Instagram Expands Reels to 60 Seconds

Instagram Reels 60 seconds

Instagram announced that their Reels length limit is being extended from 30 seconds to 60 seconds for all users.

Instagram has been experimenting with longer Reels for some time now. Last September, Instagram extended Reels from 15 to 30 seconds. And given that TikTok now enables the upload of longer clips (up to 3 minutes), and YouTube Shorts (another TikTok competitor) can also be up to 60 seconds in length. It was only a matter of time before Instagram followed the trend and extended the length of time users had to upload to Reels.

Instagram already enables longer video uploads in its other elements. Regular feed videos can be up to 60 seconds, while you can also upload longer videos in 15-second snippets to Stories, and hour-long clips to IGTV.

The extension of Reels clips starts to bleed into IG’s other functions, which maybe makes it a less definitive option within the broader Instagram experience. It can give more users the capacity to create longer clips, or re-purpose the same posts that they’re already uploading to TikTok and YouTube Shorts anyway. By moving in line with the other platforms, Instagram seems to be welcoming more cross-posting, which will give it more content for Reels. The only problem is that it may also make for a more repetitive experience across apps.

Instagram is currently experimenting with a new, TikTok-like display format for Explore, which does mash all of the content into a single format. That will certainly help your page get discovered, but what about all the other publishing options Instagram has?

Will you be posting longer Reels? Is Instagram becoming too much? Let us know in the comments below.

Facebook Launching Newsletter Platform ‘Bulletin’

As a way to keep creators on the network, Facebook announced their new newsletter platform, Bulletin. The new site will be a place for writers and podcasters to publish content and build a subscriber base right on the platform itself.

As this new platform is in development, Facebook is testing tools and features with a small number of selected writers but shares an overview of what’s to come.  

Facebook explains Bulletin as:

“Through Bulletin, we want to support these creators, and unify our existing tools with something that could more directly support great writing and audio content — from podcasts to Live Audio Rooms — all in one place. We respect the work of writers and want to be clear that anyone who partners with us will have complete editorial independence.”

Source.

With Bulletin, creators will own the rights to their content and subscribers list, although the platform will still be dependent on Facebook’s infrastructure. For example, subscribers don’t have to have a Facebook account to access free content but they will need to set up an account to use Facebook Pay for any transactions and subscription fees to the creators they follow. An account seems to also be necessary to enjoy some of the subscription perks, such as being a member of special Facebook groups. Bulletin will also be on a separate site, but its articles and podcasts will appear in users’ Facebook News Feed and within the Facebook News sections for distribution. 

In addition to writers, Bulletin also wants to attract podcasters to join their platform as well. Their announcement says Bulletin will include tools that allow the distribution of podcasts, including those that are hosted elsewhere, with additional audio features that remain unspecified for now. A great way for podcasters to expand the reach of their shows.

Creators will have access to Facebook’s existing tools like Facebook Live and Audio Rooms to connect with their audience and keep the discussion going with some moderation tools like turning off comments or allowing only paid subscribers to comment altogether. The biggest perk for now joining Bulletin: Facebook says it won’t take a fee from creators “at launch,” and writers retain full ownership of their work and subscriber list.

Bulletin is a direct answer to the growing popularity of Substack and other newsletter products. Substack is used by a number of major writers and the company has been courting talent with guaranteed payments. Twitter also recently purchased Revue, another newsletter platform, though it hasn’t done very much to integrate it into the social network yet. Substack takes a 10 percent cut of subscriptions, while Revue takes a 5 percent cut.

Facebook has been trying for a while now to keep creators, of all kinds, on the platform. This new tool is just another way Facebook is looking to incentivize these creators. Will you be using Bulletin? Let us know in the comments below.

You Can Soon Publish Instagram Content via Desktop

Instagram Desktop Digital Scoop

In development for the last few months, Instagram is testing the capability to publish posts from your desktop with a small group of users. Something marketers have been waiting for! 

Some users are now seeing the desktop posting “+” icon in the top bar of instagram.com. When clicked, that then enables users to upload images or videos directly from their computer hard drive. Once you add your media, you then have access to all the same in-app options for editing posts, including image formatting tools and filters. You can then upload them, direct from the site, giving you another way to manage your Instagram content and process, which will make life much easier for those who manage multiple accounts.

