Social Media Examiner - Organic Instagram content that sells

Today's Guide to the Marketing Jungle from Social Media Examiner...

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Tomorrow is International Surfing Day, Reader! So many waves, so little time…

In today’s edition:

  • Today's Tip of the Day is for video thumbnail creation

  • Selling with organic Instagram content

  • Instagram tests ads in Stories

  • LinkedIn launches new ads features

  • Additional industry news from Instagram, Threads, YouTube, and more

If video plays an important part in your marketing, you need eye-catching thumbnails to stop the scroll and entice people to click on your videos. If you're not a graphic designer, this can present some frustration–especially if you need to move fast.

An AI Prompt to Create Video Thumbnails

Provide your favorite AI tool with key details about your target customer, then ask it to provide five to seven thumbnail concepts.

"I need five thumbnail concepts for our salary negotiation video. The thumbnails should make our target audience feel empowered, confident, and ready to take action. I want the visuals to be bold and attention-grabbing without feeling too pushy or aggressive."

Once the AI generates the thumbnail concepts, ask it to show you what they could look like. Then, download your favorite images and use them in your thumbnail templates!

Today's tip is inspired by Diana Gladney, a featured guest on the AI Explored podcast.

Thousands of People Love AI Explored. How About You?

Last month, we launched a new show called AI Explored. It's a podcast for marketers, creators, and business owners who want to know how to use AI. Each week, you'll discover how to apply AI to your work and life. 

Here's what a few listeners had to say:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ A must-listen for those who want to use AI effectively

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Great information. Great guests. WOW!!!!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ One episode in and I'm hooked!

To listen, simply follow the show on your favorite podcast app. 

Or visit our AI Explored show page today.

How to Sell More With Instagram Using a Proven Organic Framework

It's not easy to turn your Instagram followers into paying customers, especially when you rely on organic content. 

Whether you're a coach, service provider, or product-based business, the "HOP" method will strategically guide your followers through the customer journey by consistently surfacing the following three types of content in consumers' feeds:

Humble Brag

Humble brags are not about boasting or showing off. They're about strategically demonstrating your credibility and authority in your niche.

The key to a good humble brag is to focus on the outcomes you've achieved and tie them back to your audience's goals. Don't just share random accomplishments unrelated to your work; ensure every win you post highlights the tangible outcomes customers could achieve by working with you or using your product. 

Some examples of great humble brags:

  • Posting a video testimonial from a customer who experienced amazing results

  • Announcing that your product or service was featured in a major publication or interviewed on a popular podcast

  • Highlighting a case study of how you helped a customer overcome a specific challenge

Pro Tip: Include specific numbers and details in your posts. Share the exact results instead of just saying you helped a client get results. Did they recoup 4 hours in their week? Double their revenue? Lose 50 pounds? Land their dream job?

Origin Story Content

Sharing your origin story is powerful because it creates an emotional connection with your audience. When they see parts of themselves in your journey or your company culture, they'll feel more drawn to you and your message. 

The more you share your origin story, the more your audience will feel like they know and understand you. And that's essential for building the kind of trust that leads to sales.

Your origin story might include the moment you realized you wanted to start your business, the problem you faced that inspired you to create a product, and the customer feedback you used to improve your product or service.

Some ideas for weaving your origin story into your Instagram content:

  • Share a throwback photo from a pivotal moment in your entrepreneurial journey and reflect on how far you've come

  • Record a series of Instagram Story videos sharing your product's evolution from ideation to production

  • Write a long-form caption post about a specific challenge your product solved for you

  • Create a Reel with trending audio that relates to your story and share a quick anecdote in the caption

Prop Up Your Product or Service

This is where you explicitly showcase your offers and invite your audience to take the next step in working with you.

Many entrepreneurs shy away from this type of content because they don't want to come across as too "salesy." But the truth is, your audience needs to know what you have to offer and how they can work with you. If you never make an invitation, you're doing them a disservice.

