LIKES AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A NUMBER

So, you can’t see how many likes you have. What’s changed?

It’s old news by now that Instagram has altered the “like” feature from users’ posts, so that it isn’t obvious at first glance the engagement each post reached from the respective poster’s followers. 
It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been living in a world without a visible number of likes. How are we feeling? How are YOU feeling? We personally have opinions on it! And after watching the reactions stirred up since the start of the controversy, we’ve decided to finally put in our two cents over the matter.


We’ve been reading on the subject everywhere, and are finding that many are agreeing with us, that this could be a blessing in disguise. 


So, the real question here is, what’s changed for influencers?
We’re an influencer management agency as well as a digital marketing agency. Of course, our influencers were the first people we thought of when we heard the news that Instagram would be implementing this change. 


But at the same time, we feel that our influencers are impactful enough that this change wouldn’t affect their brands negatively. Because at the end of the day, when they share their content, it should engage people enough to actually ingest it, take it in and appreciate it – not just glance at a number for validation, you get what we mean?


Many are agreeing with our theory, and Instagram users, be they influencers, marketers, or people who use Instagram for non-business or branding purposes are in fact, embracing the change.


“Businesses on Instagram will have to be more creative in analyzing data and get specific about what content is actually driving the business, and supporting your business goals,” explains Mel Brittner, social media strategist at Later. And it isn’t just our influencers who are embracing the change, but others are as well. In fact, according to Global News, Toronto-based influencer Jessica Lam is seeing this as a pleasant plot twist rather than a challenge.


“I create my work for my audience to relate to, be inspired by and engage with. I would hope my audience doesn’t take into consideration about how many ‘likes’ each post gets because it should be my work itself that drives them to ‘like’ or comment on something.”


Think of it as an opportunity to tell stories

Also, we’d like to point out that hidden likes could also prove to be a beneficial tool with exploring Instagram Stories and IGTV! IG stories have the potential to gain more traction than general posts do, and the public can never tell how many people your stories engage anyway (although YOU can always tell!) but also IGTV! 


IGTV is a great way to create more engaging content and gain more followers while promoting your brand. It’s known as the ideal way to get followers and fanbases to feel closer to the person creating content – and yes, there are no records of likes!


So really, what did we ever need likes for?


“Likes were always a false currency, but an easy number to give when asked how content is performing and an easy way to compare, so I think this shift forces businesses to look at what’s actually working.” 


Keep doing you, likes or not – it really doesn’t make a difference. As long as your content is engaging and creative enough, those numbers won’t need to be paraded around throughout your page. It’s all in your followers anyway.

THE IMPORTANCE OF EMAILING IN MARKETING

Image credit: tolgart|Getty Images

Let’s conduct a little experiment, shall we? Go into your personal inbox right now. How many emails do you have racked up from different brands, services or other lead generation platforms that you’ve willingly signed up for? There are quite a few that you’re still receiving, right? Now ask yourself this question… why haven’t you gotten around to unsubscribing from them yet?

Welcome to the current world of marketing, ladies and gentlemen, where the most valuable way you could sell yourself is by constantly reminding people of your existence. And with emailing being the principal form of that constant reminder, it acts a great way to keep your existing and prospective customers interested.

But what is it about emailing that just works? I have divided this up by theories exploring human behavioral trends that we have witnessed (and acted on) since emailing and other forms of digital marketing became… a thing. 

People are always connected, and think twice before unsubscribing 

According to www.inboundrocket.co, here are some interesting quick facts and stats that we’ve found.

Cost EffectivenessEmailing costs very little, in the grand scheme of things.

“The reason is clear–for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. According to research by VentureBeat as well as the Direct Marketing Association(DMA), for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $40 in ROICompared to traditional marketing efforts where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct mail campaigns. With emails, you are still able to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click to your website. Perhaps just as importantly, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients. Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts, you, therefore, get more positive responses, more quickly and at a lower unit cost! Win-win situation!”

Personal and Customizable

Don’t forget that email marketing is very easily customizable. Using services like Mailchimp or Klaviyo, you can dedicate specific emails to specific lists of customers who have signed up to receive your newsletters. Just be sure to include their names, because 
“According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened, and eConsultancy even goes as far as stating that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.”

THEY came to YOU for a reason

They did this to themselves. Your followers are only your followers because they’ve chosen to follow YOU. Their willingness to sign up to receive your newsletters is because they showed their initial interest in your brand. This means that they are still very much interested in hearing from you, because they have an interest in your brand.

The science behind the above

Let’s do some simple math: Combine the above two points together and come to the conclusion that at some point, subscribers ARE looking for interesting information, because they will eventually want to buy into it.
Just look at the stats you have pinpointing site visits generating from your newsletters as an originating platform. People always want a deal, so if they’re getting something everyday, it will resonate within them. 
And if the  are also undeniable benefits surpassing human behavior that fall on the more techno/logical spectrum of email marketing. According to www.inboundrocket.co, here are some interesting quick facts and stats that we’ve found.

Cost Effectiveness

“The reason is clear–for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. According to research by VentureBeat as well as the Direct Marketing Association(DMA), for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $40 in ROICompared to traditional marketing efforts where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct mail campaigns. With emails, you are still able to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click to your website.Perhaps just as importantly, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients. Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts, you, therefore, get more positive responses, more quickly and at a lower unit cost! Win-win situation!”

Personal and Customizable

Don’t forget that email marketing is very easily customizable. Using services like Mailchimp or Klaviyo, you can dedicate specific emails to specific lists of customers who have signed up to receive your newsletters. Just be sure to include their names, because 
“According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened, and eConsultancy even goes as far as stating that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.”

Measurable

The thing that’s best about email marketing? Transparency. Any email marketing software gives you access to track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed.This means that you get the full picture of how your email campaigns perform, which allows you to adjust and improve anything you need to in order to succeed further.
The below chart we took from Inbound Rocket (by Constant Contact) gives you a statistic of the effectiveness of email marketing.

And what’s even better is the liberty that many of these softwares give you to split test your emails to see how they perform. 
A/B testing can reveal a great wealth of data about your subscribers. Do they generally respond better to tempting subject lines such as “Free”,“20 percent off”, or“Now on Sale”? Or, are they more open to a softer intro, maybe informing them of what to expect in your email. All these things can be tested, measured, learned from and improved upon.”

It frees you from the algorithm

Ah, the algorithm. Certain popular platforms have created it as something that binds us when it comes to social media marketing, but who’s to say the algorithm won’t change? As soon as it does, everybody you’ve targeted and engaged could fall through the cracks. The beauty of email, however, is that you already have the audience you’ve created saved. This way, you don’t have to be reliant on the algorithm, because you, honey, ARE the algorithm.
So if you’ve been feeling like email is just a digital dinosaur method of getting people to notice, don’t knock the tradition. It’s time for you to open up your mind (or just embrace what you’ve been doing!) because clearly, email is a valuable method of communication that has been delivering results over the past decade – and it isn’t changing any time soon.