What Emerging IoT Trends Should Businesses Pay Attention To?

You must pay attention to the latest innovations coming to the Internet of Things. IoT devices complement many other advanced technologies, so people are starting to combine them. These emerging IoT trends stand to revolutionize how businesses use the technology.

How Are IoT Trends Evolving Technology?

Emerging IoT trends are evolving technology into something entirely new. It combines with the most advanced, popular innovations to create something never before seen. The IoT as you know it may soon change forever.

In 2022, IoT startups secured the highest amount of funding they had received since 2012. They collected an average of nearly $16 million, a 30% increase from 2021. People saw the emerging trends of 2023 and decided they needed to be a part of the technological innovation.

The market for IoT devices dipped over 20% in 2022. However, they still secured incredibly high funding because investors believed the upcoming trends would revolutionize the technology. How much money they receive gives businesses a direct insight into its future. In this case, it is a clear indication of success.

What Are the Emerging IoT Trends?

The emerging IoT trends offer new takes on traditional devices. While some incorporate other well-known technologies, others create something entirely new.

  1. Automation

Many emerging trends combine IoT devices with other advanced technologies. Automation has been a massive success for many businesses and is among the most popular. Although it has existed for a few years, it is only starting to pick up speed.

Many companies use IoT in robotic automation. For example, FedEx has used it for five years to organize and distribute mail, replacing traditional carriers. Most businesses rely partially on e-commerce sales, so they would benefit from technology that can package, label and ship products.

Even if you do not ship items to customers, you should pay attention to this trend because it has many real-world uses. No matter your industry, you can automate some of your responsibilities with IoT devices. It could streamline your processes, increasing accuracy and profit.

  1. Artificial Internet of Things

Artificial intelligence in IoT — what people call AIoT — is one of the latest IoT trends. It combines artificial intelligence with traditional IoT technology. However, the extent of its presence differs depending on the device’s purpose.

Incorporating AI into IoT allows businesses to rapidly analyze data, make accurate predictions and run things smoothly. The simplest form of AIoT uses an algorithm to process information, while the more advanced version makes the devices operate independently.

Much of the buzz around it comes from the potential for peer-to-peer communication where each IoT device interacts with others. They already have a constant connection to the internet, so establishing one between a group of them is a minor leap.

  1. Asset Tracking

A business owner is no stranger to supply chain delays and surprises, considering everything from a bad storm to a foreign conflict can disrupt things. IoT asset tracking can give immediate updates on an item’s location.

You can use remote IoT tracking to find packages in real time, no matter where you are. It improves traceability, helping you reduce losses. All you have to do is put a device on a pallet to keep track of its whereabouts the entire time it is in transit.

On top of tracking where products are, IoT asset tracking can tell you if they break in transit. The sensors can detect minor changes and alert you to potential damage. This technology can even improve your brand’s reputation since you can resolve the issue before your customer receives a defective item.

  1. Digital Twins

A digital twin is a virtual copy of a physical object. Basically, it is an advanced version of traditional simulations. You use IoT sensors to map whatever item you want to visualize to monitor it in real time or simulate it after a change.

A digital twin can handle thousands of variables simultaneously, so you can use it for complex situations. For example, you could simulate how your new packaging design will function. You can use a digital twin instead of repeatedly building and testing prototypes.

It is also helpful for visualization. A digital twin can help you if you want to keep track of something remotely. Since it is a replica of the item in a digital format, you can monitor it even if you are not close to it. If something on the actual object begins to malfunction, you can consult the copy to understand how to troubleshoot things.

  1. New Regulations

Regulations have begun to appear because of the rapid appearance of new IoT trends. Businesses should be aware of each new law to protect themselves as they adopt the technology. Regulatory bodies want to set ground rules as more industries use it.

For instance, the European Commission accepted a data protection act in 2023. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission proposed mandatory cybersecurity labels for IoT devices in the same year.

What Can Businesses Do to Prepare?

Businesses can analyze their needs to prepare for upcoming IoT trends. Once they identify where to use the technology, they can figure out how to implement it. While AIoT may be the best choice for one company, automation may be vital for another, depending on their individual needs.

Whatever they choose, it is a good idea to act now since the technology is only getting bigger. In 2023, the amount of IoT devices reached 15.14 billion globally. Experts expect the number will continue to rise and reach nearly 29.5 billion as early as 2030. They can take advantage of the growth if they prepare for it.

Follow the Trends

Businesses can benefit from paying attention to emerging IoT trends revolutionizing technology. You could use it to automate your e-commerce packaging, test new product prototypes digitally or predict supply chain delays. Ultimately, it could improve your company’s operations and elevate your digital processes.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Next-Level Campaigns: How AI Supercharges Customer Acquisition and Retention

Customer acquisition and retention are necessary for businesses to succeed. Acquiring new customers allows companies to grow, but they must also retain them to guarantee brand loyalty and sustainable profitability.

Consumers are constantly shifting their preferences and behaviors, making it challenging for companies to reach target audiences with effective campaigns. However, with artificial intelligence (AI) by your side and the right data, you can better understand, attract and retain your customer base.

A Brief Overview of How AI Works

AI helps marketers by analyzing large amounts of data in a shorter time. Companies have always used data to learn about their customers. Yet, before AI came into the picture, businesses used traditional marketing methods that often relied on broader information.

Today, the global AI market comes to $142.3 billion, and companies use it to identify specific customer behaviors, preferences and patterns. Marketers create more targeted and personalized campaigns using algorithms to sift through data sources like website visits, social media interactions and purchase histories.

This information provides a deep view of customers’ habits and what they like. With these insights, businesses craft messages and offers that resonate directly with individual users. As a result, potential customers are more likely to engage because those messages capture their attention.

Essentially, AI eliminates much guesswork and ensures you use your resources efficiently to reach the right audience on time.

Personalized Marketing Messages and Recommendations

AI takes personalization to a whole new level by understanding each customer. One way it personalizes marketing is through product recommendations.