The key to propping up your product or service is to focus on the transformation your offer provides. 

Instead of just listing features or pushing people to buy, paint a picture of the outcomes they could achieve by using your product or signing up for your service. You should also share helpful tips, strategies, or insights that help them get a "quick win" while also demonstrating the deeper transformation your offer provides.

Here are some examples of how you might prop up a product or service on Instagram:

  • A Carousel with 3–5 tips for achieving a specific goal and a call-to-action (CTA) to your related product or service in the caption

  • A Reel showcasing a customer's reality before and after using your product or service and an invite to book a discovery call with you

  • An Instagram Live where you teach on a topic related to your offer and share a special discount or bonus for people who sign up on the spot

Pro Tip: Include two CTAs in every promotional post: one that directly invites people to take the next step with your offer and one that encourages general engagement. "Want to learn the exact strategy I used to book out my coaching program? DM me the word 'STRATEGY' to get all the details! And if you found this post helpful, let me know by leaving a '🙌' in the comments below!"

Today's advice is provided with insights from Kar Brulhart, a featured guest on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Microsoft Shuts Down Copilot GPT Builder: Microsoft is shutting down its Copilot GPT Builder, a feature that allowed Copilot Pro subscribers to create custom AI chatbots, just three months after its launch. Starting July 10, 2024, users will no longer be able to create GPTs, and all existing GPTs and associated data will be deleted by July 14. Source: VentureBeat

Instagram’s Custom AI: Instagram is working on the ability to create a custom AI or an AI version of yourself. Source: Alessandro Paluzzi via X

Instagram Tests Ads in Stories: Instagram is testing a new form of advertising that injects ads into users' Stories. The ads, which users have observed promoting a game called "Super Rumble" for Meta's virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds, pop up from the bottom of friends' Stories. Source: 404 Media 

LinkedIn’s New Content Sharing Feature: LinkedIn has launched a new feature that allows Page admins to automatically share external content on their LinkedIn Pages by setting up an RSS feed. Once set up, the tool will create draft posts from the external content, which admins can customize before publishing. Source: LinkedIn Ads Blog

LinkedIn’s New Ads Features: LinkedIn has launched new advertising features to help marketers achieve better results. These include streamlined CAPI integration for faster conversion rates and lower costs and Live Event Ads for end-to-end event promotion. Other features include Post Boosting for simplified lead generation, Sponsored Articles & Newsletters for long-form content distribution, and Thought Leader Ads for building brand credibility through authentic voices. Source: LinkedIn Ads Blog

Pinterest’s New AI Tools for Ads: Pinterest is introducing AI-powered tools to enhance creative capabilities, improve campaign performance, and ensure brand safety for advertisers. The company is launching Pinterest Ad Labs, an innovation program for select brands to test new features like personalized background generation and interactive collage ads. Additionally, Pinterest Performance+ simplifies campaign creation and improves performance through automation. The company is also integrating DoubleVerify to provide more brand safety measurements. Source: Pinterest

Sharing Instagram Posts to Threads: Threads now allows users to share regular Instagram posts—single-image posts or Carousels—directly on the platform without a link preview. Source: Radu Oncescu via Threads 

YouTube Tests AI-Generated Live Chat Summaries: YouTube is experimenting with AI-generated live chat summaries. Participants will see a banner displaying the summary when joining eligible English-language live streams with highly active chats. The summaries are generated using published chats, excluding certain messages, and viewers can provide feedback. Source: YouTube

YouTube Tests Google Lens Search: YouTube is currently conducting an experiment that allows users to search the platform using Google Lens. By tapping a new Lens button in the YouTube search bar, users can search for content based on the visuals they see, and the search results will display relevant YouTube videos. Additionally, users can click the "Search on Google" option to obtain more information about the visual content they searched for. The test is currently being rolled out to a limited number of YouTube viewers who access the platform using Android mobile devices. Source: YouTube


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