Las Vegas, NV – Continuing its commitment to lead the push for diversity, equality, and inclusion of quality LGBTQ+ content in entertainment, ClexaCon is returning to Las Vegas for its fourth consecutive year.

Taking place April 16-19 at The Tropicana Hotel, ClexaCon – the largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ+ women, gender non-conforming individuals & allies – will celebrate the illustrious individuals who make the entertainment industry’s progressive and prolific LGBTQ+ community so powerful and diverse with a packed program of panels, meet and greets, celebrity autographs and photographs, and workshops from an elite community of LGBTQ+ game-changers, industry tastemakers, media influencers, and actors.

LGBTQ+ representation continues to matter and more so now than ever before. This is why the Con continues to provide educational resources for the community to aid in the push for better and equal representation. Its goal is to teach and motivate more LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in creating stories that actually reflect America’s evolving cultural landscape.

According to GLAAD 2019 report, LGBTQ representation in films is up, but less diverse.

ClexaCon is hoping to actively be a pioneer in the movement to challenge the tropes and champion lesbian, bisexual and queer women and gender nonconforming individuals behind and in front of the camera. The con hopes to drive the conversation on how to move into and adapt to a more inclusive entertainment future.

“We believe that it is vital to support and nurture LGBTQ+ women and non-binary creators so that they are able to write authentic stories and push for better representation in all aspects of the entertainment industry moving forward,” said Danielle Jablonski, one of ClexaCon’s co-directors and producers.

Leading by example, ClexaCon’s core team is made up of a diverse group of LGBTQ+ people including queer, lesbian, bisexual, trans and non-binary team members.

More than 50% of the featured guests and the vast majority of speakers at the convention identify as LGBTQ+.

Some of the key panels are zooming in on topics such as:

• LGBTQ+ actors playing LGBTQ+ roles
• transgender representation
• bisexual representation
• queer people of color representation
• improving representation in front of and behind the camera
• supporting LGBTQ+ content creators to tell our stories

ClexaCon 2020 has assembled one of its most eclectic, stellar and diverse roster including L Word icons from the original series and from The L Word: Generation Q, with a reunion of original cast members Kate Moennig (The L Word, Ray Donavon), Leisha Hailey (The L Word) and Sarah Shahi (The L Word, Person of Interest) for the first time at a U.S. convention. Other guests include Amy Acker (The Gifted, Person of Interest), Amber Benson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, The Guild), Jaime Murray (Warehouse 13, Spartacus), Jes Macallan (Legends of Tomorrow), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Legends of Tomorrow), Janet Varney (Legend of Korra), Lyrika Ocano (Marvel’s Runaways), among many others.

About half of these featured guests this year are attending ClexaCon for the first time, bringing fresh perspectives and experiences to the conversation about LGBTQ+ representation.

Also new this year is the addition of a music showcase with several featured LGBTQ+ musicians, a cabaret event featuring LGBTQ+ performers and Karaoke. These events join an already stacked schedule that includes a full film festival, a burlesque show, a pool party and late-night parties. ClexaCon will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the annual event, Cocktails for a Change, to LGBTQ non-profits The Victory Fund Alliance and Project Q, as well as WIRES Australia.

ClexaCon 2020 promises to be a Con like nothing we’ve ever seen before rallying together actors, directors, producers, writers, comic book illustrators, visual artists, academics and fans from around the U.S. and the world to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ TV and film and discuss how to improve representation across all media platforms.

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Top 5 Hacks for Successful Startup Marketing

Starting your own business takes effort, determination, and hard work. The idea of launching and growing your own enterprise is definitely a fascinating and fulfilling journey. However, with so many hungry entrepreneurs and innovators launching their own businesses these days, standing out has never been harder.

Startups have changed traditional marketing by innovating and creating creative new ideas and rule-changing strategies to stand out. Startup marketing, also called growth hacking, is a marketing technique used to determine the most effective ways to grow a business. It involves out-of-the-box thinking that, if effectively executed, increases brand awareness, grows a massive audience, and gains revenue.

