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Hot Takes on 3 Content Gifts from LinkedIn, Lifetime, and Peloton

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Hot Takes on 3 Content Gifts from LinkedIn, Lifetime, and Peloton


LinkedIn gives creators the gift of streamlined live video and newsletter creation. Lifetime treats viewers to an Olay-sponsored mini-episode featuring Monique Coleman. And a Peloton employee gifts the company a season in the spotlight.

LinkedIn expands creator mode features for video and newsletters

LinkedIn is expanding its newish creator features to encompass live video and newsletters. According to Search Engine Journal, the company plans to roll out access to the new features throughout the month to people who turn on “creator mode” (you’ll find that under the resources section in your profile).

Anyone with a LinkedIn profile can activate creator mode (and deactivate it any time). As SEJ reports, once you enable creator mode, people will only have the option to follow you (not connect with you), only your follower count will show in your profile, and your original content will show near the top of your profile page.

(See this LinkedIn Pulse post for more details about how to use the newsletter and live video features.)

HOT TAKE: If you haven’t explored LinkedIn’s creator mode, now may be the time. CMI Slack community member Hannah Szabo recently shared that the CEO of her employer has had a LinkedIn newsletter for about a year, and it’s been a great channel to engage with their audience.

Sure, you can use the new creator mode to grow your own fan base. But consider following Hannah’s lead. Encourage your executives to enable creator mode (if your audience is on LinkedIn). Help them develop content, do live videos, and create a newsletter. Even better, develop a scalable content marketing program to facilitate the executives’ or subject matter experts’ involvement. Just don’t forget to keep it in the individual’s voice. Your audience can easily detect (and ignore) corporate talk.

Don’t overlook the opportunity to use new creator mode features from @LinkedIn to create scalable #ContentMarketing featuring SMEs or execs via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Lifetime gives holiday mini-movies a makeover

Lifetime’s 2nd annual sponsored mini-movie debuted during the network’s A Christmas Dance Reunion. Created in a partnership with skin-care brand Olay, A Merry & Bright Makeover features Monique Coleman (of High School Musical fame).

The story follows Eve, a scientist who goes to her boyfriend’s family home for the holidays and gets a makeover from his sister (Spoiler alert: The boyfriend proposes.)

“Our custom mini-movies are a heartfelt and highly engaging way for clients to connect with customers,” says A+E Networks’ David DeSocio, as reported in Adweek. “Our co-production with Olay showcases themes of diversity and beauty, it allows the production to shine and personifies themes and values to the brand.”

The branded content is the star, but it’s not the only way the beauty brand connects with the audience. Olay also runs a viewer giveaway with weekly prize packages and contributes in-program messaging on the channel.

As Adweek reports, A+E Networks’ Peter Olsen said the mini-movies work for brands, and they’re eager to do more.

HOT TAKE: Last year, we covered the odd KFC love story featuring Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders. The spoof-like content seemed a strange fit for Lifetime’s holiday movie season. This year’s Olay partnership makes much more sense. The storyline naturally encompasses the brand’s message (and products) and delivers what a Lifetime audience expects.

Remember Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders? Happily, the new @Olay and @Lifetime #content partnership makes sense in a way last season’s KFC effort did not via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

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Peloton employees’ personal brands form a symbiotic gift that keeps on giving

Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby made it to the finals on Dancing With the Stars this season. His stint on the competition show, in which success often hinges on the fan vote, reflects the exponential growth of Cody’s and other Peloton trainers’ personal brands during the pandemic.

“I bought a Peloton bike in February and use it basically every day. The appeal isn’t just about the exercise classes; it also comes down to the personalities (e.g., the personal brands) of the Peloton instructors,” writes Nancy Marshall, a member of The Forbes Agency Council.

Cody’s rise to the finals came with the predictable social media chatter from his enthusiastic ride-or-die fans Peloton (known as the Boo Crew) and detractors who referred to him as part of the “Peloton cult.”

