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Advertising can make people unhappy! How?

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Ads might be fun, but are they also reducing our overall happiness? Advertising is about adding to customers lives, not taking away.

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advertising on buildings

The Superbowl is a magical time of year – in part because of the big budget ads that air alongside it. From Amazon riffing off what we’d do without Alexa, to Bill Murray reprising his role in Groundhog’s Day (with the notable addition of a brand new Jeep), these ads come with the best writing, actors and production that money can buy. But did you know these and other ads might just be making us unhappy?

The Harvard Business Review recently covered this new study, which was headed up by researcher Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick. According to Oswald, “if you double advertising spending, it would result in a 3% drop in life satisfaction.”

3% doesn’t sound like much, but Oswald argues it’s a lesser version of what you’d feel if you were going through a divorce. If this low-grade unhappiness sounds worrying, brace yourself, because not only has the United States been steadily increasing advertising spending, it’s also the biggest spender on ads globally. Oof.

Part of the problem is that ads are often designed to make us feel like we’re missing out on something. In theory, ads should just point out areas where we might need help and then suggest products to fix the problem. For instance, if you have stains that are hard to clean, consider purchasing a specific cleaning product designed to remove those stains!

Except in most cases, advertisements are trying to fill a void we’ve already filled – which means making you feel bad about what you have. Sure, your car works, but it’s not “Bill Murray cruising through a snow drift” levels of fun. Oswald argues that constantly being bombarded with advertisements like this can leave people constantly comparing themselves to impossible standards. And try as you might, you’ll never live up.

In a way, Oswald concedes, this phenomenon is not unlike the trends we’ve seen with social media. Dr. Jennifer Lewallen explains that while there can be moments of positive feedback from comparison on social media, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of becoming overwhelmed by the unending stream of unrealistic body and beauty standards.

Now, Oswald’s studies is one of the first of its kind, so while it might hold some truth, it might not be entirely accurate. That said, the study was done meticulously and Oswald worked to account for other happiness factors in nations while studying the effects of advertising. In the meantime, it might be worth keeping an eye on your own happiness levels…and shutting off the ads if necessary.

Brittany is a Staff Writer for The American Genius with a Master's in Media Studies under her belt. When she's not writing or analyzing the educational potential of video games, she's probably baking.

Real Estate Marketing

This AI tool turns your powerpoint into a narrated presentation

(MARKETING) Narakeet is a new software presentation tool that uses AI to simplify adding narration, subtitles, and more in your presentations.

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Narakeet, an AI presentation making tool

Good narration helps give presentations that extra oomph. It takes plain text and gives it life. It turns a dry presentation slide into an enjoyable one. But when it comes to narrating something, I know I’m not the narrator most people would be looking for. I speak too softly and laugh too much. I’ve had to record and re-record myself more times than I can count. This isn’t much fun, and it eats up a lot of your time. So, if you’re like me, there might be a solution for you.

Formerly named Video Puppet, Narakeet is an online service that helps people easily make narrated videos without all the headaches. Founded by Gojko Adzic, this time-saving software tool uses artificial intelligence to create life-like narration from speaker notes in a presentation. Currently, the tool supports PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, and OpenOffice files.

To create your presentation, you simply upload your PowerPoint or other presentation file to Narakeet. Presentation settings can be customized by video size, volume, music, subtitles, voice, and language. Right now, the platform supports 20 languages, but more languages will be added in the future.

From your file, the tool will create life-like narration using the “latest neural text-to-speech systems.” It will synchronize pictures with sound and resize the images and video clips to fit the format you selected.

If you opted for subtitles, they will automatically be generated for you; say goodbye to hours of transcribing! And, at least for me, I won’t have to worry about people suffering through my terrible narration.

“Narakeet takes care of all the boring and time-consuming tasks of video editing, and lets authors focus on creating good content,” Gojko said.

According to their video, anyone can “edit videos as easily as editing text.” If you made a mistake or want to tweak anything, all you have to do is change the script. By clicking the “Improve” button, you can upload the updated file. Then, Narakeet will take care of the rest.

For some, an AI-generated voice might not be your cup of tea. As a developing software, it can still sound a little too parrot-like. Or maybe your beautiful and pleasant voice needs no alteration. If you fit either of those two, there is an alternative!

