and the Twitch of the world. You’re using our platform, so it looks more professional when you’re producing your content on those platforms. Right. So I think it’s a differentiator, right? I could be in my basement with a phone or I could be having very high quality video with my branding, call to actions, brand deals, things like that,” he said.”

From Mike Diaz, long-time staffer at the Mogul Moves merchandise company run by prominent YouTuber Lugwig Ahgren.

“We were thinking about the idea of adding on more clients and what that looked like. And I think we ultimately decided that the scale-up to have a company that’s profitable and that is just making merch for other people is only really profitable in a meaningful way at a very high number, which is what we didn’t want to do. So this is more of like, we make more boutique-esque like cut-and-sew items for a small number of creators now. So that’s what we do.”

By Cynthia Littleton

Sourced from Variety

By Sam Driver

Navigating the digital landscape, you’ve probably heard of the term ‘social selling.’

But what does it actually mean? And how can it turbocharge your business?

Well, think of it as the ultimate modern sales technique, leveraging your social networks to build relationships and close deals.

From reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn to leveraging customer testimonials on Facebook, there are many ways to win at this game.

So, ready to turn your social media prowess into sales power?

Let’s jump in.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling isn’t just another marketing jargon. It’s an evolved sales methodology designed to function seamlessly in the digital era.

Harnessing the power of social media platforms, it’s about finding and interacting with potential customers in their natural online habitat.

Let’s delve deeper into this concept…

Imagine you’re at a networking event. Instead of bombarding strangers with your sales pitch, you opt for a softer approach.

You mingle, listen, provide valuable input, and slowly develop relationships.

Social selling is similar, only it takes place on the virtual corridors of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms.

But it isn’t a process of randomly approaching anyone online.

It involves strategic listening, observing potential clients’ online activity, understanding their needs, and then initiating conversations that provide value.

For instance, you might come across a LinkedIn post by a potential client who’s facing challenges your product can solve.

Instead of directly pitching your product, you could share a helpful article addressing those issues, subtly showcasing your solution.

In essence, social selling moves away from the era of cold calling and unsolicited emails, enabling you to engage in more fruitful and less anxiety-inducing sales conversations with interested buyers.

Why is Social Selling Important?

a women looking up social selling on her phone

Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, so social selling involves using social media. But why should I bother?”

Well, here are a few benefits that might change your mind:

  • Improved lead generation: With social selling, you’re not just throwing darts in the dark. You’re able to target audiences that are already interested in what you’re offering. Hence, you can improve the quality of your leads.
  • Enhanced customer relationships: Social selling isn’t just about the sale; it’s about building relationships. You’re engaging with potential clients on a platform they’re comfortable with, leading to better connections and trust.
  • Increased sales: With improved leads and better relationships, it’s no surprise that social selling can boost your sales. According to LinkedIn’s social selling index, sales reps who leverage social selling tools are 51% more likely to exceed their quotas.

With these benefits in mind, let’s transition into some top tips and strategies to help you unlock your social selling potential.

11 Top Social Selling Tips That’ll Skyrocket Your Sales

People checking their phones for social selling

If you’re set on embracing the world of social selling, you’ll need more than a basic understanding.

Here’s where best practices come in — consider them your survival kit in the vast digital jungle of social selling…

1. Leverage LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is not just a tool — it’s a treasure chest filled with nuggets of invaluable customer insights.

This advanced LinkedIn tool is designed to help you find the right prospects, understand their needs, and engage them with personalized outreach.

For instance, with its lead and company search feature, you can filter by job role, company size, and industry, among others, to find your ideal customers.

Moreover, it provides real-time updates about your prospects, such as job changes and shared posts, giving you a reason to engage.

Remember, sales pitches are out; insightful, personalized engagement is in.

So use these insights to approach potential customers with something valuable to them, increasing your chances of striking up a meaningful conversation.

2. Engage in Social Listening

Social listening goes beyond merely monitoring your social media mentions. It involves analysing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but your industry as a whole.

For example, you might notice a rising trend or common pain point among your customers.

By addressing these in your interactions or content, you show prospects that you understand and care about their needs, making your brand more attractive.