Here are the top 5 startup marketing hacks to grow your audience and  will make you a “unicorn”:

Free Offers Encourage Buyers

Everybody loves free products! You can provide a gift with every product you sell, give a limited-time discount, hold a “Buy 1 take 1” promo, or a free shipping deal. This will encourage people to buy your product. Influencers with more than 50,000 viewers can also help you reach your target followers and turn them into buyers. Give free trials, services, or samples to your chosen influencers to align with your product’s values and ask them for a review.

Collaborate with other Brands

Partnering with a company can help your brand create noise, gain visibility and expand connections. Co-marketing with the right partner is an effective growth hacking strategy that creates a  social media buzz and allows for the acquisition of relevant organic traffic. If you have strong relationships with other entrepreneurs and collaborate with them, you can reach thousands of potential buyers, and it could generate additional sales.

Run Social Media Contests to Skyrocket Growth

Host a contest for your customers and spread the word! Be creative and come up with a prize that is related to your business and excites your audience. Give them something worth sharing over and over again. Have part of the rules of the contest to include following your social media accounts or subscribing to your e-mail newsletter.

Get Viral and Show Off

In this connected world, you should take advantage of the social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. These channels will help you generate massive traffic and conversions. Great content and strategically engaging with your target market is the perfect formula for going viral. Create a groundbreaking promotional video with a unique angle or a clever relatable meme.

Offering Perks in Exchange for Referrals

Referral programs with rewards is a simple and the most sustainable approach that yields incredible results. According to a  Nielsen research report, 92% of people trust personal recommendations rather than other forms of advertising. Referrals with perks are a great way to spur growth as it allows consumers promote your products for you.  Make sure to make it easy for consumers to share your products with others. One way to do this is to create a simple link or online code that can be shared can do the trick!


Are you ready to try these hacks? It pays off to try new hacks that suit your business goals. In a competitive environment, trends change constantly. Always strive for innovation and growth. Monitor how each strategy affects the growth metrics and continue to refine startup marketing methods and tactics in order to transform your startup into the “unicorn” of your niche and dominate the marketplace. Alter New Media specializes in innovative ways to connect with customers and facilitating growth via our marketing strategies. Send us a message at

Benefits of Building an Online Community

In this digital age of bots and automation, it’s easy to overlook the human aspect of your marketing efforts. This is a wasted opportunity, especially since customers do not purchase based on an algorithm or advertisements; they make purchases based on emotion.

Building an online community can be a way of injecting a human side to your brand, amidst automation and impersonality. An online community differs from the audience, in the way that both the brand and its customer are engaged in a conversation, rather than just an audience, or where the customer just listens to what the brand has to say, which is both one-sided..

Building an online community takes time, and may seem like a daunting task, but here are a few good reasons why you should do it:

Your community becomes a resource

An online community can become a place for your customers to find information and get advice either from you, or the other members of the community. At the same time, as the business owner or community manager, you’ll glean valuable insights from engagement with your customers which you won’t be able to get from surveys and market research alone.


Makes customers more dedicated

Building an online community makes customers more dedicated, which increases customer retention. According to a customer acquisition study by Hubspot, it’s at least 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. Another study found that increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. Double win!

When customers find the brand that works best for them, they will be less likely to leave them. They will be insensitive to price changes, and resist buying from competitors even if they can afford it. Additionally, when community members are connected to your brand and the community around it, it creates a switching barrier.

A switching barrier is an obstacle that customers have when they switch from one product or service to another. These usually come in the form of monetary costs, but can also be in the form of psychological, effort- or time-based opportunity costs. For instance, WordPress may be free to use, but it does not have customer support. The thriving online community that helps each other out is part of the reason why it’s difficult for users to switch to another content management system.


Removes sole dependency on ads

When you have an engaged community, you don’t have to solely create ads to push people to visit your website or social media pages because they will come naturally to you. When they like your content, what you bring to the table and more importantly, how you make them feel, they will put their trust in you, especially when they see that your community represents the values of your brand.


Your customers become your brand advocates

It goes without saying that producing a good product or service goes hand-in-hand with cultivating an engaged online community. When you have both a good product or service and an engaged online community, customers see that you consistently produce quality output because you’re open to listening to feedback, this inspires loyalty.