For instance, when users visit an e-commerce site, AI analyzes their browsing behavior, past purchases and abandoned carts. It uses this information to suggest products they are likely to buy. However, this method requires more than showing relevant products — it also needs you to present them at the right moment in the user’s journey.

Email marketing has also benefited from AI’s personalization capabilities. Instead of sending generic newsletters, companies can now send emails that provide specific solutions to their customers’ needs. From subject lines that capture attention to content that addresses their interests, AI ensures every email feels individually crafted.

In social media advertising, AI looks at users’ interactions, likes, shares and comments to display ads that relate to their interests and values. It ensures each message caters to the individual to increase engagement and customer interest.

Optimizes Ad Campaigns

Optimizing an ad campaign has become highly sophisticated with the integration of AI. AI assists businesses in ensuring their advertising efforts are on point through various techniques:

  • Dynamic pricing: AI analyzes real-time market demand, competitor pricing and other factors to adjust ad bids automatically. This analysis ensures companies get the best value for their ad spend while maximizing visibility.
  • Audience segmentation: Instead of broad demographic groups, AI creates micro-segments based on behaviors and past interactions. This allows for highly targeted ad campaigns that cater to specific audiences.
  • A/B testing at scale: While traditional A/B testing compares two versions of an ad, AI can test multiple variations simultaneously. It analyzes which elements — like headlines, images or calls-to-action — perform the best.
  • Predictive analysis: AI forecasts how likely a particular ad is to convert based on historical data and user behavior. This predictive insight allows businesses to allocate their budgets better — pushing resources toward advertisements likely to yield higher results.
  • Multichannel optimization: AI focuses on more than one platform by evaluating the performance of ads across various channels — from social media to search engines.
  • Real-time adjustments: Market conditions and user behaviors can change rapidly. Therefore, AI-driven platforms become useful as they react in real time to tweak campaigns to adjust to these changes.

Predicts Customer Needs

AI may be able to capture data and analyze it for campaigns. However, the interesting part is that it can predict future trends by analyzing past behaviors. With its predictive capabilities, you can address customer needs before they arise.

AI achieves this by looking for patterns in your customer data. These could be things your customers have purchased or time spent on particular pages. From there, AI determines what a customer is interested in or might look for in the future.

For example, a customer who checks out athletic gear often may be interested in a new sportswear line. The company can then use this information to promote the products, instantly saving time and money from studying customers’ preferences and behaviors.

Beyond looking at individual behaviors, AI also analyzes global trends. By examining broader market patterns and predicting upcoming trends with AI, your business can always be a step ahead in its offerings.

Automates Customer Communication

Effective communication is crucial in establishing and maintaining customer relationships. Communication helps customers get answers to their questions, build trust with a brand and solve problems. However, low-priority communications often take up much of your customer support team’s time.

When AI automates simple requests, customer support can better care for customers with larger issues. For example, AI could help customers find what they want on the business’s website. Hubspot found that 78% of customer support agents use AI and automation because they say it lets them spend their time on more important aspects of their role.

One of the most popular ways companies do this is through chatbots. These tools handle numerous customer inquiries in real time, providing instant answers and solutions. AI chatbots can understand and respond to user queries. The interaction feels smooth and natural, and more customers are satisfied with the help they receive.

Using AI Marketing for Customer Acquisition and Retention

AI has certainly changed the way marketers reach and retain new customers. Whether it is through personalized messaging or product recommendations, businesses witnessed the power behind it to engage with customers in previously unimaginable ways. Pinpoint some areas where you could use AI in your business and start taking customer acquisition to another level today.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Why Incorporating Community Service Is Vital for Modern Web Businesses

What does community service look like for modern web-based businesses? Unlike traditional mom-and-pop shops with personal customer relationships, a digital company may have various clients.

Figuring out the ins and outs of giving back to customers requires more legwork but can still help your company develop strong interpersonal relationships with clients. Laying the groundwork gives you a competitive advantage and establishes your organization as one that cares.

1. Build Strong Connections

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2023 showed a rising need for increased trust between consumers and brands. Approximately 71% of people feel being able to rely on a company to be honest is more important today than in the past.

Giving back to the world shows you care about more than just a profit. It is much more likely to instill good feelings in people than if you ignore social causes or needs. You create strong emotional ties when you make a difference in someone’s life.

2. Show You’re an Authority in Your Field

According to research, family-owned enterprises provide employment opportunities for 63% of the workforce in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of businesses emerge each year, making it increasingly challenging to find success.

How can you show you’re an authority in your field and gain customers’ confidence? Giving back to others shows you know what you’re doing and are making a profit. Give a percentage of revenue to philanthropic efforts.

Consumers who believe in the same cause will consider you when they need something you sell. An example of this type of buy-one, give-one mentality can be seen in the model of TOMS shoes. When you buy shoes, it donates a pair.

3. Create a Positive Impression of Your Company

Community service can also improve your image and help you develop a positive reputation. If you’re doing damage control from past mistakes or a catastrophe, finding ways to give back can help repair your reputation.

Remember why you started your company and the big dreams you had. What is your brand image and how do others see you? For example, are you an avid golfer? You may have started your company to serve a need such as help with putting skills. One idea is to offer free training to golfers on an aspect of their game. You could also give back to a charity for youth by hosting an event where profits go to a specific organization.

Embrace whatever cause matters most to you, whether saving the environment, protecting endangered species or helping homeless veterans. Whatever movement you participate in, post to your social media account and share how you’re giving back with your followers.

4. Keep Employees Thriving

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the quit rate for June 2023 was 2.4%, which was nearly 4 million workers. Although competition to retain people might vary depending on where you live, you still want to keep your employees engaged and thriving.

Your employees often promote your business and its activities. They take pride in their workplace and eagerly spread the word to others. Identifying your strengths simplifies determining when and how you should give back. By working together, everyone can contribute to cultivating a company culture.

