More on Marketing
Dung Claire Tran
7 months ago
Is the future of brand marketing with virtual influencers?
Digital influences that mimic humans are rising.
Lil Miquela has 3M Instagram followers, 3.6M TikTok followers, and 30K Twitter followers. She's been on the covers of Prada, Dior, and Calvin Klein magazines. Miquela released Not Mine in 2017 and launched Hard Feelings at Lollapazoolas this year. This isn't surprising, given the rise of influencer marketing.
This may be unexpected. Miquela's fake. Brud, a Los Angeles startup, produced her in 2016.
Lil Miquela is one of many rising virtual influencers in the new era of social media marketing. She acts like a real person and performs the same tasks as sports stars and models.
The emergence of online influencers
Before 2018, computer-generated characters were rare. Since the virtual human industry boomed, they've appeared in marketing efforts worldwide.
In 2020, the WHO partnered up with Atlanta-based virtual influencer Knox Frost (@knoxfrost) to gather contributions for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Lu do Magalu (@magazineluiza) has been the virtual spokeswoman for Magalu since 2009, using social media to promote reviews, product recommendations, unboxing videos, and brand updates. Magalu's 10-year profit was $552M.
In 2020, PUMA partnered with Southeast Asia's first virtual model, Maya (@mayaaa.gram). She joined Singaporean actor Tosh Zhang in the PUMA campaign. Local virtual influencer Ava Lee-Graham (@avagram.ai) partnered with retail firm BHG to promote their in-house labels.
In Japan, Imma (@imma.gram) is the face of Nike, PUMA, Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, and Valentino. Imma's bubblegum pink bob and ultra-fine fashion landed her on the cover of Grazia magazine.
Lotte Home Shopping created Lucy (@here.me.lucy) in September 2020. She made her TV debut as a Christmas show host in 2021. Since then, she has 100K Instagram followers and 13K TikTok followers.
Liu Yiexi gained 3 million fans in five days on Douyin, China's TikTok, in 2021. Her two-minute video went viral overnight. She's posted 6 videos and has 830 million Douyin followers.
China's virtual human industry was worth $487 million in 2020, up 70% year over year, and is expected to reach $875.9 million in 2021.
Investors worldwide are interested. Immas creator Aww Inc. raised $1 million from Coral Capital in September 2020, according to Bloomberg. Superplastic Inc., the Vermont-based startup behind influencers Janky and Guggimon, raised $16 million by 2020. Craft Ventures, SV Angels, and Scooter Braun invested. Crunchbase shows the company has raised $47 million.
The industries they represent, including Augmented and Virtual reality, were worth $14.84 billion in 2020 and are projected to reach $454.73 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 40.7%, according to PR Newswire.
Advantages for brands
Forbes suggests brands embrace computer-generated influencers. Examples:
Unlimited creative opportunities: Because brands can personalize everything—from a person's look and activities to the style of their content—virtual influencers may be suited to a brand's needs and personalities.
100% brand control: Brand managers now have more influence over virtual influencers, so they no longer have to give up and rely on content creators to include brands into their storytelling and style. Virtual influencers can constantly produce social media content to promote a brand's identity and ideals because they are completely scandal-free.
Long-term cost savings: Because virtual influencers are made of pixels, they may be reused endlessly and never lose their beauty. Additionally, they can move anywhere around the world and even into space to fit a brand notion. They are also always available. Additionally, the expense of creating their content will not rise in step with their expanding fan base.
Introduction to the metaverse: Statista reports that 75% of American consumers between the ages of 18 and 25 follow at least one virtual influencer. As a result, marketers that support virtual celebrities may now interact with younger audiences that are more tech-savvy and accustomed to the digital world. Virtual influencers can be included into any digital space, including the metaverse, as they are entirely computer-generated 3D personas. Virtual influencers can provide brands with a smooth transition into this new digital universe to increase brand trust and develop emotional ties, in addition to the young generations' rapid adoption of the metaverse.
Better engagement than in-person influencers: A Hype Auditor study found that online influencers have roughly three times the engagement of their conventional counterparts. Virtual influencers should be used to boost brand engagement even though the data might not accurately reflect the entire sector.
Concerns about influencers created by computers
Virtual influencers could encourage excessive beauty standards in South Korea, which has a $10.7 billion plastic surgery industry.
A classic Korean beauty has a small face, huge eyes, and pale, immaculate skin. Virtual influencers like Lucy have these traits. According to Lee Eun-hee, a professor at Inha University's Department of Consumer Science, this could make national beauty standards more unrealistic, increasing demand for plastic surgery or cosmetic items.