Instagram has been slow to implement features on desktop. Direct messaging only became available last year, for example. Instagram has been building out its desktop functionality over time. Last year, it also added the capacity to view live streams from the desktop version of the app, while it also improved the Stories viewing experience on computers.

However, users have been able to upload content and IGTV to Instagram feeds from desktops since 2019 via Facebook’s Creator Studio app. The Creator Studio, available for only business accounts, doesn’t provide access to all of the regular Instagram editing tools, which could be another advantage of this new desktop option.

At the moment, the updated feature doesn’t allow Stories or Reels uploads, but additional tests have shown that IGTV uploads are also in the works, which likely suggests that full posting functionality is coming in the near future.

The option to upload from the desktop could be a big boost for social media managers who are looking to streamline their workflow, and more easily publish graphics from other editing tools. Unfortunately, just like everything else that Facebook does, it’s not available to everybody just yet. Instagram says that this is a small test for now, with a view to further expansion soon.

Will you use the desktop version when it becomes available, or will you continue to manage your account via mobile devices?

Signs Your Social Media Needs An Overhaul

Social Media Overhaul

Your social media marketing and overall digital strategy is an investment of time, money, and effort, so we understand when businesses are disappointed when they don’t get the results they were looking for. It sometimes can be difficult to figure out what’s gone wrong or to even realize that your what part of your strategy, if not all of it, is letting you down.

If you’re wondering if something is going wrong with your social media pages, here are some of the six signs that your social media strategy needs an overhaul.

Your Return On Investment Isn’t Good

It’s always good to see some tangible results for your social media campaigns, but are your marketing efforts achieving the best possible ROI? What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) do you have? What is the ultimate goal? To know if you are getting your ROI, you first need to know what your investment is: time or money. Not every business is looking to sell products on social media, but building brand recognition,

Social media isn’t something you can do once and hope that it will yield the results you’re after a short period of time. To be successful on social media requires time and effort. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is just posting content for the sake of posting and not contemplating how it adds value to its audiences. When you are posting just to post, you can expect lower reach engagement on your posts. With all platforms having their own version of analytics, you should be evaluating what content resonates best with your audience. If engagement is low, this is an indicator that you need to switch up your approach. Whether you decide to do it yourself or outsource this task to social media marketing professionals, a revamp is one worth investing in.

Seeing little to no traffic is a huge red flag. If you’re seeing poor results, this indicates that your social media efforts are not actually driving any traffic to your website or converting into sales. If your business is receiving traffic, but your conversions are limited or non-existent, this can also be another indicator that either your campaigns or your content need an adjustment. Calls-to-actions are a possible factor that might need adjusting if you’re not seeing conversions. Strategic placement of your CTAs are vital to achieving success.

Everything Is Done Last Minute

Sometimes businesses have to throw campaigns together at the last minute, and that is ok. But if this is a regular occurrence and your main source of developing content and advertising campaigns, this could be hindering your page performance. It takes time to create competitive and effective social media strategies. Also, in order to have a cohesive approach to your digital strategy, it’s important you plan ahead, knowing what you’ll promote, what topics you will cover and how you’ll get the right messages out through your content. Content marketing calendars help businesses plan ahead and stay ahead when it comes to content and campaign development.

You’re Don’t Know What Your Data Is Telling You

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to run a campaign and have a vague idea of what you’d like to achieve in terms of results.; knowing for certain what indicates success to your campaign is important. In order to know if your social media campaigns are successful, you need to analyze the data. Important data points can be measuring comments, conversions, or content reach – it all depends on your goals. What pieces of content are working to reach your goal? Which ones garnish little to no traction? Looking at your data shouldn’t happen just once, it’s an ongoing process. If you’re unsure of how you should approach analyzing your platforms, this may be another indicator your entire social media marketing strategy needs a revamp.

