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47 Creative February Marketing Ideas (Beyond Valentine’s Day!)

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50+ Creative February Marketing Ideas (Beyond Valentine’s Day!)

February is home to the most romantic holiday of the year:

Just kidding (shouldn’t that be in March anyway?). But there is so much more to February than Branch’s Conversation Hearts and #sharethelove. So today, I’m showering you with over 50 creative and February marketing ideas and examples to help you connect with customers and build your brand.

Table of contents

February awareness causes

Below is a list of awareness causes recognized in February that can help you with cause-related marketing.

  • American History Month
  • American Heart Month (heart disease)
  • Bake for Family Fun Month
  • Black History Month
  • Cancer Prevention Month
  • Children’s Dental Health Month
  • Embroidery Month
  • Free and Open-Source Software Month
  • Library Lover’s Month
  • Self-Check Month
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
  • Wedding Month

Some of these are general while others are highly specific, so depending on your business, your trade, or your niche, you may or may not be able to apply these to your February social media and marketing campaigns (National Embroidery Month isn’t exactly versatile, for example).

February national days

There’s a full list of February national days and dates at the bottom of this post, but here are some highlights:

  • Known: Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day (Valentine’s Day marketing ideas here), Galentine’s Day.
  • Fun: Day the Music Died Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, Make a Friend Day, Do A Grouch a Favor Day, Comfy Day, Optimist Day.
  • Meaningful: Freedom Day, Girls and Women in Sports Day, Wear Red Day, Safer Internet Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Shut-In Visitation Day, Set a Good Example Day, Skip the Straw Day.
  • Industry-specific: Toothache Day, Dog Biscuit Day, Love Your Pet Day, Spay Day, Clean Out Your Computer Day, Caregivers Day, Lash Day, Home Warranty Day, Women Physicians Day.
  • Well alright: Public Sleeping Day.

sleep meme

February diversity, equity & inclusion

Alright, now it’s time to get into the marketing ideas. Let’s start with important dates and observances that can help you in your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

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  • Black History Month: Your Black History-related content should not actually be a marketing ploy but a genuine initiative to raise awareness and promote civil rights.february marketing ideas black history month
    Here are some things you can do.
    • Highlight prominent Black leaders in your industry—lawyers, politicians, scientists, artists, educators, and athletes who have shaped or are shaping American society or your industry.
    • Interview or feature Black business owners, influencers, or members of your community who are helping to make history.
    • Share quotes, little-known facts, and eye-opening stats about Black History—especially those related to your industry or niche.
  • Tammy Baldwin’s birthday (Feb 11): Tammy Baldwin is the first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress. Post an inspiring quote from her on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Susan B. Anthony’s birthday (Feb 15): This famous female is a leader of the women’s suffrage movement who advocated for abolition, labor rights, equal pay and more. On this day, share an eye-opening statistic or inspirational quote to raise awareness.

Meaningful February marketing ideas

In addition to inclusivity, there are plenty of other themes during February that can help you with meaningful marketing. Showing your support for causes you care about is a great way to connect with your audience and express your core values. Here are some ideas and examples.

Heart Health Awareness Month

So February isn’t all about that $1 pink balloon heart but also that invaluable organ inside of you that makes you tick. If your business is focused on health and wellness, this is a great marketing opportunity for you.

  • Fitness centers and gyms can partner with a local health center for heart disease awareness or screenings.
  • Host special classes focusing on cardiovascular activity.
  • Write informative blog posts about heart health and risk factors. Use this time to market your business by educating your customers on leading healthy lives.
  • Give out a free heart-healthy gift with purchases or registrations.

In the example below, this fitness center is giving out free heart rate monitors to those who join in the month of February.

february marketing ideas national heart month

If you’re not a health or fitness business, no problem.

  • Any business can sponsor a Healing Heart 5k, or donate a portion of their profits to a heart health-related nonprofit.
  • Think outside the box—pet hearts, artichoke hearts, hearts of remain, website health (the heart of a business marketing strategy, for example).

RELATED: 34 Genuine Valentine’s Day Messages and Email Templates to Send to Customers

Children’s Dental Health Month

Dentists can certainly have a field day with this one, but other businesses can use this opportunity to teach parents and students about the importance of dental health.

  • Daycares, fitness centers, and churches can host special classes about the importance of dental hygiene.
  • If you’re a dentist, you may offer to teach such classes. Or spruce up your dentist website with some extra decorations or promotions.
  • Ecommerce businesses can promote their oral hygiene products.
  • If you’re not a dentist, a simple social media post to bring your target audience’s attention to the cause can go a long way.

Cancer Awareness Month

In addition to having World Cancer Day, the whole month of February is dedicated to cancer awareness. Show your support on Facebook with a purple-themed post or initiative. You can encourage your followers to “purple” their profile, promote your purple products, or run a purple-themed contest.

february marketing ideas purple your profile

Wear Red Day

National Wear Red Day is focused on raising awareness for heart disease. On this day, you could:

  • Host an event in support of cardiovascular health and promote it on Instagram.
  • Promote your red products or give your social media profiles or homepage a red theme for the day.
  • Post an applicable picture to Instagram with an eye-opening stat. This is a great way to increase Instagram engagement.
february marketing ideas wear red day 1

World Cancer Day

You may also want to run a special promotion on World Cancer Day itself, especially if you’re in the health and fitness industry.

february facebook ideas world cancer day

Fun February marketing ideas

Some of these are well-known, others not so much. Take a look and see which ones align with your brand voice and values.

