In case you missed it, the best marketing posts of 2016

best marketing posts

By Mark Schaefer

How many people read an individual blog post? I really have no idea. Are you a subscriber? Do you see my writing on Facebook or LinkedIn? Maybe you connect with me on Medium, or The Harvard Business Review?

In any event, even the biggest fans of the blog miss a lot of the best ideas every year. So I’ve summarized some of the best writing on {grow} for 2016 by

a) reader popularity and

b) my personal favorites

It’s time to catch up on some of the best posts you missed this year … and maybe re-visit some old favorites:

The five most popular 2016 marketing posts, by page views

  1. Are you ready for the mega-shift from social media to private media? This is a huge trend. This is one of the first posts to note this shift and its implications.
  2. Four marketing mega trends nobody’s talking about. It was the time of year for a lot of projection posts and I decided to take a different angle on things.
  3. 15 Amazing ways social media is changing the world. Inspired by new research, I loved this practical and even startling view of the real world of social media.
  4. Four ways Facebook Instant Articles will dramatically impact marketing. The world is still sorting this trend out I think.
  5. 5 Reasons most content marketing is FAR behind where it needs to be. I loved this post because it stirred a necessary dialogue in our industry. One person called me “bonkers” for writing this post. That’s OK. It needed to be said and I still stand behind the views here.

I ran guest posts this year from my staff of contributing columnists Kerry Gorgone, Mars Dorian, Kiki Schirr, and Brooke Sellas, as well as 25 other people from the {grow} community. The most popular guest post this year came from Brooke: Use This Agenda For Your Content Marketing Plan

I also had the honor and pleasure of publishing 26 podcast episodes in 2016. I hope you’re tuning in to The Marketing Companion podcast I do with Tom Webster. This is the episode you liked the best this year: The silver lining in the bad news about content marketing.

My personal favorite posts of the year (and why)

Why content marketing needs to be like a chalupa. In 2016 I had the honor of being the closing keynote speaker of Social Media Marketing World. One of the most popular moments was when I compared content marketing to making tacos and this post reflects the humor and whimsy of my speech.

How to turn social media connections into an actionable audience . One of the most persistent myths on the web is that you can get a large social media audience to follow up on some action like buying a book. You can’t. This post explains why, and what to do about it.

Finally, the truth about social media and customer engagement. I like this post because of the reaction it produced among many marketing professionals. It was one of those ideas that many people were thinking about and putting it into writing helped codify an idea.

The reality of online influence and the only thing that matters. This is the first time I laid out the premise of my upcoming book KNOWN. Throughout the year I sent out “trial balloons” for the book, seeking reader feedback and this was an important post for me.

Why it’s OK to be a social media guru. This was one of the most controversial posts of the year. I was defending the right of young people to come into the field but the idea was met with resistance!

Social media marketing lessons from my grandfather. Because any time I reference my grandfather, it will be a favorite! A rare video post from me.

Eight strategies to stand out when you’re late to the content marketing game. This was another “test post” for my new book and this is an article filled with interesting and helpful ideas.

Does every business need content marketing? A reality check. Well, when an industry leader declares that content marketing works for every business every time, somebody has to just say no.

Strategies to deal with losing readers through the newsfeed evolution. This was not one of my most popular posts of the year, but I wish it had been. This points out an important trend that most people are ignoring.

Your marketing strategy is not a decision. It’s decided for you. A very important concept overlooked by even experienced marketers. I got a great reaction to this post.

What is the role of content in an ad-free world? If I had to name a theme for my writing in 2016 it would be something about navigating change in our industry. This post sums up a number of important ideas about this idea.

Finding the right “authenticity” level for your brand. I think “authenticity” is one of the most over-used, over-hyped, and weird words on the web today. This article takes a 360-degree view of the issue.

What it’s like to be hugged by a brand. Literally. This was my favorite post of the year because it ties together everything I’ve been writing about and some strong beliefs. Be. More. Human. And if you read all the way to the end, you’ll see how this post impacted somebody’s life!

In one of my posts this year I mentioned that I take an attitude that I will never let a reader down. I want to provide something relevant, interesting, timely, and even entertaining every single day. I tried by best to accomplish that in 2016 and I’m dedicated to upholding that tradition as long as I write.

Whether you have been reading for years or you’ve just discovered {grow}, thank you SO MUCH for reading my blog!

sxsw-2016-3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Eric Verspoor

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