Influencer Marketing: The Future of Collaborations

Influencer marketing has been a game-changer in the world of digital advertising. Over the years, it has evolved from a novel approach to a critical strategy for brands seeking to engage their target audience authentically. As we peer into the future, it’s evident that influencer marketing is set to become even more vital, offering a plethora of opportunities and collaborations that can redefine the way brands connect with their audiences.

The Evolution of Influencer Marketing

To understand the future of influencer marketing, let’s first look at its evolution. Initially, it revolved around macro-influencers, individuals with vast followings and celebrity status. While macro-influencers still play a role, the focus has shifted towards a more diverse ecosystem of influencers, including micro-influencers and even nano-influencers.

Micro-Influencers: The Sweet Spot

Micro-influencers, individuals with a smaller but highly engaged and niche-specific following, have gained prominence. Their authenticity and relatability resonate well with audiences, making them valuable collaborators for brands. In the future, we can expect brands to build long-term partnerships with micro-influencers, prioritizing authenticity over reach.

Nano-Influencers: The Hyper-Local Connect

Nano-influencers, with even smaller follower counts, are becoming essential for hyper-local and grassroots campaigns. These influencers have a highly concentrated, loyal following within their communities, making them perfect for local businesses looking to build trust and credibility.

Read Also: Affiliate Marketing for Long-Term Partnerships

The Future of Collaborations

So, what does the future hold for influencer collaborations?

1. Authenticity Reigns Supreme

In the years to come, authenticity will remain at the core of influencer marketing. Audiences are increasingly savvy and can spot inauthentic endorsements from a mile away. Brands will seek out influencers who genuinely align with their values and can deliver authentic content.

2. Long-Term Partnerships

Short-term, one-off campaigns will still have their place, but long-term partnerships will be the future norm. Brands will collaborate with influencers over extended periods, allowing for more profound connections and consistent messaging.

3. Diversification of Platforms

While Instagram and YouTube have been influencer marketing hotspots, other platforms will gain prominence. TikTok, Snapchat, and emerging platforms will offer fresh opportunities for influencer collaborations, especially when targeting younger demographics.

4. User-Generated Content Integration

Influencer-generated content will find more extensive use in brand marketing. Brands will leverage influencer-created content for their own channels, creating a cohesive narrative and building trust through social proof.

5. Data-Driven Strategies

Advanced data analytics will shape influencer collaborations. Brands will use data to identify the most effective influencers, measure campaign impact, and fine-tune their strategies for maximum ROI.

6. Inclusive Influencer Marketing

Diversity and inclusivity will become central to influencer marketing. Brands will work with influencers from diverse backgrounds, promoting inclusivity in their campaigns to connect with a wider range of audiences.

Influencer marketing is not just a trend; it’s a dynamic field that continues to evolve. The future of influencer collaborations is marked by authenticity, diversity, and data-driven strategies. As brands adapt to this changing landscape, they’ll discover new and innovative ways to connect with their target audience, making influencer marketing a cornerstone of their advertising efforts. So, whether you’re a brand looking to grow or an influencer eager to partner with like-minded companies, the future holds exciting possibilities in the world of influencer marketing collaborations.

Crisis Management on Social Media: Navigating Challenges Effectively

In today’s digital age, where information spreads rapidly and social media platforms serve as hubs of communication, effective crisis management on social media is more crucial than ever. A single tweet or post can escalate a minor issue into a full-blown crisis within minutes. It is important to have crisis management tools available to your community management team so they have safe and effective strategies for navigating challenges.

The Power of Social Media in Crisis

First, it is important to be aware of how the beast that is social media operates when there is a crisis so that your team can respond appropriately. Social media has the power to amplify both positive and negative stories. During a crisis, negative information can spread like wildfire, potentially damaging your brand’s reputation. It is often best to assess whether this is a small-scale issue that can be dealt with through social media interaction or if it should be dealt with at a higher level

 If it is smaller scale, then there are some positive elements to communicating through social media. It can also be used in tandem with other outlets for bigger crises so you maintain a more intimate relationship with your customers. Social media provides a direct line of communication with your audience. During a crisis, timely and transparent communication is essential to address concerns, provide updates, and manage public perception. 

Stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the media, turn to social media for information during a crisis. Engaging with these stakeholders in a meaningful way can influence their perception and trust in your response.

Read Also: Five Ways TikTok Can Help Grow Your Business

Strategies for Effective Crisis Management on Social Media

1. Preparation is Key

Proactive planning is critical to effective crisis management. Develop a crisis communication plan that includes roles and responsibilities, escalation procedures, and message templates. Identify potential crisis scenarios and prepare responses in advance.

2. Monitor Social Media

Use social media monitoring tools to stay vigilant and track mentions, trends, and conversations related to your brand. Early detection allows you to respond swiftly.

3. Empower Your Team

Empower a dedicated crisis management team with the authority to respond promptly. Ensure team members are trained and equipped to handle social media crises effectively.

4. Assess the Situation

When a crisis emerges, assess the situation before responding. Understand the scope, severity, and potential impact of the crisis. Identify key stakeholders and the most appropriate channels for communication.

5. Be Transparent and Honest

Honesty and transparency are non-negotiable during a crisis. Admit mistakes, share accurate information, and communicate clearly. Avoid the temptation to conceal or downplay the issue, as it can exacerbate the crisis.

6. Provide Regular Updates

Keep your audience informed with regular updates as the situation unfolds. Address questions and concerns promptly, even if you don’t have all the answers. Acknowledge that you are actively working on a resolution.

7. Show Empathy and Compassion

Demonstrate empathy and compassion in your responses. Acknowledge the concerns and feelings of those affected by the crisis. A compassionate tone can go a long way in calming a tense situation.

8. Use Hashtags and Crisis Messaging

Create a dedicated crisis hashtag and messaging to centralize communication around the issue. This helps you maintain control over the narrative and ensures consistent messaging.

9. Engage in Two-Way Communication

Engage with your audience on social media by responding to comments and messages. Address concerns and offer assistance when possible. Avoid automated or robotic responses.

10. Learn and Improve

After the crisis has subsided, conduct a post-crisis analysis to evaluate your response. Identify areas for improvement and update your crisis communication plan accordingly.

Case in Point: Successful Crisis Management

One notable example of effective crisis management on social media is how Johnson & Johnson handled the Tylenol poisoning crisis in 1982. They responded swiftly by recalling millions of bottles and communicated transparently with the public. Their commitment to safety and accountability rebuilt trust and set a precedent for crisis management.

In the digital age, social media can be a double-edged sword, both a source of crisis and a platform for effective crisis management. A well-prepared and responsive approach is essential to navigate challenges effectively. By planning ahead, monitoring social media, and communicating honestly and transparently, your brand can weather storms and emerge stronger from crises, building trust and credibility with your audience. Remember that in the world of social media, the way you handle a crisis can define your brand for years to come.

Optimizing Social Media for 2024: Strategies and Best Practices

The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses and marketers looking to make the most of these platforms. As we move into 2024, it’s time to reevaluate your social media strategies and adopt best practices that can help you thrive in this dynamic digital environment. Adjust your 2024 approach to social media with these key strategies and best practices to optimize your brand’s online presence.

1. Embrace New Platforms and Features

Social media platforms are continually introducing new features and functionalities. In 2024, it’s crucial to keep an eye on emerging platforms and stay updated on the latest features of existing ones. For instance, consider exploring the potential of the metaverse, dive into audio-based social networks, and leverage the latest advertising tools offered by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X.

2. Prioritize Video Content

Video content has been a dominant force in social media for several years, and its significance will only grow in 2024. Consider incorporating various video formats such as short-form videos, live streaming, and interactive content. Create engaging and visually appealing videos that resonate with your target audience and tell your brand’s story effectively.

3. Personalization Through AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to play a pivotal role in social media marketing. Leverage AI-driven tools to analyze user data and behavior, enabling you to deliver personalized content and tailored ad campaigns. Personalization enhances user engagement and can lead to higher conversion rates.

4. Community Building and Engagement

Building a strong online community around your brand is a long-term strategy that pays off. In 2024, focus on fostering engagement by responding to comments, conducting polls, and running contests. Engaged communities can become brand advocates, helping you expand your reach and credibility.

5. Social Commerce

The convergence of e-commerce and social media, known as social commerce, is gaining momentum. Explore the opportunities to sell products directly on social platforms. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok Shop are transforming into e-commerce hubs, enabling seamless shopping experiences for users.