Customer loyalty is invaluable. Not only will your loyal customers spend twice as much as regular customers, but also spread the word about your business, and word of mouth marketing is still very effective. In fact, it is the most trusted form of marketing, as 92% of people would trust recommendations from friends and family over any type of advertising. Additionally, 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.


How to Build an Online Community

There are different ways to start building your online community. You can start by engaging the audiences in your social channels, creating a mission statement for your brand, starting a rewards program and even getting into cause marketing.

The top brands know that with so many different businesses sprouting up left and right, they cannot differentiate based on product quality, price or advertising like before because there is always going to be another brand with more resources or is better at what they do. Cultivating an online community is the solution that can set them apart and they cannot be replicated by their competition.

Interested in starting your own online community? Alter New Media specializes in social media strategy and management, as well as cause marketing and purposeful partnerships, and purposeful PR–just some of the many strategies we can assist you with to start your own online community. Send us a message at

5 of the Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

There’s nothing more exciting and challenging than starting your own business. However, the thrill of getting your idea out there and possibly earning from it is leveled out by the pressure of ensuring it doesn’t fail. After all, there are thousands of other already-established businesses, and new ones trying to enter the game daily.

As a new entrepreneur, one way to guarantee that your business does not fail is to see to it that you have people willing to purchase your products and services, and that’s where marketing comes in. Marketing is essential for all businesses, but more so for startups.

According to a recent poll, founders of failed startups admitted that poor marketing was a top reason for their startup’s failure. Some startups even have a disadvantage, as marketing usually takes a backseat when it comes to limited budgeting capital. However, with the existence of the digital space, there’s no reason not to be able to reach your customers since digital offers an affordable, quick and targeted way to market products. All your marketing campaign needs to succeed are the right strategies. Here are some types of marketing strategies that startups use.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Websites are a must for every business, and sites cannot afford not to use search engine optimization. With so many websites in a given niche, just building one isn’t going to cut it; you have to get word about your site out and let search engines be able to find you.

Majority of small business owners believe that a search engine optimized website can bring more traffic and revenue to their businesses. Showing up organically on the search engine pages is undoubtedly one of the cheapest ways to market and bring in traffic to your site. It also builds trust. If customers see that your website ranks high in the search results, it leaves a positive impression on potential customers that you are a reputable company.

SEO is especially important if you have an e-commerce site. Aim to rank for keywords that are relevant to your site, since keyword stuffing can be penalized.

SEO involves many aspects–content, on- and off-page optimization, site architecture, and so forth. If you don’t know where to start, a reputable SEO company can help you.


Content Marketing

Content marketing is a must for both B2B and B2C businesses. Creating relevant content not only contributes to your SEO efforts but increases brand visibility, boosts brand awareness, builds credibility and authority, supports your social media efforts and positions you as a thought leader.

With an effective content marketing strategy, you can identify the correct modes of content creation at each stage of the buyer’s journey, which leads to higher conversion. A report found that businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than their competitors without one.

A caveat? Remember that content marketing seldom offers quick results. As with SEO, it takes time before you start noticing effects, but the impact is long-lasting.


Email Marketing

Although there have been predictions on the death/decline of email marketing, businesses must continue to leverage this powerful marketing strategy. Email marketing is known to have the most significant ROI. Brands earn an average of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

You can start collecting emails by asking website visitors to sign up for your newsletter or ask people for their email addresses in exchange for valuable lead magnets (guides, and case studies for example).

It’s not hard to succeed in email marketing, as long as you have a catchy, engaging subject line that will make the reader want to open the email and excellent email copy which includes a compelling call-to-action. It will also be pertinent to optimize for mobile and take a personalized approach to your emails by sending them to the specific customer segments they are apt for.

Remember not to keep sending your list adverts; it’s best to mix it up with informative and entertaining content.


Social Media Marketing

Social media has become a powerful marketing tool these days. With over 2 billion people in the world with an active social media account, social media is definitely where the people are.

According to a Social Media Examiner’s report, 89% of marketers indicated that their social media initiatives had generated increased exposure for their companies. Buffer supports this statistic, saying social media is the number 1 marketing strategy used by startups.

