Connect with us


Paid Content Promotion: The Essential Guide



Paid Content Promotion: The Essential Guide

Updated April 14, 2022

No brand exists in a vacuum. To thrive and grow, it needs a constant influx of supporters who buy into its perspectives, points, and purposes and customers who buy its products.

A non-vacuum existence is the very reason marketing was invented – to draw interest by disseminating information about a brand’s favorable attributes, build desire for its products and services, and provide a clear pathway to make a purchase.

High-quality, high-value content can help achieve those goals on its own. But online noise and distractions, declining organic reach on social media, and ongoing shifts in search trends, getting that content seen and clicked often requires paid promotion.

Getting your #content seen and clicked often requires paid promotion, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


You promote your content using traditional techniques – banner ads and paid placements – just as you would for a product or service. But content marketers can also take advantage of more strategic and authentic paid media approaches.

This overview offers some help, outlining paid promotion options like native advertising, paid search, influencer marketing, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is a third-party distribution format where the paid content matches the form, feel, function, topics, and quality of the content on the third-party site. The intent of the ad is not to disrupt the experience a reader would expect to find on that publisher’s site. Native ads support brand or direct-response goals.

1649932911 188 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Brands like Penny Hoarder and Banyan Hill use native advertising to promote its content on Business Insider.

Image source

Why it works

You can reach an audience beyond your brand’s owned media channels who may be interested but unaware of your content. This technique positions content as useful, relevant information, making it less likely to encounter ad blockers and “banner blindness” and more likely to be trusted.


How to work it

To benefit from native advertising’s traffic-boosting effect, carefully select the content and the sites where you publish it. It also should speak to that audience’s pain points – not to go for the hard sell – so it will be recognized as valuable and not useless fluff.

Native advertising often is done through networks that will publish your ads on multiple sites. Before signing an agreement, make sure the target audience complements your own – why pay to reach the same audience twice or engage people who aren’t likely to share your brand’s interests or recognize its value?

Before signing an #NativeAdvertising agreement, make sure the target audience complements your own, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

You also need to consider transparency issues. Make sure the content is clearly labeled as native advertising in some way so the ads don’t fall afoul of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission guidelines. It’s also the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint – you don’t want your brand to be accused of propagating “fake news,” do you?

What is paid search?

Search engine marketing (SEM) or paid search involves purchasing ads or sponsored listings on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). While it may seem like a simple, straightforward concept, it’s a deceptively complicated technique to master. It involves keyword targeting, platform-specific display variations, ongoing algorithm changes, and a highly noisy and competitive marketplace for popular phrases.

The paid text-based listings get bumped to the top of the SERP and tagged to denote it’s a paid spot.


Paid text-based search listings get bumped to the top of the rankings page and tagged as a paid placement, says @joderma via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

1649932911 585 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Paid search ads display at the top of a Google SERP, typically above organic listings. Adobe, Widen, Airtable, and General Assembly use paid search ads to put their content atop the ranking results for the term “content marketing.”

Why it works

Almost everyone uses search engines daily – often dozens of times a day. (Why do you think “Google it” has become the ubiquitous term for looking up a piece of information?). Paid search makes sense given the decline in organic links and the prominent role of the first page in attracting clicks.

How to work it

Google’s search ads run on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. It uses an auction-based system to determine when and how often your ad is displayed alongside the targeted keywords. You should have a working knowledge of Google’s Ads. The system lets you choose a campaign type, create the ad copy, landing page URL, and calls to action, select target keywords and audience segments, and establish a budget, goals, and bid strategy for each campaign.

Setting a budget and maximum PPC informs your bidding process. Google’s algorithm evaluates your campaign against competitors targeting the same keyword (including their budget and PPC max). Then, it determines when and how often to display your ad.

Of course, success can be elusive and fleeting as searchers adjust their clicking behavior because they suspect paid links won’t be as helpful as organic links. This means it’s critical to do your homework before venturing into the wonderful world of the Google Ads auction (or the similar ad-buying processes offered by Bing and other search engines).


What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing programs enlist popular voices in your industry – people who have the ear of your target audience – to bring your content to their audience’s attention. Influencer involvement can be simple, like regularly retweeting your content to their communities, or more involved, like co-producing content for collaborative publication.

Though this technique can be leveraged on a non-paid basis, many high-profile influencers and celebrities and those with whom you want to establish a consistent, long-term partnership will likely expect to be compensated for the arrangement.

Why it works

Influencers’ audiences are receptive to their ideas and recommendations. Thus, influencers are well-positioned to amplify your content’s reach and awareness, which helps your content get found and consumed by the right audience. They can also lend credibility as their audience trusts the influencer to publish only valuable and relevant content.

How to work it

All influencer marketing requires logistical legwork to get your program off the ground. Here’s a rundown of the basic process:

  • Become familiar with the notable voices in your industry and related social communities to identify influencers to speak on your content’s behalf.
  • Vet potential partners to identify those who align well with your brand values, voice, and content topics and offer the best potential to further your promotion goals.
  • Engage top candidates and solicit their participation.
  • Negotiate terms, fees, and deliverables for the engagement.
  • Seed, track, and manage their efforts on an ongoing basis.

