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Meta Provides an End-of-Year Update on the Growth of Its ‘Bulletin’ Newsletter Platform

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Meta has provided an end-of-year update on its Bulletin newsletter platform, which it first launched back in April as part of a push to facilitate more connection between creators and subscribers by using the company’s massive reach to scale newsletter growth.

And while it hasn’t become a key competitor for Substack and other newsletter providers as yet, Meta has been making steady progress, and it could yet become a key consideration for writers in various niches.

As explained by Meta:

“When we launched Bulletin, we began with a small group of voices to learn how to best support their work. Six months later, we have more than 115 publications on Bulletin, and we’re energized by all the ways this first group has made meaningful connections with their audiences. This is the start of our overall effort to connect people in a more significant way to content from a broader set of sources and experts.”

In terms of growth specifics, Meta says that more than half of the creators on Bulletin now have over 1,000 free email subscribers, ‘with many having more than 5,000 or 10,000’. Which is reasonably solid – but then again, for a platform that connects almost 3 billion people, you would think that the growth rates would have significant potential for far higher reach than this. That’s essentially the promise of the option, and by comparison, these numbers would also suggest that around half of Bulletin writers have fewer that 1k subscribers. Which is not amazing, but is still early days for the option.

One of the most interesting use cases for the Bulletin platform is facilitating local news, and providing an outlet for local news providers, many of whom have been shut down or otherwise significantly impacted by the COVID downturn. If Bulletin can provide a more equitable pathway for local journalists and updates, that could make it an essential tool for many users, and Meta does highlight the ways in which local news providers are utilizing its suite of engagement tools to maximize connection.

“Experimentation with engagement tools across Facebook and Instagram have led to subscriber growth and deepened reader connections, particularly in places where appetite for relevant coverage is high. The Kerr County Lead, a local news publication in Kerr County, Texas, hosts Facebook Live videos every weekday to engage its local community of readers.”

Meta added 25 local news journalists to its stable of Bulletin writers back in August, whom it’s funding through the initial period of their establishment. And again, with so many local newsrooms being forced to shut down in recent years, there could be major opportunity for the platform to become a key hub for such, if it can provide a viable pathway for local news writers to make money from their coverage, while also highlighting relevant news content to Facebook users in feeds.

Which seems like the most viable pathway for Bulletin’s growth. Other newsletter platforms offer similar revenue and connection capacity, but no other platform has the reach that Facebook does, especially when you consider the usage of The Social Network for local community groups and local news discussion.

Bulletin could essentially become the replacement for your local news publication – though it does still seem a way off from this being a significant, viable element.

So what’s next for the platform? Meta says that, over the coming year, it will ‘thoughtfully increase’ the number of creators on Bulletin as it improves the experience ahead of future expansion.

“This will include a number of different topics and types of content, from video-first and audio-focused creators to long- and short-form writers, and more.”

Meta’s also adding in new tools and third-party integrations to enable more creative and research options (including a partnership with LexisNexis for data insights), while it’s also providing free educational opportunities for Bulletin creators to help them build their own newsletter businesses.

Tying your opportunities to Meta does come with a level of risk, with Meta changing the rules on creators and businesses in the past to limit their post reach, and shift their incentives based on its own engagement focus at any given time. But it could still be a viable pathway to building a newsletter business, with the reach and connection afforded by Meta’s networks opening up significant opportunity – if it can get the Bulletin offering right.

You can read Bulletin’s end of year review here.

Article: socialmediatoday.com

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InScribe and James Madison University Partner to Create New…

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Interactive Communities Deliver Support and Encouragement to the School’s Growing Adult Learner Population Working Towards Degree Completion and On-the-Job Advancement

(PRWeb January 11, 2022)

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/inscribe_and_james_madison_university_partner_to_create_new_state_of_the_art_student_digital_communities/prweb18425733.htm

Original Article: prweb.com

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TikTok Is Working on a New, Opt-In Function to Show You Who Viewed Your Profile

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I’m not entirely sure what value this might bring, but TikTok is reportedly working on bringing back the option to see who viewed your profile in the app over the preceding 30 days, which would provide more transparency over user interest.

As you can see in these screenshots, uncovered by app researcher Kev Adriano (and shared by Matt Navarra), TikTok looks to be testing an opt-in functionality that would enable you to see who’s checking out your TikTok profile, while users would also be able to see when you’ve checked out their profile as well when this feature is switched on.

Which TikTok used to have, as a means to increase connections in the app.

As you can see here, TikTok used to provide a listing of people who’d checked out your profile, with a view to helping you find others to follow who may have similar, shared interests. TikTok removed the functionality early last year, amid various investigations into its data sharing processes, and with several high-profile cases of TikTok stalkers causing real-world problems for platform stars, it made sense that it might not want to share this information anymore, as it likely only increases anxiety for those who may have concerns.

But I guess, if stalkers wanted to check out your profile they wouldn’t turn the feature on, so maybe, by making it opt-in, that reduces that element? Maybe.