Benefits of social media marketing include increased exposure, lead generation, and customer engagement, which eventually leads to customer loyalty. Marketers that use social media also benefit from the targeting options it offers, so that campaigns reach the customers most likely to convert.

Although many people have found success in social media marketing, there are several more who have failed, and that is because these are the people that think that having a social media account is enough. However, social media has evolved throughout the years, and marketers must quickly keep up and aim to stay ahead of the pack.

How does one succeed in social media marketing? First, it is essential to create a social strategy, which involves creating a customer persona, targeting that customer persona, and determining what types of posts to publish, as well as the frequency of publishing. Second, it’s essential to choose the right social media channel. Choose the one where your customers are.

The beauty of social media marketing is that you can opt to do it in-house or outsource the functions to a reputable digital marketing agency.


Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is quickly catching on as a marketing strategy. 84% of marketers have said that they’re expecting to work with influencers in the next 12 months, and 94% have reported that they found influencer marketing effective, as it can generate up to 11 times more ROI than traditional marketing methods and costs less to implement. There’s no reason why startups shouldn’t adopt it.

If your startup targets younger consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, you will significantly benefit from influencer marketing as these groups have become immune to more traditional marketing channels. Other than that, you will enjoy higher engagement because younger consumers believe in the authenticity of influencers. This authenticity will also help grow your brand by building trust and word-of-mouth.

What is IGTV? (+ 3 reasons why businesses should be on it)

iphone video


Everywhere you turn, social platforms are amplifying their video strategy, and with good reason: Statistics show that video is expected to make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2021. Currently, a third of online activity is spent watching video, and over half of that video content is viewed on our mobile phones.

Instagram, currently the third largest social network in the world in terms of user base, has been investing their resources into video. They started by allowing videos on Instagram posts, and eventually released Instagram Live and Instagram Stories.

Instagram’s posts, lives, and stories, allow users to post video content in varying lengths. For posts, users are allowed to post videos up to a minute in length, while on Instagram stories, Instagram’s own take on ephemeral content, only allows users to post 15-second clips. Instagram live is another story, in that it allows users to share live videos, which can eventually be converted into a series of Instagram stories. Instagram still wants to capture the market for longer-form content, thus Instagram TV (IGTV for short) was born.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is the platform’s answer to long-form video. On IGTV, content creators can make videos up to an hour long, but this feature is only available for verified accounts, or those with large followings. For everyone else, the limit is 10 minutes. The only difference from IGTV and other video channels such as YouTube or Facebook video, is that video content on IGTV is vertically-oriented ( in a 9:16 ratio).

IGTV was launched in June of 2018, and can be accessed via the Instagram app, or on the separate IGTV app. On the original Instagram app, you can see it as a “T.V.” icon in the top right, which will be highlighted if there is new content available. When you click on the icon, or access IGTV on the standalone app, a video feed plays automatically. Akin to a television, it has different channels organized according to the accounts you follow and interact with.

IGTV has the same functions of Instagram posts, users can like or comment on videos, and send videos to friends via a Direct Message. Something different about IGTV is that the swipe up call-to-actions are available for all users, unlike Stories, which only makes this feature available for those with business accounts with over 10,000 followers.

If your brand doesn’t have that many followers yet, it will benefit from IGTV.

Advantages of starting IGTV

IGTV has been around for less than a year, which makes it perfect for an early adapter. By being one of the first few users on the platform, you have the advantage of increased exposure and a headstart in building an audience within your niche.

Brands also benefit from increased engagement. According to Forrester, by being on Instagram’s original app alone you receive 10 times more engagement than Facebook, and a 84 times more engagement than on Twitter.

Additionally, you don’t need a whole video production to be on IGTV. Younger audiences, which are Instagram’s demographic tend to prefer amateur content to professional, polished content. Additionally, these users are more likely to follow people they don’t know, especially if the content is of quality.

IGTV videos can also be uploaded to Facebook Watch.


How to Get Started on IGTV

To get started on IGTV, you can either download the standalone app, or create your channel via Instagram. If you download the IGTV standalone app, you can automatically connect to your Instagram profile if you’re logged on. From there, click the gear icon in the top right corner and choose “Create Channel.”