Regardless of how much the labor shortage impacts your company, you want to train and keep top workers. Investing in things they care about is a great way to retain talent.

5. Teach Customers to Be Loyal to Your Brand

Serving the online community means your company name is repeatedly mentioned in the same circles. Your target audience might see you donated to a cause they are passionate about. You may have participated in a local project and it made an impact or spurred more giving to a global cause.

They may perceive their friends buy the same product, creating an online connection. In fact, 22% of consumers say a strong sense of community is a big reason for brand loyalty. However, it goes deeper than just feeling seen and heard. Someone has to hear your name repeatedly before remembering it in the first place.

Building brand recognition takes a plan and consistent delivery. Look for ways to get the word out. However, the reason you participate in an event or offer a service should be because you care.

Even if you gain zero new customers from giving back, you should still do it because it matters. Approaching charity work with a positive attitude will likely get fresh eyes on your products and revenue from the effort.

6. Get Your Customers Like No One Else Does

Understanding the emotions and passions that drive your audience means you’re much more likely to make an emotional connection. Engaging in community service lets you connect with your customers on their level and gain insights into their priorities. Take the time to inquire about the organizations they hold dear and would appreciate your support for. Additionally, explore ways you can assist them or their loved ones.

For example, some of your customers may have vision limitations. You can find out what makes it easier for them to browse your pages and fix it. You can then offer a community service by featuring workshops for other companies and explaining what you changed and how they can repeat your efforts.

Start on Community Service Today

The best way to ramp up community service for your modern web business is to map out how you’d like to give back and start with the top ones. Allow your employees some input, try various ideas and ask customers what they think about new programs. Focus on improving your efforts over time and offering a service to make the world a better place rather than what you can get out of it as a company.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

The Art of Meeting Project Deadlines: Essential Practices for On-Time Delivery

One of the most challenging aspects of running a successful company is meeting project deadlines. With multiple players on a project and clients throwing new due dates at you, developing strong practices for on-time delivery is difficult at best.

Meeting due dates is crucial to the growth and success of your business. You will build trust with clients so they turn to you for future projects. When you are more productive, you will also get more work done and be able to take on new clients.

Fortunately, making a few changes to how you approach projects can make all the difference. Here are the top ways of meeting project deadlines on time.

1. Get Input From Staff

Gartner reports 82% of employees want their organizations to understand them as a person, but only 45% feel their employer tries. Before embarking on any big process changes or productivity improvements, gather everyone together.

Ask workers for ideas to improve time management. Most of them probably already have hacks they use and everyone can learn from one another. Also, ask for feedback for project managers on the things that might need improvement when it comes to dispersing work and setting deadlines.

2. Set the Foundation

Come up with a template you can utilize that defines the scope of the project and the end objective. Knowing the typical milestones for projects of a similar type enables you to streamline the process of setting up the job.

You can use tools such as online project management to make the process easier and save other workflows. With a plug-and-play type system, you simply add in the specific details for the exact project of the moment.

3. Use a Paper Planner

When you are first laying out your projects, put everything on paper. You never know when third-party software might go down. With a paper copy, you can pull out the original notes and keep moving forward until systems come back online.

Studies also show writing things out in hard copy improves retention. People will not have to continually refer to online notes if they better remember the next task. Although it is an extra step to mark off completed work and change things along the way, it is minimal compared to the headache you might have if a digital copy gets hacked or the server goes down.

4. Be Smart About Project Deadlines

It is tempting to make deadlines extremely tight to encourage staff to strive for better productivity. However, the stress of meeting impossible due dates could have the opposite effect and cause people to feel like failures.

Consider what a reasonable deadline is and how difficult the task might be. Something simple — such as emailing the client — might only need a few minutes to complete. On the other hand, creating a style guide is much more intensive and requires multiple hours of work that often must be broken down to avoid burnout.

5. Assign Tasks to the Right People

The creation of a website or app should go to your best web developer staff members. If you begin assigning tasks and realize you do not have enough people to complete highly technical or skilled work, you will need to hire someone or allow time for other team members to train.

Look at what is time sensitive and push those jobs to the people you know meet deadlines without fail. At the same time, get those workers to mentor others who might not be as adept at finishing tasks when they should.

Although meeting deadlines and working productively are important, your employees are learning from each project. Factor in time for education and building new skills so each project becomes a bit more efficient.

6. Rate Tasks by Priority

For any project, some tasks are more crucial than others. If the marketing department is waiting on a graphic design, they cannot schedule advertisements.

Look at which elements impact other elements when choosing the priority of tasks. Then, rank the most vital things so the team knows they should complete them first. Make it a daily habit to organize things a second time as milestones change and different variables enter the picture.

7. Conduct Frequent Progress Checks

As the project progresses, take the time to see if you are meeting major milestones and what deadlines might fall behind. If you are having a hard time coordinating everything or need a professional set of eyes on a job, hire one of the estimated 781,400 project management specialists in the U.S. You might want to get their input on how well your plan is working and any tweaks that would make the process more efficient.

8. Say No

It is common for clients to throw a bunch of new tasks or widen the scope of a project after you begin. You have to learn how to manage such requests without overwhelming your staff or not meeting crucial deadlines.

You do not want to tell a customer no constantly. However, sometimes you must explain why something is outside the original agreement, and additions will require more time and resources.

Deliver Quality Projects on Time

Clients expect you to meet specific deadlines but keep the lines of communication open and assure them you understand what they want from the experience. Setting goals before you begin a project helps keep things on track. If you run into problems, go back to the objective and strategize. When you focus on the project as a whole and then break it down, you will be better able to manage project deadlines and keep your clients happy.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How Do Businesses Create Unforgettable Experiences that Span the Entire Buyer’s Journey?

Today’s savvy consumers look for more than just price or quality in the products they buy. Shoppers also want a positive and engaging user experience (UX) that spans the entire buyer’s journey and beyond.