All #InfluencerMarketing to promote your #content takes logistical legwork to get your program off the ground, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Additional tips: CMI offers an influencer marketing guidebook, which details the steps involved in leveraging influencers (paid and unpaid) and provides customizable templates to make the process more manageable.

These quick tips will help you navigate the process more smoothly:

  • Use tools and search to discover viable candidates: Try typing [your industry] + “blog” (or “site”) into a search field, then use advanced search operators to expand or narrow the results. To make influencer discovery even easier, work with some of the dedicated tools listed here.
  • Outline the terms of engagement: Before you enlist an influencer, have a clear idea of what you are asking them to do, the results you want to achieve, and what you will offer in return for their assistance.
  • Spend smartly: Just because your budget is tight doesn’t mean you can’t engage big-name influencer talent. Consider negotiating on terms, such as lowering the number of actions required of the influencer, to make their partnership more affordable. Alternately, find an influencer who already shares your brand’s passions and might accept a reduced rate to partner with you.
  • Go beyond the usual suspects: You don’t have to impress a big-name industry guru or hire an internet celebrity to get value from influencer marketing. Consider working with popular bloggers or other relevant influencers who have something to gain beyond a big paycheck to help increase your share of voice. Or work with satisfied customers in an influencer capacity as they can hold more sway over your audience than a neutral third party.

What is paid social media promotion?

Last but not least is paid promotion in social media – by far the most complex playing field. Yet, they are arguably the most impactful promotional channels, given the billions who use them to stay connected to the people, products, and ideas that matter to them.

Paid social promotion is mostly straightforward: You pay a fee – typically a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) basis – to increase your content’s chances of getting in front of your target audience while they use the social media platform.


The challenge is each social platform operates differently – formats, campaign deployment, control over the process. Big platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, offer multiple ad formats, with dozens of configuration options to entice viewers with sound, video, interactivity, and more.

Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

The Fab Story pays to promote its content, like this one about ideal daily routines, on Instagram.

Why it works

The sheer volume of activity on most social channels means it’s difficult to get into your target audience’s feeds, let alone grab their attention without some paid support.

Social media platforms also continually refine and expand their paid opportunities, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of the latest options.

#SociaMedia platforms continually refine and expand their paid opportunities, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of the latest options, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

How to work it

Detailing every social channel’s paid promotion offerings is a Herculean task that would far exceed the scope of a single article. But fear not: To help you pursue their common opportunities from a more informed standpoint, I compiled this summary:

1649932911 609 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Pitchfork uses Facebook to promote a timely story about the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Image source: Facebook Stories

Facebook is at a bit of a crossroads given Apple’s iOS privacy changes and a recent study that its ad targeting around user interests may be inaccurate 30% of the time. In response, parent company Meta plans to remove some ad targeting options to reduce the potential for abuse.

Yet, Facebook’s multiple formats, configurations, and distribution efforts still make it a robust and impactful choice for content promotion. Here are the core options:

  • Pins: Post and pin a piece of content on your business page to keep it at the top of the timeline. It’s the first thing users see when they visit your page. It’s also free and easy to do for page admins or editors. The pin expires in seven days, which makes it great for adding a little oomph to a piece of content getting good traffic on your owned media channels.
  • Boosts: Pay to extend the reach of an organic post, Story, or Reel beyond the people who liked your page and receive your content in their news feeds. This technique allows segmentation based on age, location, lifestyle interests, and more.
  • Ads: Promote content the same way you might advertise a product or service. You can place simple text- and image-based ads that feature content you posted on Facebook. Configure link ads for Stories and Reels that go to a designated landing page or lead form. You can get more creative with in-stream video ads, carousels (a single ad displaying multiple images or videos), or Instant Experience ads – interactive multimedia showpieces optimized for full-screen mobile viewing.

Ad campaigns are configured through Meta’s Ads Manager interface – an auction-based system, which enables you to set a budget and maximum bid amount, choose goals and audience-targeting details, integrate creative assets, and deploy the ad across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. The campaigns also can work across third-party apps and websites in Facebook’s Audience Network program.

Brands on Facebook also have the option to manage both their page content and their ad campaigns through Meta Business Suite – a centralized set of tools for business users.

1649932911 8 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

This Instagram display ad for mindfulness app Calm incorporates a soothing visual well-aligned with the benefits users associate with the brand’s content.


Like its Meta-sister site Facebook, Instagram lets you pay to boost content published on your brand’s profile page, as well as buy display ads to run in content feeds. In addition, you can place both display and video ads to run in Instagram Stories. These ads appear in between the image- and video-centric Stories.

It recently added a paid influencer option – the Instagram Creators program. It helps your brand match and engage with influential creators to amplify your existing content from their handles or co-create original branded content for Reels.