When you’re ready to post a video, tap your avatar from the main IGTV page and click on the “+” in the right corner to select a video from your camera roll. Remember to add hashtags and link your video to external pages like your website and social channels before posting. The first frame becomes the video thumbnail.

Remember, videos should be in .mp4 format and you can upload videos up to 3.6GB in size.


Ideas for your IGTV content

  • Tutorials:  How-to videos to show your customers that can include how your products work, and or how to use them, or the availability of your services.
  • Product launches or releases: Gives customers access to something that would otherwise be exclusive, making them feel special because they are.
  • Interviews: With influential people in your business or niche, Q&As, and FAQ videos that can be  fun and informative.
  • Behind-the-scenes: To give your customers a glimpse into office culture or production.
  • Video series: This would require you to consistently create content, but gives viewers something to look forward to, drawing them in and making them loyal.


Best Practices

Now that you know what IGTV videos are, why you should include them in your social strategy and what type of content to post, here are some of the best practices to ensure that your efforts don’t go to waste:

  • Promote your Videos:  What good are IGTV videos if your audience doesn’t know about them? You can promote them on IG Stories, and in a post, even if you haven’t reached the prerequisite 10,000 followers, as well as your other channels.
  • Consistency is Key: Whether it’s branding or posting staying consistent is of the utmost importance. Consistent branding improves revenue by up to 23%,  its imperative to maintain a consistent posting schedule that is in line with when the audience views your content the most, this is to keep them engaged.
  • Choose the right length. Just because you can post lengthy videos, doesn’t mean you should! IGTV allows creators to see their metrics, including when people start losing interest. Use this as a guide for future videos.

Today, brands can be more interactive with their customers and prospective customers. Leveraging IGTV for consumers and brands is a powerful way to facilitate conversions. Businesses should be on IGTV because of the value it brings them. It is an innovative tool to provide the audience within your niche the behavioral directives necessary to fully engage with your brand. For support in constructing an IGTV strategy don’t hesitate to contact us.

Instagram updates you need to know about in 2019

person holding phone that is on instagram

There is just no stopping Instagram. It went from simply being a photo-sharing app to a ubiquitous and effective marketing tool, after being acquired by Facebook. For instance, over the past year, the brand has been focusing heavily on vertical video content in the form of Instagram Stories and IGTV. Instagram Stories currently has 400 million daily average users, overtaking the total number of Snapchat users. This year, you can expect most of Instagram’s new features to be related to these two.

If you’re planning your 2019  Instagram marketing strategy, here are a few new features to take note of.

Countdown Sticker on IG Stories

You may have noticed these on plenty a New Year’s Eve Instagram Story posts, but for marketers, this Countdown Sticker would find more purpose than a New Year’s countdown. For instance, marketers can use this to create teasers to build anticipation for upcoming events such as sales, big events and discount days. Make countdown stickers your own by adding a title, specific date and color.

But, the best thing about countdown stickers is that they can be shared in users’ Stories. Users can tap on the arrow in the corner of your sticker to share the countdown to their own Stories, or be reminded of it. You’ll receive a notification whenever someone selects the ‘Reminder’ option, but if you have under 50,000 followers, you’ll get a notification via DM instead.

To access this feature, tap the Sticker icon on your Instagram story and click on the Countdown sticker.

Questions Sticker

Since Instagram engagement on posts has gone down, marketers believe engaging through Instagram Stories is the way to keep your brand at the top of your customers’ heads. The Questions sticker on Instagram may just be one of the best Instagram Stories features to help you do so. At first, it seemed like a way for celebrities and influencers to connect with their followers, but brands can also use this feature as a way of engaging with their followers through surveys and giveaways.

The Questions sticker allows people who viewed the Instagram Story to answer a question. The poster can see all the responses, and have the option to reply to them once viewed. Note that once you reply to the response, viewers will not be able to see the username of the person, just their response text.

The Questions sticker is now also available for Instagram Live. And recently, Instagram has made it possible for users to include music responses as well.