I don’t know, I don’t see a heap of value here, and while I can understand, when an app is starting out, how this sort of awareness might help to increase network connections, I’m not sure that it serves any real value for TikTok, other than providing insight into who’s poking around, and likely increasing concerns about certain people who keep coming back to check out your profile again and again.

Maybe there’s a value for aspiring influencers, in reaching out to potential collaborators who’ve checked out their stuff, or maybe it works for hook-ups, if that’s what you want to use TikTok for, which is why the opt-in element is important.

But much like the same feature on LinkedIn, mostly, it seems pretty useless. I mean, it’s somewhat interesting to know that somebody from a company that you’d like to work for checked out your profile, but if they did, and they didn’t feel compelled to get in touch, who really cares?

There is a limited value proposition here, in that getting in touch with those who did check out your profile could result in a business relationship, similar to the above note on potential collaborators on TikTok. But I’d be interested to see the actual percentage of successful contacts made is as a result of these insights.

I can’t imagine it’s very high – but maybe, if you give users the choice, and they explicitly opt-in, there is some value there.

Seems like stalker tracking to me, and potential angst and conflict as a result.

There’s no official word from TikTok as to whether this option will ever be released at this stage.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

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How to Expand Your Reach With Newsletter Advertising

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As marketers search for creative ways to reach new leads, newsletter advertising is becoming a staple in the industry. With effective targeting and high engagement rates, this up-and-coming medium is an effective choice for advertisers of all sizes and budgets.

While newsletter advertising has gained popularity among growing startups like AppSumo, it’s also a go-to for top brands like Lyft and Warby Parker. However, despite its high performance and adoption by leading marketers, its potential is largely untapped.

Because of the lack of education surrounding newsletter advertising, many marketers neglect email in favor of more mainstream, competitive platforms. However, with the right approach, investing in email advertising can help you reach more qualified audiences and get ahead of competitors.

What is newsletter advertising?

Newsletter advertising is the process of placing sponsored content in email newsletters to get in front of subscribers. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, newsletter ads are delivered straight to their audience’s inboxes. Because of this, they’ll often reach readers more directly, bypassing any ad blocking measures.

The Paved platform offers two main types of newsletter advertisements: sponsorships and programmatic ads.

Sponsorships

Newsletter sponsorships are coordinated via a partnership between the publisher and the advertiser. Because each sponsorship campaign is organized individually, they can be custom designed for the newsletter partner. Some publishers will even help tweak the sponsorship design and copy to fit their publication’s style and appeal to readers.

​Sponsored email in The Report newsletter from March 2021

Programmatic ads

Just like sponsorships, programmatic email ads are placed within the body of newsletters to directly reach engaged audiences. However, they’re more similar to social media ads due to their automation, scalability and precise targeting. Whereas sponsorships are coordinated on an individual basis, programmatic ads allow advertisers to run placements across multiple newsletters with a single campaign.

Programmatic ad for Hired in the eWebDesign newsletter

Why newsletter advertising beats other marketing channels

Not only is newsletter advertising a fresh and creative way to reach new audiences, but it also has its share of practical benefits. The advantages of newsletter advertising make it a worthwhile investment for brands in both the short and long-term.

Reach new audiences

The first step in converting new customers is figuring out where to find potential leads. Unfortunately, the rise of VPNs and privacy companies have made it increasingly difficult to connect with audiences online.

According to data by Hootsuite, roughly 42.7% of internet users use an ad blocker. With newsletter advertising, that’s not a problem. By delivering your message in the body of a trusted newsletter, you can market to audiences who can’t be reached through social media or display ads.

Leverage heightened engagement

One of the most valuable aspects of newsletters is their level of reader engagement. It’s not easy to convince someone to give you their email. Therefore, opting in to receive a newsletter is a much stronger signal of interest than liking a page or following an account.

Because newsletter readers are more engaged, email marketing tends to outperform other channels in ROI. Litmus’ 2020 State of Email report calculated an average return of $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

Access built-in targeting

Email newsletter lists are often inherently targeted due to their niche content. On the Paved platform, many publishers run interest-focused newsletters based on topics like programming or yoga. Incidentally, this creates a neatly packaged audience that advertisers can leverage for their campaigns.

Programmatic ads allow you to target your audiences even more precisely. On the Paved Ad Network, you can define your target audience, budget and frequency cap. From there, you’ll be able to automatically display your ad in front of individual readers across several newsletters based on their demographic profile.

Join a marketplace to launch your newsletter advertising strategy

Joining a marketplace is the quickest and easiest way to start advertising in newsletters. Instead of reaching out to publishers individually, you’ll be able to request, design and schedule multiple sponsorships in one place.

On the Paved marketplace, you can browse hundreds of newsletters to find the right partner for your brand. Once you’ve booked a campaign, you can exchange messages, send payment and automatically track results through the platform.

Sign up with Paved for free today to unlock all the tools you need to streamline your newsletter advertising campaigns.

Original Post: socialmediatoday.com

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