TIP: Paid advertising can only be done through a professional account equipped with Meta Ad manager. For boosted posts, it’s helpful (but no longer required) to create a Meta ad account or link your Instagram account to a Facebook page on which you are a page admin. This makes it easier to create and manage ads across platforms using the same set of tools.

Create a @Meta ad account to make it easier to create and manage #Facebook and #Instagram ads using the same set of tools, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


1649932911 365 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Twitter Moment ads like this one from The Barista Bar can be used to drive users to your product pages, as well as to explore relevant content offered on your website.


Image source

Over the past few years, Twitter has considerably evolved its content promotion offerings. While you can still link to and embed content assets for free, adding a bit of budget to the equation gives you more creative flexibility.

Its promoted ads campaign lets you pay to amplify regular tweets or video content embedded in a tweet. You can also leverage Moment Ads – creating, curating, and promoting a collection of tweets to tell an immersive story beyond 280 characters.

Other paid promo options include native text ads, carousel ads (promote more than one content asset within a scrolling unit), Twitter Live (broadcast your best streaming content), and Branded Notifications (create automated @-mention tweets to create one-to-one conversations around your content at scale.)

Its newest feature – Twitter Spaces – may be its most exciting content promotion opportunity. These livestreaming collaborative audio conversations (similar to Clubhouse) deliver an event-like experience, making it an organic (and free) opportunity to weave a mention of your content into your topical discussions. Even more intriguing: Participants don’t need a Twitter account to listen to your Spaces conversations.

@Twitter’s newest feature @TwitterSpaces may be its most exciting #content promotion opportunity. And it’s free, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

1649932911 43 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Sprinklr promotes its 7 Principles of Modern Marketing handbook on LinkedIn to enable lead-generation downloads.

Over 800 million business professionals are members of the LinkedIn community, making the platform ideal for brands targeting audiences with a business frame of mind.

LinkedIn offers several paid options for boosting your content’s reach among its members – including those outside your brand’s network and communities.

For starters, LinkedIn offers single-image, video, and carousel sponsored content ads that appear on users’ profile pages. There’s also an ad format specifically designed to highlight your brand’s events.

In addition, you can use its proprietary ad platform to set up: 

  • Direct sponsored content campaigns: These ads don’t appear on your LinkedIn page as an update, but they do provide enhanced lead generation, audience targeting, conversion tracking, and message testing capabilities.
  • Messenger ads: Sponsored messaging lets marketers use LinkedIn Messenger to deliver content and a personalized greeting directly to specific users.
  • Conversation ads: Start quality conversations with your audience through a direct-message, choose-your-own-path experience.
1649932911 312 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

Ad Outreach pays for a pre-roll ad to promote its YouTube Advertising Masterclass.


Image source

Given its parent company is Alphabet – the same as Google’s – promoted content on YouTube can be managed using the Google Ads interface. Given Google’s overall domination of the advertising landscape, YouTube offers an array of highly configurable ad formats that content marketers will find helpful. Options include:

  • In-stream ads (skippable and non-skippable): These ads run before, during, or after videos on YouTube and across websites and apps running on Google video partners.
  • In-feed video ads: These ads promote content in YouTube’s discovery features – adjacent to related video recommendations, search results, or the YouTube home page.
  • Bumper ads: Similar to in-stream ad placements, bumper ads are six seconds or less and can’t be skipped.
  • Outstream ads: These mobile ads only appear on websites and apps running on Google video partners.
  • Masthead ads: These ads automatically play without sound for up to 30 seconds at the top of the YouTube home feed. You can only purchase these by contacting a Google sales rep.

To drive increased engagement to any of these formats, consider adding interactive features to your ads. Options available through Google Ads include;

  • End screens: At the end of your video ad, show an automatically generated screen that encourages viewers to take action.
  • Call-to-action button: Entice viewers to visit your site by clicking on a call-to-action button.
  • Extensions: Provide more information about your business, such as a link to parts of your website or a lead form for people to submit their contact information.
  • Product feeds from Merchant Center: Turn your video ads into a virtual storefront with an interactive product feed.
  • Related videos: Show a list of related videos when your video ad plays on YouTube.

If you’re working with YouTube Studio, you can use the Cards feature, which lets you showcase elements described in your content, as well as promote other videos or playlists to generate engagement for your channel.

@legendaryhbomax Yasss, darling! The House of Escada is OVAH. #LegendaryChallenge ♬ Legendary – MikeQ & Ash B.

HBO promoted its #LegendaryChallenge on TikTok’s Discover page, which helped boost brand awareness and recall.

Content promotions on TikTok may not rival the reach of Meta’s vast network of partner sites or Google’s dual dominion of search and video – yet. The platform’s popularity is growing, and an estimated 1 billion active monthly users spend an average of 38 minutes per day on the platform.

As you’d expect, TikTok’s paid promotion options are video-focused, including in-feed ads and TopView spots – billboard-like videos that play when the user first opens their app. But TikTok also allows the addition of branded effects, including interactive elements that can deepen user engagement.