Your Marketing Strategy Is Not Multi-Channel

It’s important to consider the fact that your audience may not exist solely on one social media channel alone. A disjointed marketing strategy can also come across as an inconsistent brand image which also won’t work in your favor. If you want to maximize your chances of reaching as many potential customers as possible, diversifying your social media channel choices within your strategy is the most effective way to ensure you’re doing this. Where are your customers spending their time? Is it Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? All of the above? If your service or product attracts a wider array of demographics, one channel simply won’t reach them all. When you are on multiple channels, it’s important to not share the exact same content on all the platforms. How a customer engages with content on Facebook may be different than how they engage with content on LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other platform they may be on. Each platform is its own channel to communicate to your audience, so each platform should have its own content strategy.

You’re Not Fully Committed

A successful social media strategy needs dedication and regular attention. It’s not something that you can play around with within your free time and ignore when you’re busy with other projects. Instead, it requires ongoing care and attention if you want it to flourish. The frequency of your content distribution depends on your audience and your message. You don’t want to annoy people by clogging up their news feed with a post every hour, but if you only post once or twice a month, then you run the risk of being forgotten. If you find that your social media marketing keeps falling to the wayside, then it’s time to look at getting some help.

Overall, there are many signs your social media marketing strategy needs an overhaul and many reasons that your current strategy isn’t serving your business. If your business hasn’t seen any traction in your social media marketing efforts in two to three months, contact us today. A social media audit is a great way to see where your current standings are and where you may need to go.

LinkedIn Data Breach Exposes 92% Users | Digital Scoop 030

LinkedIn Data Breach Digital Scoop

It has been reported that LinkedIn has been hit again with a security breach over the 4th of July weekend that exposed the data of 700 million users which, if proven true, would mean that 92% of the site’s users would have had their data compromised. Reports say that the data breached include phone numbers, physical addresses, geolocation data, and inferred salaries. LinkedIn denies that the data was breach and says in a statement:

“While we’re still investigating this issue, our initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources. This was not a LinkedIn data breach and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Scraping data from LinkedIn is a violation of our Terms of Service and we are constantly working to ensure our members’ privacy is protected.”

Security experts say the information has been posted for sale on the dark web. Among the data out there that’s been spotted by security experts:

  • Email addresses
  • Full names
  • Phone numbers
  • Physical addresses
  • Geolocation records
  • LinkedIn username and profile URL
  • Personal and professional experience/background
  • Genders
  • Other social media accounts and usernames

LinkedIn said no passwords were stolen, but security experts there’s enough information out there for criminals to create a fake identity of a person.

Have you experienced issues with your LinkedIn account? Let us know below! Stay up to date on all things digital marketing by subscribing to Digital Scoop on YouTube!

How To Build Your YouTube Audience

Grow YouTube creative Strategy agency Springfield ma

There’s no denying that video marketing isn’t going anywhere. And while popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and even your own website are great places to invest, YouTube remains the giant in the space, with individuals spending a billion hours each day watching videos on this platform. So with all those users on the platform, establishing an audience should be easy… right?

Growing a YouTube channel these days seems to get harder and harder. Your business and brand need to cut through the noise, but how do you do that? Here are some tips on how you can grow your YouTube channel.

Create and Establish Your Brand

Having strong branding, by maintaining consistency between thumbnails, titles, colors, graphics, and fonts, will help your channel stand out when your videos are shown to viewers within recommendations. These efforts should be happening across all of your digital platforms. By establishing your brand guidelines around visual representation, you can better establish your brand, and ensure people know your material, without even having to look at the channel name.

Build Your Channel Around an Audience

Just like in any other form of marketing, you need to consider the audience that you’re trying to reach, and what they want to see, both now, as well as what they will want to view in the future, in order to keep your posts relevant and keep viewers coming back. You should think about who you want to watch the channel. In order to continue to grow your channel, you should continuously be attracting new viewers, all while keeping those previous viewers coming back for more.

With many people now on YouTube, there’s much more content available now than ever before, which means that in order to stand out, you need to be creating content that’s either better than what’s already out there, provides them with what they are looking for, or has a unique angle that people can’t get anywhere else.

Do Your Research

Watch lots of videos. Just like in any other strategy, or even when you start your business, you want to conduct market research and competitor analysis to see who’s out there doing what. Look into the frequency of other channels are posting, the length of the videos, design styles, and more to see what you need to do to get started. Pay attention to trends, but don’t have all your video topics be about trends. While you may get quick new views, the goal is long-term and is to build your audience, grow your subscriber count.