Presidents Day

Federal holidays like these are always versatile. Any industry can run a Presidents Day sale—for the day, the weekend, or the whole dang month. Here are some ideas:

  • Run a presidential trivia night at your restaurant or even on social media.
  • Run a Presidents Day giveaway on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Create a Facebook event for your sale.
february marketing ideas - presidents day facebook event

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

Ironically, in the middle of Children’s Dental Health Month is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day…oops? But who says you can’t use this quirky holiday to market your business?

Held on the first Saturday of February, this is an opportunity for bakeries, ice cream shops, or restaurants to run special promotions.

february marketing ideas ice cream for breakfast day

If you’re not in the confectionery industry, here are some other ideas:

  • Let your local social media followers know where they can celebrate the day.
  • Host a virtual ice cream for breakfast party.
  • Ask your followers to share their ice cream sundaes.

Mardi Gras

Fat (mardi) Tuesday (Gras) is held on the last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year. It’s a celebration of life before the more somber Ash Wednesday and following period of Lent. Here are some Mardi Gras marketing ideas:

  • Write a blog post with a “celebration of life” theme.
  • Promote your purple, green, and gold products.
  • Run a Mardi Gras Instagram giveaway.
  • Enter customers on that day into a drawing for a gift card or discount.
  • Offer a discount to those who wear Mardi Gras beads to your store, event, or classes. Promote the sale ahead of time with a post and encourage followers throughout the day by posting pictures of customers wearing their beads.
february marketing ideas mardi gras bead discount

Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet Day is February’s opportunity for you to shamelessly post about your pet. But here are some additional ideas to consider:

  • Write a blog post about what your pet can teach you about [topic relevant to your industry].
  • Have your employees share photos of their pets and put the montage on social media or in your February newsletter.
  • Come up with a pet-themed incentive. For example, Select Hotels invited its followers to comment on its post with their favorite moments with their pets, and that if they did, “A surprise awaits the two of you on your next visit.”
february marketing ideas love your pet day giveaway

Make a Friend Day

This day gives you lots of opportunities for creative marketing.

  • Send out a review request email themed around asking your customers to be your friend. (Use these February email subjet lines for inspiration!)
  • Partner with a neighboring or complementary business and run a joint friends promotion.
  • Remind people of your referral program or run a one-day special where referrals result in a discount or gift.
february marketing ideas refer a friend

Groundhog Day Contest

This superstitious day happens on February 2 every year. For the uninitiated, if the groundhog sees its shadow, winter will last six more weeks. If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early. Plenty of fun marketing material to work with here.

  • Run a sale where the offer is contingent upon the outcome of the day.
  • Create content inspired by the Groundhog Day movie, sharing tips to break up the monotony or avoid repeating mistakes.
  • On Groundhog Day, you can run a contest, share a question or poll with your audience, or simply share a fun fact about the day.
february marketing ideas groundhog day

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched programs on television. How does your target audience relate to football? Are they football fans? Spouses or parents of football fans? Athletes? Is your business located near a Superbowl venue? Run a special during Superbowl weekend, create Superbowl-themed products, or share a helpful tip relevant to what their Superbowl experience will be like.

february marketing ideas super bowl promotions

February hashtag marketing ideas

Hashtags can expand your reach and add some personality to your posts. Here are some basic February hashtags to play around with.

#Febsale

If you’re just getting started with your Instagram marketing, start basic with something as simple as a #Febsale. In the below example, the small business Mexicali took a snapshot of their ready-to-ship orders to promote their February sale and encourage people to buy.

They didn’t use a photo shoot or fancy Photoshop graphics; just a simple behind-the-scenes sneak peek and a caption that closes with a question.

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february marketing ideas febsale

#FebruaryFeels for mood

You don’t need to have a sale for a February-friendly Instagram post. How about just appealing to your audience’s mood during this time of year?

february marketing ideas febuary feels

Just make sure you’re appealing to the mood of your specific audience in February as it relates to your business. Is your audience…

  • Filing tax forms?
  • Returning back to school after break?
  • Reading love stories and seeking positive vibes?
  • Totally embracing singledom?

#FebruaryFeels for a testimonial

Look back through your photos or even user-generated content. Can you repurpose any of them for a #FebruaryFeels-inspired testimonial, as the Australian Girls Choir does below?

february marketing ideas febuary feels testimonial

#FebruaryFavorites to promote other content

This is a good way to surface seasonal content or products or even to bring to light some of the forgotten ones. Share a roundup of your most popular products or services, or even your favorite tips, tools, products, or resources related to your audience’s goals and needs.

february marketing ideas february favorites content

#FebruaryFeature to promote products

Whether the product you’re promoting is February-themed or not, you can make it so by using the hashtag #Februaryfeature. Pick something you’d like to promote in February and see if #Februaryfeature can help increase sales and engagement related to it.

february marketing ideas february feature

#FebruaryFeature to feature an employee

You could also feature an employee, student, or customer. These types of feature posts can get your employees, customers, and fans excited about your business. Plus, they’ll want to share their “celebrity” post with their network, which can help increase your reach.

february marketing ideas february feature employee

#FreshStartFebruary

Another theme you can take advantage of in your February Instagram marketing is #FreshStartFebruary. This is especially applicable for businesses in the health and wellness industry.

february marketing ideas fresh start february1

As you can see, there is much more to February than Valentine’s Day (but we have plenty of Valentine’s Day marketing ideas here). Use the ideas above for creative and quality engagement with your audience—the best way to market your business. And don’t forget about March! If you have events or promotions planned for Saint Patrick’s Day or other holidays, get your audience in the know.