Alternately, you can build a Branded Hashtag Challenge around your content, like HBO did to promote the launch of its original series, Legendary.

Given TikTok’s popularity with the creator set, it’s a great place to shop around for your next influencer partnership. Its Creator Marketplace is a helpful tool to do that.

1649932911 631 Paid Content Promotion The Essential Guide

HBO created this dynamic video spot for use on Snapchat.

Though the Snapchat audience isn’t what it used to be, it’s still a viable engagement platform, especially for brands looking to connect with audiences in their teens and early 20s.

To keep up with its bigger social sisters, Snapchat has expanded its promotions offerings in the past several years. It offers single-image and single-video Snap Ads. Brands also can stitch up to 20 image/video ads into a Story Ad, which gets delivered in between content or through a branded tile in Snapchat’s Discover section.

TIP: Snapchat’s signature filters and lenses can be tempting to use, but they may not be your best option given the entertainment-focused and highly personal nature of the typical Snapchat conversation.

Additional paid content promotion tips

Regardless of format or platform, the ultimate goal of paid promotion should be to drive audiences to your website, blog, or other owned media channels. Here are some best practices to increase your chances of making that happen:

  • Know your goals and target audience: Most paid promotion solutions provide some form of audience segmentation – helping you get your content in front of the right consumers, not just more. You need a clear view of who those consumers are and what you want them, or you won’t be able to configure your campaigns to achieve those goals. 
  • Put your best content forward: In general, focus on amplifying content assets already performing well organically – i.e., ranking well on search, earning above-average page views, or achieving strong conversion rates. You can focus your energy on optimizing their ad messages and placements rather than identifying content worthy of promotion.
  • Research your keywords for paid search: Look to include relevant terms that receive a decent amount of search traffic but aren’t too competitive, especially when working with auction-based placements.
  • Craft your creative thoughtfully: Creative real estate is often limited in paid promotion spots, so get to the point quickly and compellingly. The text and images should work cohesively to communicate the value your content offers. Don’t forget to include a clear call to action, so your audience members know what to expect once they click.
  • Optimize your landing pagesSpeaking of clicking, ensure that once the users arrive on your site, they find a worthwhile experience. Make it easy for them to access the content promoted in your ad and provide a clear navigational path to help them discover additional, contextually relevant content.
  • Take advantage of retargeting capabilities: As Aaron Agius points out, craft your PPC campaigns to retarget people who have expressed an interest in your brand’s content but failed to take action the first time around. With Facebook, for example, you can add a Meta pixel (a small line of code inserted into your site pages) to accomplish this. (Note: Apple’s iOS14 changes will affect those tracking capabilities, so it’s a good idea to read up on those changes here.)

Amplify to achieve

While content marketing is a powerful technique on its own, just imagine what your efforts can achieve with the right paid promotion campaigns working to amplify and expedite your success.

Got a great tip for getting better results from your investment in paid search, social media advertising, native advertising, or influencer marketing? Why not share it with your fellow marketers in the comments?

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails



5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

I’ve tested 100s of psychological tactics on my email subscribers. In this blog, I reveal the five tactics that actually work.

You’ll learn about the email tactic that got one marketer a job at the White House.

You’ll learn how I doubled my 5 star reviews with one email, and why one strange email from Barack Obama broke all records for donations.

→ Download Now: The Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing [Free Ebook]

5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Imagine writing an email that’s so effective it lands you a job at the White House.


Well, that’s what happened to Maya Shankar, a PhD cognitive neuroscientist. In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs asked her to help increase signups in their veteran benefit scheme.

Maya had a plan. She was well aware of a cognitive bias that affects us all—the endowment effect. This bias suggests that people value items higher if they own them. So, she changed the subject line in the Veterans’ enrollment email.

Previously it read:

  • Veterans, you’re eligible for the benefit program. Sign up today.

She tweaked one word, changing it to:

  • Veterans, you’ve earned the benefits program. Sign up today.

This tiny tweak had a big impact. The amount of veterans enrolling in the program went up by 9%. And Maya landed a job working at the White House

Boost participation email graphic

Inspired by these psychological tweaks to emails, I started to run my own tests.

Alongside my podcast Nudge, I’ve run 100s of email tests on my 1,000s of newsletter subscribers.

Here are the five best tactics I’ve uncovered.


1. Show readers what they’re missing.

Nobel prize winning behavioral scientists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky uncovered a principle called loss aversion.

Loss aversion means that losses feel more painful than equivalent gains. In real-world terms, losing $10 feels worse than how gaining $10 feels good. And I wondered if this simple nudge could help increase the number of my podcast listeners.

For my test, I tweaked the subject line of the email announcing an episode. The control read:

“Listen to this one”

In the loss aversion variant it read:

“Don’t miss this one”


It is very subtle loss aversion. Rather than asking someone to listen, I’m saying they shouldn’t miss out. And it worked. It increased the open rate by 13.3% and the click rate by 12.5%. Plus, it was a small change that cost me nothing at all.