So, make it a daily habit to listen in on the buzz, then respond strategically, placing your brand right at the heart of the conversation.

3. Promote Employee Advocacy

Your team members are not just employees; they’re your secret brand ambassadors waiting to be activated.

When they share your company’s content, they help humanize your brand and extend your reach into their diverse social networks.

For instance, a software engineer sharing a company blog post about a new feature they developed not only promotes your product but also showcases the brains behind your operations.

This type of content adds a personal touch, which can resonate with customers and build trust in your brand.

Remember, people connect with people, so fostering employee advocacy can be a huge win for your social selling efforts.

4. Partner with Influencers

Influencer partnerships can dramatically amplify your reach and boost your credibility.

But it’s not about picking any influencer; it’s about choosing the right one who aligns with your brand and can add value to your audience.

For example, if you’re a fitness equipment company, partnering with a respected fitness coach on Instagram can help your products get in front of the right eyes.

The influencer could share workout videos using your equipment, providing value to their followers while showcasing your products.

Thus, the key to successful influencer partnerships is finding those whose values align with yours, whose audience matches your target customers, and who can showcase your products or services in a way that adds value to their followers.

5. Prioritize Content Marketing

The value of high-quality, relevant content can’t be overstated. Effective content marketing isn’t about overt promotion; it’s about establishing yourself as a trusted thought leader within your industry.

This means sharing articles, infographics, and videos that not only pique the interest of potential buyers but also provide them with actionable insights.

For instance, if you’re in the SaaS industry, share tips on maximizing software productivity or post a how-to video for a common software problem.

By consistently offering valuable content, you attract potential customers, facilitate meaningful sales conversations, and organically boost your brand reputation.

6. Track Social Selling Statistics

While instinct plays a part in social selling, it should never be your primary decision-making tool.

Use social media analytics to track your efforts and understand which strategies work and which don’t.

For example, measure engagement rates to understand what content resonates with your audience or track conversion rates to see which tactics drive sales.

Adjust your approach based on data, not just gut feelings.

This constant analysis and adjustment make your efforts more targeted, increasing the efficacy of your social selling strategy.

7. Utilize a Variety of Social Platforms

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to social selling.

Each platform has its unique demographic and engagement style, and your approach should reflect that.

LinkedIn, with its professional focus, is perfect for B2B outreach and networking, while Facebook and Instagram might be better suited for B2C and lifestyle brands.

Twitter, with its concise, real-time communication, is ideal for industry news and quick updates.

Be sure to optimize your messaging to align with the platform. A diversified presence allows you to reach a broader audience and tap into the unique opportunities each platform provides.

8. Focus on Building Relationships

Social selling is more about cultivating relationships than making a quick sale. It’s a long-term strategy, not a quick fix.

Engage with your followers by responding to their comments, answering their queries, and even participating in discussions on their posts when relevant.

For instance, if a potential client posts a question about industry trends, provide an insightful response or link to a helpful article.

This type of engagement builds a relationship based on trust and respect, positioning you as a go-to resource. This rapport will naturally lead to sales conversions over time.

Remember, in social selling, relationships are the soil from which sales grow.

9. Personalize Your Outreach

You’ve likely been on the receiving end of a generic sales message before — it’s about as thrilling as watching paint dry, right?

So, to truly engage with your potential customers, make sure your outreach efforts are personalized.

Study their profiles, understand their interests, and reflect on their needs. By doing this, you can tailor your messages to resonate with them on a deeper level.

For example, if you see a potential customer post about sustainability efforts in their industry, don’t just send them a message about your product. Instead, talk about how your product aligns with their sustainability goals.

By personalizing your messages in this way, you’re showing that you genuinely understand and care about their needs, which will in turn build trust and connection.

10. Stay Consistent with Posting

Posting a picture on social media

Consistency is the backbone of any successful social media strategy. Just as your favourite TV show has a consistent airing schedule, your social media accounts should also follow a regular posting pattern.

This keeps your brand fresh in the minds of your followers and demonstrates your dedication to engaging with them.

Establish a content calendar to keep track of what you’re posting and when.