For more monthly marketing ideas, here’s our full list:

P.S. For marketing ideas for the whole year, check out LocaliQ’s always-updated marketing calendar.

Full list of February national days & dates

Thanks, as always, to National Day Calendar.

February 1

  • Baked Alaska Day
  • Dark Chocolate Day
  • Freedom Day (Freedom From Slavery)
  • Get Up Day
  • Serpent Day
  • Texas Day

February 2

  • Heavenly Hash Day
  • Tater Tot Day
  • Groundhog Day
  • Girls and Women in Sports Day – Changes Annually

February 3

  • Carrot Cake Day
  • Day the Music Died Day
  • Missing Persons Day
  • Women Physicians Day
  • Optimist Day – First Thursday in February

February 4

  • Create a Vacuum day
  • Hemp Day
  • Homemade Soup Day
  • Thank a Mail Carrier Day
  • Wear Red Day – First Friday in February
  • Bubble Gum Day – First Friday in February

February 5

  • Weatherperson’s Day
  • World Nutella Day
  • Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – First Saturday in February
  • Play Outside Day – First Saturday of Every Month

February 6

  • Frozen Yogurt Day
  • Lame Duck Day
  • Chopsticks Day

February 7

  • Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • Periodic Table Day
  • Send a Card to a Friend Day

February 8

  • Boy Scouts Day
  • Kite Flying Day
  • Iowa Day
  • Safer Internet Day U.S. – changes annually

February 9

  • Cut the Cord Day
  • Bagel and Lox Day
  • Pizza Day
  • Toothache Day

February 10

  • Cream Cheese Brownie Day
  • Home Warranty Day
  • Umbrella Day
  • Giving Hearts Day – Second Thursday in February

February 11

  • Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
  • Inventors’ Day
  • Make a Friend Day
  • Peppermint Patty Day
  • Shut-In Visitation Day
  • White Shirt Day

February 12

  • Plum Pudding Day
  • Global Movie Day – Second Saturday in February

February 13

  • Galentine’s Day
  • Cheddar Day
  • Tortellini Day
  • Pork Rind Day – Day of the Big Game

February 14

  • Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
  • Ferris Wheel Day
  • Organ Donor Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Football Hangover Day – day after the Superbowl
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day – Second Monday

February 15

  • Gumdrop Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • Wisconsin Day

February 16

  • Almond Day
  • Do A Grouch a Favor Day
  • Pancake Day (IHOP) – changes annually

February 17

  • Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • Cabbage Day

February 18

  • Battery Day
  • Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
  • Drink Wine Day
  • No One Eats Alone Day – Changes annually
  • Caregivers Day – Third Friday

February 19

  • Arabian Horse Day *
  • Red Sock Day * – Third Saturday in February
  • Chocolate Mint Day
  • Lash Day
  • Vet Girls RISE Day

February 20

  • Comfy Day
  • Cherry Pie Day
  • Love Your Pet Day
  • Muffin Day

February 21

  • Grain-Free Day
  • Sticky Bun Day
  • Presidents Day – Third Monday

February 22

  • Supermarket Employee Day *
  • California Day
  • Cook a Sweet Potato Day
  • Margarita Day
  • World Spay Day – Last Tuesday in February

February 23

  • Banana Bread Day
  • Dog Biscuit Day
  • Tile Day

February 24

  • Tortilla Chip Day
  • Toast Day – Last Thursday
  • Chili Day – Fourth Thursday

February 25

  • Chocolate Covered Nut Day
  • Clam Chowder Day
  • Skip the Straw Day – Fourth Friday

February 26

  • Set a Good Example Day *
  • Pistachio Day
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day

February 27

  • Anosmia Awareness Day
  • Kahlua Day
  • Retro Day
  • Strawberry Day
  • Polar Bear Day

February 28

  • Chocolate Souffle Day
  • Floral Design Day
  • Public Sleeping Day
  • Tooth Fairy Day
  • Rare Disease Day USA – Last Day in February

February 29 (Every Four Years)

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Critical Display Error in Brand Safety Metrics On Twitter/X Corrected

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Critical Display Error in Brand Safety Metrics On Twitter/X Corrected

In a recent public statement on Twitter, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, highlighted a critical error in the display of the company’s Brand Safety Rate which was provided by DoubleVerify, a third-party company known for verifying brand safety metrics.

The error, identified in the graphical display of the Brand Safety Rate on X’s dashboard, persisted for nearly five months, from October 24, 2023, to March 14, 2024. During this period, the dashboard erroneously displayed a significantly lower Brand Safety Rate, which sharply contrasted with X’s actual rate. According to the statement, the true Brand Safety Rate for X has consistently exceeded 99.99% since October 2023, a figure that surpasses global benchmarks for brand safety across all campaigns, as per DoubleVerify’s global industry data.

Brand Safety Rate refers to a metric used to measure the extent to which a brand’s advertising efforts appear in environments that are deemed safe and appropriate, aligning with the brand’s values and standards. This rate is crucial for ensuring that ads do not appear alongside content that could harm the brand’s reputation.

DoubleVerify has accepted full responsibility for this oversight, acknowledging the display of incorrect and misleading safety rates on X’s dashboard. They have assured that they have communicated the error to the affected advertisers and have corrected the display to accurately reflect the current and retroactive Brand Safety data for X.