6. Data Privacy and Ethics

As privacy concerns grow and regulations like GDPR and CCPA become more stringent, prioritize data privacy and ethical practices in your social media strategies. Obtain explicit consent for data usage and ensure compliance with relevant laws to build trust with your audience.

7. Content Quality Over Quantity

In 2024, the quality of your content will be more critical than ever. Focus on producing high-quality, informative, and entertaining content that adds value to your audience’s lives. Avoid spammy and clickbait content, as users are becoming increasingly discerning.

8. Measure and Analyze

Effective social media marketing requires ongoing measurement and analysis. Use robust analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and adjust your strategies accordingly. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

9. Collaborate and Partner

Consider collaborating with influencers, complementary brands, and industry leaders to expand your reach and credibility. Influencer marketing remains a potent strategy, but focus on authenticity and long-term partnerships for optimal results.

10. Adapt and Evolve

The digital landscape is ever-changing. Be prepared to adapt and evolve your strategies as new trends and technologies emerge. Continuously educate yourself and your team to stay on top of the latest developments in social media marketing.

Read Also: 2024 Marketing Trends: Personalization, Balance, and Diversifying for Audience Needs

Optimizing your social media strategies for 2024 requires a proactive and adaptive approach. By embracing new platforms and features, prioritizing video content, leveraging AI for personalization, and maintaining a strong focus on community engagement and ethical practices, your business can thrive in the dynamic world of social media marketing. Remember to measure your performance, adjust your tactics, and stay agile in response to evolving trends and consumer preferences.

Breaking Down Cannabis Policies on Social Media Platforms

Posting about cannabis-related or CBD products on social media can be tricky. Regulation of the words used on creative and in captions/hashtags can cause your post to be flagged and your account to potentially be suspended.

Cannabis-Related No’s and Go’s

A good rule of thumb across all platforms is that you shouldn’t share images of the marijuana plant or people smoking. And stay away from the obvious words relating to cannabis: marijuana, weed, cannabis, kush, high, joint, THC, pot, and so on.

A common replacement across all platforms is “canna,” however, this can still be flagged. Everything is about carefully wording your captions and being strategic with ad campaigns, if possible. Here are some general guidelines for the major platforms to keep in mind.

Facebook:

  • Posts: Marijuana, cannabis, CBD, etc., are safe to use in organic content if it is educational and informative. Facebook bots can be fickle about this, but any issues can usually be resolved quickly.
  • Ads: Only topical CBD products can be advertised on Facebook, and you should still avoid using any cannabis-related language.

Instagram:

  • Posts: Instagram is a key marketplace for all businesses, but your cannabis/CBD company will not be able to utilize Instagram Shops. Many cannabis/CBD companies also opt for minimal to no hashtags in posts to protect their accounts.
  • Ads: Since Facebook and Instagram are both under Meta, their policies are pretty similar. However, in ads, you can use “hemp product” but not “CBD product.”

TikTok:

  • Posts: TikTok users have some fun workarounds when it comes to hashtags and caption wording. Alternative terms and spellings of cannabis-related words include “ouid,” “w33d,” “st0ner,” and “b0ng.”
  • Ads: TikTok is very aware of its young demographic, so they make cannabis/CBD advertising impossible. 

Twitter:

  • Posts: Twitter is another place where sharing cannabis-related educational content is permitted. Many companies opt to share articles or their own blog posts.
  • Ads: Twitter only allows topical CBD products to be advertised. And you should only target locations/states in the U.S. where CBD is legal.

LinkedIn:

  • Posts: LinkedIn is very open to the sharing of information. If you promote primarily educational and informational content, then you’ll be fine. And, obviously, there are no restrictions to what you can show as your company name.
  • Ads: You still can’t directly advertise your products, but ads can show educational information that will still lead new people to your page/website. LinkedIn has never shut down an account and all ad reviews go to real people, who may be more forgiving than bots.

Pinterest:

  • Posts: When it comes to organic content, Pinterest is forgiving about using words/hashtags like cannabis, CBD, and hemp. People post informational graphics and recipes that usually don’t see any issues.
  • Ads: Pinterest is one of the only platforms that actually lays out its CBD-related advertising guidelines: “We will allow ads for topical hemp seed oil products in the United States that contain negligible amounts of THC and no CBD and make no therapeutic or medicinal claims.”

