2012 was an excellent year for our blog. We added a lot of new writers and wrote a bunch of excellent articles about advertising, marketing, trade shows, and social media.
So in true end-of-the-year fashion, I’ve collected the best of the best* for your reading pleasure.
7 Things Marketers Should Know About Memes (The Ultimate Meme FAQ)
Oh, you’re in marketing and don’t use memes? Tell me more about how you’re on the cutting edge. Not sure if memes or hilarious pictures? One does not simply use memes, one must simply read this post about memes.
How SOPA Can Make the Internet Better (And Why It Won’t)
Remember SOPA and PIPA from earlier this year? This blog post explained how these bills were great in theory, but not so much in execution. Also pirates.
Polypropylene, Polyester, and Nylon: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Materials
When ordering custom reusable bags, there are a lot of materials to choose from. So if you’ve been trying to spot the difference between nylon and polyester cinch up backpacks, this post has everything you need to know.
Setup Fees for Your Promotional Items: What You Need to Know
Getting ready to order some promotional products? You’re going to see a lot about setup charges. This article has everything you ever needed to know about the setup fee.
7 Buzzwords and Phrases You Need to Stop Saying Right NOW
Hey you, marketing ninja! Yes you, social media maven. Cut it out! Stop trying to define the Millenial generation and preaching about King Content. We get it.
20 Ridiculous Spam Comments You Can’t Resist Reading
Spam comments are annoying. But after rounding up 20 of the craziest gems in our spam cue, we decided to put them to work for us. And once you read this one, make sure you check out the follow up piece 23 More Ridiculous Spam Comments You Can’t Resist Reading.
Dr. Seuss Inspiration: 10 Life and Business Quotes to Get You Moving NOW
Lacking a little inspiration? Then check out this post by Amy. These quotes from one of the hippest authors ever can resonate with adults even better than kids.
It’s Our 1,000th Blog Post! Celebrate with 16 of Our Juiciest Articles
We hit a big milestone in 2012: our 1000th blog post! So this compilation post highlights all of our favorite blog articles ever. Yes, a compilation post as part of a compilation post. I just became a meta blogger.
Bringin’ Back the Barbershop: Success in Gender-Centric Business
When it comes to carving out a niche market and then completely dominating it, make sure you check out this post about the Belmont Barbershop in Chicago. These barbers give grown ass haircuts to grown ass men, and do it with style.
Crowdsourced Funding: Interview with Robert Wolfe of Crowdrise
Crowdrise is the coolest crowd-sourced fundraising site on the internet. In addition to helping lets of organizations raise money, they also have some of the cleverest copy on the entire web. If you’re thinking about crowd-sourcing for your own charity or project, make sure you read this interview!
How One ‘Community’ Rallied for the Brand They Love: Interview with Catherine Boyd of Save Community
When NBC put their sitcom Community on hiatus last year, there was a giant uproar from fans. They took full advantage of social media, flash mobs, and buying merchandise. This article is all about how your brand advocates will support you.
Why It Pays to Take Risks in Startup Marketing: Interview with Leo Widrich of Buffer
If you’re running a new business, you can probably attest to how difficult it is to get press or market your services. Check out this interview to see how social media startup Buffer leveraged content marketing and relationship building to market their service.
5 Obscure Ways to Market to Hipsters That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Ah, hipsters. The subculture that the Internet just seems to hate. So whether you want to market your products to them, or just get a good chuckle, check out this post from Jana. And if you find snarky promotional product posts delightful, make sure you check out Tasteless Titanic Tributes: 5 Giveaways for Passengers’ Imaginary Gift Baskets and 5 Wedding Favors for Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger’s Undoubtedly Timeless and Classy Reception.
5 Rejected Homecoming Themes and Their Giveaway Items
If you thought that Hollywood was a boring theme, you’ll think again after reading this post by Jenna. The picture frame that you got from your high school homecoming has never looked so good.
Cold and Flu Season: What to Include in a Get Well Kit
Amy shares the essentials when creating a basket of health-related items for customers and staff. Healthy clients = happy clients.
‘The Hobbit’ Movie Merchandise: 10 Items to Get Your Bilbo Swaggins On
If you haven’t seen The Hobbit yet, please go see it. And then read this post about some of the best merchandise you can purchase with your hard-earned money!
5 Ways to Spot a Pinterest Scam: Brides and Budget Shoppers, Beware
It was inevitable: scammers have come to Pinterest. So protect yourself from getting into a financial pickle by picking up on their tricks and avoiding these scammers and their crappy dresses.
The Art Institute of Chicago and Social Media: 5 Tips to Make Your Online Presence a Masterpiece!
Trying to develop your own social media strategy? Then learn from brands that have it down, like the Art Institute of Chicago. The social media team for the art gallery has created a smart, funny, engaging personality on their social profiles.
Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’: How to Be a Facebook Marketing Superhero
Facebook is a tricky social media platform, especially since they like to change something every seven hours. But fear not, there are things that you can do to keep engagement rates high. Just take a cue or two from the Avengers.