Other parts of the world raise issues regarding selling items to consumers who don't recognize the models aren't human and the potential of cultural appropriation when generating influencers of other ethnicities, called digital blackface by some.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram's parent corporation, acknowledges this risk.
“Like any disruptive technology, synthetic media has the potential for both good and harm. Issues of representation, cultural appropriation and expressive liberty are already a growing concern,” the company stated in a blog post. “To help brands navigate the ethical quandaries of this emerging medium and avoid potential hazards, (Meta) is working with partners to develop an ethical framework to guide the use of (virtual influencers).”
Despite theoretical controversies, the industry will likely survive. Companies think virtual influencers are the next frontier in the digital world, which includes the metaverse, virtual reality, and digital currency.
Virtual influencers may garner millions of followers online and help marketers reach youthful audiences. According to a YouGov survey, the real impact of computer-generated influencers is yet unknown because people prefer genuine connections. Virtual characters can supplement brand marketing methods. When brands are metaverse-ready, the author predicts virtual influencer endorsement will continue to expand.
7 months ago
I Posted Six Times a Day for 210 Days on Twitter. Here's What Happened.
I'd spend hours composing articles only to find out they were useless. Twitter solved the problem.
Twitter is wrinkled, say critics.
Nope. Writing is different. It won't make sense until you write there.
Twitter is resurgent. People are reading again. 15-second TikToks overloaded our senses.
After nuking my 20,000-follower Twitter account and starting again, I wrote every day for 210 days.
I came across the strange world of microblogging.
Traditional web writing is filler-heavy.
On Twitter, you must be brief. I played Wordle.
Twitter Threads are the most popular writing format. Like a blog post. It reminds me of the famous broetry posts on LinkedIn a few years ago.
Threads combine tweets into an article.
Sharp, concise sentences
No regard for grammar
As important as the information is how the text looks.
Twitter Threads are like Michael Angelo's David monument. He chipped away at an enormous piece of marble until a man with a big willy appeared.
That's Twitter Threads.
I tried to remove unnecessary layers from several of my Wordpress blog posts. Then I realized something.
Tweeting from scratch is easier and more entertaining. It's quicker and makes you think more concisely.
Superpower: saying much with little words. My long-form writing has improved. My article sentences resemble tweets.
You never know what will happen.
Twitter's subcultures are odd. Best-performing tweets are strange.
Unusual trend: working alone and without telling anyone. It's a rebellion against Instagram influencers who share their every moment.
Early on, random thoughts worked:
My friend’s wife is Ukrainian. Her family are trapped in the warzone. He is devastated. And here I was complaining about my broken garage door. War puts everything in perspective. Today is a day to be grateful for peace.
Documenting what's happening triggers writing. It's not about viral tweets. Helping others matters.
There are numerous anonymous users.
Twitter uses pseudonyms.
You don't matter. On sites like LinkedIn, you must use your real name. Welcome to the Cyberpunk metaverse of Twitter :)
One daily piece of writing is a powerful habit.
Habits build creator careers. Read that again.
Twitter is an easy habit to pick up. If you can't tweet in one sentence, something's wrong. Easy-peasy-japanese.
Not what I tweeted, but my constancy, made the difference.
Daily writing is challenging, especially if your supervisor is on your back. Twitter encourages writing.
Tweets evolved as the foundation of all other material.
During my experiment, I enjoyed Twitter's speed.
Tweets get immediate responses, comments, and feedback. My popular tweets become newspaper headlines. I've also written essays from tweet discussions.
Sometimes the tweet and article were clear. Twitter sometimes helped me overcome writer's block.
I used to spend hours composing big things that had little real-world use.
Twitter helped me. No guessing. Data guides my coverage and validates concepts.
Test ideas on Twitter.
It took some time for my email list to grow.
Subscribers are a writer's lifeblood.
Without them, you're broke and homeless when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the algorithms for ad dollars. Twitter has three ways to obtain email subscribers:
1. Add a link to your bio.
Twitter allows bio links (LinkedIn now does too). My eBook's landing page is linked. I collect emails there.
2. Start an online newsletter.
Twitter bought newsletter app Revue. They promote what they own.
I just established up a Revue email newsletter. I imported them weekly into my ConvertKit email list.
3. Create Twitter threads and include a link to your email list in the final tweet.
Write Twitter Threads and link the last tweet to your email list (example below).
Initial email subscribers were modest.
Numbers are growing. Twitter provides 25% of my new email subscribers. Some days, 50 people join.