Google:

  • Ads: Since January of 2022, Google has started enforcing stricter rules and policies for advertising, which has significantly and negatively impacted cannabis/CBD ads through the platform. It is considered best to avoid it entirely and advertise elsewhere.

The Take-Away

Clearly, it’s not easy to advertise, let alone post, cannabis and CBD content on any platform. We hope, as various forms of marijuana become legal across the country, that social media regulations will change along with the laws. But until then, the keyword is caution. 

The information listed about these social media platforms’ policies do not guarantee that your accounts won’t be shadowbanned or flagged at some point. In many cases, bots are the first ones to check accounts, and they can be unforgiving. But, we hope, this can help to avoid that as much as possible.


Contact 270M to learn more about how we can help promote your CBD business the right way.

Optimize Community Management for Your Brand

By: Danielle Gazda

Good social media content and a good product are the baselines for a successful online presence. However, great customer service keeps people coming back. Achieve the best online customer service with proactive community management.

What Is Community Management?

Community management is run by an individual or team that acts through the brand’s social media accounts. They address questions in direct messages, respond and engage with comments, and help the brand stay present in the wider community.

Community management is made up of all these bite-sized activities that can be done across social media channels to generate a brand’s organic, personable reputation.

Best Practices for Community Managers

Direct Messages

Whether it’s Instagram DMs, Facebook Messenger, or other platforms, it’s important to review these direct messaging channels daily. This is where people will often direct questions and complaints about products and orders — and they should be addressed in a timely manner.

Knowledge of your brand and what it sells is very important for this type of activity. Be sure to have an FAQ that community managers can refer to or a customer service email that can be shared for more in-depth questions. Give your community managers as much information as you can. They’ll be able to help your customers better and continue to grow your FAQ document as new questions arise.

Comments

It is nice for community managers to be active in the brand’s own comments. For smaller brands, try to respond to them all with an appropriate short reply, the answer to a question, or simply an emoji.

If you typically receive dozens to hundreds of comments per post, you can take a more measured approach. You can respond to the first dozen or so comments that the post receives or check the post frequently and reply to various comments as they come up.

Be sure to always respond to comments made by partnered brands or influencers. This includes unexpected comments from celebrities or influencers you don’t currently work with to build those relationships.

Community Engagement

Don’t forget about the wider community your brand is a part of. Like and comment on posts that are relevant to your brand and industry. These can be posts by those partnered brands and influencers to show your support, posts about industry news and knowledge, and fun, broader content.

Comments don’t have to be extensive. Simple replies such as agreement or emojis will often do, since this shows that your brand is aware of its larger community.

User-Generated Content

A brand’s image is only as good as what its most loyal customers have to say about it. Utilize user-generated short- and long-form content to your advantage. Potential customers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing real people use a product or service. This is great free content to share in places like Instagram Stories — but be sure to request permission before posting it directly to your feed.

Has your brand been keeping up with community management?

Google Ads: Best Basic Practices

Written By: Danielle Gazda

What Are Google Ads?

Promoting businesses and products through Google Ads is one of the most effective ways to increase conversions, revenue, and meet business goals. Google Ads, also known as Google AdWords, makes building campaigns easy through automation and machine learning, but there’s still some work you need to do first to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

From knowing what information to add to your client’s (or your company’s) website to understanding the nuances of Google Ads’ abilities, here are some best practices for optimizing your campaigns.

Best Practices for Google Ads

The Website

Know that Google Ads has specific requirements for websites advertising on its platform. Some are fundamental, such as offering unique products or services, the website owner being over 18, working directly with the owner of a site (or the owner’s company), and not displaying any copyrighted material. A website must also be at least six months old and have a certain amount of traffic already going to it. 

Lesser-known Google Ads requirements involve having technical pages — such as an About page, a Contact page, and a Privacy page — included somewhere on the website. These pages need to be well-defined and hold appropriate information, including a refund and return policy (even if it just states that you do not give refunds or do returns) and information regarding using and selling customer information.

Conversion Tracking

By adding UA or GA4 tracking code to the pages of a website, you’ll be able to track all conversions from Google Ads, no matter the specified landing page.