A teacher from Huntsville, Ala., told NBC News she votes for him every week. “Cody deserves all the support from Peloton because of what he has done for so many people,” she said.

HOT TAKE: Though Cody is the only Peloton instructor to elevate the corporate brand of the exercise equipment and training retailer by competing on a popular prime-time TV show, he’s far from the only instructor to gain a personal fan base. The mutual benefits for company and instructor show why companies should help their employees establish personal brands rather than fear them. Done right, personal brands can benefit employees, employers, and the audiences they build together.

Need proof? Consider how much more the attention on Cody and other Peloton instructors benefits Peloton than its gift-for-the-wife commercial did two years ago.

@CodyRigsby and other @Peloton instructors’ personal brands benefit Peloton so much more than that controversial gift-for-the-wife ad did via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

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Intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else hot in content marketing? Share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Hot Take.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute





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Native video tops social media in brand awareness study

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Native video tops social media in brand awareness study


Native video ads have a greater impact than video ads on social and video platforms, a new study from Kantar reported. The Multichannel Brand Impact study measured video ad effectiveness for brand goals in native environments against other environments.

Favorability. Participants in the study gave a favorable rating 59% of the time when exposed to a native video ad. That number dropped to 50% on social platforms and 51% in a video platform environment.

Source: Kantar Context Lab/Taboola.

Awareness. 33% of participants displayed top-of-mind awareness about a brand when shown a native video ad. This displayed a marked improvement over the control group, which only had 14% top-of-mind awareness.

When native video was combined with social video ads, the awareness climbed to 49%.

Impact of native ads. Taboola, which sells content discovery and native advertising products, sponsored the study.

“With industry estimates indicating that video advertising in the U.S. will reach nearly $50B this year, brands have a lot of opportunities to influence customers, as long as they’re choosing the right platforms and mix of platforms to relay their messages,” said Taboola CEO and founder Adam Singolda, in a company release.

Read next: Taboola acquires Connexity

Why we care. Social media is where consumers receive word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends. Still a potent source of brand impact for marketers. But social is also a highly contentious space for politics and other turnoffs. It’s not the ace in the hole it once was, and should be complemented with other native environments in a digital video campaign.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases

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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases


Summer’s here and the shoppers are wary. Consumer spending increased in May, but only by 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This explains why 76% of U.S. shoppers are searching online for reviews and better prices before buying in store, according to a new Adobe Commerce study of sentiment among over 1,000 U.S. consumers. Also, when they’re in a store 60% are using their phone to look for better prices elsewhere.

Another sign of the slowing economy: 24% say they won’t be able to take advantage of big summer holiday sales because they have less discretionary money to spend due to inflation and the higher cost of goods. 

Read next: Adobe: Online prices were up only 2% in May

On the good news side: 76% of those planning to participate in summer sales say they’ll spend more or the same amount as last year. And the motivation varies — more than half (56%) of consumers say they save money by shopping on Prime Day and other sales events, while others want to get ahead of their seasonal holiday (32%) and back-to-school shopping (23%).

However, most of those who intend to buy don’t believe big retailers’ promises of deeper discounts because of overstocking. Almost 65% expect discounts to be smaller than last year. 

Other findings:

  • 61% said receiving personalized promotions or recommendations will make them more likely to make a purchase.
  • 43% said they are more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers buy now, pay later.
  • 72% want the online purchases delivered the same day or via two-day shipping.
  • 50% are now more likely to make retail purchases on their phones, 26% prefer in-store shopping and 24% prefer shopping via their computer
  • 57% search for and buy products online if they can’t find them in stores.
Categories for which consumers report using buy now, purchase later.

Why we care. Inflation and higher interest rates are, as expected, taking an increased toll on consumer spending. That makes marketing more important than ever, via activities like personalization and customer experience. That should also include offering payment options like buy now, pay later. People are used to putting everything on a credit card, but interest rates are making that less attractive to them.


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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog

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Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots


We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


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


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”



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