It’s natural to focus on finding new leads and getting them to make a purchase, but there are many steps before, during and after the sale that can impact how the user feels about your brand. The goal is to engage with them in a way that leaves them walking away with such a positive impression that they tell everyone they know and sing your praises via reviews and social media posts.

How can you improve the buyer’s journey and turn browsers into loyal customers and current clients into raving fans?

1. Know the Phases of the Buyer’s Journey

Before you can create an amazing experience, you must fully understand the path a consumer walks before they buy. In general, there are three phases to the process.

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

Within each of those phases are various touch points to focus on if you wish to create a memorable encounter. Walk through the sales funnel as though you are a user at each phase. Does anything make you want to leave the site? Is there anything unclear or that could be easier to use?

2. Get Personal

It’s particularly crucial during the awareness phase to create content that speaks to the audience. Create buyer personas based on pain points the user has that drives them to you for a solution.

Once you understand your audience’s demographics, you can address the emotions behind each pain point. Create content that relieves fears, makes them laugh or helps them overcome the issue at hand.

Videos are one tool to engage new users and begin to move them from the awareness to the consideration phase. You must first teach them about what you do and why it would help them.

3. Improve Checkout

Zippia reports that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.82% across all industries. Anything you can do to improve checkout will improve your revenue.

Users entering your checkout process are likely already in the decision stage and ready to make a purchase. Prevent any reasons to bounce away. Test the system, retest it and simplify things until closing the sale is as natural as clicking a single link.

Add features such as a one-click checkout and integrate with third-party payment providers like PayPal and Google so information is already stored and the user doesn’t have to think before hitting the checkout button.

4. Onboard New Visitors

Many experts now recommend taking a total experience (TX) approach with users. With TX, you have to look at every tiny detail. The way the colors on the page impact users emotionally may seem minor but can make a difference in the way the audience perceives your brand.

Take the time to welcome new visitors and teach them how to use your website or software. Break things down until even a small child could understand the next step and why to take it. Ensure call to action (CTA) buttons are easy to spot and the result is clear.

Don’t forget how many mobile interactions there are, as the numbers increase annually. Many shoppers may visit your site from smartphones, tablets and other devices.

5. Create Interactive Experiences

When the buyer’s journey reaches the consideration stage, focus on creating content that draws the user in and engages them. You might add a flip card, where you ask a question and the user clicks on the card for the answer about your product or service.

You might also host a webinar, offer online product demonstrations or tap into the power of augmented reality (AR). Ikea takes AR and adds it to their app for an immersive experience that sells furniture. The user points their cell phone at the room and plops the item into place. Instantly, they can consider how it looks and if it is the right item for their needs.

People move very quickly from consideration to decision when you give them the tools to do so.

6. Build Customer Loyalty

CX is a roughly $641 billion industry and growing. Companies are starting to understand why the steps a buyer goes through to become a customer are so crucial to building a loyal fan base.

One thing you can do to better understand your customers and create positive associations with your brand is to build a customer journey map. A map is something you should build as you walk through your site or shopping experience. Write down every touchpoint.

Next, ask if each interaction is all it can be or you should ramp things up. If something isn’t working, change it. Talk to customers and find out what they love and dislike about their experience.

7. Improve Multichannel Communication

Have you ever gone online and engaged a chatbot to fix an issue with a product or service? Perhaps you phoned and explained the issue only to be transferred and have to explain it all over again.

If you want to make a good impression on the buyer, you have to lessen their frustration when something does go wrong or they have a question. The best way to improve your customer service is by integrating all customer service channels into a single database.

Let’s say John went into the chatbot and tried to troubleshoot his new flashlight. Unfortunately, no live agents were available, and the bot couldn’t help, so the system asked him to phone.

John makes the call but has to explain the entire issue once again. The agent he reached isn’t in technical support and apologizes and transfers him to the correct department. Once there, guess what happens? John has to explain the entire problem yet again and hope this person can help him.

If you’re frustrating your customers like this, stop now. Train agents to look up the chain of communication and already know what the problem is so they can hit the ground running. “Hello John, I see that you tried to resolve this with our online live chat but were asked to phone in. Your new flashlight you just bought isn’t turning on and you want to know if you should return it. Is that correct?”

John is now less frustrated and you’ve improved the CX for him, making his experience unforgettable in a positive way.

Follow Up for the Best CX Imaginable

Creating an unforgettable experience happens when you stand out from the competition. You must show customers you care about them as individuals and give them a reason to trust you with their hard-earned dollars.

Following up after you have their money is one of the top ways to signal you care about more than just profit. You want them to be happy with their purchase and trust you in the future. Send an email checking on them and make sure they’re completely satisfied. Most will ignore the email, but a few might reach out for help or with a complaint. If they do, you now have the opportunity to solve the problem and secure your reputation with them.

With a little added effort during each part of the buyer’s journey, you’ll wind up with a skew of loyal fans who tell others how amazing you and your products are.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

The Key to Reaching Boomers to Gen Z through Multigenerational Marketing

Marketing to acquire new customers can be a challenging task for any business. You have to know who your target audience is, what makes them tick and how your products or services can make a difference in their lives. Yet, when you add multiple generations into the mix of your marketing strategy, this can be a huge undertaking. A mass appeal to different ages requires careful planning, the right resources and a thorough understanding of each group.

Before diving into multigenerational marketing head-on, you will need a powerful strategy to ensure you are keeping all generations within reach. From baby boomers to Gen Z, here is how you can deepen your market penetration and broaden your customer base.

Defining Multigenerational Marketing

You likely already know that marketing requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Even if you are only selling one offer, you must adjust your content and advertising to attract different audiences through multigenerational marketing.

Multigenerational marketing is defined as the practice of communicating and promoting products or services to multiple age groups simultaneously. This marketing approach uses segmentation to include each demographic by acknowledging their unique needs, values and experiences.