Without them, my writing career is over. I'd be back at a 9-5 job begging for time off to spend with my newborn daughter. Nope.
Collect email addresses or die trying.
As insurance against unsubscribes and Zucks, use a second email list or Discord community.
What I still need to do
Twitter's fun. I'm wiser. I need to enable auto-replies and auto-DMs (direct messages).
This adds another way to attract subscribers. I schedule tweets with Tweet Hunter.
It’s best to go slow. People assume you're an internet marketer if you spam them with click requests.
A human internet marketer is preferable to a robot. My opinion.
210 days on Twitter taught me that. I plan to use the platform until I'm a grandfather unless Elon ruins it.
1 month ago
Mastering the Art of Rhetoric: A Guide to Rhetorical Devices in Successful Headlines and Titles
Unleash the power of persuasion and captivate your audience with compelling headlines.
As the old adage goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
In the world of content creation and social ads, headlines and titles play a critical role in making that first impression.
A well-crafted headline can make the difference between an article being read or ignored, a video being clicked on or bypassed, or a product being purchased or passed over.
To make an impact with your headlines, mastering the art of rhetoric is essential. In this post, we'll explore various rhetorical devices and techniques that can help you create headlines that captivate your audience and drive engagement.
tl;dr : Headline Magician will help you craft the ultimate headline titles powered by rhetoric devices
Example with a high-end luxury organic zero-waste skincare brand
✍️ The Power of Alliteration
Alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of words in close proximity. This rhetorical device lends itself well to headlines, as it creates a memorable, rhythmic quality that can catch a reader's attention.
By using alliteration, you can make your headlines more engaging and easier to remember.
"Crafting Compelling Content: A Comprehensive Course"
"Mastering the Art of Memorable Marketing"
🔁 The Appeal of Anaphora
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses. This rhetorical device emphasizes a particular idea or theme, making it more memorable and persuasive.
In headlines, anaphora can be used to create a sense of unity and coherence, which can draw readers in and pique their interest.
"Create, Curate, Captivate: Your Guide to Social Media Success"
"Innovation, Inspiration, and Insight: The Future of AI"
🔄 The Intrigue of Inversion
Inversion is a rhetorical device where the normal order of words is reversed, often to create an emphasis or achieve a specific effect.
In headlines, inversion can generate curiosity and surprise, compelling readers to explore further.
"Beneath the Surface: A Deep Dive into Ocean Conservation"
"Beyond the Stars: The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life"
⚖️ The Persuasive Power of Parallelism
Parallelism is a rhetorical device that involves using similar grammatical structures or patterns to create a sense of balance and symmetry.
In headlines, parallelism can make your message more memorable and impactful, as it creates a pleasing rhythm and flow that can resonate with readers.
"Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well: The Ultimate Guide to Wellness"
"Learn, Lead, and Launch: A Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Success"
⏭️ The Emphasis of Ellipsis
Ellipsis is the omission of words, typically indicated by three periods (...), which suggests that there is more to the story.
In headlines, ellipses can create a sense of mystery and intrigue, enticing readers to click and discover what lies behind the headline.
"The Secret to Success... Revealed"
"Unlocking the Power of Your Mind... A Step-by-Step Guide"
🎭 The Drama of Hyperbole
Hyperbole is a rhetorical device that involves exaggeration for emphasis or effect.
In headlines, hyperbole can grab the reader's attention by making bold, provocative claims that stand out from the competition. Be cautious with hyperbole, however, as overuse or excessive exaggeration can damage your credibility.
"The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Any Skill in Record Time"
"Discover the Revolutionary Technique That Will Transform Your Life"
❓The Curiosity of Questions
Posing questions in your headlines can be an effective way to pique the reader's curiosity and encourage engagement.
Questions compel the reader to seek answers, making them more likely to click on your content. Additionally, questions can create a sense of connection between the content creator and the audience, fostering a sense of dialogue and discussion.
"Are You Making These Common Mistakes in Your Marketing Strategy?"
"What's the Secret to Unlocking Your Creative Potential?"
💥 The Impact of Imperatives
Imperatives are commands or instructions that urge the reader to take action. By using imperatives in your headlines, you can create a sense of urgency and importance, making your content more compelling and actionable.
"Master Your Time Management Skills Today"
"Transform Your Business with These Innovative Strategies"
💢 The Emotion of Exclamations
Exclamations are powerful rhetorical devices that can evoke strong emotions and convey a sense of excitement or urgency.
