Our Best Posts of 2012

New Year fireworks

started this blog nearly two years ago, when I wanted a space to put down my thoughts about marketing. Better Marketing wasn’t a business then — it wasn’t even the blog name.

It’s this year, after we started as a business, that we actually started writing regularly — and this is the 60th post of the year.

We would like to end the year by spotlighting both our most popular posts — that is, the ones you readers liked best — as well as my favorite posts.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Holiday Edition

Have you been lulled by heavy meals and year-end cheer? So have we. Let’s keep it light this week, shall we? No complicated guides and rules to remember in this round-up: just some food for thought as you lie back in your chair and digest that big meal.

MarketingProfs tells us about three things businesses can learn from non-profit organizations.

How do you get more replies to your emails?

Here are five ways you can build deeper relationships with your customers.

And here are 6 things really productive people do.

Take a guilt-free break! Yes, really.

Okay now, that’s enough reading. Go start your weekend!

Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Bhaskar Sarma, B2B CopywriterBhaskar Sarma of Pixels and Clicks is a copywriter specializing in B2B technology businesses. He is also a fantasy fan, judging by his marketing blog posts that reference Tolkien and Dr. Who. He talks to us about copywriting and social media for B2B.

My questions and comments are in bold.

How and why did you become a consultant?

I came into consulting and copywriting through a pretty roundabout fashion. Before my current gig and after getting my BE in computer engineering I was a tech journalist, an infosec consultant and a volunteer with a non-profit running schools in remote mountain villages near Mussorie. I decided not to get back into the corporate rat race and opted to work for myself, travel when I want and choose my own clients and projects.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Startups

Do you have it in you to be an entrepreneur? Successful entrepreneurs possess five key traits.

Women selling vegetables in a local market

But once you’ve started your business, what is your goal? Joel Gascoigne of Buffer shares some interesting thoughts.

And over on Women’s Web, I write about eight things a new entrepreneur should do.

Read HubSpot’s article on 7 common SEO myths: and if you’re building on any of these, please stop.

HubSpot also tells you when to — and when not to — outsource your marketing: think twice before outsourcing social media or content creation!

5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing

The recent brouhaha over Instragram’s policy changes brings into sharp relief the fact that marketing on social media entails a lot of dependence on the social media sites. Instagram’s users might not be in trouble right now, but do you remember the last cries of outrage over changes in Facebook’s policies?

Which brings me to the question: is it wise to focus your marketing efforts primarily on social media?

I’m not advocating ignoring social media (of course). But realize this: you don’t control Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. Your most important content should be on your own site, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, FAQs, a photo gallery, or video tutorials.

Here are five reasons why.

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How to Determine Which Social Media Channels You Should Use

FruitsAs a business-owner, you have a hundred things clamoring for your attention. But you also need to be on social media, to listen and talk to your customers and to influencers in your industry. Focusing on one or two channels will probably be more useful to you than creating profiles on many that you can’t keep up with.

The biggest factor that determines what social media you should focus on depends, of course, on where your customers are. But here are some other factors that might help you make the decision.

Facebook

If you’re a B2C business, you probably can’t afford to ignore Facebook. Facebook has a huge user base, and it’s where everyone hangs out — teenagers, office workers, stay-at-home parents, freelancers, grandparents. So you should seriously consider having an active Facebook page if:

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Productivity and Content

We use Trello to manage our tasks, and this post gives you a lovely breakdown of why and how you should use it. And it’s free!

Here are six writing tips from Roald Dahl, via Copyblogger.

Copyblogger also breaks down Facebook’s EdgeRank and tells you what you should be doing for more engagement. Tl;DR? Keep trying different things to engage your audience (as Sahil Khan says here).

Create better landing pages with these tips from Hubspot: we especially like the last one!

Rand Fishkin ponders how you can get the best out of your employees.

And lastly, I loved this article about productivity myths. Now I can continue to not get up early or sort my emails properly without feeling guilty!

Social Media Marketing for Restaurants and Content: Interview with Sahil Khan of the Tossed Salad

We recently met up with Sahil Khan, whose online lifestyle magazine, the Tossed Salad, has a dedicated following. Sahil is also very active on Twitter, and he has been successful in helping restaurants use social media effectively. But hold on — you can listen to the details in his own words in the video below.

And if you’d rather read than watch, the transcript is below. My questions and comments are in bold.

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