Many businesses implement multigenerational marketing because it allows them to interact with a wider audience, cultivate more relationships and gain valuable insights. Additionally, it promotes inclusivity and diversity, which is helpful in enhancing brand appeal across each age group. When done right, your marketing team can set your business apart from the competition and create more opportunities for high conversions.

Who Is Each Generation?

To implement multigenerational marketing successfully, you must understand each demographic so you can devise a personalized marketing strategy to increase reach. Here is an overview of what the different generations are like:

Baby Boomers

The boomer generation was born between 1946-1964, making up 20.58% of the U.S. population. Baby boomers are the generation that grew up during the era of the white picket fence and significant technological advancements. They are often described as hardworking, resourceful and conservative.

When it comes to their consumer behavior, boomers value quality and are brand loyal. They are not as digitally native as their younger counterparts, which means traditional marketing methods work best. They prefer face-to-face communication, sales pitches and testimonials. Direct mail campaigns and videos with captions also work well for this audience.

Despite their slow adoption of technology, they still use the internet and shop online. They appreciate more detailed information, so clear and concise copy is key. This generation also has significant spending power but does not make decisions lightly, so building trust will also be worth your time.

Gen X

Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, is often considered the “middle child” between baby boomers and millennials. This generation is autonomous and self-sufficient, having grown up in an era of two-income families.

Gen Xers are tech-savvy and adaptable, bridging the gap between digital and traditional media. They tend to be skeptical consumers who take time to research and read reviews before making a purchase decision. Additionally, Gen X appreciates email for communication and is more receptive to a high frequency of newsletters. Therefore, sending many emails over a period of time is fine for them.

They prefer transparency and straightforward marketing messages, but also enjoy personalized offers that cater to their interests. Values like stability and security are key to gaining their trust.


Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. This is a group that stands out from their predecessors because they have a unique set of characteristics. Millennials are highly diverse, tech-savvy and socially conscious.

They always feel the need to be constantly connected to social media and the internet, making them highly comfortable with technology and digital communication. However, that does not mean they like brands bombarding them with messages. Instead, they prefer slow and steady.

Additionally, millennials are driven by experiences and are constantly looking for ways to engage with others and share content on social media. They desire personalization and social impact, so they are more likely to support brands that share these same values.

Their purchase decisions often extend beyond the product itself, considering the brand’s reputation and ethical standards. Therefore, engaging with millennials means recognizing these attributes and what they believe in the most.

Gen Z

Generation Z, born from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, makes up 40% of consumers in the U.S. This is a tech-savvy generation. Growing up in a digital era, Gen Zers are largely influenced by their continuous online presence. They are often guided by trends spotted on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, and they have shorter attention spans than any other generation.

However, Gen Z places high importance on authenticity, social causes and inclusivity, making them likely to patronize brands that reflect these values. This generation also values speed and convenience, making them more likely to shop for products or services with one-click purchasing on their mobile devices.

They are quick to dislike messaging or advertising that disrupts their online experience and have a tight-knit relationship with technology that shapes their purchasing habits.

Tactics for Marketing to Each Generation

Here are some of the best marketing tactics for each generation:

  • Baby boomers: Prioritize traditional media channels like TV, radio and print, along with Facebook. Focus on providing specific details about your offerings and prioritize excellent customer service. Emphasize quality and cater to their price-conscious side.
  • Gen X: Utilize a mix of digital and traditional marketing channels. Adopt straightforward, honest marketing messages to appeal to their skeptical nature. Highlight the practicality and value-for-money aspects of the product.
  • Millennials: Leverage digital and social media platforms. Showcase social responsibility and ethical business practices. Provide personalized experiences and engage in two-way communication.
  • Gen Z: Prioritize mobile-friendly, quick and highly visual content. Avoid using “Gen Z” language and showcase authenticity instead. Utilize influencers and peer reviews, as Gen Z values opinions from people they trust.

Multigenerational Marketing for Success

Multigenerational marketing can be an effective way to reach a wide audience across various age demographics. However, it takes hard work and thorough research to understand each of their characteristics and what they value most.

Be sure to tailor your messaging to each generation. Personalization goes a long way in maintaining relevance, increasing engagement and building long-standing relationships.

Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn & TikTok’s Algorithm, Here’s What We Learned from Top Users & Experts

From Instagram’s focus on real-time engagement and relevance to Pinterest’s newly updated algorithm that curates based on user interaction and time spent, each platform has its unique way of ranking and promoting content. LinkedIn’s Post Discovery Algorithm uses your social network and geographic location to enhance search results, while TikTok’s content posting guide emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience and using trending hashtags.

However, across all platforms, one thing remains constant: the need for high-quality, engaging content. Whether it’s creating visually appealing pins on Pinterest, leveraging trending hashtags on TikTok, posting consistently on Instagram, or engaging with your network on LinkedIn, the key to increasing reach and engagement lies in understanding and adapting to each platform’s algorithm.

Join us as we unpack these algorithms, provide actionable tips, and share expert advice to help you navigate the dynamic landscape of social media. Whether you’re a marketer, a business owner, or an individual looking to boost your online presence, this article is your guide to understanding and leveraging the algorithms of Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Understanding Instagram’s Homepage Algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm for the Explore Feed calculates your post’s real-time engagement relative to your follower count to target users, who are chosen based on their recent search queries. The post is then subjected to a 24/7 operating sensitivity control. Despite good performance on the explore page, the algorithm continuously assesses your content’s eligibility to rank on Instagram.

For the Home Feed, Instagram’s ranking system orders posts from the accounts you follow based on factors like engagement, relevance, and freshness. The way you discover and follow a user influences the visibility of their content on your home feed. If a follower doesn’t interact with your posts, your content has a lower chance of appearing on their homepage.