Whether you add a UA code or GA4 code to a website depends on the platform you’re using. Google has step-by-step instructions on how to find the right tracking code for a site in the Google Ads account page.

Ad Tools and Assets

Google Ads offers a number of tools and assets that can increase the performance of your campaigns.

Keywords

Group keywords into ad groups by topic, feature, or item to help Google build comprehensive and relevant Responsive Search Ads. This type of ad automatically pulls relevant descriptions, headlines, and creative assets based on what you supplied and the search query that’s prompting the ad.

Landing Pages

Landing pages must make sense alongside the keywords to be served and drive conversions. Whether it is a website’s home page, an About Us page, a specific product, or a specific service, make sure they are correct for their ad group.

Ad Extensions

Utilize the tools available to you, including sitelinks, callouts, calls, prices, and promotions, that will provide the searcher with options and relevant information that can lead to a higher conversion rate.

Performance Metrics

Weigh performance and metrics against your industry’s benchmarks when starting new campaigns. These industry benchmarks will help you make adjustments to your campaigns by experimenting with everything from descriptions to ad extensions. You may also find that you’ve surpassed industry benchmarks with your campaigns.

For example, one of 270M’s real estate clients maintained a cost per conversion that was 64% lower than the industry benchmark throughout a campaign. The conversion was for a tenant application being filled out for an upscale new development in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Another example is a wholesale vendor client of 270M that maintained a click-through rate that was 75% to 100% higher than the industry benchmark for a hyper-targeted campaign for specialized produce wholesalers.

270M is proud to be a Google Partner. We earned that distinction by proving that we consistently had at least a 70% optimization score for all of our clients’ accounts and managed at least $10,000 in ad spend over the course of three months. Additionally, 50% or more of our account strategists demonstrated proficiency in Google Ads by earning Google Ads certifications.

By following these best practices, you can optimize your Google Ads campaigns and achieve better results for your clients.

Purchasing Popularity: Verification Subscriptions

Written by: Danielle Gazda

For years, brands and content creators have worked hard to build loyal communities and notable social media accounts in order to earn their verifications. The elusive and exclusive blue tick of verification across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter is now a purchasable commodity. It’s part of a growing trend toward paid social media subscriptions.

Snapchat+

The first to provide a subscription service was actually Snapchat. In August of 2022, they announced Snapchat+, an “exclusive, experimental” service available for $3.99 a month. This innovative idea is decently priced and meant for the most consistent and passionate users of the photo-sharing app. Some of the exclusive features of Snapchat+ include various icons, notification settings, the Story Timer, and a badge. This exclusivity has produced moderate results for Snapchat with 2.5 million subscribers since the announcement in August 2022 to February 2023. This is compared to its 750 million active users and 375 million daily users.

Other apps have taken note of this success and have begun to integrate subscriptions of their own, providing additional incentives and services for users — and an alternate source of income.

Twitter Blue

Elon Musk announced in a tweet on Nov. 1, 2022, that blue checkmark verification would be purchasable through a Twitter Blue subscription for $8 a month. This announcement came with mixed, but primarily negative, reactions. Public figures would now be obliged to purchase Twitter Blue to maintain their verification, while Musk cited this as a way to “give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.”

Twitter did release information on the updated Verification Requirements. It addressed some of the concerns and outlined the grandfathering of accounts that were previously verified through the original system. The company also specified that accounts must be non-deceptive with verification revocation a possibility for those who violate subscription policies. No matter the rules and criteria put in place, a verification no longer carries the weight it used to.

Meta Verified

Now, three months after Musk’s announcement, Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that Meta platforms will also be offering a verification subscription. It’s being marketed as a safety net for creators. Meta’s official announcement describes the program as “a subscription bundle on Instagram and Facebook that includes a verified badge that authenticates your account with government ID, proactive account protection, access to account support, and increased visibility and reach.”

Users can verify their accounts so Meta can work harder to remove bots, as well as fake and impersonated accounts — though reporting offenders has not been fruitful in the past. Creators are already voicing discontent, as they’ll be forced to purchase Meta Verified to protect their real public accounts.

Note that because this system is based on verifying an individual with a driver’s license or similar document, as of now the subscription is not available to businesses.