Be Consistent

One of the most essential ways to grow your audience is just showing up. In order to build repeat viewership, you need to post consistently, to a schedule, in order to become a part of their routine. YouTube Creators need to stay true to the promise that was first delivered in their clips, and that this is especially true when first establishing your channel. If you tell your viewers that your videos will release weekly on Thursdays, then you need to make sure you have a video scheduled each Thursday. It is ok to evolve your approach to your channel and content, as long as you are aligned with your audience.

Optimize Your Videos

One thing that gets overlooked is making sure you optimize your videos. From descriptions to titles and tags, there are many facets when it comes to optimizing your videos, and your channel. Include things like links to your website, social media, and email newsletters from your video descriptions. Fill out your channel bio and let your new audience really learn more about you. Google does own YouTube, so the better the optimization, the better the search results will be for your videos and channel.

Overall, growing your YouTube audience relies on the content that’s aligned with who you want to target and consistently showing up for them. If you are new to YouTube or are looking to grow your staggering channel, contact us today.

3 Easy Tips for Better SEO

Search engine marketing Springfield ma

Running a small business is no easy feat. With endless lists of responsibilities and duties, it can be easy to let some things fall to the wayside. Unfortunately, it is all too common for SEO to fall under the “I’ll eventually get to it” category. This can be a huge detriment to a small business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lets your online content work to increase traffic to your pages. It’s an important facet to the online success of your business. Here are some simple ways you can get started.

Work on Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing the structure of your website pages so that the crawlers can properly “read” and index your site. Even if your content is amazing, problems with technical SEO will hinder your website’s ability to rank highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Even if you don’t have that technical background, give these simple SEO tactics a try.

Create a sitemap and submit it to Google. Depending on what platform you used to build your site, there are plugins and extensions you can use to create a sitemap. Once you do, you can submit your sitemap to Google via Google Search Console, a free service Google offers to help you manage your presence in Google Search Results. The same can be done with Bing via their Webmaster Tools.

Update/Remove old pages that don’t perform. If your website has a lot of pages that don’t get traffic, your rankings will be negatively affected. If you don’t have a need for that specific page, it may be best to remove the page, even if temporarily. If the page is important, look at why visitors are not visiting that page. Is it not easy to get to? Is it taking a long time to load?

Another easy way for you to work on your SEO is to fix broken and old links. The SERP robots will downgrade your content if you consistently send your reader to outdated or broken links on your website.

Do Your (Keyword) Research

Keyword research is very important to many facets of your marketing plan. It doesn’t just help with your website rankings, but overall content and advertising strategies. Local search results often rely on quality, relevant, industry-specific keywords to draw traffic and local presence. The importance of keyword research stretches to all SEO however, not just local.

It’s important to know keywords are not static but are constantly changing due to shifts in trends, changes in social standards or practices, events, and even pop culture relevance. This means your keyword and phrases are constantly evolving. By doing keyword research regularly, you can understand keyword trends and be able to develop strategies in predicting what will come next.

Focus on Local SEO

Did you know nearly one-third of all mobile searches are location-based queries, for example, “brunch near me.” And even if the “near me” is not added, Google’s algorithm now automatically prioritizes local options if you just search “brunch. The most important part of local SEO is setting up a Google My Business Profile. These are free and easy to maintain. It is also where your business would manage their Google Reviews. The other critical feature of Google My Business is the question and answer section. You can proactively answer questions that you think might come up so that potential customers have as frictionless an experience as possible.

With these easy steps, you’ll be on your way to getting your website in better rankings. Whether it’s with a website audit, or keyword research, contact us if you’re looking to step up your SEO game.

TikTok Tips for Businesses

TikTok for Business

TikTok, while still in an infancy stage, is a social media platform that is both new and refreshing for many media consumers. It can be an extremely useful tool for marketers to be able to capture an audience that they may not otherwise be able to reach in normal means.