Growth mindset email analytics

2. People follow the crowd.

In general, humans like to follow the masses. When picking a dish, we’ll often opt for the most popular. When choosing a movie to watch, we tend to pick the box office hit. It’s a well-known psychological bias called social proof.

I’ve always wondered if it works for emails. So, I set up an A/B experiment with two subject lines. Both promoted my show, but one contained social proof.

The control read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws

The social proof variant read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws (100,000 Downloads)

I hoped that by highlighting the episode’s high number of downloads, I’d encourage more people to listen. Fortunately, it worked.


The open rate went from 22% to 28% for the social proof version, and the click rate, (the number of people actually listening to the episode), doubled.

3. Praise loyal subscribers.

The consistency principle suggests that people are likely to stick to behaviours they’ve previously taken. A retired taxi driver won’t swap his car for a bike. A hairdresser won’t change to a cheap shampoo. We like to stay consistent with our past behaviors.

I decided to test this in an email.

For my test, I attempted to encourage my subscribers to leave a review for my podcast. I sent emails to 400 subscribers who had been following the show for a year.

The control read: “Could you leave a review for Nudge?”

The consistency variant read: “You’ve been following Nudge for 12 months, could you leave a review?”


My hypothesis was simple. If I remind people that they’ve consistently supported the show they’ll be more likely to leave a review.

It worked.

The open rate on the consistency version of the email was 7% higher.

But more importantly, the click rate, (the number of people who actually left a review), was almost 2x higher for the consistency version. Merely telling people they’d been a fan for a while doubled my reviews.

4. Showcase scarcity.

We prefer scarce resources. Taylor Swift gigs sell out in seconds not just because she’s popular, but because her tickets are hard to come by.

Swifties aren’t the first to experience this. Back in 1975, three researchers proved how powerful scarcity is. For the study, the researchers occupied a cafe. On alternating weeks they’d make one small change in the cafe.


On some weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar was full.

On other weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar only contained two cookies (never more or less).

In other words, sometimes the cookies looked abundantly available. Sometimes they looked like they were almost out.

This changed behaviour. Customers who saw the two cookie jar bought 43% more cookies than those who saw the full jar.

It sounds too good to be true, so I tested it for myself.

I sent an email to 260 subscribers offering free access to my Science of Marketing course for one day only.


In the control, the subject line read: “Free access to the Science of Marketing course”

For the scarcity variant it read: “Only Today: Get free access to the Science of Marketing Course | Only one enrol per person.”

130 people received the first email, 130 received the second. And the result was almost as good as the cookie finding. The scarcity version had a 15.1% higher open rate.

Email A/B test results

5. Spark curiosity.

All of the email tips I’ve shared have only been tested on my relatively small audience. So, I thought I’d end with a tip that was tested on the masses.

Back in 2012, Barack Obama and his campaign team sent hundreds of emails to raise funds for his campaign.

Of the $690 million he raised, most came from direct email appeals. But there was one email, according to ABC news, that was far more effective than the rest. And it was an odd one.


The email that drew in the most cash, had a strange subject line. It simply said “Hey.”

The actual email asked the reader to donate, sharing all the expected reasons, but the subject line was different.

It sparked curiosity, it got people wondering, is Obama saying Hey just to me?

Readers were curious and couldn’t help but open the email. According to ABC it was “the most effective pitch of all.”

Because more people opened, it raised more money than any other email. The bias Obama used here is the curiosity gap. We’re more likely to act on something when our curiosity is piqued.

Email example

Loss aversion, social proof, consistency, scarcity and curiosity—all these nudges have helped me improve my emails. And I reckon they’ll work for you.


It’s not guaranteed of course. Many might fail. But running some simple a/b tests for your emails is cost free, so why not try it out?

This blog is part of Phill Agnew’s Marketing Cheat Sheet series where he reveals the scientifically proven tips to help you improve your marketing. To learn more, listen to his podcast Nudge, a proud member of the Hubspot Podcast Network.

New Call-to-action

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


The power of program management in martech



The power of program management in martech

As a supporter of the program perspective for initiatives, I recognize the value of managing related projects, products and activities as a unified entity. 

While one-off projects have their place, they often involve numerous moving parts and in my experience, using a project-based approach can lead to crucial elements being overlooked. This is particularly true when building a martech stack or developing content, for example, where a program-based approach can ensure that all aspects are considered and properly integrated. 

For many CMOs and marketing organizations, programs are becoming powerful tools for aligning diverse initiatives and driving strategic objectives. Let’s explore the essential role of programs in product management, project management and marketing operations, bridging technical details with business priorities. 

Programs in product management

Product management is a fascinating domain where programs operate as a strategic framework, coordinating related products or product lines to meet specific business objectives.


Product managers are responsible for defining a product or product line’s strategy, roadmap and features. They work closely with program managers, who ensure alignment with market demands, customer needs and the company’s overall vision by managing offerings at a program level. 