  • Instagram’s algorithm calculates the real-time engagement of your post relative to your follower count.
  • Instagram’s algorithm uses this data to target users with your content, selecting them based on their recent search queries on the explore page.
  • Posts are subjected to a sensitivity control, an algorithm that operates 24/7.
  • Even if your post is performing well on the Explore page, the algorithm continuously filters your content to determine its eligibility to rank on Instagram.
  • The Home Feed Ranking System orders posts from the accounts you follow based on factors such as engagement, relevance, and freshness.
  • The way you discover and follow a user influences the visibility of their content on your home feed.
  • If someone follows you but doesn’t interact with your posts, there’s a lower likelihood of your content appearing on their homepage.

The Instagram Hashtag Algorithm is Nonexistent

Instagram’s reach through hashtags is determined by its old “Write Path Classifier” algorithm, which ranks content based on its relevance to the post image and caption. If your content is relevant and receives enough engagement, it will rank on hashtags. The focus should be on creating content for the explore page rather than on hashtags. According to a 2022 study, using 3-4 hashtags impacts your engagement rate by 3.20%, while using 19-20 hashtags affects it by 3.14%. The number of hashtags used should not be a concern as the difference is minimal, only 0.7%.

  • The reach of your hashtags is due to Instagram’s previous algorithm, the “Write Path Classifier,” which applies to all content formats.
  • Your content’s ranking on hashtags is determined by its relevance to your post image and caption.
  • If your content is relevant and garners enough engagement to rank on hashtag size, it will rank on hashtags.
  • Cracking the hashtag algorithm isn’t difficult. The suggestion is not to focus too much on hashtags, but rather to concentrate on creating content for the explore page.
  • According to a 2022 hashtag research report, your engagement rate is impacted by 3.20% when using 3-4 hashtags
  • While using 19-20 hashtags affects the engagement rate by 3.14%. Don’t worry about the number of hashtags to use. The difference is only 0.7%!

Understanding LinkedIn’s Post-Discovery Algorithm

LinkedIn’s Post Discovery Algorithm improves search results by using your existing social network and geographic location. It verifies that the searched keyword is in the post to provide relevant results. The algorithm analyzes your current network usage and displays content based on two key factors: Content Quality Measurement and Relevance Quality Model. Relevance signals consider how the post’s comments and text relate to the search, and LinkedIn extracts metadata from posts for more relevant results. Content Quality signals are based on the engagement or click-through rate each time your post appears in a search. LinkedIn is still working on optimizing their algorithm for new video formats.

  • LinkedIn’s algorithm enhances your search results by utilizing your existing social network and geographic location. It employs a verification tool to ensure that the keyword users are searching for is present in the post, thereby providing relevant results.
  • A simplified explanation of LinkedIn’s search algorithm is that it analyzes your current network/usage and displays content for your search based on two key factors: Content Quality Measurement and Relevance Quality Model.
  • Relevance signals pertain to how the comments and text in the post relate to the search. LinkedIn also extracts metadata from posts to yield more relevant results. Content Quality signals are determined by the engagement rate or click-through rate every time your post appears in a search.
  • This information is gleaned from a report I read. The platform has also stated that they are still refining their algorithm to provide optimal results for new video formats.

Increasing your reach on TikTok can be achieved by following several strategies

TikTok’s official guide suggests that verified Business Accounts should post an average of 2.8 times per week. A content calendar is recommended for a successful marketing strategy. Three posting frequencies are advised: low frequency for major updates and events, medium frequency for behind-the-scenes content and business highlights, and high frequency to engage with niche trends and explore sub-niches for increased reach. Consistency in following these frequencies is encouraged for optimal results.

  • Understand Your Audience: Know who your audience is and what kind of content they enjoy.
  • Use Trending Hashtags and Sounds: TikTok’s algorithm tends to favor content that uses trending hashtags and sounds.
  • Post and Participate Regularly: Consistency is key on TikTok. Post regularly, but only if you have quality content and spend time on TikTok for each post you create. Active accounts receive more engagement, even when your activity is passive.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments on your videos, engage with your followers, and participate in trends and challenges (smart ones).
  • Create High-Quality Content: Avoid videos that are blurry, have poor lighting, or are hard to follow may not perform as well. Great sound quality is essential.
  • Stitch and connect with Other TikTokers: Collaborations can help you reach a wider audience.
  • Analyze Your Performance: Use TikTok’s analytics to understand which of your videos are performing well and why.

Understanding Pinterest’s Recently Updated Algorithm

Pinterest’s updated algorithm curates the Home feed based on the user’s last 100 Pins and their actions like repinning, saving, hiding, and clicking. The algorithm takes into account the time spent on the platform and on individual pins.To prevent a decrease in user engagement, the algorithm is being adjusted to focus more on Repins and saves. These actions, Repins and saves, significantly impact how pins are ranked on the home feed. Marketers are advised to create engaging Call-To-Actions and visuals to encourage users to repin or save their content. This analysis is based on information from Pinterest’s Engineering Blogs and TikTok’s Business Blog.

  • The Home feed for a typical Pinterest user is curated based on the last 100 Pins they interacted with, and actions such as repinning, saving, hiding, and clicking.
  • Pins are promoted to a different section of your home feed based on actions.
  • The algorithm displays content based on the duration of your activity on the platform and the time you spend on a single pin.
  • Pinterest explains that user engagement varies significantly based on time spent.
  • Currently, they are modifying the algorithm to prevent a drop in user engagement.
  • Emphasize the importance of Repins and saves, these two actions will have the most significant impact on pin ranking on the home feed.
  • To counteract a decrease in “in-app engagement,” Pinterest is working to display the best content to users who aren’t as active.
  • For marketers, it’s crucial to ensure that your Call-To-Actions (CTAs) and visuals engage users with your pins.
  • Provide context and compelling reasons for users to repin or save your content.

All these algorithm analyses are derived from Engineering Blogs, official platform sources, analytics testing, and for TikTok, their Business Blog. Additionally, invaluable insights have been gathered from the dedicated Reddit users who live and breathe social media analytics.