Yaccarino assured advertisers on social media platform, that immediate actions are being taken to rectify this issue in collaboration with DoubleVerify to ensure that all clients receive accurate and reliable information. She also mentioned that the X team, along with DoubleVerify support, will reach out to advertisers who may have made business decisions based on the erroneous data.

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This situation underscores the critical importance of accurate data representation in digital marketing and the potential consequences of data inaccuracies on business decisions. It serves as a cautionary tale for all involved in paid social advertising and emphasizes the need for continuous vigilance and rigorous verification processes to maintain the integrity of marketing metrics.

Of course this follows a number of issues where paid social advertising platforms have shared incorrect data with advertisers leading to concerns about measurement accuracy and transparency. 

Here are a few notable examples:

Facebook Video Metrics Issue: In 2016, Facebook admitted to overestimating average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years. This error reportedly inflated the average viewing times by 60-80%, which could have misled advertisers about the performance of their video ads on the platform.

Twitter Ad Billing Error: In 2016, Twitter disclosed a bug in its Android app that led to overcharging advertisers over a month-long period. The bug affected campaigns using the feature that charges advertisers for the first engagement with a campaign each day but instead charged them for engagements that occurred afterwards as well.

These incidents highlight the importance of accuracy in digital advertising metrics and underscore the need for ongoing vigilance by both advertisers and platforms to ensure data integrity and transparency. Such errors can have significant financial implications and can affect strategic decisions made by advertisers and we can’t always trust the data shared with us by platforms 100%.

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14 Ways to Use AI in Marketing that Actually Work

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14 Ways to Use AI in Marketing that Actually Work

Does your head spin when someone mentions artificial intelligence? It’s understandable. LinkedIn and Twitter (fine…X) are rife with newly minted AI experts and tech bros sharing their latest 27-step process for gaming algorithms and automating entire marketing programs.

That’s not useful for most ground-level marketers.

What can help? Knowing which everyday marketing challenges the technology can solve for us right now is a great start. So, I reached out to several marketers I admire to see how they’re using AI in marketing.

The response was outstanding. They shared specific, tactical examples, plus the prompts and AI tools they use—everything you need to repeat their processes.

Contents

💡 Download this handy, free Guide to AI in Marketing for more tips and strategies.

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14 ways the pros use AI in Marketing

Interestingly, no one said they were using AI to spin up entire ready-to-publish articles. But they are using AI tools to get out of writing ruts, analyze data, inform strategy, and automate marketing flows. The use cases were way more diverse than I imagined.

1. Pull insights from past campaigns for future strategy

Knowing which ad or blog post generated the most leads is easy. It’s harder to learn why they worked so you can double down on their success. Curt Woodward, Director of Content at ZoomInfo, devised a genius way to get Jasper, a generative AI copywriting tool, to help him figure it out.

Curt started by ranking a list of ZoomInfo’s content titles by a “power score” comprised of three weighted KPIs. Here’s a mockup of that list with fake data he uses for demonstration purposes.

AI in marketing - Curt's powerscore sheet

Next, he fed the list to Jasper, along with a prompt asking the AI to identify commonalities that would inform future content campaign choices.

His prompts looked like this:

“Act as a marketing analyst. I am going to give you a list of content titles with corresponding numbers, which represent a value score we use to determine top content. Higher scores are better.”

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“Compare the content titles to find common themes, keywords, ideas, and approaches among the top-scoring titles. Suggest ways to replicate successful content packages.”

“Jasper, as a tool, often asks for more information about what you want the output of your prompt to look like,” Curt explained. “In this case, I gave it instructions about format, use of the memo, etc.”

Here’s the follow-up prompt Curt gave Jasper:

“I want to come away with a memo that summarizes our best themes, formats, and concepts for our future marketing content campaigns. Give us ideas and frameworks to use going forward.”

AI in marketing - AI output of recommendationsAI in marketing - AI output of recommendations

Based on the data and prompts Curt gave it, Jasper created a list of recommendations with detailed ideas for future content.

Curt qualified the fairly obvious results from this example by pointing out that it was fictitious data. He said you get a more insightful analysis when you feed it accurate information. Next up, he plans to get Jasper to proactively rank and sort the content assets by the power score, which will make the process even faster.

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But for now, Curt suggests trying this tactic with other marketing copy. “You can easily adapt this for any measurable marketing asset. Ad and landing page copy comes to mind. Just rank them by whatever KPIs are important, and ask the AI to find themes you can use in future campaigns.”

📚 Free guide >> 135 of the Best Words & Phrases for Marketing With Emotion

2. Complete competitive analyses

Completing a competitive analysis is a core function for just about every marketer. The hard part is synthesizing competitive product features and brand positioning for multiple competitors.

Celia Quillian is an MBA and product marketing leader who’s also an influential voice in the artificial intelligence space through her channel @smartworkai on TikTok and Instagram. She uses ChatGPT Plus (the paid version) to quickly curate competitive intel.

ChatGPT Plus’ web browsing feature is fabulous for competitive analysis,” she said. “In my prompts, I provide the links to competitor websites, asking that it only source from these sites for its competitive intel, and have it craft a table comparing the features of different market competitors.”

The free version of ChatGPT can’t surf the web. I tried a quick version of the request on perplexity AI using three HR software competitors.

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AI in marketing - competitor comparisonAI in marketing - competitor comparison

Obviously, this would need some additional prompts to make it useful. But Celia said AI is really good at that. “Generative AI models like GP-4 have lengthy ‘context windows,’ meaning I can continually ask follow-up questions,” she said. “My combined prompts and answers only build on each other, helping me to learn, brainstorm, and find answers more efficiently.”