Program managers optimize the product portfolio, make strategic decisions about resource allocation and ensure that each product contributes to the program’s goals. One key aspect of program management in product management is identifying synergies between products. 

Program managers can drive innovation and efficiency across the portfolio by leveraging shared technologies, customer insights, or market trends. This approach enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions, seize emerging opportunities and maintain a competitive advantage. Product managers, in turn, use these insights to shape the direction of individual products.

Moreover, programs in product management facilitate cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Program managers foster a holistic understanding of customer needs and market dynamics by bringing together teams from various departments, such as engineering, marketing and sales.

Product managers also play a crucial role in this collaborative approach, ensuring that all stakeholders work towards common goals, ultimately leading to more successful product launches and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Dig deeper: Understanding different product roles in marketing technology acquisition


Programs in project management

In project management, programs provide a structured approach for managing related projects as a unified entity, supporting broader strategic objectives. Project managers are responsible for planning, executing and closing individual projects within a program. They focus on specific deliverables, timelines and budgets. 

On the other hand, program managers oversee these projects’ coordination, dependencies and outcomes, ensuring they collectively deliver the desired benefits and align with the organization’s strategic goals.

A typical example of a program in project management is a martech stack optimization initiative. Such a program may involve integrating marketing technology tools and platforms, implementing customer data management systems and training employees on the updated technologies. Project managers would be responsible for the day-to-day management of each project. 

In contrast, the program manager ensures a cohesive approach, minimizes disruptions and realizes the full potential of the martech investments to improve marketing efficiency, personalization and ROI.

The benefits of program management in project management are numerous. Program managers help organizations prioritize initiatives that deliver the greatest value by aligning projects with strategic objectives. They also identify and mitigate risks that span multiple projects, ensuring that issues in one area don’t derail the entire program. Project managers, in turn, benefit from this oversight and guidance, as they can focus on successfully executing their projects.

Additionally, program management enables efficient resource allocation, as skills and expertise can be shared across projects, reducing duplication of effort and maximizing value. Project managers can leverage these resources and collaborate with other project teams to achieve their objectives more effectively.


Dig deeper: Combining martech projects: 5 questions to ask

Programs in marketing operations

In marketing operations, programs play a vital role in integrating and managing various marketing activities to achieve overarching goals. Marketing programs encompass multiple initiatives, such as advertising, content marketing, social media and event planning. Organizations ensure consistent messaging, strategic alignment, and measurable results by managing these activities as a cohesive program.

In marketing operations, various roles, such as MOps managers, campaign managers, content managers, digital marketing managers and analytics managers, collaborate to develop and execute comprehensive marketing plans that support the organization’s business objectives. 

These professionals work closely with cross-functional teams, including creative, analytics and sales, to ensure that all marketing efforts are coordinated and optimized for maximum impact. This involves setting clear goals, defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies based on data-driven insights.

One of the primary benefits of a programmatic approach in marketing operations is maintaining a consistent brand voice and message across all channels. By establishing guidelines and standards for content creation, visual design and customer interactions, marketing teams ensure that the brand’s identity remains cohesive and recognizable. This consistency builds customer trust, reinforces brand loyalty and drives business growth.

Programs in marketing operations enable organizations to take a holistic approach to customer engagement. By analyzing customer data and feedback across various touchpoints, marketing professionals can identify opportunities for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience. This customer-centric approach leads to increased satisfaction, higher retention rates and more effective marketing investments.


Dig deeper: Mastering the art of goal setting in marketing operations

Embracing the power of programs for long-term success

We’ve explored how programs enable marketing organizations to drive strategic success and create lasting impact by aligning diverse initiatives across product management, project management and marketing operations. 

  • Product management programs facilitate cross-functional collaboration and ensure alignment with market demands. 
  • In project management, they provide a structured approach for managing related projects and mitigating risks. 
  • In marketing operations, programs enable consistent messaging and a customer-centric approach to engagement.

Program managers play a vital role in maintaining strategic alignment, continuously assessing progress and adapting to changes in the business environment. Keeping programs aligned with long-term objectives maximizes ROI and drives sustainable growth.

Organizations that invest in developing strong program management capabilities will be better positioned to optimize resources, foster innovation and achieve their long-term goals.

As a CMO or marketing leader, it is important to recognize the strategic value of programs and champion their adoption across your organization. By aligning efforts across various domains, you can unlock the full potential of your initiatives and drive meaningful results. Try it, you’ll like it.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2



2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Before we dive into the second way to assume power in your business, let’s revisit Part 1. 

Who informs your marketing strategy? 

YOU, with your carefully curated strategy informed by data and deep knowledge of your brand and audience? Or any of the 3 Cs below? 

  • Competitors: Their advertising and digital presence and seemingly never-ending budgets consume the landscape.
  • Colleagues: Their tried-and-true proven tactics or lessons learned.
  • Customers: Their calls, requests, and ideas. 