Mix it up with a variety of content types — blog posts, whitepapers, user-generated content, case studies — to keep your audience engaged.

Plus, regularly updating your social media accounts may help improve your SEO rankings, which leads to greater visibility online.

11. Always Provide Value

Social selling isn’t a one-way street; it’s about fostering a beneficial relationship between you and your audience.

This means ensuring that every interaction — be it a blog post, an insightful comment, or a helpful tip — provides value to your audience.

Think of your social media platforms as a resource hub for your followers.

Sharing helpful tips, industry insights, and useful resources not only educates your audience but also positions you as a thought leader in your industry.

For example, if you’re in the software business, regularly sharing tips on maximizing software efficiency or guides on choosing the right software can be incredibly valuable for your audience.

Embracing the Future with Social Selling

social media lead generation featured

Perhaps you’re sitting there, a tad overwhelmed…

We get it.

But remember, it’s not just about selling — it’s about building relationships and connecting in meaningful ways.

You’ve got the tools, you’ve got the know-how, and now, you’ve got the insights from this definitive guide.

So, it’s time to take the reins, harness the power of your social networks, and skyrocket your sales.

The world of social selling is your oyster — go out there and make some pearls!

By Sam Driver

Sam is an Associate Editor for Smart Blogger and family man who loves to write. When he’s not goofing around with his kids, he’s honing his craft to provide lasting value to anyone who cares to listen.

Sourced from SmartBlogger

Pinterest has a lot to offer both beginner and experienced photographers. Here’s how you can make the most of this undercover social media site.

Pinterest is a network where many people seek inspiration for their own creative ideas, and it’s also a spot where those with an open mindset can successfully promote their photography skills.

Whether you work with clients or create your own products (or both), you’ve got plenty of opportunities to use Pinterest effectively. In this guide, you will discover seven possible things you can try when using the platform.

1. Finding Inspiration From Other Photographers

A Pinterest board showing different photography styles

If you’ve ever used Pinterest in a smaller capacity before, it was probably to find inspiration. It’s a great place to look for ideas related to travel, food, lifestyle, and much more. And whether you’re a beginner to photography or a seasoned professional, Pinterest can help you advance your skills even further.

When using Pinterest, you can find inspiration from other photographers in your field. For example, you can look for new locations to capture in your local area or potential ways to place items in a photoshoot if you want to improve your product photography.

Pinterest is also useful if you want to look at new aesthetics to adjust your editing style. You can then advance your editing skills in Lightroom once you’ve saved some ideas.

2. Learning More About Photography as a Craft

Photo of a photographer inside a greenhouse surrounded by plants

Finding inspiration from other photographers is one way to get better at your craft, but it’s not necessarily the most efficient way to do so. For many people, the best way to become a better street photographer (or excel in any genre, for that matter) is to absorb information and put it into action.

Pinterest might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about where you can learn more about photography. However, it’s an excellent place to find practical resources, such as blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes.

Many creators publish pins of what they share elsewhere on Pinterest, and you’ll also find the outbound link here. You can use the search bar on Pinterest to find topics (such as “photography tips”). When you see something that you want to refer to later, save it as a pin within a mood board.

If you enjoy using Pinterest, and your favourite browser is Firefox, consider trying these Pinterest add-ons for Firefox.

3. Drive Bookings for Photoshoots

An external hard disk drive plugged into a laptop

For many photographers, photoshoots are a popular income stream. In addition to being skilled at your craft, you also need to market your services to your target audience. Social media in general is ideal for doing that, and Pinterest can help you get your work in front of others who may wish to do business with you.

When using Pinterest as a photographer, you can share your best work in separate pins. To bring all of these together, consider creating a board that others can access. Each time you share a pin that includes a portfolio piece, you can provide a brief description of what you do. If a user likes what they see, they can click on the link you include and book a shoot directly with you.

If you use pins for photoshoot bookings, it’s worth mentioning the locations you’re willing to work in. Giving others an idea of where you’re based is also wise.

Are you trying to build your portfolio? Consider trying different creative photoshoot ideas at home.