For context, Celia said ChatGPT Plus can “remember” the context of about 100 pages of written text.

3. Roleplay for customer sentiment

AI can’t replace humans, but it can pretend to be one. Celia said that’s a valuable feature of the technology. “ChatGPT is great at playing pretend, so when it comes to thinking of how I might solve a problem for a customer, I can ask ChatGPT to roleplay as my ideal customer persona.”

I gave this a try with the free version of ChatGPT. I fed the AI a description of a backpacking tent that focused on its weight, then entered this prompt:

“Pretend you’re the target customer for a company that sells outdoor camping gear. You’re very concerned about the durability and weight of the next backpacking tent you buy. How would you feel about this product description.”

Here’s what I got back.

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AI in marketing - ChatGPT reply to customer question.AI in marketing - ChatGPT reply to customer question.

This was a simple example, but ChatGPT spotted the durability gap and suggested we add more specificity. Not bad.

“It’s never as good as talking with a real customer,” Celia added. “But it can make for a great stand-in when I’m in the early phases of research and ideation.”

4. Produce internal project management assets

One of the best applications of AI is to automate repetitive marketing tasks. That’s a common way Alaura Weaver, Content Marketing & Community Leader at Writer, uses it.

“I use Writer to spin up internal project management assets instantly—stuff like writing briefs, editing checklists, and creating content promotion plans,” she said. “That way, I don’t have to start from scratch with routine tasks.”

Alaura detailed how she creates briefs since that’s a common task for many marketing team leaders and those who work with freelancers.

“I built a custom ‘brief generator’ app in our no-code Writer App Studio,” she explained. “All I have to do is give a working title, indicate what audience the piece is for, and paste or upload source material (like an executive LinkedIn post, research article, or dev documentation). The app generates content briefs that align with our business goals and content strategy (which I baked into the prompt that powers the generator).”

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AI in marketing - Writer AI responseAI in marketing - Writer AI response

Alaura said that using AI this way speeds up the entire editorial process, freeing up bandwidth for high-level tasks.

“The output follows a consistent format, so I can easily plug it into docs without much editing,” she said. “It means that my writers have what they need to get started on assignments a lot faster, and it means I have more time to focus on fun, creative, strategic work like producing our Humans of AI podcast.”

5. Find thinking models for thought leadership content

The best thought leadership content has a unique, personal, and interesting point of view. It’s not the typical wheelhouse for robotic writing.

But Anjana Vasan, a Senior Copywriter and Content Strategist at Block Club, found an unexpected way to improve thought leadership content with AI. She asks ChatGPT for thinking models or academic concepts related to her topic.

AI in marketing - ChatGPT thinking concept output.AI in marketing - ChatGPT thinking concept output.

“Using AI this way, I can develop a unique point of view or think of an interesting metaphor and connect the dots to the topic or the person I’m writing for,” Anjana said. “All while still keeping their experience and expertise in mind.”

The great thing about this tactic is that it works with just about any AI writing assistant or even generative search platforms like Perplexity AI.

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6. Analyze data for SEO audits

Anjana showed us another way AI can help analyze large blocks of data—this time for SEO audits.

Here, she asked ChatGPT to review a spreadsheet of content links.

AI in marketing - ChatGPT audit reply AI in marketing - ChatGPT audit reply

“Usually, I dig in further with additional questions or prompts to draw the insights I’m looking for,” she said. “Or I ask ChatGPT to organize the data so I don’t spend my time on administrative tasks.”

Here are some of the follow-up prompts Anjana uses:

  • “Based on the available data, can you identify the top 10 pieces of content?”
  • “Have you noticed any themes or overarching topic categories in all the content?”
  • “Can you edit the spreadsheet to include only the URL, date of publication, title, meta description, and word count and remove the other columns?”

She warned that this tactic only works with the right information and that any AI output should be double-checked.

“The results are only as good as the quality of your data, so ensure you include the right types of information in your file,” she said “And remember to validate the information since you may not always get the right insights if you rely completely on ChatGPT.”

7. Link ideas while you write automatically

If you have folders full of half-complete ideas and clever copy that are hard to find when you need them, Anna Burgess Yang feels your pain. “I publish a lot of work online and have thousands of notes from articles I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, and even my own writing. In the past, I’ve relied on tags or categorization in note-taking apps to connect topics or ideas.”

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Anna is a prolific freelance content marketer and a self-described workflow automation geek. She uses an AI tool called Reflect to surface related notes based on the text she’s writing. So, mid-draft, Anna will see categorized suggestions from her network of documents.

AI in marketing - ideas for content to add to text.AI in marketing - ideas for content to add to text.

Our human brains are wonderful, but they’re not always great at quickly recalling a specific point buried amongst thousands of others. AI is ideally suited for the job. “This has become an invaluable part of my note-taking since AI can pull ideas together that I may have overlooked or not considered,” Anna said.

8. Repurpose long-form content for social media posts

Social media marketing is one of the best channels for brand awareness and lead generation. But it’s also a never-ending grind that requires a constant flow of content ideas to stay relevant.

Anna came through with another AI tip: a way to pull social media posts from the content she previously produced. “I’ve already done the hard work by crafting long-form content. Why not use AI to speed up the process of creating social posts?”

Anna uses a content summarization feature in the generative AI platform Writer to do this.

AI in marketing - summary of content in WriterAI in marketing - summary of content in Writer

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After dropping in the URL of her source article, Writer comes back with a brief synopsis of three key takeaways.

