This year, Red Palm has generated 44,082 leads YTD.  That didn’t come on accident.  At Red Palm, we spend alot of our day researching, reading, and scouring over a wide variety of business marketing articles.  Usually, this is based on our need to satisfy a pressing marketing issue or roadblock we are working through.  Searching for articles for a specific problem usually leads us down a series of rabbit holes where we find ourselves enthralled in a variety of topics ranging from DIY email campaigns to the latest in Python code to keep our proprietary API’s in top condition.  To save you the burden of going down all those rabbit holes, we’ve compiled a list of the best Business Marketing Articles we have found so far in 2022.  Hope they provide you some insight or aha’s for your next marketing campaign.

Our List of Best Business Marketing Articles:

Best Free CRM’s on the Market Today

When it comes to LeadGen, sales teams need a portal to keep up with the incoming leads, status and movement down the funnel.  Depending on the needs of your company you may only need a simple dashboard.  Mature sales teams may want a more complicated system that includes email lead nurturing and document creation.  If you are just starting off with marketing campaigns, you do not need an expensive CRM system (save that money for your Quickbooks!).    To get you started off on the right system, here is an article by Forbes that lists some super CRM’s that won’t break the bank.  (and we like all the ones on the list!).

Not on this list, are CRM’s that our largest Franchisors use, and CRM’s that we give a thumbs up on for ease of use and access to information.

  • FranConnect – No frills CRM system.  Easy to use and navigate.
  • FranchiseSoft – Similar to FranConnect with a more Modern GUI.

Latest in Google My Business

This year saw one of the biggest changes in GMB.  You can now manage your business profile right from the search page!  Don’t worry, if you are accustomed to using the main dashboard, you can still access your listing via the Google Business Profile Manager.  Good news for those that manage multiple locations.  Even better news for those business with one single location.

Google PPC On a Brink of Implosion

Each quarter, we get a call from Facebook “Strategists” and Google “Digital Account Strategists”, for every account we work on.  With our client list, that’s alot of calls requesting a quarterly meeting!  Fortunately, they all rattle off the current quarter’s marching orders from their respective platforms and do everything they can to get us to comply with their latest trends – not always a win-win for our clients or their ROI’s.  A great feature or update, does not necessarily mean a great tactic to employ.

For example, 2QTR22, Google was all about their new Performance Max Campaigns.  A super charged type of ads campaign that combines Search, Video and Display into one.  Sounds better then creating three different campaigns, right?  Wrong!  The problem we ran into (with over 27 PMax campaigns) is that there are no controls over the campaigns.  You are basically letting Google run away with your money without any boundaries in place.  Excluded Placements? Nope.  Negative Keyword Lists?  Nope.  Just a bunch of spam leads coming into all our websites (making high conversion counts erroneous).  Sorry Google, new agency policy: no Performance Max Campaigns here without controls and boundaries in place.

If you are interested in the other recent Google updates, check out this article.  Which also covers another not so good idea – Google’s aggressive move toward broad keywords.  Yikes!

8 Google Ads Updates & Tips to Know in 2022

Latest in Facebook Business Manager

This year not only saw the change in name from Facebook to Meta, but an assortment of policy updates and changes.  Some help you cast a wider net with your paid media advertising, and some tighten the net up.  Some of the hightlights that directly affected our ads include:

  • 20% Text rule on images is gone!  Yeah!  This may not seem like a big deal, but if you are showing the inside of your restaurant with a menu board, that image may not have gotten approved.  The photo of your staff standing in front of your fleet of vehicles with writing on the vehicles will now get approved!  We are re-excited about showcasing store signage as part of our franchise marketing efforts.
  • The Leads database has been moved out of the normal “fan page” and into Business Manager.  This move came with the promise of easier permission grants, but is still thwart with a clunky set of permissions that is very different from client to client.
  • The Meta Business Suite is still in Beta testing, or as my team calls it (the black Facebook screen since the menus are all in black).  Every day, new features seem to pop up in here mostly related to reports and publishing features.  However, the best settings still need to be changed in the Meta Business Settings (the white Facebook Screen).  Unfortunately, most Facebook knowledgebase articles aren’t as up to speed with the changes and can cause frustration for DIY clients.

For more info on recent Facebook Business Manager changes, check out this article:

Facebook Developer Tools

This year, API Facebook developers (like Red Palm Marketing) underwent quite a few changes integrating with Facebook.  The first was authenticating the use of Data we export from Facebook.  The other was an API update to version 14.0.  For those of you interested in the geeky side of marketing, here’s a great writeup on the subject from Social Media Today:

Facebook Special Categories

Last year, Facebook implemented Special Ad Categories.  Forcing certain ads to being categorized in protected classes (ie:  Housing, Employment, Credit and Politics) or else ads won’t run.  For whatever reason, Facebook has determined that franchise advertising is an Employment type of ad.  Seriously?  It’s a financial product.  Your sandbox, your rules.

Fortunately, 90% of advertisers won’t need to worry about special categories.  However, I’ve seen a higher rate of increase of rejected ads that aren’t categorized.   Ad content is becoming more and more bland to comply with Facebook’s increasingly strict policies.

In the past couple of months, we have seen our general contractor clients’ ads being rejected in Google as violating “housing policies”.  Guess Google is right on the heels with Facebook on special categories.

Does Linked In Marketing work?

Only if you have deep pockets.  Very deep pockets.  It also depends on who your target market is.  If your target market is sales-associated people or job hunters, who are on LinkedIn regularly, then it may work out well for you.  If not, it’s a crap shoot (my fav Vegas game, btw).  I have a high risk tolerance, and enjoy a quick trip to the craps table a couple of times a year.  But unless you have the money to burn, please don’t go this route alone.

In our experience, highly successful business owners spend very little time on Social Media, if at all.  If they do, it’s rarely on LinkedIn answering paid inMails based on their job title.

This article sums it up very well:

Optimize – Optimize – Optimize!

When you first start out with a marketing campaign, it’s like throwing Spaghetti against the wall, hoping something (ANYTHING) will stick.  That’s the brave part.  Then comes the fun part, optimizing those campaigns and improving on what does work, incorporating new ideas, and quickly trashing what isn’t working.  Optimize your email campaigns, websites, landing pages, Ads content and creative, and yes, optimize your targeting.  The best voice on this topic is my dear friend Brian Massey founder of Conversion Sciences, who has literally written the book on this topic:

Your Customer Creation Equation by Brian Massey


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