YouTube Enters the Social Commerce Game: Partnership with Shopify Announced (Week 17)

Organic Instagram Tactics, Consumer Delinquencies are Skyrocketing, Marketing vs Media Buying

Pretty Volatile Week in the Market…

I’m going to open this newsletter a bit unrelated to ecommerce and digital marketing. But remember: this newsletter isn’t just an ecom newsletter. It’s a newsletter that expands to finance, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, leadership, and other things related to growth online.

Before we kick things off, I just want to highlight the importance of SLEEP in your daily routine. Sleep is THE most important activity of your day. Without it, you’re less productive, more irritable, sluggish, and unmotivated. As an entrepreneur, my mind is constantly on overdrive. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and even stay asleep. I’ve been taking melatonin for years to help- and it certainly has.

But recently I came across this new product that I want to share with everyone that’s been a total game-changer for me. It’s a sugar-free (only 15 calories) hot chocolate that has GABA, magnesium, and melatonin in it to help put you and keep you asleep. Not only do I sleep like a rock now and feel amazing when I wake up, but it tastes incredibly delicious. I actually look forward to it every night now and curbs any form of sweet cravings after dinner.

💥 The name of the product: KillSwitch. Get $25 off w/ code: SNOW 💥

This is NOT a sponsored post. This is just an incredible product that everyone should know about and try for themselves if they aren’t great at getting deep, restful sleep.


Here's what’s interesting to me this week:

➡️ GameStop, AMC, Hims, and Crypto have had absolutely wild swings of volatility. Hoping nobody was caught in a crossfire.

GameStop ($GME) and AMC ($AMC) skyrocketed last week and shortly thereafter cratered precipitously. As each reached 2024 highs last week for no apparent reason other than Roaring Kitty returning to 𝕏, I issued a warning to stay away and not rush into the hysteria of buying up the stocks thinking they would sustain a ridiculous level of growth. Your time, energy, mental warehouse space, and money would be better spent elsewhere.

Since this warning, in just 1 week: $GME is -67% & $AMC is -60% 💣

➡️ On the topic of the stock market, $HIMS stock went nuclear yesterday and surged 30% in a day… and it wasn’t b/c of earnings. It was because it just announced that it would be offering GLP-1 drugs for weight loss. I’m sure you’ve heard of Ozempic and Mounjaro by now…

Is GLP-1 the new AI?!

Ozempic and Wegovy ($NVO), Mounjaro ($LLY), VK2735 ($VKTX) are names you’re probably aware of. Now $HIMS is launching its own GLP-1 agonist.

Every business that’s launched a GLP-1 drug for weight loss has skyrocketed.

Need to figure out how to incorporate GLP-1 into our business model at the agency… I kid.

We aren’t going to get TOO scientific here, but let’s review what a GLP-1 drug even is. GLP-1 is a gut hormone and it has receptors (GLP-1R) on the surface of pancreatic and brain cells. GLP-1 analogs (the drugs that are flooding the market today) attach to GLP-1 receptors and activate a gastric response that causes a reduction in appetite, reduction in glucose, and induces weight loss.

We all know weight loss products are historically the hottest products. It’s no surprise these products have been on an absolute tear this year as weight loss took a stronghold in the medical and pharmaceutical worlds.

➡️ Crypto has been on a tear this past week as well. Ethereum is up 30% this week alone.

2024 has been an interesting year to say the least.

1. Don’t Sleep on ORGANIC Instagram Strategy

Instagram has been positioning itself to resemble TikTok more and more with each passing week. Shortform, TikTok-style content is front and center with a major emphasis on Reels.

Instagram wants creators and brands to utilize Reels so much that it’s being surprisingly public about how the algorithm favors Reels style content. Instagram Chief/Founder Adam Mosseri already came out publicly and said that Reels content is organically scalable since its reach will NOT be limited by follower count (just like TikTok).

Now, Adam came out and said something that may not be on anyone’s radar…

“More important than watch time or like and comment counts is send rates.

- Adam Mosseri, Instagram Founder/Chief

👉 Send Rate = Sends / Reach

So, start thinking about how you can create content that is likely to be shared.

Other metrics you must focus on to extend your organic reach and increase your chances of going viral:

  • Watch time

  • Comment rates

  • Like rates

As Instagram focuses more and more on the “Shop” aspect of its app, organic strategy and reach will become increasingly important.

Here’s another hack that you might not be aware of to increase COMMENT RATES.