AI in marketing - three takways from WriterAI in marketing - three takways from Writer

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Next, she pastes the takeaways into Trello, the tool she uses for content planning. Those snippets inspire social posts when she’s ready to write them.

Why not just ask AI to write the posts? “You can try and use AI to write social posts for you, but I’ve found that it never sounds like me,” Anna said. “I’d rather use key takeaways as a launching pad and write my own social posts.”

👍 Get copy-and-paste social media posts you can customize >> Social Media Calendar Template

9. Create customized SMS and email marketing campaigns

Customer journeys are like choose-your-own-adventure stories with dozens or hundreds of potential flows. Personalizing those journeys requires a lot of manual work.

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Angela Rollins, an ecommerce-focused content marketer and strategist, suggested a tool called Attentive AI as a solution. “Instead of manually creating all the different flows a brand normally would and layering on segments, Attentive AI basically personalizes SMS and email messages at scale based on all the data a brand has on its customers,” Angela explained.

This screenshot from Attentive AI’s website shows the campaign creation workflow.

AI in marketing - screenshot from Attentive AI page.AI in marketing - screenshot from Attentive AI page.

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The tool continually learns from the highest-performing marketing interactions to create multi-channel campaigns. It can also build refined segments from your pool of subscribers and dial in the best time to send messages for the highest rate of response.

By using AI, you can “send each person the right message at the right time depending on where they’re at in their relationship with the brand,” Angela said.

10. Prepare an interview question list

Here’s an exciting use of AI’s ability to riff off an existing text. Angela gives the AI assistant Claude outlines and asks it to fill out question lists for subject matter expert interviews.

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Here’s an anonymized version of a conversation Angela recently had with Claude.

AI in marketing - questions given to Claude.AI in marketing - questions given to Claude.

Claude replied with some pretty insightful new questions to add to the list. It even categorized them like Angela did in the original structure.

AI in marketing - Questions put into Claude.AI in marketing - Questions put into Claude.

Once the interview is over, Angela goes back to Claude to help pull out the most interesting bits. “It’s so helpful to just plug large amounts of content into Claude and ask it to summarize for me. That helps me find specific answers from a long interview.”

11. Improve design elements in email headers

Marketers who aren’t necessarily graphic designers are often called on to produce visuals for the assets they manage. When Ceillie Clark-Keene, Head of Marketing & Communications at Building Ventures, finds herself in this position, she turns to AI.

“I’m not a designer, but I do put together the occasional email header,” she said. “I’ve started experimenting with the AI features in Canva and Designs.ai to improve design elements or generate graphics.”

I gave it a try on Canva. I had trouble creating a new newsletter design (I found plenty of pre-made templates), but with a few clicks, I got a handful of post designs that were properly sized for Instagram.

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AI in marketing - AI generated instagram posts from canva.AI in marketing - AI generated instagram posts from canva.

“These tools help me create better graphics for those times when outsourcing a professional isn’t in the budget or timeline,” Ceillie said.

A word of caution is warranted. Review AI image generators closely. They can sometimes go off the rails and create less-than-ideal visuals.

12. Build article outlines quickly

I’ve written hundreds of articles, and without fail, creating the initial structure is the hardest step. Once you have the logic and framework down, it’s just a matter of filling in the blank spots.

Will Ruzvidzo is a seasoned B2B SaaS content marketer who’s worked with global brands for over 10 years. Will explained how he uses Writer to overcome outlining obstacles.

He starts by entering a straightforward headline. “With just a few clicks, I can generate a well-structured outline for my blog post, complete with relevant subheadings, key points, and supporting examples.”

AI in marketing - Outline workflow in Writer.AI in marketing - Outline workflow in Writer.

With the “bones” in place, Will customizes the outline to “add my own voice, insights, and creativity into the blog post.” Writer also gives Will AI-powered copy suggestions as he writes.

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He said the time saved lets him focus on crafting captivating introductions and compelling arguments—the types of things that make human-written content stand out.

13. Write craftier subheadings

Subheadings are among the most important aspects of a blog page. They help readers skim and search engines crawl articles more effectively. That’s why Hsing Tseng, a freelance content writer, editor, and strategist, uses ChatGPT as a sounding board when she writes subheadings.

“AI tools can brainstorm much faster and more imaginatively (sometimes) than I have the creative bandwidth to do,” she said.

Here’s an example prompt Hsing shared.

AI in marketing - Subhead examples from ChatGPTAI in marketing - Subhead examples from ChatGPT

Notice how she adds tone and structure instructions to the prompt, like “don’t be too flowery” and “keep H2s concise.” Hsing said the more specific you can be, the better your output will be.

It’s not just about banging out better section titles, though. The AI suggestions Hsing gets incite new directions for a post she hadn’t considered yet. “I’m able to explore a broader range of angles, picking and choosing wording that might align better with the framing of my article,” she noted.

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14. Scale product descriptions and ad copy

A single ecommerce website can have hundreds of products, each needing a concise description and advertising copy.

Gordon Donnelly, a multi-discipline marketer and SEO expert, said that’s one of his favorite use cases for AI. “I have a couple of affiliate/dropshipping sites, and ChatGPT is great for creating product descriptions and ads.”

Here’s an example of how Gordon prompts ChatGPT to zhuzh up a bland product description.