Considering any of the above is not bad, in fact, it can be very wise! However, listening quickly becomes devastating if it lends to their running our business or marketing department. 

It’s time we move from defense to offense, sitting in the driver’s seat rather than allowing any of the 3 Cs to control. 

It is one thing to learn from and entirely another to be controlled by. 

In Part 1, we explored how knowing what we want is critical to regaining power.


1) Knowing what you want protects the bottom line.

2) Knowing what you want protects you from the 3 Cs. 

3) Knowing what you want protects you from running on auto-pilot.

You can read Part 1 here; in the meantime, let’s dive in! 

How to Regain Control of Your Business: Knowing Who You Are

Vertical alignment is a favorite concept of mine, coined over the last two years throughout my personal journey of knowing self. 

Consider the diagram below.

1713005765 267 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005765 267 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Vertical alignment is the state of internal being centered with who you are at your core. 

Horizontal alignment is the state of external doing engaged with the world around you.

In a state of vertical alignment, your business operates from its core center, predicated on its mission, values, and brand. It is authentic and confident and cuts through the noise because it is entirely unique from every competitor in the market. 

From this vertical alignment, your business is positioned for horizontal alignment to fulfill the integrity of its intended services, instituted processes, and promised results. 

A strong brand is not only differentiated in the market by its vertical alignment but delivers consistently and reliably in terms of its products, offerings, and services and also in terms of the customer experience by its horizontal alignment. 

Let’s examine what knowing who you are looks like in application, as well as some habits to implement with your team to strengthen vertical alignment. 

1) Knowing who You are Protects You from Horizontal Voices. 

The strength of “Who We Are” predicates the ability to maintain vertical alignment when something threatens your stability. When a colleague proposes a tactic that is not aligned with your values. When the customer comes calling with ideas that will knock you off course as bandwidth is limited or the budget is tight. 


I was on a call with a gal from my Mastermind when I mentioned a retreat I am excited to launch in the coming months. 

I shared that I was considering its positioning, given its curriculum is rooted in emotional intelligence (EQ) to inform personal brand development. The retreat serves C-Suite, but as EQ is not a common conversation among this audience, I was considering the best positioning. 

1713005765 14 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005765 14 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

She advised, “Sell them solely on the business aspects, and then sneak attack with the EQ when they’re at the retreat!” 

At first blush, it sounds reasonable. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase, “Sell the people what they want, give them what they need,” is popular.

Horizontal advice and counsel can produce a wealth of knowledge. However, we must always approach the horizontal landscape – the external – powered by vertical alignment – centered internally with the core of who we are. 

Upon considering my values of who I am and the vision of what I want for this event, I realized the lack of transparency is not in alignment with my values nor setting the right expectations for the experience.

Sure, maybe I would get more sales; however, my bottom line — what I want — is not just sales. I want transformation on an emotional level. I want C-Suite execs to leave powered from a place of emotional intelligence to decrease decisions made out of alignment with who they are or executing tactics rooted in guilt, not vision. 


Ultimately, one of my core values is authenticity, and I must make business decisions accordingly. 

2) Knowing who You are Protects You from Reactivity.

Operating from vertical alignment maintains focus on the bottom line and the strategy to achieve it. From this position, you are protected from reacting to the horizontal pressures of the 3 Cs: Competitors, Colleagues, and Customers. 

This does not mean you do not adjust tactics or learn. 

1713005766 526 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005766 526 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

However, your approach to adjustments is proactive direction, not reactive deviations. To do this, consider the following questions:

First: How does their (any one of the 3 Cs) tactic measure against my proven track record of success?

If your colleague promotes adding newsletters to your strategy, lean in and ask, “Why?” 

  • What are their outcomes? 
  • What metrics are they tracking for success? 
  • What is their bottom line against yours? 
  • How do newsletters fit into their strategy and stage(s) of the customer journey? 

Always consider your historical track record of success first and foremost. 

Have you tried newsletters in the past? Is their audience different from yours? Why are newsletters good for them when they did not prove profitable for you? 


Operate with your head up and your eyes open. 

Maintain focus on your bottom line and ask questions. Revisit your data, and don’t just take their word for it. 

2. Am I allocating time in my schedule?

I had coffee with the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, who built the empire that it is today. 

He could not emphasize more how critical it is to allocate time for thinking. Just being — not doing — and thinking about your business or department. 

1713005766 806 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005766 806 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Especially for senior leaders or business owners, but even still for junior staff. 

The time and space to be fosters creative thinking, new ideas, and energy. Some of my best campaigns are conjured on a walk or in the shower. 


Kasim Aslam, founder of the world’s #1 Google Ads agency and a dear friend of mine, is a machine when it comes to hacks and habits. He encouraged me to take an audit of my calendar over the last 30 days to assess how I spend time. 

“Create three buckets,” he said. “Organize them by the following:

  • Tasks that Generate Revenue
  • Tasks that Cost Me Money
  • Tasks that Didn’t Earn Anything”

He and I chatted after I completed this exercise, and I added one to the list: Tasks that are Life-Giving. 