Instagram, unlike TikTok, allows you to pin comments at the top of your post.

Think about how you can organically stir up the conversation in your comments with a clear call-to-action. Here’s a framework to follow:

What are your followers anticipating? New SKU launch, new flash sale, new collab, etc. Or, gamify a giveaway for the most engaged with comment, etc.

I’ve seen Queue do this REALLY well. Here’s an example:

Queue’s founder just posted an amazing thread on this, check it out here. He actually also happens to be one of my best friends, I’ve known him for over 20 years. Give him a follow, he’s getting more active on 𝕏.

The game is really simple, strategize how to increase your share rates, comment rates, watch time, and like rates and you’ll go viral sooner than later.

Organic was never exciting until TikTok and IG Reels became mainstream and enabled the ability to go viral.

2. Consumer Strength is WEAK…and Getting Worse

US credit card delinquency rates for most age groups just hit the highest level in 13 years. In Q1, 90+ day delinquency rates surged past 9% in 18-29 and 30-39 year old groups. We haven’t seen rates this high since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Not only is US credit card debt now $1.1 TRILLION and at all time highs, but the average interest rate on this debt is also at an all time high at an insane 28%.

We’re now in a vicious cycle. Those who are delinquent will never get out of this hole if their cumulative debt has to get paid back at a 28% clip. Compound losses are stacking up for consumers under water and it will be incredibly hard to reverse in an elevated interest rate environment.

This gives me confidence in rate cuts still happening in 2024 to hopefully get us out of the vicious cycle.

I expect 90+ day credit card delinquencies to continue to surge until the Federal Reserve pivots and brings in help.

Consumers are hanging on by a thread and your brand probably feels it. These impacted consumers are likely a faction of your brand’s prospects and customers.

3. YouTube Shopping has Arrived.

Shopify just announced a MASSIVE partnership with YouTube to enable YouTube Shopping for all Shopify Plus and Advanced merchants in the US.

In 2023, consumers watched over 30 BILLION hours worth of Shopping content. Now that content will be leveraged even further with seamless checkout within the YouTube app and will be able to achieve a new level of scale that YouTube affiliates will be able to bring. This also solves one of YouTube’s biggest issues to date: decisive attribution. Impression and conversion in the same app = closed loop. There will still be halo effects on other channels, but this enables direct response that perhaps did not exist before on YouTube.

Shopify merchants will be able to connect their product catalog to the YouTube Shopping affiliate program. Creators will be able to tag brands’ products in their videos, enabling shopping AND checkout while consumers are watching the video content.

To my knowledge, Shopify still processes the transaction, so it’s a big win for Shopify (and its merchants). Shopify keeps merchant processing revenue and brands will keep the customer relationship and first party data (something that they do not have access to on Amazon or TikTok Shop.

This is such a new announcement, the paint hasn’t even dried from it yet. I will be digging deeply into this.

The social commerce wave has reached the TSUNAMI level.

Now we have TikTok Shop and YouTube Shopping both having a major focus on affiliate influencers. Meta Shop’s focus on affiliate influencers is the final shoe to drop.

The writing is on the wall: affiliate influencer is your newest top of funnel acquisition channel. Better figure it out now.

💥 If you need help with your social commerce strategy or execution on the organic, paid, or affiliate/influencer side, get in touch with us here.

Marketers vs. Media Buyers

This exact tweet is the reason I casted out the term “media buyer” years ago. Media buyers are nothing if they aren’t practitioners in performance creative, landing page & funnel optimization, conversion rate optimization, merchandising, tech stack, and data/analytics.

Be a marketer, not a media buyer.

If you’re just a media buyer, chances are your job has already been outsourced (or in the process).

What I’m Listening to 🎧

Beats of the Week: PeteTong B2B Alex Wann - Ibiza 2024 | Beatport live

Ladies & gentlemen- it’s Ibiza season. I’ll be there for the first time in my life on Labor Day weekend. Can’t wait. This new set features the legendary Pete Tong going back-to-back with up-and-comer Alex Wann who has become one of my favorites this year. This set is a gem; one hour of goodness. Perfect background music for your deep work session.

Got a chance to meet Alex Wann a couple months ago at Miami Music Week. Humble guy. Follow him on Soundcloud too to keep up with his mixes.

Have a great week everyone!

I welcome all feedback. Good, bad, everything in between.

Hit reply, and let’s hear it! 👂

📧 Share your thoughts or what you want me to cover next!

Yours truly,

Jonathan Snow

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