Marketing Psychology Tactics

Hook, Line, and Sinker: A Model for Crafting Successful, Viral Content

Despite studying content that overachieves for years, it’s only in the past few months that I’ve stumbled into a mental model I’ve called: Hook, Line, and Sinker. My goal here is to broadly encapsulate *why* overachieving content pieces hit their mark, and why similar, but underperforming pieces miss. First: when we talk about “content,” we’re talking about all kinds of…
Marketing Psychology Tactics

Influence Maps—The Best Marketing Framework You’ve Never Heard Of

When you find a tool that massively improves your work’s effectiveness and dramatically cuts down on poor decision-making, there are two natural responses: “This is amazing! It’s gonna save me so much heartache.”“WTF?! Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before?” That’s exactly how I felt when I stumbled across the behavioral design field’s Influence Map Framework. In a single,…
Advertising Data Marketing Tactics

What if Performance Advertising is Just an Analytics Scam?

“What the pandemic showed is we can take marketing down to zero and still have 95% of the same traffic as the year before. So we’re not going to forget that lesson.” – Brian Chesky (via Campaign) In 2020, AirBnB cut $542 million of performance advertising spend and saw no measurable falloff in attributable sales. They continued this ad-slashing practice…
Marketing Psychology Startups Tactics

The Incentives to Publish No Longer Reward the Web’s Creators

It’s been almost two months since my last post here. For those of you who pay attention to the digital marketing world, the infrequency of updates may be missed, but it’s likely familiar. Many, many web creators (those who publish, in any format, on their own sites rather than big tech’s platforms) who historically published content with great frequency are…

There Are Four Kinds of Keyword Research; Make Sure You’re Doing the Right One(s)

Keyword research is broader than you might think, friends. If you’re in a rush, just click below to jump to that section: Keyword research for SEO/PPC(to learn which terms have search volume in Google and how much)Keyword research for social media marketing(to uncover hashtags, topics, phrases that get used/earn visibility on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, et al.)Keyword research for…

The “Marketing is Evil” Problem.

“I hate marketing.““Marketing is evil.““Marketing doesn’t work.““Marketing doesn’t work on me.““I’ll never buy from a company that markets to me.“ My best argument against those kinds of reflexive, anti-marketing takes is this: people create wonderful things to help one another, to entertain, to make art, and yes, to make money, too. But just because something is wonderful doesn’t mean anyone…

Who Will Amplify This? And Why?

You’ve created a stellar email newsletter, but few subscribe. You’ve launched an intriguing podcast, but listeners are nonexistent. You’ve published an exceptional blog post, a compelling research report, a remarkable webinar, a top-notch video, a stunning visual… but the audience just isn’t showing up. In my experience, four root causes are to blame: You’ve produced something of low qualityYou’ve produced…

When Choosing Marketing Channels, Visualize the Curve

Business Owner: “We’re launching a new company/website/campaign and want to buy ads that can get us some customers. Once that’s working, we’ll invest in content and SEO.” Marketer: “So, no one’s heard of your brand, and you don’t have any existing digital marketing, but you’d like to start with ads, then invest in content and SEO?” Business Owner: “Yup! That’s…
Data Marketing Startups Tactics

Marketing Personas Are Almost Always a Boondoggle (but they don’t have to be)

Boss: “We need marketing personas for each of our customer targets.”You: “Got it. What problems are these personas meant to solve?”Boss: “You know, um… Strategy. Targeting. And, uh… give ’em fun names like Workin’ Wendy and Stay-at-Home Steve, or something.”You: “Oh god, not again…” A few years back, I worked on a 6-month project to collect survey, interview, and industry…