What’s Next?

While these changes don’t directly affect personal accounts, they do affect brand and creator accounts. It’s important to weigh the positives and negatives for your brand when considering a purchase of these verification subscriptions. They do come with other useful tools, like the ability to edit posts, longer tweets, etc. 

Will you be purchasing verifications for your brand when available?

Trends to Integrate Into Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

Written by: Danielle Gazda

At the beginning of 2022, the digital marketing community prepared for the start of a massive digital expansion. This expansion was the true start of a more integrated and accessible metaverse. It includes the increasing use of AI/AR/VR and other new tools in social media and advertising. In social media specifically, video content would be king in 2022, which was proved to be true. We saw this with the rise in TikTok’s popularity as Meta and Twitter declined.

2023 presents opportunities for continued digital expansion across social media, marketing, and everyday life.

Here’s what we’re expecting to see in 2023.

Social Media Content

AI Algorithms

Social media platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram, will continue to push AI algorithms. These algorithms are supposed to show consumers content that relates to them. While individuals may not relish the idea of seeing fewer posts from family and friends, this opens up more opportunities for brands to reach a wider audience that is more likely to convert.

Digital Representations

Avatars, NFTs, and AI-generated art are all becoming more prominent across social media. While there is a juxtaposition between wanting more original content with NFTs and opportunities for digitally generated content with AI, both show that digital art is the future. More brands may find themselves generating NFTs as a form of revenue for themselves or as fundraisers. They will also likely begin using AI-generated art to create the promotional content they need.

E-Commerce

Livestream Shopping

Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are looking to livestream shopping as the next way for brands to sell on their platforms. While these platforms are testing and having success with this feature in other countries, it hasn’t quite made it to the U.S. yet. Expect to see more announcements about this from social media apps in 2023.

Customer Service

Mobile/in-app shopping and online shopping overall have continued to increase as Gen Z reaches an independent purchasing age. The key to happy (and repeat) customers is personalized customer service. There are many options across social media, in Messenger, DMs, WhatsApp, etc., that allow businesses to automate replies to common brand questions. This is a great way for customers to have an inquiry answered or resolve an issue quickly. However, it’s important still to have real people available on the back end to intervene with more complicated requests.

General Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing continues to be a superior way for brands to gain exposure and bring in revenue. Partnering with influencers whose audiences intersect with your own can boost sales. And influencers perform a variety of services, whether it’s posting on their own social media or creating video content for you to share on your own platforms.

Advertising

Social media advertising remains the best way to gain reach, conversions, and more for your business. As the space becomes more crowded with businesses, it can be hard to find your footing. The holiday season, a time when spending increases greatly, is the best example of this. Refined targeting to reach audiences that meet your business goals is the best way forward. SEO, tagging, and defining your audience will get you to your goals.

What are some of your digital marketing predictions for 2023?

Is AI Art the Future of Digital Marketing?

By: Danielle Gazda

With the metaverse, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more commonplace, the digital universe is expanding and becoming more accessible. Digital marketers have questioned if moving into these areas is worthwhile or even viable. For most of these platforms, the utility and practicality don’t quite seem to be there yet. AI-generated art, however, is on the rise and is something that marketing teams can use to further their creative abilities.

Two of the most popular and well-known tools for generating AI art are DALL-E 2 and NightCafe. There are many other apps and websites that are just beginning their development with open betas. Others are more established like Midjourney and the two listed previously. Either way, this is an ever-growing field of interest with endless possibilities for advertising.

The basic form of any AI-generated art is derived from a prompt entered by the individual using the generator. This can be as specific or nonspecific as desired. You can specify descriptions with the style of art and aesthetic the user wants along with the exact elements, colors, etc., the image should contain. The system’s algorithm then takes that prompt and scours the internet to find images — a process called “scraping” — that will help it to develop options similar to your request.

Sourced images are scraped from all over the internet, including blogs, stock imagery sites, and news sites. It can be an invaluable tool when you’re looking for a precise image but can’t seem to find it anywhere among the copyright-free asset websites you subscribe to.

