If you’re a good business owner, you want to know a bit about every aspect of your business. While the many ins and outs of marketing can seem daunting, there are plenty of resources available that make it a breeze to learn at a base level, so long as you’re willing to put in the time.
Learn Small Business Marketing
The rules are different for small businesses, but the playing field has never been more level. By leveraging the unique opportunities available to small businesses, you can grow and thrive.
1) Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
Small businesses need to think outside of the box if they want to grow on a budget. Sometimes a bit of clever thinking can do more good than a looser wallet.
2) Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
Primarily about service industry marketing with lessons that stretch far beyond. I first read this book my senior year of high school and it completely changed the way I thought about marketing.
3)Why we Buy by Paco Underhill
A must-read for anyone that has a storefront or ships products. After reading this, I began noticing the intentional ways supermarkets and large retailers were laid out to facilitate purchasing- and conversely began noticing what many small businesses were doing that were shooting themselves in the foot.
4) Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
The science of marketing and how companies win space in our mind. This book has lots of very cool anecdotes that’ll stick with you- my favorite being how anti-smoking ads have the opposite of their intended affect.
5) Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
Learn how to build a brand for your business and yourself. Some sound advice, actionable tips, and a refreshingly optimistic tone.
Learn Digital Advertising
Once you gain some familiarity with the various digital platforms, you’ll be kicking yourself for all that money you spent on newspaper ads and direct mailers.
Before you can dive too deep into digital advertising you have to have a solid foundation in Google Analytics. This certification course is relatively short and simple, and provides tons of useful information on how to set up and gain insights from Analytics.
Whether you just want a bit of info on Google Ads or would like to get your certification, this is where to go. From how to make ads that convert to setting up a remarketing campaign, this is a great resource.
Easy to understand and with actionable tips, this guide is a must for a general overview of the Facebook Ads platform and how to set up campaigns to succeed.
Courses offered by Facebook to help marketers get started with Facebook Ads. These courses are significantly more involved than the Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising listed above. If you want to become a Facebook Ads power user, Facebook Blueprint is for you.
Some words of caution on automated bidding systems on the internet. When setting up certain campaigns, one must be wary of the potential for costly fraudulent clicks.
Learn Social Media
No introduction is needed for the importance of Social Media. For most any business, it is already a staple of their marketing strategy. If your business is a behind, the following resources should help you get caught up.
1) The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki
A good read for the utterly uninitiated. If you have a bit of experience in the basics of most popular platforms, this book can be skipped. Also to note, only buy the digital version to take advantage of the hyperlinked examples throughout the book.
2) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
If you’re okay with more than a few profanities and want to learn how to grow organically on social media platforms, this book is for you. Couple this book with research into Gary’s current social media standing across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube- he is taking all of his own advice and succeeding tremendously.
All three of these have regularly updated blogs with tons of great information, and Duct Tape Marketing has been my favorite podcast since high school.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your web site to better rank in search engines. It is a field that requires digital acumen, copywriting expertise, and a very keen eye. I would recommend the following three resources, ranked in the order you should attempt them.
Provides a very brief overview into what SEO is as well as a chart with different factors that affect rank. After glancing over this, begin the Beginner’s Guide to SEO below and start connecting the dots.
A surface-level overview of the different main factors of SEO. This guide is by no means complete, but offers a better ground floor exploration of SEO than any other I’ve found. After using this guide you will have enough information to make minor changes to your site and conceptually understand the work that SEOs you hire will be doing- as well as notice if a SEO is giving you incorrect information.
Described aptly as the most extensive and detailed guide of SEO techniques currently in existence, and that’s a pretty darn good description. Only go through this guide after completing and fully understanding the Beginner’s Guide listed above, and only if you are ready to take quite a bit of time and effort to understand the different parts of it.
About the Author
Baylen McCarthy is a marketing consultant and travel blogger based in Hampton Roads, Virginia. His work includes web design, search engine optimization, and digital advertising services, among other marketing solutions. If you’re interested in getting in touch with Baylen, shoot him an email or leave him a message.