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How Your Business Can Use Clubhouse

Clubhouse marketing

Launched in March 2020, Clubhouse allows users to launch or drop in on “Rooms”, audio-only chat rooms with friends, followers, or the general public. Initially, Clubhouse was created and marketed to top-tier influencers, celebrities, Silicon Valley investors, and industry thought leaders. At the end of 2020, they opened the platform to more general audiences. Users can join and converse in Rooms related to their interests, hobbies, causes, or industries.

Clubhouse can help brands build trust and community. Brands that use Clubhouse could earn credibility by discussing topics they’re experts on. But, they could also earn trust because they’ve made themselves available to listen and talk candidly with their audiences. Here are some tips to get your business started on the emerging platform.

Optimize Your Clubhouse Bio

Your Clubhouse bio is where you can tell everyone what you want to be known for. What you include in your bio will determine how people find you via searches in the member directory or the club directory, and the type of followers you attract.

Collaborate With Others

A great way to get started with the platform is partnering with others. When your partners come on stage, their followers get a notification and are likely to jump into the room and follow you as well. It’s a great way to grow your following on the platform.

Set Up Mini-Events

On Clubhouse, you can host mini-events with experts or professionals in your industry. With a moderator in place, you can invite multiple people to speak based on what the event is about. It’s a great opportunity to engage others to speak, share the event to their followers, and build the audience to your mini-event. Make these events work by promoting them on other social media channels and just like any event, give your audience an outline of how the event will go, who will be speaking, and what they can expect.

Treat Clubhouse as Your Podcast

Have you been wanting to get into podcasting, but not sure how? You can host Rooms with one or two speakers highlighting specific themes, trends, or industry news just like a podcast episode. It’s a great opportunity to have some live engagement during your podcasting, allowing users to ask questions and participate in the podcast as it happens.

Get Feedback

You can use Clubhouse to get valuable feedback on your business or products. If you’re considering launching a new product or service, you can pitch it to a Room with colleagues, industry experts, and even your customers. It’s an opportunity to have others weigh in on your idea and if there is any more work you need to do before bringing it to the market.

Tap Into Trends

You can utilize Clubhouse as a form of social listening. You can follow influential people in your industry and keep tabs on all the changes that are occurring in your industry. It’s a way to do some market research to learn more about your potential customers. If your product or service falls into a specific niche, you can also immerse yourself in that audience to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and behaviors.

With audio becoming a major component in digital content, Clubhouse is a step into finding your voice. How is your business using this new social media platform? Contact us today if you’re looking to develop a Clubhouse strategy for your brand.

Instagram Continues To Add New Features | Digital Scoop 029


 

As Instagram continues to grow, so does it’s increase in new tools and features. Instagram has rolled out a couple of official new additions, while other new tools coming soon.

First, Instagram has confirmed the launch of GIFs in Direct, including a new ‘Random’ GIF button, which could add an interesting element to your private chats. Usage of Instagram DMs has been rising, reflecting the broader trend towards private messaging, so it makes sense for the platform to give the option more focus, and more communication options to consider.

All of their marketing mentions this feature being in Direct, not DMs. This could be happening because of Instagram’s plan to launch it’s standalone messaging app, Direct.

The second officially announced feature from Instagram is video tagging, enabling you to make specific users aware of your posted video.

In addition to these confirmed features, several others have been highlighted.

Instagram’s also sorting out hashtag cramming. They are reportedly testing out separating hashtags from captions. The separation of hashtags from captions could be the solution to the annoying crop of hashtags some people include… cluttering their post. A separate button called “Add Hashtags” will appear on the New Post screen, which will allow users to use hashtags without including them in the caption. Thank the social gods!

Another one of Instagram’s in-development features include Quiz Stickers for Stories, which would enable users to share an interactive quiz question with their audience, and add multiple answer options. You would then be able to make one of the answers the correct one, which would be highlighted to the user when selected.

Instagram also continues to move forward with its test of limiting access to your Instagram Stories by location/region restriction. In that capacity could also be extended to individual posts, giving you more control over where your Instagram content can be seen. The option would be particularly beneficial for global brands with a multinational presence.

It’s smart for Instagram to maintain the momentum, and keep a hold on user interest while releasing all of these small features keeping users engaging on the app, which in turn, puts more pressure on competitors to try to keep up.

Will these new features change the way your brand will use Instagram? Comment below and let me know!