Discover more from Chasing Rabbbits
🐇 Rabbbit Spottting: 🔭 The Year of Community?
The Instagram hustle, pulling back the TikTok curtain, other tech giants, robots! & more!
For those interested, I'm planning a slight change in the content and schedule of these emails. More info at the bottom.
This weeek: More Social Signals, Where’s Your Audience?, and a Slow Trickle of Robots. Just care about digital ad stuff? Scroll to the bottom.
👥 Social Signals
Will the trend for social media platforms this year be...
Instagram is in full hustle mode to stave off TikTok, lawsuits, and regulation while also increasing its chances of raking in money via more engagement and brand appeal.
The newest test is collaborative collections; or, Pinterest in Instagram (Pinstagram!).
Turn saved posts into a board you can share with others. The potential for brands lies in community building and curated shopping experiences. Worth a test.
On the "we care about our users (plz don't sue us)" front, it's added a Quiet Mode, which is basically Apple’s do not disturb but just for IG notifications. Keyword blocking so you can avoid personal trigger words. And more.
But brands ❤️ Reels, so at least they have that.
And if your community is professional, don't forget about LinkedIn. If Reels aren't for you, maybe LinkedIn Live Events are. The platform put together a handy infographic if that's your kind of thing. (More below)
And The VidCon Title Sponsor Is…
As the unicorse would say: aaaaaaaannnndddd why should I care?*
Because it took the spot back from TikTok. The two platforms are locked in a heavyweight fight for the hearts and minds of creators. And wallets, as YouTube will begin monetizing Shorts (aka TikTok in the Red Box) next month.
The Clock is Ticking?
TikTok is clapping back at YouTube with...podcasts! That's what it's calling it, but it’s really more like YouTube playing in the background if you’re a paying subscriber. While everyone else is chasing short form video the trendsetter is going audio.
If The Clock App does crack open its algorithm for inspection, will other platforms get a peek? If they do, will they learn anything useful? If everything is suddenly the For You feed does TikTok maintain its magic?
This speculation is all assuming the algorithm actually is "magic" and it's not just the people behind the curtain boosting content for brands, personalities, and friends and family making things go viral.
And who forgot to tell them about the ad spend slowdown?
As budgets increase for TikTok ads, it appears a standardized playbook is taking shape.
The moves on display from TikTok advertisers nowadays are starting to resemble a tried and tested playbook.
What works for a lot of them these days seems to be to run TikTok ads in conjunction with influencer marketing. So they use paid ads to essentially boost content they think could, or is, getting traction among users.”
But as ad dollars shift, opportunity opens on the losing platforms.
Buckle Up Twitter
Mastodon has arrived. You can now schedule your toots via Buffer.
*is it obvious I’m a dad now?
🕵️♂️ Where’s Your Audience?
Maybe on Roblox.
December daily active users rose 18% and hours engaged rose 21% to 4.7B. That’s a lot.
But maybe not in China.
China’s population dropped for the first time since Mao’s great famine. And the birth rate is the lowest it’s been since it went communist.
The country has reached a crossroads in its development, but the splintering of supply chains could lessen its impact on the global economy.
Related: keep an eye on India.
Oh and co-founder Reed Hastings is stepping down as CEO. Probably unrelated. (This was announced right after The ‘Flix reported it crushed new subscriber projections, so maybe he’s pulling a Jordan or Jay-Z. (The first time they retired.))
850+ million members. $5B in annual revenue. 22%+ increase in various engagements.
The sleeper feature: LinkedIn Live Events. 231% growth in attendance. If your brand is considering doing it live, maybe do it on LinkedIn.
Luxury and resale are in. (Especially with The Youth.)
Amazon Prime is out?
Thrift is the theme of the year so far.
And your customers really don't want to hear from you that much.
More on these in this weeek's retail.tea.leaves.
How To Be Sophisticated
Want to be fancy in 2023? Alan R Newton, COO and Co-Founder of virtuall, has you covered:
the more sophisticated marketers will be more advanced in mapping the ideal customer pathways and creating engaging and emotive experiences that motivate action.