4. Promote Products From Your Online Store

Although many photographers begin their careers with client work, running a business has the beauty of opening your eyes to plenty of other income-generating opportunities. It’s not uncommon for experienced photographers to launch their own products later on, including selling prints and photography books.

When promoting your photography services, you’ll need to build awareness around the products in your store if you want to maximize your earning potential. Pinterest is a handy place for doing precisely that.

To help promote products from your online store, you should think about what the end result is for the buyer. For example, if you create and sell Lightroom presets, showcase what a picture looks like before and after applying it. Similarly, if you sell prints, you can show how the photo looks when it appears on someone’s wall

5. Finding Other Local Photographers

Search results on Pinterest for Copenhagen photographers


Although many people have a camera on their smartphone these days, being truly passionate about photography—to the point of learning more about the craft—is a lot more rare. As a result, you may find your life as a photographer quite lonely if you don’t make an effort to meet like-minded people.

There are many ways that social media brings people together, and one of its greatest benefits is that you can find people living near you with related interests. If you’re looking for other photographers, you can use Pinterest in a similar way to Instagram by typing your location followed by “photographer” in the search bar.

When you see a photographer that interests you, you can send them a message on Pinterest. Alternatively, see if they have any other social media accounts and contact them on those.

6. Asking Clients to Find Photoshoot Styles That Interest Them

A Pinterest board with different photoshoot ideas


Like selling a service in any other business, it’s essential that you understand what your client wants from a photoshoot. The best way to do this is by asking in advance—or even better, asking your client to provide examples of what they’re looking for.

You can tell clients to create a board with different ideas on Pinterest, and once they’ve done this, they can provide you with the link. Alternatively, you can create a board of ideas you’ve got and send your proposals to see if the other party is happy.

When creating boards for this phase, you can always make them private if you want. You can find out how to use secret boards on Pinterest in a separate guide.

7. Promoting Pins via Advertising

Like many other social media networks, Pinterest offers an avenue for paid advertising if you want to get in front of more people. Of course, you’ll need a budget to use Pinterest advertising—but once you’re established, you may find that this is a useful option for getting in front of more users.

When advertising on Pinterest, make sure you understand who you’re trying to reach with your photography. Moreover, you should set a clear limit on how much you’re willing to spend in advance.

Pinterest: A Powerful Platform for Photographers

Pinterest has several uses for photographers, and it can help both those who work with clients and photographers who sell products. Even if you’re only in your early days as a photographer, you can find significant value in using Pinterest to discover different photography styles and resources.

Now that you’ve read this guide, you should have a better idea of how you can make the most out of this still-underrated social media platform. Why not experiment with each of these tips?

By Danny Maiorca

Danny specializes in writing about productivity and also enjoys exploring different creative disciplines, especially photography. He has a degree in Sports Journalism and has been writing professionally since 2016.

Sourced from MUO

By Eugene Varricchio

We hear a lot about influencers in marketing circles today. It’s a relatively new term, but the concept is not a new one. When mass media advertising was king, brands used the term “endorsement.” The trend skyrocketed in the 1980s, leading to sports celebrities like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo, who reportedly earned more money from endorsements than from athletics.

The word “influencer” arose in the early 2000s along with the rise of reality shows like The Bachelor, Big Brother and especially Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Then came the great leveller, social media, where user-generated content transformed some everyday content creators into influencers in their own right.

Distinguishing Between Content Creators And Influencers

It’s become important to distinguish between content creators and influencers in our current social media landscape. Today, influencers typically focus on compensation from the brands they promote, whereas content creators engage in labors of love. Content creators produce their work because they’re passionate about self-expression. Brands may approach them with unsolicited sponsorship offers, but compensation isn’t their top priority.

I believe this distinction explains the backlash arising toward influencer marketing. Increasingly, social media users are demanding authenticity in content marketing while denouncing sponsored content.

From a hard-nosed business perspective, social media platforms produce audiences to sell to advertisers. They view content as the raw material that drives their audience-manufacturing processes. Media outlets have always chosen content that appeals to their sponsors’ targeted demographic. However, there’s a fine line between content that attracts an audience and content created to exploit it.

