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You’re on the wrong channel | Volume 23

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Clubhouse has been doing great since its rollout in April 2020. Two months into 2021, Clubhouse reached 10 million active weekly users.

A year after Clubhouse launched, Twitter has announced its competing platform Spaces will be released in April 2021. The pressure is on for Twitter to dethrone Clubhouse as the go-to audio-based social media platform.

While Clubhouse and Spaces battle over audio platforms, there is a new social media channel with over 400 million users that is fighting for recognition as a viable marketing channel. 

And that channel is — Reddit.

Before we get into that, here’s a peek at what’s to come:  

  • How Reddit is becoming a player in paid advertising
  • Microsoft Mesh is changing the future of remote work and international team meetings. 
  • DropBox acquires again, this time taking over DocSend.

Since we didn’t chat yesterday – I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day!


Reddit Gets Serious About Advertising

Reddit has long been a channel full of hesitation from marketers. 

Ross has previously talked about marketing on Reddit. He discussed the viability of Reddit as an organic channel to drive engagement, brand awareness, and ultimately conversions. But coming up with the most effective way to organically market on Reddit didn’t come easy. Ross had his account banned a few times during his trials but succeeded in the end. 

We know that Reddit can operate as an organic channel, but today we’re covering the indicators that prove Reddit will become the next best channel for paid marketing. 

Reddit has over 400 million users and 52 million daily active users (DAU)

Reddit reaches approximately 20% of LinkedIn’s 270 million daily active users audience. Despite the smaller audience, Reddit is unique and superior to other social channels due to the highly niched subreddit communities it has access to. This is the exact same reason why people have been discussing Discord as an area for paid ads

Over the past few years, Reddit has committed to updating and cleaning up its site design while optimizing pages for maximum ad revenue. Community members on Reddit have become familiar with in-forum ads and promoted posts that have been rolling in; and due to a policy update around hate speech, Reddit removed over 2,000 subreddits. 

Reddit is also partnering with Omnicom Media Group (OMG) to update brand safety parameters in preparation for paid ad expansion.  

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) services over 5,000 advertising clients, spanning 100 countries. By teaming up with Reddit, their clients will be able to leverage all 52 million DAU successfully. 

Under the terms of the agreement, OMG clients will have access to the very best of Reddit’s creative strategy team, education and training tools, innovation offering – including early ad product and feature testing – measurement and reporting, data, and Reddit’s unique insights capability. With increased access to these tools, teams and resources, OMG clients will be able to more effectively engage with Reddit’s 52 million daily active users. Reddit Team

This partnership is a vote of confidence for the future of Reddit’s paid advertising platform. It’s a strong indicator that using Reddit for paid promotions and advertising efforts will pay off. 

One thing’s for sure, we will have a slew of case studies to learn from as OMG’s clients work with Reddit’s paid ad platform.  

Key Takeaways 

  • Paid advertising on Reddit is up and coming. 
  • Experiment with Reddit marketing, either paid or organic, to see if it works for you. 
  • With over 400 million users, your audience is likely engaging in a niche subreddit just waiting for your brand to join the conversation.

Microsoft Mesh Create’s A Connection For Remote Teams

Zoom calls are great; there’s no denying that they help to fill the void of face-to-face communication for remote teams. But, Zoom can’t do it all. 

After my first two weeks at Foundation, I couldn’t help but wonder how tall my teammates were and what they looked like in full-frame. I was left longing for more. 

And this isn’t just a personal feeling.

Many teams are looking for a stronger connection while they work remotely. They are looking to hold meetings and conferences with more contact than a typical virtual event. 

So, Microsoft decided to one-up Zoom and bring virtual reality (VR) to Teams. 

Microsoft Mesh is bringing us into the future of team meetings. Mesh is a VR experience where people share virtual experiences from various devices. 

For now, Mesh will be using avatars such as Tom Warren – The Verge pictured above on the right. Eventually, it will support “holoportation,” which will allow people to appear as themselves, like Alex Kipman pictured above on the left. 

This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning, you can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together. – Microsoft’s Alex Kipman

Teams will utilize Mesh to reinvent team meetings. Multinational companies and remote teams alike can benefit from this advancement, especially teams that are involved in product sales. 

Within Mesh, you can manipulate and pass around items. Product sales teams can meet up and go over a VR version of the physical product to fully understand the ins and outs of what they are selling. 