Unlock the Power of Data with Effective Analytics Management

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Analytics management provides a deep understanding of user behavior and engagement on your website. You can gain valuable insights into how visitors interact with your site by tracking key performance metrics and conversion rates. This information allows you to identify areas for improvement, capitalize on growth opportunities, and enhance the overall user experience. With data at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions that align with your business goals and drive success.

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This Type of Leader Is Necessary at a Growing Digital Marketing Agency

With the world being highly interconnected, the marketing field is shifting at lightning speed. Each change brings fresh opportunities and new challenges. This makes digital marketing ever so vibrant, as it is constantly evolving. However, handling these shifts and leading a digital marketing agency to growth is no small feat — it calls for effective leadership.

Yet, with various types of leadership in the digital marketing space, there is one that champions the rest. This type of leader possesses a unique blend of foresight, adaptability and innovative thinking to guide a digital marketing agency towards success. If you are part of this fast-paced industry or aspire to be, you will know the truth in this — the right kind of leadership can turn challenges into stepping stones for growth.

The Unique Challenges of a Growing Digital Marketing Agency

Running a growing digital marketing agency comes with unique challenges. The rapid pace of change and evolution is the most prominent among them. Each day, new technologies, platforms and digital marketing strategies emerge. Algorithms update, consumer behavior shifts and marketing trends evolve at warp speed. As a leader, you must stay ahead of these changes, adapt quickly and ensure your team is well-equipped to navigate this changing landscape.

With this pace of change is the constant necessity for innovation and creativity. In the digital marketing space, there is no place for complacency. In fact, at least 50% of marketing agencies strongly agree creativity is essential to long-term growth. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to create continually and execute cutting-edge campaigns that reach your client’s target audience and resonate with them. Inspiring and fostering creativity among your team members is key to staying ahead.

Additionally, the digital marketing industry is fiercely competitive. Agencies need to build and maintain strong relationships with their clients to achieve growth. This requires a deep understanding of their business goals, proactive communication and consistent delivery of results. As a leader, you must cultivate a client-centric culture within your agency and ensure your team strives to exceed client expectations at every step.

Different Types of Leaders in Digital Marketing

In digital marketing, various leadership styles have been observed, each with strengths and limitations:

  • Transactional leaders: These leaders operate primarily based on routines and performance metrics. They reward or penalize their teams based on predefined targets and benchmarks. While this approach can ensure consistency and discipline, it may stifle creativity, which is vital in digital marketing.
  • Transformational leaders: Transformational leaders inspire and drive change. They are visionaries who motivate their teams to go above and beyond the call of duty. They cultivate an environment of trust, encouraging innovative thinking and embracing new marketing strategies.
  • Servant leaders: Servant leaders put the needs of their team and clients first. They focus on the growth and well-being of their staff, fostering a nurturing environment. This approach can lead to high team morale and superior client service, but it also requires the leader to balance being supportive with driving results.
  • Laissez-faire leaders: These leaders give their teams the autonomy to make decisions. They trust their team’s skills and expertise, offering guidance only when necessary. This leadership style can spur innovation and employee satisfaction. However, it requires a highly motivated and competent team to be effective.

The Ideal Leader for a Growing Digital Marketing Agency

In many respects, an ideal leader for growing a digital marketing agency aligns with the transformational leadership style. These leaders can facilitate continuous change, which is integral to managing the complexities of digital marketing. They motivate others to think more creatively while fostering a work environment that thrives on constant learning and adaptability. Transformational leaders maintain a strong visionary perspective, which aids in keeping the agency at the forefront of digital marketing.

Furthermore, transformational leaders instill purpose and provocation in their teams. They value their employees, promoting a culture that aligns individual goals with the overarching objectives of the agency. This approach ensures the staff remains agile and efficient in the face of industry changes.

A key example of a transformational leader is Neil Patel — a recognized figure in digital marketing. Under his leadership in Neil Patel Digital, he has succeeded in growth and sustainability. Patel is credited for establishing a solid company culture, emphasizing an innovative approach, and encouraging his employees to take risks and think outside the box.

His ability to inspire his team led his company to create groundbreaking marketing strategies and high-profile client wins. Patel’s leadership shows the potential of transformational leadership in driving growth in a digital marketing agency.

Cultivating Yourself Into the Ideal Leader

Becoming the ideal leader in a growing digital marketing agency involves intentional self-development. Here are some strategies to help you cultivate essential qualities:

  • Adaptability: Embrace change as the only constant. Stay updated with industry trends, learn new technologies and encourage your team to do the same. Create a flexible environment where change is an opportunity, not a threat.
  • Empathy: Understand the needs and concerns of your team and clients. Foster open communication and encourage feedback. Show genuine interest in the well-being of your team members, and they are more likely to reciprocate with loyalty and education.
  • Innovation: Encourage new ideas and be willing to take calculated risks. Be a culture where your company celebrates creativity and sees failure as a stepping stone to creation.
  • Continuous learning: Keep shaping yourself into the ideal leader for your digital marketing agency. Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences related to leadership and digital marketing. Reading and educating yourself about new strategies, tools, and industry developments will help you stay on top of your professional development.
  • Feedback and self-evaluation: Regularly assess your performance as a leader. Invite input from your team, reflect on it and make necessary adjustments. This process will help you improve and show your commitment to growth, inspiring other team members to do the same.

Growing as a Transformational Leader

Transformational leadership is the optimal style for a thriving digital marketing business. By inspiring change, fostering innovation and maintaining adaptability, transformational leaders can manage the industry’s challenges well.

As the leader of your agency, your role is pivotal in guiding your team toward growth. Embrace the qualities and cultivate yourself into a transformational leader, as it can be the key to unlocking immense potential in this highly evolving industry.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Creative is King: Tips for Facebook Ads and eCommerce that deliver ROA according to Reddit

Tip for Effective Advertising: Reinvent your approach and figure out why ads have gotten so weird, according to the PPC community on Reddit.