AI in marketing - product description examples from ChatGPTAI in marketing - product description examples from ChatGPT

The key, said Gordon, is that you need to coach your AI tool with the right prompts to get it to say something interesting and useful. As he previously wrote, when prompting an AI tool, you should:

  • Be specific
  • Provide all the relevant information
  • Follow up

The future of AI in marketing

We’re just scratching the surface of what AI can do for marketers. Current trends seem to be headed towards more automation, more complex customer-facing AI tools, and analytics that predict as well as review.

Celia also sees a comeuppance on the horizon for marketers trying to game the system with AI.

“There’s an ethical issue behind passing off AI-generated writing as your own, which is unfortunately becoming more popular a pastime as people chase a quick buck or a shortcut,” she said. “If you were to ask ChatGPT to generate the content of a blog post packed with SEO keywords, it would certainly be possible. But you risk not only false information making it in, but ethically not flagging the content as AI generated is by most considered plagiarism.”

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Does that really matter to less-ethical marketers who only care about driving traffic? Celia said it should, in light of the recent volatility of Google SERPs.

“Well, it might end up doing more harm than good for your site’s SEO,” Celia warned. “Google recently announced updates to its algorithm that will make it more vigilant at removing low-quality content like much of what AI produces without human refinement. So, if ethics aren’t as much of a concern for you, a drop in your site’s rankings might be!”



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A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads: Revolutionizing Digital Advertising & Marketing Since 2000

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A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads: Revolutionizing Digital Advertising & Marketing Since 2000

What started in 2000 as Google AdWords with just 350 advertisers has burgeoned into a comprehensive digital advertising platform, indispensable to digital marketing strategies worldwide. Now re-branded as Google Ads, it stands as a colossus, shaping the way businesses reach their target audience online.

If you’re your looking for a guide on how to use Google Adwords to advertise your business you might enjoy our Ultimate Guide to PPC.

The Conceptual Foundation of Google Ads

Before Google Adwords was launched, the online advertising landscape was vastly different. Traditional models dominated, and the concept of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising was still in its infancy. Google Ads introduced a game-changing model that allowed advertisers to pay only when a user clicked on their ad, offering a more performance-driven approach than ever before. This innovation not only maximized the efficiency of advertising budgets but also laid the groundwork for a more interactive and targeted advertising ecosystem.

But Google Adwords was not technically the first pay per click advertising platform. There was another PPC paid search platform known as Overture which launched before Adwords.

The Early Days of Online PPC Search Advertising

Before Google AdWords became synonymous with search advertising, there was Overture. Founded in 1998 as GoTo.com, Overture was the pioneer of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model. In February of that year, Jeffrey Brewer of Goto.com presented a pay per click search engine proof-of-concept to the TED conference in California.

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This model was revolutionary, allowing advertisers to bid for placement in search results based on specific keywords, with the cost determined by the bid amount. This approach enabled advertisers to directly connect with potential customers actively searching for related information, products, or services online.

When Google introduced AdWords in 2000, the digital advertising landscape was ripe for innovation. Google’s entry with AdWords brought a new player into the field, initially offering a cost-per-impression model before shifting to Overture’s PPC model in 2002. This shift was a clear acknowledgment of the effectiveness of PPC advertising in connecting businesses with their target audiences in a measurable and cost-effective way.

Mutual Influence and Evolution

Overture felt Google’s approach was too similar to their’s and ended up filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, claiming that Google’s AdWords service violated its patents on PPC and bidding systems. The lawsuit was settled in 2004, with Google agreeing to issue 2.7 million shares to Yahoo (which had acquired Overture in 2003) in exchange for a perpetual license to the patents in question. This legal battle underscored the high stakes in the online advertising arena and the importance of intellectual property.

For the broader industry the relationship between Overture and Google AdWords is a classic example of competitive innovation, where the presence of each spurred the other to evolve and improve.

Google’s innovation wasn’t just in adopting the PPC model but also in enhancing it with a focus on ad relevance and targeting. Google introduced the Quality Score, a metric that determined ad placement not just on the bid amount but also on the relevance of the ad to the search query. This move forced Overture to refine its own algorithms and offerings to stay competitive, emphasizing the importance of ad quality and relevance.

Both companies played crucial roles in expanding and enriching the digital advertising ecosystem. Overture’s model laid the groundwork for keyword-based advertising, while Google AdWords introduced innovations that improved ad relevance and efficiency. These advancements helped attract more advertisers to online platforms, increasing the diversity and quality of ads presented to users.

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The competition and innovations brought forth by Overture and Google laid the foundation for subsequent advancements in digital advertising. It influenced the development of advertising platforms on social media and other online channels, highlighting the importance of targeted advertising, relevance, and the user experience.

1712832962 546 A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads Revolutionizing Digital

Early Challenges and Evolution of Google Adwords

The journey was not without its hurdles. As internet usage surged and Google’s popularity soared, the platform faced significant technical and scaling challenges. This period also saw the expansion of Adwords beyond search to include display advertising, marking the beginning of the Google Display Network.

Its rise to prominence in digital advertising can be attributed to several key factors:

1. Integration with Google Search

  • Vast Reach: Google’s dominance as a search engine provided a vast audience for AdWords ads, offering advertisers unparalleled access to potential customers.
  • Intent-Based Targeting: Ads on Google are shown based on user search queries, meaning that AdWords could deliver highly targeted advertising based on real-time intent, a significant advantage over traditional advertising mediums.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Model

  • Cost-Effectiveness: AdWords popularized the PPC model, where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad. This efficiency made it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes, ensuring budget spend was tied directly to tangible results.
  • Accessibility to Small Businesses: The PPC model leveled the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with larger companies for ad space, as long as their ads were relevant and of high quality.