Close Friends List

The Close Friends list is another new Instagram Stories feature that is available for both personal and business accounts. It allows users to post stories for a select few of their friends. It appears as a green (instead of pink) circle on your account or on your friends’ feeds.

Although one may think that this has no use to brands, they can be leveraged to give your top-tier or most loyal followers exclusive content. To use this feature, create a Close Friends list by tapping the three-lined icon on your personal page and choosing your close friends. Once you have a list, tap the “Close Friends” icon beside the “Your Story” one at the bottom of your story to share the post.

Posts to Multiple Accounts

Instagram understands that a person can be handling several Instagram accounts at one point–there’s your personal Insta, Finsta (fake Instagram), and business account, among many others–and has made it simpler for users to post the same photo to several accounts at a time.

Usually, users have to log out and log into another account to post photos to the other account. If you’re posting the same photo to several accounts, this new feature would save you some time. However, critics say that this goes against Instagram’s tenet for original content (they still don’t have a native ‘regram’ function, afterall!) and recommend using this feature only if your multiple accounts have the same audience and feel.

For now, this feature is only available so far for iOS users. You can access this feature at the Instagram iOS composer screen by toggling the switch to post to several accounts you’ve previously logged into.

Alternative Text Descriptions

In an effort to make Instagram more accessible to all people, Instagram has introduced alternative text descriptions.

Anyone familiar with blogging and SEO will have heard about alternative text (or commonly referred to as alt text). It’s a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute into an HTML document to tell web viewers the nature or context of an image. The alt text usually appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image.

This feature helps with accessibility, especially for the visually impaired. Those with screen readers can have the alt-text descriptions read to them to give them context. Instagram’s alt-text feature comes in two options: Automatic and Manual.

The automatic option relies on Instagram’s object recognition technology (reminiscent of Facebook’s facial recognition software) to create audio descriptions of their own, while with the manual mode, you have the option to add your own descriptions before posting your photo. This may take longer, but ensures that the description is more accurate and it highlights what you want to showcase.

This feature  is available for photos on an individual’s Instagram profile and feed, as well as the Explore page.

Bonus: Side Scrolling Feed View

person holding phone that is on instagram
The side-scrolling feed view will probably take the record as the fastest Instagram update that lasted. Due to a bug, Instagram accidentally rolled out the massive update and Instagram users took to Twitter to express their opinions about it. Instagram wanted to test a way wherein one could move between posts while ensuring they stayed in full view. Compared to scrolling, it can take some adjustment to ensure that the top or bottom of the post isn’t cut off.

But, because of the backlash, they may not release this feature anymore.

Coming Up: Influencer features

Instagram is banking on the popularity of the influencer (the influencers came from Instagram, afterall), and are coming up with features that will help high-profile influencers.

It is rumored to be called “creator account”, and give influencers information similar to what they would receive with an Instagram business profile. The only difference is that they would be receiving more in-depth analytics on growth and activity. With the new creator account, owners would receive in-depth data about new follows and unfollows, because before this, all accounts would receive single notifications if someone followed them. Additionally, the new creator account would be able to filter out personal DMs from business-related ones, as most influencers have one account for both business and personal use.

So, there you have it, the new Instagram features you can use for your marketing strategy in 2019. Which one is your favorite?

Top Influencer Trends for 2019


Influencer marketing has come a long way from its early days. What marketers once dismissed as a trend is now widely accepted. In fact, about 87% of influencer campaigns have a budget of $100,000, and almost 40% of marketers expect to increase their budgets this year.

Want to add influencer marketing to your overall mix but not sure of the best strategy? Check out these trends, which are sure to dominate 2019.


Top Instagram marketing trends you should adapt in 2019

Instagram is one of the most popular social channels in the world today; it is also one of the most powerful marketing channels, especially for content marketing and engagement. It has achieved rapid growth in 8 years, reaching 1 billion users in June 2018. This is why Instagram has been rolling out new features left and right, including a side-swipeable feed (Instagram’s quickest update that only lasted a couple of hours), and the ability to post the same photo to multiple accounts among others.

Here are some of the top Instagram trends we’re predicting in 2019.