Welcome to Negronis with Nord. We discuss the latest feature updates from Instagram, including a convenient auto-swipe feature for carousels; tips for bilingual creators to maximize their reach with auto-captions; YouTube-branded sponsorships; Pinterest influencer campaigns, and more.
James: Welcome to Negronis with Nord, Episode 58. I recently returned from Mexico where our VP of Strategy, Grace, got married to Aaron, who actually edits Negronis with Nord. Congratulations, Aaron!
The wedding was amazing, and I had the privilege of being the officiant since I have known them for so long. We were in San Miguel, one of my favorite places in the world, and it was an incredible weekend. Perhaps, Aaron, you can throw a quick ten-second hyper-montage of some of the photos I took at your wedding so we can all enjoy that for a moment.
In the long run, I believe that AI will become ubiquitous in the same way as HTML coding. It will be integrated into everything we do. I don't think it will replace your job or significantly alter your life in the next year or two, but I do recommend experimenting with it, playing around with it, and finding ways to incorporate it into your process and enhance what you're doing.
As someone who's seen many technology hype cycles come and go, I'm usually quite skeptical. I might have said months ago that I thought "BeReal" was going to crash and burn and not have any staying power.
We talked about "BeReal" a few weeks ago, and my prediction still stands: within six months, nobody will think or care about it. Recently, they announced that they haven't been doing well, with no growth in almost six months. So it looks like my prediction was correct. I've generally been skeptical of these hype cycles, but I think AI is probably the most exciting and genuine one we've experienced in quite some time.
If you haven't had a chance to play around with AI yet, give it a try. For ChatGPT, just go to openai.com and sign up. Then you can start experimenting with it. The first good question to ask it is whether it knows who you are.
Best Practices on Instagram, considering New Features
Instagram is still a place where people like to share photos, so they have tweaked the balance of the algorithm. Creators overwhelmingly report that their photos are doing better than in the past. Carousels tend to perform the best. In fact, we no longer do single sponsored posts because they are outperformed by single photos.
Carousels seem like they will continue to be a bigger part of Instagram. Best practices on Instagram suggest throwing a video or two into the carousel with your static images to balance it out. You can have two or three professional photos, a couple of iPhone photos, and a couple of videos.
Instagram also announced that they are going to roll out ways for creators to monetize their UGC. Brands will be able to add your photos to their shops on Instagram and will have to pay you for the privilege of doing so. This is another way for you to make money. While it may not have a massive impact in the short term, it's something to look out for as they continue to add tools for creators to monetize.
Q1: I’m bilingual & post my captions in English and Spanish. Since IG auto-translates captions, should I stop or continue to show a bit about myself with every post? - @jessicayflores
Great question! We collaborate with a number of bilingual creators, and we rely heavily on Sephora Squad, where we almost always have bilingual creators.
In the Sephora Squad, we find that it's important to continue posting bilingual captions. One issue is that Google Translate may be used to translate your content, but your tone, jokes, and slang may not translate effectively. Ultimately, it's not your voice that's being translated, so you may not come off as authentic. However, we also find that this type of content performs really well. Therefore, if you're bilingual and your following is bilingual, we absolutely encourage you to continue posting in both English and whatever other language you are posting in. Just make sure you get the context and slang right and ensure that your words are not being changed or manipulated by a computer.
Clients and brands are excited to work with bilingual creators because a lot of people in this country do not speak English as their first language. What's great about influencer marketing is that brands get to meet their customers where they're at. While it may not make sense for a brand to air an ad in Spanish on a major network because it's not super targeted, working with a Spanish-speaking influencer who has a Spanish-speaking audience in America and doing that post in Spanish is an amazing way to reach a community that may be difficult to reach. So, if you're a bilingual creator, it's a big selling point to be able to communicate with those audiences that brands might have had a harder time getting in touch with through traditional advertising. Therefore, we definitely encourage you to do that.
Q2: Have brands been investing much into YouTube sponsorships lately? - @genamarieco
I do feel like YouTube is making a comeback. When we started the company, YouTube was a much bigger thing. It became really expensive, and then Instagram blew up, so we didn't focus much on YouTube. However, the explosion of TikTok and Reels, which have become much more popular, has pushed us back into thinking about video. YouTube Shorts also helps. We do some work on YouTube Shorts, but we are not yet totally clear on their efficacy. However, it's worth experimenting with them. We are definitely seeing a little uptick in brands on YouTube. Look, I think YouTube still has a really impactful and important audience.
I believe that building a following on YouTube can be highly lucrative. In the end, building a YouTube audience will pay off for you. YouTube audiences are more connected to the content and actively choose to watch it. They also spend more time consuming the content than on other platforms, making it a powerful tool for conversion, sales, and persuasion. Longer form storytelling is possible on YouTube, which is not the case on other platforms, making it a great place for brands to tell their stories. As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, long-form video content may not be making a comeback, but the culture inside each micro community on the internet is different.
And so, you know, while the broader trend may be that long-form video is not making a comeback, if you go to one of Marquez's tech review videos, it has an insane amount of views and people will watch 20- or 30-minute videos. In that community, long-form video still works very well. So, again, it's really about what works for you, what works for your audience, and what they are looking for.
Q3: Will Pinterest campaigns ever become a thing? It’s a platform that’s evolved a lot and been around a while so I wonder why more brands don’t run campaigns there. - One Girl One World
Pinterest is a platform that has been around for a while and has evolved significantly. It's surprising that more brands don't run campaigns on it. However, the platform has lost some of its excitement compared to eight years ago. Nonetheless, as social media becomes increasingly important, more brands are starting to revisit it.
There is a difference between curation and creation, and they command different price tags. One of the challenges with Pinterest is that it's not feed-based, making it harder to charge for it. Since you could pin hundreds of things in a day, a single post on Pinterest isn't worth much. This lack of scarcity makes it harder to charge for something. Twitter faces a similar problem, as active accounts can post 30 or more tweets a day. If you're one 30th of the tweets created in a day, that's 210 tweets in a week and 840 tweets in a month. Ultimately, scarcity and demand-supply dynamics drive pricing in a marketplace, and it's hard to create value without it.
It's difficult to monetize Pinterest because it lacks scarcity and a feed. For instance, compare Instagram, where you might post three or four in-feed posts a week, resulting in 16 posts a month, versus Pinterest's 840 posts. Obviously, the former is more valuable. Although sponsored boards are an option, commercialization of the platform is limited. However, Pinterest has been gaining traction lately, so this may change. The key is to create content that your audience likes and help them with whatever they come to you for, regardless of the platform.
If Pinterest is working well for your audience, keep at it. You can even bring it up to brands as an opportunity for a campaign. Even if they aren't specifically looking for a Pinterest campaign, if you have an active audience there, you can show them how it could work and price it accordingly. Many brands would be open to trying it out.