Wants to Be Shown, Not Told
A great question from Marketing Max:
How can you articulate the absence of your product without even showing what happens when your product is present?
🤖 A Slow Trickle of Robots
The hottest algorithm on the planet right now is TikTok's For You feed. But is it all a lie?
TikTok can manually boost videos into the For You feed to juice views. It’s one hell of a talent attraction feature. And one hell of a hornet’s nest for a congresscritter to kick.
But The Trend Machine really doesn’t want to get banned. To the point it might just be willing to crack open that coveted algorithm for inspection.
Hey Siri, does Apple smell blood in the voice assistant water with Amazon’s Alexa woes?
Can Apple figure out how to monetize voice search?
It had to learn something from the success of AirPods, right?
And it looks like my moderately hot take from last week is cooling off by the moment, Google has a ChatGPT competitor almost ready for launch. Why the wait? They want it to be more like Wikipedia and less like Twitter.
Ads Meet More AI
What's hotter than retail media networks and AI right now? AI for retail media networks!
Less flashy, Google Ads experiments come to Performance Max campaigns. Between this and Analytics 4, it’s starting to feel like the company has adopted the “build in public” mindset on a grand scale.
Generative AI (Algorithmic Insecurity)
According to some headlines, AIs like ChatGPT are the end of education or our need to write or maybe even humans in general.
For marketing specifically, it ranges from we'll never need to write ads again to who needs human interns?
But I like this take from Michael Hoffman, CEO of Gather Voices:
In 2023, we are going to be overrun with mediocre and bland AI-produced content. As Ezra Klein put it, the cost of bullshit will go to zero. What that means for us is that marketers will only break through with authenticity. Real people. Real voices. Real stories. Real opinions. The best of it will be on video.
🍪 Ad Snacks
Only care about what's happening in the world of digital advertising? Here're your quick hits:
If you run ads on retail media networks, you might want to check out Neon, an AI that compares performance across the networks and uses predictive analytics to help you allocate budgets more efficiently. At least that's what it says on the box.
Performance Max campaigns are getting experiments. Slowly becoming a real, live Google Ads product.
LinkedIn recently shared a bunch of platform metrics that make it sound like you should try running some ads there. At least to get the conversation going.
There are a lot of people spending a lot of time on Roblox.
Shell bought an electric vehicle charging station company / network. The chargers have screens that play ads. Electric vehicle drivers have money, right? Seems like an audience tailor made for someone to reach. (Of course, those same drivers probably have expensive screens in their pockets too.)
Apple is probably a top 25 player in the ad market.
The Metal & Glass Rectangles Company could soon become a major player in digital advertising, and might even break out specific revenue numbers if/when it does. But I have a question…
Your challenge for the weeek…
Think up an ad that sells your product / service without saying what it is or showing what it does.
Like the McDonald's ad above.
Rabbbits Weeekly is now Spottting Rabbbits, which will focus more on trends and less directly on headlines. Like last weeek's RW. I'm aiming to push these out on Wednesday, or Trendsday as I think of it now (yes, a lot of these changes are due to inane wordgames I played in my head, welcome to my brain).
I might still do some kind of streamlined headline roundup somewhere, but not sure what form that will take. I'll also be creating a list of my go-to sources so that you can fill out your feed if you want. But mainly, with the number of sources and sites out there, I feel like another headline round up in this space isn't super valuable. So instead, opinions! (Just what everyone wants more of.)
Some other ideas I'm playing around with:
A Monday Memo that covers a tip or topic I think might be useful for marketers (podcast notes, book notes, anecdotes, sweet advice I ran across, etc).
Publishing Retail Tea Leaves as a weeekly thing on LinkedIn to test that platform out.
Doing more strategy-related writing, which will post on, you guessed it, Straturday.
Is there something you want more or less of from me? Comment or reply and let me know.
Thanks for reading!