Our Top 10 Marketing Blogs of 2021
It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost over. For many of you, we know the past of couple of years has been challenging to say the least with the pandemic, economic slowdowns, political, social and racial strife, climate change, and perhaps every other personal issue under the sun that we are all currently grappling with. And, yeah, it’s been a strange 2021 for sure (look no further than Michigan making it to the College Football Playoff!) So, you could be forgiven if you thought the universe has simply cracked.
Given all that, we feel lucky and grateful at Marketing Nice Guys for the opportunity we’ve had this past year to continue to do what we do, helping our small business clients excel at digital marketing. In 2021, we’ve had a number of blogs that been read by various audiences so we thought we’d do the traditional end of year countdown with our most-read blogs of the year. We hope you enjoy it and hope that it can spur an idea or two that boosts your business from a marketing standpoint. With that, here’s a toast to a better 2022, when hopefully we can leave a lot of this behind (and Michigan won’t win the Big Ten again for another decade.)
If you ask most consultants what their biggest marketing challenge is, they’d likely answer: Gaining new clients. But even before you do that, perhaps the hardest part for many (from a marketing standpoint) is developing the name and brand recognition, and having people recognize and think about them in relation to their expertise. In marketing, this is called being top-of-mind. The question is, how do you become well-known? By that, we mean not necessarily famous, but just the known expert of your field? Like everything else with marketing, there is no one way to go about it. Here we suggest 5 steps that will help put you on the path to greater visibility. Go to the Blog
There’s no one best way to do marketing when it comes to small or midsize businesses. We often say, successful marketing is very case-dependent and a number of factors have to align to do it well, many of which have often nothing to do with the actual “marketing” function if there is one. That said, assuming there is a viable product or service and a capable sales team (in the case of a B2B company), there are certainly marketing fundamentals that we see that are often not put in place by businesses that could help boost their long-term sales. Here are our suggestions for ways improve” what happens today in the field. Go to the Blog
As a small business, you might hear a lot of agencies or marketers throw around the term “marketing funnel.” It’s certainly a funny concept on the surface. After all, if you never studied the funnel in school or created your business using more instinctive approaches, we would understand if part of you thinks that the term is some ridiculous, academic marketing-speak made up by so-called experts that never once sold anything in the real world. But the truth is, regardless of what business you run, it’s a great concept to know. Mostly because it can help you better understand buyer behavior, which is really the point when you talk about marketing and operating a relevant and successful business. Go to the Blog
It might be that you haven’t paid attention recently to the war going on between Facebook and Apple. It’s understandable. Two tech giants going to war over privacy can seem, at best, an esoteric topic has little to do with the running of your business. But if you get into the details, there are potentially some large impacts for those small businesses that advertise on social networks. We’ll talk about iOS 14 from the perspective of advertising on Facebook, primarily, since that social network is a popular outlet for many businesses. But the changes that have rolled out also apply to any social or ad network that has the capability to track your activity across destinations outside its own. Go to the Blog
Perhaps some of you remember those pre-Internet days. Personally, we don’t wax nostalgic about any particular period in history but what’s perhaps most true, suffice to say, is that it was a much simpler time, especially business-wise. Most people (outside of investment bankers) worked 9-to-5 and once you went home, that was pretty much it. If you think about marketing, it too was also much more straight-forward. It made me empathize a bit with the workers growing up today in the field because the field, in particular, has become a lot more complex – and I’d argue harder – in the last 30 years. People are burning out of the profession and resigning in droves, as the part of the Great Resignation during the pandemic. Why is that the case? Here are a few reasons. Go to the Blog
According to a recent survey, email was voted to be the top ROI driver of all marketing channels (59 percent to 21 percent for social media, the nearest competitor). It also continues to be a great way to communicate with customers and prospects, and build brand awareness. But email marketing isn’t what it was even 10 years ago. Today, sophisticated small businesses do a lot more than just send a newsletter or occasional product offer out to subscribers. Technology allows for these businesses to track incoming leads, automate marketing “journeys” to them, and collect data on site behavior that can trigger other emails. Before you choose an email / marketing automation provider, you should consider your strategy first. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as a small business, as you think about email. Go to the Blog
For the average marketer or small businessperson, video marketing can be intimidating and expensive. Many don’t know where to start. Do you attempt to do it in-house with an iPhone on a limited budget? Do you hire a crew? Should you do animated video, a video with actors, an interview, or a product launch video? Certainly, it’s important for a company to work out a video strategy based on available budget and the approach to the types of videos it wants to produce. And for marketers themselves, it will help your company and your career prospects to know a bit more about the ins and outs of video marketing for the reasons stated above. You don’t have to know actual video production or editing, but understanding a little bit about how videos are developed and distributed is critical. Here are four quick ways you can dive more into the topic today. Go to the Blog
It seems hard to believe that Jay Conrad Levinson published his landmark book, Guerilla Marketing, almost 40 years ago in 1983 – a work aimed at helping small businesses gain greater visibility at a time when big companies dominated the promotional airwaves. Levinson saw back then what we also see today, a growing disparity between the marketing capabilities of a small business, which often has scarce resources, trying to survive against larger players whose brand and reach can now dwarf them in so many areas. For many small businesses, it’s an uneven playing field.
But there’s hope. And the answer is content development. Go to the Blog
As a small or midsize business, how do you choose amongst the dizzying array of marketing software programs, apps, services, and tools currently available in the market? It can be overwhelming even for the most sophisticated organization. What do you focus on? Where can you get the most return on your investment in terms of both time and resources? We’re going to recommend a few here below that we, at Marketing Nice Guys, just love – ones that we ourselves use almost every day. Go to the Blog
And the no. 1 most-read blog of 2021 is….
We often say here at Marketing Nice Guys, that every organization is different. It has different marketing needs, and each requires its own unique skill set for that particular circumstance and that industry. A great marketing leader for a small organization might fail spectacularly at a larger organization, while the reverse is also true: A great CMO at a Fortune 500 company might not be able to impact a smaller one at all (as much as his or her ego might think at least). That’s clearly what makes marketing one of the most challenging jobs and one reason why Chief Marketing Officers, on average, have the shortest tenure among all c-suite executives. Throw in the wildcards such as dealing with opinionated or sometimes ignorant CEOs and executive leadership, wild variations in your marketing technology stack (and technical capabilities of staff), completely different marketing budgets, and you probably have no consistent way to predict if new leader will have an impact. For that reason, we’ve created our fun, little guide below to the 7 types of marketing leaders we know we’ve run into over the years. Go to the Blog