Microsoft aims for architects and designers to leverage the benefits of Mesh when working collaboratively on 3D physical models, as it can be tricky to do remotely. 

Currently, Microsoft is working on making the Mesh experience accessible. VR headsets and HoloLenses are expensive, and the 2D experience available from a mobile device doesn’t do the magnificence of Mesh justice.

Key Takeaways 

  • Virtual reality is about to change the way remote workers interact with the team.
  • To remain competitive and keep Teams on the map, Microsoft is investing heavily in R&D 
  • Company conferences and events may be coming back sooner than expected, but not in the way we expect as VR makes “teleporting” possible.

DocSend Is The Latest Addition To Dropbox’s Suite Of Services

On March 9th, Dropbox announced its plans to acquire DocSend for a whopping $165M.

After the acquisition of HelloSign, back in 2019, Dropbox had already begun to expand its suite of services and increase the benefits of cloud-based document sharing.  

“Bringing Dropbox, HelloSign, and DocSend together, we’ll be able to offer a full suite of secure, self-serve products to help our millions of customers manage critical document workflows from start to finish,” says Drew Houston, Dropbox CEO.

He goes on to say, “Given the dramatic rise in remote work, there’s increased demand for digital tools that help people organize their content and seamlessly collaborate.” 

The ongoing pandemic restrictions exacerbated this rise in remote work; however, the trend has been positive since 2007 according to a 2019 report

With confidence in demand, Dropbox is acquiring again. 

DocSend takes the stress off sharing documents as email attachments. Sharing files as attachments leaves the sender unaware if the receiver has opened it or not. With DocSend, they create a secure link that hosts your documents and can track recipient actions. 

You’ll know if they’ve clicked on your attachment or if they are bluffing their way through discussing the content.  

We’ve just been following the thread of external sending, which has just kind of evolved and opened up into all these different workflows. And it’s just really interesting that by just being laser-focused on that, we’ve been able to create a really differentiated product that users love a ton. Russ Heddleston, CEO of DocSend, said.

A less obvious selling point for DocSend was how they went about scaling their business. They remained focused on creating the best product for their customers and weren’t focused on chasing VC funding dollars. This focus and prioritization of user experience was highly valued by Dropbox, which made the acquisition even more ideal as the two companies share priorities. 

Heddleston and Houston have worked together before, and the two have been friends for a long time. Heddleston previously pitched the idea of DocSend to Houston in 2013. Dropbox didn’t go down the path of merging at that time; but, the two teamed up as partners in 2019. Now, seven years after launch, Houston and Dropbox are ready to integrate DocSend. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Focus on one problem at a time to create a wholesome solution that takes into account user trends. 
  • Being able to offer a suite of complementary services isn’t always possible off the bat. Play the long game and look for opportunities to expand through acquisition. 
  • Before acquiring, partnering or merging with a company, consider its business values and internal process to see if it is a good fit for future growth and development. 

OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: 

🚀  Foundationites were excited to welcome Melanie Deziel to the team this week! You may know her from her best-selling book, the Content Fuel Framework. We are stocked to have her join the team, and we look forward to benefiting from her expertise in content marketing and storytelling. 

💳  Online payment processing behemoth Stripe went through another round of funding this week and closed $600M. This recent round of funding has brought Stripe’s valuation to $95B.

🚚  Led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures, warehouse automation company Nimble Robotics raised $50M in Series A funding

BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:

There is more to a robot than just AI and functionary coding, but advancements have been limited in this area due to robots’ inability to feel physically. Without touch, robots can’t gauge the weight of an object or the pressure required to lift it without slippage (shearing force) occurring. 

Youcan Yan of the University of Hong Kong has been developing a robot’s ability to replicate touch using magnets and a sensory board. The technicalities of what went into making this happen are too extravagant to detail here, but the results are enormous. 

From cleaning the house to packaging boxes in a warehouse, the dexterity robots gain with the gift of touch will increase their reliability and functionality. And without this advancement, robots can’t manipulate the world around them, limiting their ability to benefit us in society.

TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:

The Six Pillars of Persuasive Marketing by Writing To Riches

WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS  WEEK 🎧:

…Baby One More Time by Britney Spears (Best Track: (You Drive Me) Crazy)   


Originally sent out, by me Cali B, on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.

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