The difference has to do with intent. Social media audiences trust passionate content creators who have a sincere desire to share experiences. They also tend to shun those influencers they deem to be in it for the money.

Authenticity Outweighs Production Values On Social Media

Content that is raw, unfiltered and even amateurish can easily go viral if it has something genuine and heartfelt to say. That’s why industry watchers see video as the future of content marketing. It’s harder to be insincere on video, and video imagery is more difficult (although not impossible) to fake.

Raw footage uploaded straight from a smartphone has a distinctive authenticity. For example, heavily doctored videos depicting pristine tourist destinations lower trust, while unadulterated footage of locations in their natural state can inspire confidence. Recruiting paid influencers may work for massive, multinational brands, but I would argue that neighborhood businesses should focus their social media marketing on attracting authentic content creators.

For example, local restaurants tend to benefit far more from sincere online reviews from paying customers than from “internet-famous” influencers. Customer-generated videos capturing a restaurant’s ambiance may be the most trustworthy marketing content available today.

Case Study: Frankensons

Recently, Joseph Labour of the Today Show reported on an encounter between a local Las Vegas pizzeria, Frankensons, and an up-and-coming TikToker named Keith Lee. Without informing Frank Steele, Frankensons’ owner, an employee of the struggling restaurant emailed Lee, inviting him to sample the fare.

Lee received no compensation for his onsite video review, and paid for all the food he sampled, leaving him out of pocket by $86.73. He gave the venue a sincere, positive review, specifically recommending the lemon pepper wings and the garlic knots.

Only hours after Lee’s video review went live, Frankensons had a new lease on life. The TikToker’s review drew over 31 million views in its first week.

“Our phone never stopped ringing,” Steele told the Today Show. “I’ve sold more lemon pepper wings in the last two days than I have in the past four months. I made more garlic knots yesterday and the day before than I’ve ever made.”

This is just one example of the impact sincere video reviews from objective content creators can deliver to local restaurateurs. Lee’s unpaid recommendation did more for Frankensons’ traffic than any paid advertising could ever have achieved.

I believe content creators are the future for business promotion. Online customer videos can lift establishments above the deluge of questionable and ineffective reviews swamping the internet. To succeed, businesses should focus on finding ways to attract authentic content creators to their locations. It costs nothing, and the results can be priceless.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Eugene Varricchio

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

CEO, Franki Global Inc.   Read Eugene Varricchio’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

According to recent reports, a leaked marketing clip has provided a sneak peek into Instagram’s rumoured text-based app that could compete with Twitter.

According to recent reports, a leaked marketing clip has provided a sneak peek into Instagram’s rumoured text-based app that could potentially compete with Twitter. The app, which has been codenamed P92 or Barcelona, is referred to as “Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations” in the slide, according to The Verge report.

Users will have the convenience of signing in to the app with their existing Instagram username and password. Furthermore, their followers, handle, bio, and verification will seamlessly transfer over from the main Instagram app, the report said. The leaked marketing slides reveal that the new app resembles a combination of Instagram and Twitter, featuring a feed where users can make text posts up to 500 characters long, complete with attached links, photos, and videos.

Is Instagram planning to enter the Twitter arena?

According to the reports, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, seems to prioritise moderation controls from the outset. The leaked marketing slide mentions that users will have settings to manage who can reply to their posts and mention their accounts. It also suggests that any accounts blocked on Instagram will carry over to this new text-based app.

In an intriguing move, the app will also introduce an element of decentralisation. The slide indicates that compatibility with certain other apps like Mastodon is in the works, allowing users from these apps to search for, follow, and interact with profiles and content on the Instagram text app. This compatibility is likely to be achieved through ActivityPub, a protocol explored by Meta and other technology companies.

Should the app be widely released, it could further solidify Instagram’s popularity as a social media platform. As Twitter faces ongoing challenges, many users are actively seeking alternative platforms to share tweet-like updates. Instagram’s potential entry into this space could present a compelling option for those seeking a new online destination.

While the leaked marketing clip has generated excitement, official confirmation and further details from Instagram or Meta are still awaited, leaving users and industry observers eager for official announcements.

Feature Image Credit: Unsplash/Representative

By Ajay Sharma