Including exclamations in your headlines can make them more attention-grabbing and shareable, increasing the chances of your content being read and circulated.
"Unlock Your True Potential: Find Your Passion and Thrive!"
"Experience the Adventure of a Lifetime: Travel the World on a Budget!"
🎀 The Effectiveness of Euphemisms
Euphemisms are polite or indirect expressions used in place of harsher, more direct language.
In headlines, euphemisms can make your message more appealing and relatable, helping to soften potentially controversial or sensitive topics.
"Navigating the Challenges of Modern Parenting"
"Redefining Success in a Fast-Paced World"
⚡Antithesis: The Power of Opposites
Antithesis involves placing two opposite words side-by-side, emphasizing their contrasts. This device can create a sense of tension and intrigue in headlines.
"Once a day. Every day"
"Soft on skin. Kill germs"
"Mega power. Mini size."
To utilize antithesis, identify two opposing concepts related to your content and present them in a balanced manner.
🎨 Scesis Onomaton: The Art of Verbless Copy
Scesis onomaton is a rhetorical device that involves writing verbless copy, which quickens the pace and adds emphasis.
"7 days. 7 dollars. Full access."
To use scesis onomaton, remove verbs and focus on the essential elements of your headline.
🌟 Polyptoton: The Charm of Shared Roots
Polyptoton is the repeated use of words that share the same root, bewitching words into memorable phrases.
"Real bread isn't made in factories. It's baked in bakeries"
"Lose your knack for losing things."
To employ polyptoton, identify words with shared roots that are relevant to your content.
✨ Asyndeton: The Elegance of Omission
Asyndeton involves the intentional omission of conjunctions, adding crispness, conviction, and elegance to your headlines.
"You, Me, Sushi?"
"All the latte art, none of the environmental impact."
To use asyndeton, eliminate conjunctions and focus on the core message of your headline.
🔮 Tricolon: The Magic of Threes
Tricolon is a rhetorical device that uses the power of three, creating memorable and impactful headlines.
"Show it, say it, send it"
"Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well."
To use tricolon, craft a headline with three key elements that emphasize your content's main message.
🔔 Epistrophe: The Chime of Repetition
Epistrophe involves the repetition of words or phrases at the end of successive clauses, adding a chime to your headlines.
"Catch it. Bin it. Kill it."
"Joint friendly. Climate friendly. Family friendly."
To employ epistrophe, repeat a key phrase or word at the end of each clause.
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22 years ago
400 articles later, nobody bothered to read them.
Writing for readers:
14 years of daily writing.
I post practically everything on social media. I authored hundreds of articles, thousands of tweets, and numerous volumes to almost no one.
Tens of thousands of readers regularly praise me.
I despised writing. I'm stuck now.
I've learned what readers like and what doesn't.
Here are some essential guidelines for writing with impact:
Readers won't understand your work if you can't.
Though obvious, this slipped me up. Share your truths.
Stories engage human brains.
Showing the journey of a person from worm to butterfly inspires the human spirit.
Overthinking hinders powerful writing.
The best ideas come from inner understanding in between thoughts.
Avoid writing to find it. Write.
Writing a masterpiece isn't motivating.
Write for five minutes to simplify. Step-by-step, entertaining, easy steps.
Good writing requires a willingness to make mistakes.
So write loads of garbage that you can edit into a good piece.
A courageous story will move readers. Personal experience is best.
Go where few dare.
Templates, outlines, and boundaries help.
Limitations enhance writing.
Excellent writing is straightforward and readable, removing all the unnecessary fat.
Use five words instead of nine.
Use ordinary words instead of uncommon ones.
Readers desire relatability.
Too much perfection will turn it off.
Write to solve an issue if you can't think of anything to write.
Instead, read to inspire. Best authors read.
Every tweet, thread, and novel must have a central idea.
What's its point?
This can make writing confusing.
️ Don't direct your reader.
Readers quit reading. Demonstrate, describe, and relate.
Even if no one responds, have fun. If you hate writing it, the reader will too.
8 months ago
Trading Volume on OpenSea Drops by 99% as the NFT Boom Comes to an End
Wasn't that a get-rich-quick scheme?
OpenSea processed $2.7 billion in NFT transactions in May 2021.
Fueled by a crypto bull run, rumors of unfathomable riches, and FOMO, Bored Apes, Crypto Punks, and other JPEG-format trash projects flew off the virtual shelves, snatched up by retail investors and celebrities alike.
Over a year later, those shelves are overflowing and warehouses are backlogged. Since March, I've been writing less. In May and June, the bubble was close to bursting.