3. Continuous Innovation

  • Quality Score and Ad Rank: Google introduced the Quality Score, a metric that assesses the relevance and quality of ads and their landing pages. This innovation ensured users saw more relevant ads, improving the user experience and increasing the likelihood of ad clicks, benefitting both advertisers and users. Ad Rank built on quality score and improved the quality of adverts for search users.
  • Advanced Targeting Options: Over time, Google introduced sophisticated targeting options, including location targeting, demographic targeting, and later, remarketing. These features allowed advertisers to refine their audience with precision, improving the effectiveness of their campaigns.

4. Comprehensive Analytics and Tools

  • Google Analytics Integration: AdWords’ seamless integration with Google Analytics provided advertisers with detailed insights into their ad performance and website traffic, enabling data-driven decision-making.
  • Robust Toolset: Tools like AdWords Editor and later, Google Ads Manager, allowed advertisers to manage and optimize their campaigns efficiently, saving time and enhancing campaign performance.

5. Expanding Beyond Search

  • Google Display Network: AdWords expanded beyond search ads to include the Google Display Network, offering visual ads across millions of websites. This expansion allowed advertisers to reach users across different stages of the buying cycle, not just when they were searching for specific terms.
  • YouTube and Mobile Advertising: The acquisition of YouTube and the growth of mobile advertising opened new channels for AdWords advertisers, tapping into video and the increasing use of smartphones for internet access.

6. A User-Centric Approach

  • Enhancing User Experience: Google has consistently prioritized the user experience, refining its algorithms to display the most relevant ads and penalizing low-quality content. This focus on user satisfaction has kept users engaged and trusting in the Google ecosystem, indirectly benefiting advertisers by maintaining a high user base.

7. Global Reach and Local Relevance

  • Language and Localization: AdWords supported multiple languages and localized advertising, making it a powerful tool for businesses targeting global markets or aiming for hyper-local advertising.

1712832962 66 A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads Revolutionizing Digital

Key points in history and Milestones for Google Adwords

1. Launch and PPC Model Introduction (2000-2002)

  • 2000: Google AdWords launches with a cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions model.
  • 2002: The introduction of the pay-per-click (PPC) model, significantly altering the online advertising landscape. This shift made advertising more accessible to businesses of all sizes, offering a more performance-oriented advertising solution.

2. Quality Score and Ad Rank Introduction (2005-2006)

  • 2005: Google introduces the Quality Score, a critical component that would determine the cost and placement of ads based on relevance, landing page quality, and click-through rate (CTR).
  • 2006: The Ad Rank formula, which decides the position of an ad on the search results page, now includes Quality Score along with the bid amount. This emphasized the importance of relevant, high-quality ads.

3. Expansion Beyond Search (2005-2008)

  • 2005: Launch of the Google Display Network (GDN), allowing advertisers to place ads on a wide network of websites beyond Google’s search results.
  • 2006: Introduction of local search ads, enabling businesses to target ads based on the geographical location of users.
  • 2007: Acquisition of DoubleClick, enhancing ad serving and providing advertisers with sophisticated tools for managing display ads.
  • 2008: Google introduces AdWords for Video, later integrated into YouTube, allowing for video-based advertising.

4. Mobile Advertising and Enhanced Campaigns (2010-2013)

  • 2010: With the rise of smartphones, Google focuses on mobile advertising, introducing features that allow advertisers to target mobile device users.
  • 2013: The launch of Enhanced Campaigns, making it easier for advertisers to target users across devices with the right ad type, size, and message based on user context, time of day, and device type.

5. Introduction of Machine Learning and Automation (2015-Present)

  • 2015: Google starts incorporating machine learning into AdWords to improve ad targeting and bidding.
  • 2016: Introduction of Smart Bidding, using machine learning to optimize bids for conversions.
  • 2017: Launch of Google Ads Data Hub, offering advanced analysis and reporting features.

6. Rebranding to Google Ads (2018)

  • 2018: Google AdWords is rebranded as Google Ads. This change reflects the platform’s growth beyond search to encompass a variety of advertising formats across Google’s vast array of services, including the Display Network, YouTube, and Google Maps.

7. Introduction of New Advertising Solutions and Platforms (2019-Present)

  • 2019 and beyond: Continuous introduction of new ad types and formats, such as Discovery Ads and Gallery Ads, aimed at providing more engaging and visually appealing advertising options. Expansion of automation and AI-driven tools to optimize campaign performance.

These milestones highlight Google Ads’ evolution from a simple text-based advertising system to a comprehensive digital advertising platform. By continually integrating new technologies and adapting to changes in user behavior and advertiser needs, Google Ads has maintained its position as a leading platform in the digital advertising space.

Impact on Digital Marketing and Economy

Google Ads has undeniably shaped modern digital marketing strategies, enabling businesses to reach their audience with unprecedented precision and efficiency. Its impact extends beyond marketing, contributing significantly to economic growth by providing businesses of all sizes with accessible and effective advertising tools.

Challenges and Controversies

However, the platform has not been without its challenges and controversies, particularly concerning privacy and regulatory issues. Balancing advertising effectiveness with user privacy remains an ongoing challenge for Google Ads.

The Future of Google Ads

Looking ahead, Google Ads is expected to continue its trajectory of innovation, with automation, personalization, and integration with emerging digital platforms at the forefront. Its role in the digital marketing ecosystem remains as vital as ever, adapting to the changing needs of businesses and consumers alike.

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