Something to note is that copyright issues may arise with AI-generated art in the future. It’s often unclear if what is being “scraped” is free for commercial use or is actually owned by someone. Some websites and apps use software that is trained to only search for copyright-free content. However, the technology is still imperfect and not implemented by all AI art systems. Currently, scraping is legal and protected under the “fair use” doctrine. Also, DALL-E 2’s terms of use and content policy say that “you may use Generations for any legal purpose, including for commercial use.

AI-generated art will certainly be more common in the future, growing alongside the development of NFTs. These new segments of the digital art space breed myriad opportunities for artists and graphic designers alike. While nothing may be perfect yet, both are worth looking into for your business or marketing agency.


Are you interested in the future of AI-generated art? The 270M Design Team is always expanding its skills and knowledge of digital design. Reach out to us at info@thisis270m.com to learn more about what the 270M team can do for you.

The Evolution of Black Friday

Written By: Danielle Gazda

While the phenomenon known as Black Friday has questionable origins, potentially going back to the 1800s, the retail holiday as we know it today started in Philadelphia in the 1950s. This is when people from the suburbs flooded the city for an annual Army-Navy football game and a round of discount shopping. However, the use of the term “Black Friday” for the post-Thanksgiving shopping spree didn’t become a nationwide trend until the 1980s. Read more about the history of Black Friday and the myths surrounding its origin on the History Channel website.

In its 40 years of being an official retail holiday, Black Friday has evolved greatly. A significant development was the first-ever e-commerce transaction, which happened in 1994. As e-commerce has taken off in the past two decades, first with websites and now through social media, how people purchase what they want and need has transitioned away from physical retail locations. Black Friday is no longer the physical fight it used to be (well, it usually isn’t), but brands are still finding ways to entice people to shop online and in stores.

Here are some Black Friday best practices all retail businesses should know:

Month-Long Sales

Black Friday is no longer confined to just a single day or even the following weekend, which includes Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. In the past few years, many brands have opted to create pockets of sales throughout the month of November. These sales sometimes even start in late October.

You don’t have to discount items during this entire time, but it’s good to get a leg up on holiday shoppers who don’t want to leave things to the last minute or hate feeling limited to a single day, especially if they need to go in person.

These discounts can start small — for example, with free shipping — and ramp up throughout the month as it gets closer to Black Friday.

In-Store Exclusives

If you have physical locations and you’d prefer to have at least part of your customer base shop in person, then offering exclusive in-store discounts is a great option. It may be worth staggering your online and in-store deals, so you can draw more people into your stores. Start with limited discounts online and add further offerings in-store to reach that initial wave of holiday shoppers in your area. 

It’s a great idea to advertise in-store deals in marketing newsletters or on paid social media ads with proximity location targeting.

Special Discounts for Loyal Customers

If your brand has a rewards program, VIP group, or even a newsletter, you can target loyal customers with exclusive deals just for them. Repeat customers are more likely to actually make a purchase and to purchase a large number of items. They may be interested in buying for themselves or giving gifts to loved ones and friends who may, in turn, also become loyal customers. People often have more trust in brands that are recommended to them by people they’re close to.

Holiday Marketing

Competitive holiday marketing is key to making Black Friday sales work for your company. As with most things, it takes money to make money. Investing in ads across social media and Google is your best bet for reaching a wider audience or an audience that is most likely to complete a purchase. Other brands will be doing the same thing, so bids for display space may be higher than you would usually be comfortable with. Finding the right balance of creative assets, copy, landing page, and other elements may be difficult, but in the end, it should be worth it.

Newsletters, as mentioned earlier, are a great way to reach already interested customers. If they’ve signed up for emails from your brand, then they have probably made a purchase in the past, or, with the right deal, are likely to make a purchase in the future. Utilize newsletters to share sales, exclusive discount codes, promote best-selling or low-selling items, and inform customers about restocks and product availability. 

The last part of holiday marketing is promoting your business on social media. Aside from paid advertising, social media is how many people now find products and services they’re interested in buying. Don’t forget to keep up with your social media posting. Share your products, share online and in-store promotions, and run a few giveaways. Giveaways during the holiday season can get people excited about your products — and even if audience members don’t win, they may be more likely to look at your website and make a purchase anyway.

If you’re interested in stepping up your holiday marketing strategy, check out some of our other holiday marketing blogs. You can also contact us through our website, or email us at info@thisis270m.com, for help in working on your digital marketing strategy.