Apparently, the boom has finally peaked.
This bubble has punctured, and deflation has begun. On Aug. 28, OpenSea processed $9.34 million.
From that euphoric high of $2.7 billion, $9.34 million represents a spectacular decline of 99%.
OpenSea contradicts the data. A trading platform spokeswoman stated the comparison is unfair because it compares the site's highest and lowest trading days. They're the perfect two data points to assess the drop. OpenSea chooses to use ETH volume measures, which ignore crypto's shifting price. Since January 2022, monthly ETH volume has dropped 140%, according to Dune.
Further OpenSea indicators point to declining NFT demand:
Since January 2022, daily user visits have decreased by 50%.
Daily transactions have decreased by 50% since the beginning of the year in the same manner.
Off-platform, the floor price of Bored Apes has dropped from 145 ETH to 77 ETH. (At $4,800, a reduction from $700,000 to $370,000). Google search data shows waning popular interest.
It is a trend that will soon vanish, just like laser eyes.
NFTs haven't moved since the new year. Eminem and Snoop Dogg can utilize their apes in music videos or as 3D visuals to perform at the VMAs, but the reality is that NFTs have lost their public appeal and the market is trying to regain its footing.
They've lost popularity because?
Breaking records. The technology still lacks genuine use cases a year and a half after being popular.
They're pricey prestige symbols that have made a few people rich through cunning timing or less-than-savory scams or rug pulling. Over $10.5 billion has been taken through frauds, most of which are NFT enterprises promising to be the next Bored Apes, according to Web3 is going wonderfully. As the market falls, many ordinary investors realize they purchased into a self-fulfilling ecosystem that's halted. Many NFTs are sold between owner-held accounts to boost their price, data suggests. Most projects rely on social media excitement to debut with a high price before the first owners sell and chuckle to the bank. When they don't, the initiative fails, leaving investors high and dry.
NFTs are fading like laser eyes. Most people pushing the technology don't believe in it or the future it may bring. No, they just need a Kool-Aid-drunk buyer.
Everybody wins. When your JPEGs are worth 99% less than when you bought them, you've lost.
When demand reaches zero, many will lose.
2 months ago
Is it bad of me to want our portfolio companies to generate greater returns for outside investors than they did for us as venture capitalists?
Wishing for Lasting Companies, Not Penny Stocks or Goodwill Write-Downs
Get me a NASCAR-style company-logoed cremation urn (notice to the executor of my will, theres gonna be a lot of weird requests). I believe in working on projects that would be on your tombstone. As the Homebrew logo is tattooed on my shoulder, expanding the portfolio to my posthumous commemoration is easy. But this isn't an IRR victory lap; it's a hope that the firms we worked for would last beyond my lifetime.
Venture investors too often take credit or distance themselves from startups based on circumstances. Successful companies tell stories of crucial introductions, strategy conversations, and other value. Defeats Even whether our term involves Board service or systematic ethical violations, I'm just a little investment, so there's not much I can do. Since I'm guilty, I'm tossing stones from within the glass home (although we try to own our decisions through the lifecycle).
Post-exit company trajectories are usually unconfounded. Off the cap table, no longer a shareholder (or a diminishing one as you sell off/distribute), eventually leaving the Board. You can cheer for the squad or forget about it, but you've freed the corporation and it's back to portfolio work.
As I look at the downward track of most SPACs and other tarnished IPOs from the last few years, I wonder how I would feel if those were my legacy. Is my job done? Yes. When investing in a business, the odds are against it surviving, let alone thriving and being able to find sunlight. SPAC sponsors, institutional buyers, retail investments. Free trade in an open market is their right. Risking and losing capital is the system working! But
We were lead or co-lead investors in our first three funds, but as additional VCs joined the company, we were pushed down the cap table. Voting your shares rarely matters; supporting the firm when they need it does. Being valuable, consistent, and helping the company improve builds trust with the founders.
I hope every startup we sponsor becomes a successful public company before, during, and after we benefit. My perspective of American capitalism. Well, a stock ticker has a lot of garbage, and I support all types of regulation simplification (in addition to being a person investor in the Long-Term Stock Exchange). Yet being owned by a large group of investors and making actual gains for them is great. Likewise does seeing someone you met when they were just starting out become a public company CEO without losing their voice, leadership, or beliefs.
I'm just thinking about what we can do from the start to realize value from our investments and build companies with bright futures. Maybe seed venture financing shouldn't impact those outcomes, but I'm not comfortable giving up that obligation.