The tool lets you replace the narration with your own audio. Depending on your presentation, Narakeet “will automatically speed up or slow down video clips to make sure that each scene is perfectly aligned with your voice.”

For trainers, educators, and marketers, this tool allows you to create videos without having to use traditional editing tools. For teachers, especially, this is a great tool to create virtual lessons. According to Narakeet, they “will create the video so you can publish and impress.”

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Real Estate Marketing

Top reasons people unsubscribe from emails

(MARKETING NEWS) Sometimes promotional emails can cause us to purge our inboxes due to over-inundation. New data examines specific reasons customers unsubscribe from mailing listings.

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I recently registered my work email with a company that shall not be named in an effort to receive a 20% off coupon. While I received the coupon, I also found myself receiving somewhere around 10 emails per week from this company. But after a few weeks, I had no choice but to unsubscribe from this email listing. Though it did give me the option to minimize email settings, the overwhelming amount I already received was such a turn off that I unsubscribed completely.

This has happened time and again with countless other mail listings, and I know that I’m not the only one burdened with email after email. Apparently this is such a common occurrence that eMarketer was able to conduct a survey that complied the top reasons why people tend to unsubscribe from email lists.

The major reasons were broken down into 13 categories.

The additional reasons were as follows: 21% report that the emails were not relevant to them; 19% received too many emails from a specific company; 19% complained that the emails were always trying to sell something; 17%t stated the content of the emails were boring, repetitive, and not interesting to them.

Additionally, 16% unsubscribed because they do not have the time to read the emails; 13% stated they receive the same ads and promotions in the email that they receive in print mail (through direct mail, print magazines, newspapers, etc.)

Furthermore, 11% stated that some emails can be too focused on the company’s needs and not enough on the customer’s needs; 10% felt that certain emails seemed geared towards other people’s needs and not their own. Another 10% did not like the appearance of certain emails, stating that they were too cluttered and sloppy.

An additional 10% didn’t trust the email to provide all of the information necessary to make purchasing decisions. Finally, 1% claimed “other” reasoning as the main cause.

Fully 7.0% unsubscribed from certain email listings because they said emails did not look good on their smartphones. This is important for marketers to keep in the back of their minds.

Assess your email marketing strategy to ensure you’re fitting the needs of consumers, not just your own personal preferences. Data doesn’t lie.

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Real Estate Marketing

New TikTok Marketing Guide published: Show what your business can do

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) A new playbook has been released to help small businesses thrive through use of TikTok. New stats reveal how the platform’s users interact with small businesses.

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Hands holding a phone about to open the TikTok app

TikTok remains a hot platform for content creators to share their videos. As with all social media, TikTok has become a place for brands to show off what they’re made of.

As part of the initiative to put small businesses on a pedestal, TikTok recently released a marketing guide geared towards SMBs. The 61-page playbook, titled “The Official Guide to Marketing on TikTok,” boasts as “tools, strategies and inspiration to help your small business thrive.”

The presentation gives examples of ways TikTok can be used to amplify a business and gives a look at businesses that are successfully advertising through TikTok. With sections on both advertising and creative tools, this can take an SMB through the process of reaching a whole new audience.

Of course, the playbook includes data and stats to highlight the platform. This includes the fact that TikToks generate billions of views every day, and 46% of TikTokers say they use it to discover new things. TikTokers get ideas for new things to buy with every swipe, and 57% of respondents have been led to make a purchase through the app.

It encourages businesses to post content with the hashtags #SmallBusinessLove and #ShopSmallBusiness. The TikTok community is 15% more likely to buy from a small, independent business compared to other social media channels.

A rundown of how your business can get ahead on TikTok includes information such as: 42% of users say they’re on TikTok to discover new things; 67% believe that the platform gives them ideas about new brands and products; 57% have been inspired to make a purchase by something they saw on TikTok; 83% say TikTok played a role in their purchase decisions.

The playbook also gives advice on how to: Create the perfect profile, engage your audience, keep posting regularly, tell a story, be authentic, be a trend-follower, and tailor your content (with room for experimentation).

It’s worth noting that TikToks can be shared across channels and appear on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. This extends the reach even further.

Do you use TikTok for your small business? Tell us about it!

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