Don’t be forgettable

In this ever-evolving era of digital marketing, the importance of being creative cannot be overstated. Mediocre ads with subpar products won’t guarantee a lucrative return on ad spend (ROAS) anymore. The trend has undeniably shifted towards an emphasis on creativity in ad creation. This has really always been the case but now more than ever, with the bar set incredibly high for all content including ads, creativity reigns supreme, period.

Oh, this is actually an ad?

Successful ad strategies have increasingly leveraged user-generated content (UGC) or content that seamlessly blends with the platform’s native environment. Your objective should be to craft video ads that viewers watch almost to completion before realizing, “Oh, this is actually an ad!”

It’s good to be Weird, but don’t go too far

Don’t hesitate to test different approaches! Remember, being provocative or presenting relatable content isn’t a fresh concept in ad design. The key lies in how you tailor these tried-and-true techniques to your own creative, unique ad and how it translates to your audience. Keep in mind that while successful ads seem to be skewing toward more provoking or crass content (e.g. watching a unicorn poop rainbow ice cream thanks to the aid of a toilet step – yes this is a real and very successful ad, and you can see it below.), it’s actually just the product of an increasingly polarized society that 1. takes umbrage at being fed an overly sanitized message and 2. is forced to sit through a lot of ads. To be frank, if you are boring it’s offensive to some viewers, almost as bad as getting spam email. Or, worse yet, you just fade into the static of an endless flow of other easy-to-ignore ad content. Find a way to be weird in a safe, fun way and it will pay off every time.

Accessibility is Key

If you are venturing into video content, remember that subtitles are crucial as most viewers tend to keep the sound off. This should already be standard practice since we all know that accessibility is a requirement now and not just a nice-to-have when executing ad design or media work. Not just because it is a necessary part of good SEO it’s necessary to maintain legal minimums, and if we are being honest, it is just the right thing to do. While non-subtitled videos occasionally perform well, their success rate is comparatively low, sometimes drastically so, depending on the platform and audience. Better yet, make ad content so odd or interesting, that it convinces followers to replay it and turn on the sound.

Don’t use clip art or stock images – it’s an instant trigger for ad blindness

Creating engaging still images is important too! Views can sense stock images and clip art in less than 3 seconds and they summarily ignore all of it. Audiences have honed a key skill, ignoring ad content that is played out or over-served. Tools like Canva can help you create a unique video-like experience with your images, but tools like this can be tricky to navigate. It is easy to create something on Canva, that technically looks good, but its is dead content, meaning it’s been seen so many times it just becomes background noise. Audiences are getting better and better at ignoring recycled content.

Canva is great, but be careful of using overexposed elements or templates

Due to its ease of use and massive popularity, it has become a high-traffic tool for reproducing the same look over and over again. Many users are finding that Canva designs are so overused that it’s the visual equivalent of using clip art, and despite being technically accurate work, it’s quickly buried. Facebook, for instance, appreciates and rewards genuine, native content for ads on their platform, and Canva designers have been reporting issues with creative media that, despite being well-designed and polished, are seen as “canned” or low quality. This is not the fault of Canva of course, this has more to do with what components you are choosing on Canva. If you are selecting the same overexposed skyline shot of your city as everyone else, then it’s going to cheapen the quality of the message you have to share.

Follow the example of weird ads that win the ROI race

Creative is more important than ever. Gone are the days where you could throw up a shitty ad with a mediocre product and rake in a solid 5+ ROAS. Things have been moving toward a more creative-focused FB ad world for a while now but this year has really solidified it – creative is king. End of story. We’ve been seeing great results with more UGC-focused ad creative or content in general that seems native to the platform. Ideally, people should be near the end of your video ad before they think “Shit, this is a f*cking ad!”. If you are doing videos, make sure you have subtitles as most people watch with sound off. We’ve experimented with non-subtitle videos and they sometimes do well, but rarely. Test for yourself! Even with still images, you can make a fun and unique native-looking video easily using something like Canva. Also – Facebook will reward you for using genuine, native content for ads on their platform. Ideas: Unboxing videos, “TikTok” style outfit videos, influencer reviews, ect. Check out your favorite brand’s ads in Facebook ad library for inspiration!

Hot take from u/VinterDigital on Reddits r/PPC

“Don’t be afraid to get weird with your ads. Creative, original comedy sells.”

Harmon Brothers 

Post Photo credit: Midjourny imagine prompt, “Unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream”.

What does AI think about ads getting weird?

According to ChatGPT, the trend of “weird” or unconventional advertising in 2023 is a reflection of the continuous evolution of the advertising industry and society at large. Here are a few of the highlights on why ads have taken this unconventional turn and why it seem to work for so many advertisers and marketers:

  1. Odd ads help to Break through the Noise: With the proliferation of digital platforms and content, capturing a viewer’s attention has become increasingly difficult. Brands are compelled to create unique, offbeat, and sometimes bizarre ads to differentiate themselves and cut through the clutter.
  2. Banking on Engagement and Virality: In the age of social media, having an ad go viral (read, earned media for those in PR) can have a significant impact on brand awareness and reach. Unconventional, “weird” ads often spark conversations, shares, and engagement, thus increasing their chances of virality.
  3. Targeting Younger Audiences: Gen Z and younger millennials, who are often a target demographic for advertisers, respond well to quirky, non-traditional content that stands out. “Weird” ads can resonate with these groups as they are often more aligned with their unique sense of humor and view of the world.
  4. Authenticity and Differentiation: In an effort to be authentic and differentiate themselves from competitors, some brands intentionally push the boundaries of traditional advertising. This helps them establish a distinct brand personality.
  5. Tech Advancements and Creativity: Advances in technology have enabled advertisers to push the creative boundaries of what’s possible in an ad, resulting in unique, innovative, and sometimes “weird” executions.

Remember, while the rise of “weird” ads might seem perplexing, the goal remains the same: capture attention, engage viewers, and promote a brand or product. The measure of an ad’s effectiveness isn’t necessarily its conformity to tradition, but its success in achieving these goals.