by Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot

Our 16 Favorite Marketing Articles From 2016

We’ve kept our eye out all year for the best marketing articles of 2016. After looking through our lengthy list of candidates, some internal deliberation, and a whole lot of Slackin’, we’ve landed on our favorites. Enjoy.

1. How Marketing Automation Makes You More Human

A grocery store and a business website have a lot in common. Alley signs are like navigation menus; checkout counters are like payment pages; and customer service staff are like live chat support. The advantage of a business website is the ability to scale the experience with marketing automation. LiveChat walks through the nuts and bolts of how.

2. 7 Principles to Mastering Growth Marketing

Brian Balfour believes we have a big addiction problem in our industry. It’s called hacktics, also known as the hacks and tricks that promise to solve our growth problems…when really they’re selling snake oil. Being an elite growth marketer doesn’t come from throwing hacktic spaghetti at the wall, but mastering these principles that enable you to solve problems, repeatedly.

3. The PPC Food Pyramid: A 211 Point PPC Marketing Strategy

Did you know that there’s more PPC options than AdWords, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? I didn’t, until I came across this exhaustive list of paid channels made with love by KlientBoost. It’s designed as a food pyramid. Ya know, for easy digesting.

4. How Perfect Power Wash Made $210,593 By Recovering Lost Opportunities

Automating the customer journey isn’t reserved for the tech elite. Companies of all shapes and sizes are adopting the power of automation, like this cleaning services company in Ohio. Their approach plugs the leaks in their marketing funnel. The results are staggering.

5. 19 Content Marketing Ideas That Aren’t Blog Posts

Content marketing is synonymous with blogging in the minds of many modern marketers. But according to Susan Su, content is anything we can read, watch, see, or hear. So if we just limit ourselves to blogging, we’re missing out. Until now.

6. An Amazing Retention Email…From a Dry Cleaner?

Our Marketing Director, Anne Fleshman, found an amazing retention email from a place you’d least expect—a dry cleaner. Turns out Silicon Valley tech companies aren’t the only ones who care about retention.

7. Facebook Ads Case Study: How to Generate $36,449 in Revenue From a $4,159 Ad Spend

Results speak for themselves. In this case study, Andrew Hubbard walks through the exact process he used to run an incredibly profitable Facebook campaign. He shows what he did, why he did it, what worked, and what didn’t.

8. How to Track Customer Acquisitions: Customer Lifecycle, Sales Funnel, and Content Strategy

When Myk Pono drops something, you gotta pay attention. Set aside a good 30 minutes to work your way through his customer acquisition framework. It covers everything: the marketing-to-sales-handoff, metrics for every stage of the funnel, and how your content drives the whole engine.

9. Why Linear Funnels are a Simplified Reality (and What to Do About It)

Messy reality doesn’t match the simplicity of a linear funnel. In this ConversionXL article, you’ll learn a new alternative—tornados—and how you stick with the funnel approach while accounting for the complexities of the customer journey.

10. 11 Content Promotion Tips From 11 Heavy Hitters

Our team tuned in to this year’s Content Promotion Summit. We listened, digested, and wrote up the best takeaways from industry experts. You’ll get insights into how companies can grow like Uber, utilize the true value of data-driven content, and leverage content hubs to outrank everyone.

11. If Marketing Headlines Were Honest, They’d Sound Like This


12. SEO is Not Hard: A Step-by-Step Tutorial for SEO Beginners That Will Get You Ranked Every Time

The author covers the early days of Google SEO, how the platform has evolved, and walks through a repeatable process for winning at search. You’ll have to set aside a good 30 minutes for this one too. Keyword research, finding the long tail, and SEO checklists are all here.

13. Content is Eating the World: Contently’s CEO on Winning at Marketing’s New Hotness

Focus on quality content to win in the long-term. Continually ask if your content is working or not. And don’t expect magic overnight. Contently’s CEO expands on these key points and the ten commandments of content marketing.

14. 3 Marketing Automation Hacks to Make You an Extra $31,620 This Month

At the end of the day, marketing automation comes down to math. How will conversion rates improve if we launch this SMS campaign? How much more revenue can we convert with an on-website message? Is direct mail worth the ROI? These hacks break down the numbers.

15. I Can’t Tell You Why Our Business is Growing

Funnels are great. Conversion is essential. But Ali Mese points out that we need to understand that what lies behind sustainable growth is our ability to delight our customers with our dedication to extreme value creation. It’s a long-term play that pays off.

16. The Techies Project

Techies is multiple stories, not just one story. The project covers Silicon Valley tech employees who tend to be underrepresented in the greater tech narrative. This includes (but is not limited to) women, people of color, folks over 50, LGBT, working parents, disabled, etc. It’s an innovative project that gives a more comprehensive picture of our community. Bravo.

Any reads you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

Author Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot

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