What Pancakes Taught Me About Twitter Etiquette
Pancakes are 100% relevant to Twitter. I’m not even going to sell this to you anymore; just click the link and see for yourself.
7 Business Tips from ‘Mean Girls’: Totally Fetch Advice from Girl World
If you’ve seen Mean Girls, then you’re totally fetch. If you haven’t, you can still grab some business insight from this early 2000s cult classic.
Agent Phil Coulson’s Guide to Attracting and Motivating Top Talent
The backbone of the Avengers is not the sweet helicarrier or Tony Stark’s witticisms. It is, in fact, Agent Phil Coulson. And if you want to assemble your own super team, you should follow his lead!
Dwight K. Schrute’s Top 10 Tips for Work Ethic (and World Domination)
When it comes to work ethic, it’s hard to match Dwight K. Schrute’s level of dedication. So if you want to be equally awesome at your job, check out this post (no beet farms required).
Entrepreneur Inspiration from Chris Hardwick of Nerdist Industries: 3 Things You Must Do to Succeed
Chris Hardwick went from MTV dating show host to King of the Nerds. And he couldn’t be happier. He built up his company, Nerdist Industries, from scratch. Take a page or two out of his Dungeons and Dragons playbook.
The Legendary Guide to Personal Branding with Barney Stinson of ‘How I Met Your Mother’
When it comes to being awesome, nobody does it better than Barney Stinson. Even if you’re not looking to be the same kind of opportunistic womanizer, you can still learn how to craft a legendary personal brand.
Not So Elementary: The ‘Sherlock’ Guide to Freelancing and Small Business
Running a successful business takes two things: a great product, and smart business sense. Sherlock Holmes might have the smarts to be a consulting detective, but his company would fail without Watson’s diligence in tying up the business end.
The Success of Fear: What the Slender Man Can Teach Us about Viral Marketing
I’ll say this right now: it’s pretty much impossible to plan something to go viral. Just look at the Slender Man – the creator didn’t Photoshop some pictures and expect such a marketing sensation. See what we can glean from Slendy for our own campaigns in Mike’s post.
4 Victoria’s Secret Marketing Tricks That Get People Through the Doors
It’s fair to say that you probably know a lady that’s obsessed with Victoria’s Secret. So what’s their secret? One of our bloggers (who is obsessed herself) shares tips on how they get tons of customers through their doors.
How TV’s Most Unpopular Network Won My Brand Loyalty for Life
With the exception of this past quarter, NBC usually ranks last in terms of viewership. And even when they do have viewers, they like to keep earning their nickname “Nothing But Cancellations.” So how is it that they managed to win my brand loyalty? Read on…
JCPenney’s New Pricing Strategy: 5 Things You Should Know
One of the biggest changes in retail this year was JCPenney’s completely changing their pricing and sales strategy. Almost a year later, we still get comments on this post from JCP fans, employees, and haters.
Learn from USPS: Are You Pushing Away Your Customers?
You’ve probably heard that the USPS is going through some hard times right now. But according to Jill, it might not just be the adoption of email. In fact, there are some easy things that the USPS could do to find and retain more customers.
Microsoft Surface Marketing: How One Tweet Got Me a Trip to New York City
You’ve probably heard that Microsoft came out with Windows 8 and new tablet. But what you probably didn’t hear is that yours truly was invited to the opening of their Times Square store. Read more about my adventure and Microsoft’s blend of online and offline marketing.
Shark-Infested Social Media: How Discovery Built Anticipation for Shark Week
Arguably the most important week on television, Shark Week has become also as big as the Discovery Channel itself. Jenna outlines how they build tons of anticipation in this post. Also, the official 30 Rock Pinterest board pinned this post on one of their boards. So…we’re kind of a big deal.
The Art of the Trade Show Freebie: 6 Dos and Don’ts from ASI Chicago 2012
Everyone talks about why you should give away freebies at trade shows, but nobody says how you should use them. Until now! Rachel wrote an excellent article about how to use your promotional items to grab more leads and customers.
How Small Businesses Can Rock Their Next Trade Show: Tips from Chicago Comic Con’s Artist Alley
So you might not have the biggest booth or the most money to decorate it. Not a problem. Plenty of artists make good money during comic and entertainment conventions. So grab some inspiration for your own small business!
How to Use Social Media to Boost Buzz About Your Trade Show Attendance
It’s not enough to just show up at a trade show and expect that everyone will stumble into your booth. You have to go the extra mile and have a smart social media strategy to get the most out of your time at a convention!
Trade Show Exhibitor Secrets from the Pros (C2E2 Edition)
If you like tangible examples with pictures, then this article is for you. Jana went around C2E2 this year to find some of the best booths from the show room floor, took pictures, and breaks down what these exhibitors did right.
We wish all of you a happy 2013, and we’ll see you next year with even more content!
Which of these articles were your favorites? Any missing that you would like to see added to the list?
*Based on comments, social shares, backlinks, and overall enjoyment of writing.