Friends — if we are running empty, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, our creative and strategic wherewithal will be significantly diminished. We are holistic creatures and, therefore, must nurture our mind, body, soul, and spirit to maintain optimum capacity for impact. 

1713005766 700 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005766 700 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

I shared this hack with a friend of mine. Not only did she identify meetings that were costing her money and thus needed to be eliminated, but she also identified that particular meetings could actually turn revenue-generating! She spent a good amount of time each month facilitating introductions; now, she is adding Strategic Partnerships to her suite of services. 

ACTION: Analyze your calendar’s last 30-60 days against the list above. 

Include what is life-giving! 

How are you spending your time? What is the data showing you? Are you on the path to achieving what you want and living in alignment with who you want to be?


Share with your team or business partner for the purpose of accountability, and implement practical changes accordingly. 

Finally, remember: If you will not protect your time, no one else will. 

3) Knowing who You are Protects You from Lack. 

“What are you proud of?” someone asked me last year. 

“Nothing!” I reply too quickly. “I know I’m not living up to my potential or operating in the full capacity I could be.” 

1713005767 148 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005767 148 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

They looked at me in shock. “You need to read The Gap And The Gain.”

I silently rolled my eyes.

I already knew the premise of the book, or I thought I did. I mused: My vision is so big, and I have so much to accomplish. The thought of solely focusing on “my wins” sounded like an excuse to abdicate personal responsibility. 


But I acquiesced. 

The premise of this book is to measure one’s self from where they started and the success from that place to where they are today — the gains — rather than from where they hope to get and the seemingly never-ending distance — the gap.

Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan encourage changing perspectives to assign success, considering the starting point rather than the destination.

The book opens with the following story:

Dan Jensen was an Olympic speed skater, notably the fastest in the world. But in each game spanning a decade, Jansen could not catch a break. “Flukes” — even tragedy with the death of his sister in the early morning of the 1988 Olympics — continued to disrupt the prediction of him being favored as the winner. 

1713005767 257 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business1713005767 257 2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

The 1994 Olympics were the last of his career. He had one more shot.

Preceding his last Olympics in 1994, Jansen adjusted his mindset. He focused on every single person who invested in him, leading to this moment. He considered just how very lucky he was to even participate in the first place. He thought about his love for the sport itself, all of which led to an overwhelming realization of just how much he had gained throughout his life.


He raced the 1994 Olympic games differently, as his mindset powering every stride was one of confidence and gratitude — predicated on the gains rather than the gap in his life. 

This race secured him his first and only gold medal and broke a world record, simultaneously proving one of the most emotional wins in Olympic history. 

Friends, knowing who we are on the personal and professional level, can protect us from those voices of shame or guilt that creep in. 

PERSONAL ACTION: Create two columns. On one side, create a list of where you were when you started your business or your position at your company. Include skills and networks and even feelings about where you were in life. On the other side, outline where you are today. 

Look at how far you’ve come. 

COMPANY ACTION: Implement a quarterly meeting to review the past three months. Where did you start? Where are you now? 


Celebrate the gain!

Only from this place of gain mindset, can you create goals for the next quarter predicated on where you are today.

Ultimately, my hope for you is that you deliver exceptional and memorable experiences laced with empathy toward the customer (horizontally aligned) yet powered by the authenticity of the brand (vertically aligned). 

Aligning vertically maintains our focus on the bottom line and powers horizontal fulfillment. 

Content Marketing CertificationContent Marketing Certification

Want to get certified in Content Marketing?

Leverage the tools and channels to predictably and profitably drive awareness, leads, sales, and referrals—EVERYTHING you need to know to become a true master of digital marketing.​ Click Here

Granted, there will be strategic times and seasons for adjustment; however, these changes are to be made on the heels of consulting who we are as a brand — not in reaction to the horizontal landscape of what is the latest and greatest in the industry. 


In Conclusion…

Taking back control of your business and marketing strategies requires a conscious effort to resist external pressures and realign with what you want and who you are.

Final thoughts as we wrap up: 

First, identify the root issue(s).

Consider which of the 3 Cs holds the most power: be it competition, colleagues, or customers.

Second, align vertically.

Vertical alignment facilitates individuality in the market and ensures you — and I — stand out and shine while serving our customers well. 


Third, keep the bottom line in view.

Implement a routine that keeps you and your team focused on what matters most, and then create the cascading strategy necessary to accomplish it. 

Fourth, maintain your mindsets.

Who You Are includes values for the internal culture. Guide your team in acknowledging the progress made along the way and embracing the gains to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Fifth, maintain humility.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of humility and being open to what others are doing. However, horizontal alignment must come after vertical alignment. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the whims and fads of everyone around us. Humility allows us to be open to external inputs and vertically aligned at the same time.


Buckle up, friends! It’s time to take back the wheel and drive our businesses forward. 

The power lies with you and me.

Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Follow by Email