This Marketing Advice Round Up is Filled With 78 Actionable Tips from Over 40 Books
I recently set out to read over 100 books in a year.
40 of those books were on the subject of marketing. I took notes on every single one, and I wanted to share all the key takeaways so that other small and medium-sized businesses can benefit.
I’ll include 78 tips and key takeaways. Read on to see my favorite books at the end, and I’ll link to books when I cite something specific.
Who’s This Post For?
•Small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for marketing takeaways.
•Marketing department employees/managers.
Even if 95% is obvious and more of a review, there could be 4-5 takeaways that make a significant impact.
Without further ado, here are the key takeaways.
78 Marketing Tips (2021)
1. Businesses focus too much on buzz, but not enough on engagement, relationships and trust.
2. Business is the art of providing value to your clients.
3. Encourage and facilitate honest feedback from customers and clients.
This will help you find future direction and you can address complaints and suggestions directly and openly
4. Commit to replying to EVERY comment and review.
Good or bad, interesting or ordinary, don’t let anyone feel frustrated because they received no response.
5. There are 6 basic emotional needs: security, variety (absence of boredom), significance, love and connection, contribution (helping others), and growth
(How To Write A Good Advertisement: A Short Course In Copywriting)
6. Where does your target customer spend their time? In Facebook groups? In forums? On Pinterest?
7. What keeps your target market up at night? What are they afraid of? What are they angry about? What are their daily frustrations?
8. Don’t spend marketing dollars talking at your audience before you listen.
8. What do they stand to lose if they don’t choose your business?
Get better and better at articulating this message over time.
9. EVERY time someone e-mails you add it to your database.
10. You need attention, interest, desire, credibility, and action.
The traditional AIDA principle, but credibility is key as well.
11. Plan the longevity of a campaign early on: and have a big picture in mind.
Think of Geico’s gecko or All State’s mayhem.
12. Make it as easy as possible to buy from you.
Cash only, minimum credit card $10,and long online forms make the buying process more challenging and can kill sales
13. A person is 21 times more likely to purchase from someone they’ve bought from in the past vs one they haven’t.
14. What else could you sell to your buyers?
What’s their next logical purchase? Amazon’s “buyers who bought X also bought Y” is VERY powerful
16. What gets measured gets managed.
You need to keep track of your numbers, otherwise you’re just guessing and hoping to stumble toward success. Definitely measure leads and conversion rates.
17. Measure churn rate.
Churn rate: the percentage of recurring customers that cancel subscriptions or stop buying from you.
18. It’s useful to know how many customers are promoters, passive, or detractors
How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague? 9-10 promoter. 7-8 passive, 0-6 detractor. (The One Page Marketing Plan)
19. Viral growth strategies can lead to fast growth
(Refer a friend and you both get $10 after they make their first purchase)
20. Quality and great service are vague. Get specific about what sets you apart.
Use actual numbers any time you can. Don’t say we’ve served many clients, say “we’ve served over 700 happy clients”.
21. If they’re able to do an apples to apples comparison, it will often come down to price
There’s always someone willing to go out of business faster than you.
22. Don’t just talk about what they’re buying, talk about the RESULT they’re buying.
23. Be skeptical of anyone who says they can deliver overnight results.
If a marketing could easily tell precisely what would work for a company right off the bat, they’d be billionaires. Some level of testing, growth, and adapting is always part of the process.
24. Tell stories in your marketing. Include vivid details.
Talk about texture, touch, and smell.
25. Try this exercise: describe your brand in only 5 words.
26. Communicate your company’s values.
Show what you believe in and what you care about. Include real-world examples of how you’re carrying out those values.
27. Scott’s lawn care launched an amazing marketing initiative. They came out with a lawn care newsletter that had useful tips on lawn care for all seasons and climates.
It was a large initiative, but it was very useful and popular and it increased their sales.
28. Create something someone would pay for, but give it away for free as a reward for joining a newsletter/email list.
29. The voice of your blog or social media presence should closely match the voice of your company and brand.
They need to be strategic and aligned.
30. No one talks about marketing content that is boring, corporate, and safe.
31. People who are passionate and affluent are great customers.
Golfers are a great example of this.
32. You need to be able to explain your core difference between others in your industry in one sentence.
33. What was missing from the world until your business came around?
34. Jeep was able to run an ad that got to the emotional core of why people buy their product.
They didn’t ask, what do you want in a Jeep? They asked for stories. They asked for peoples’ first experiences with a car. They wanted memories and the emotional core.
35. People tend to establish buying patterns and stick to them.
When we’ve just moved or when starting a new family, we’re establishing a new pattern. This presents an enormous opportunity for companies.
36. Slack created a platform where it was better when your friends were a part of it.
They first targeted early adopters who liked being first. They then let them know it worked so much better if they’re friends joined and got them to recruit their friends. (This is Marketing)
37. A very common thing people think: Do people like me buy this type of thing or behave in this way.
Don’t mess with Texas anti-litter campaign was effective by telling people that people like them didn’t litter.
38. People want to be a part of something. They don’t want to fall behind or be left out.
How can you make people feel like they’re a part of something larger with your material?
39. Storytelling can create tension. People have a strong desire to see that tension relieved.
This is key to keeping people engaged in your content. There’s so many other choices of what people can consume.
40. The mass market tends to want something different than the early adopters want.
If you only listen to the feedback of the early adopters, you’re going to make changes that the mass market doesn’t care about or doesn’t want.
41. It’s key to know the precise lifetime value of a customer.
42. Never stop giving time and effort to your biggest, most loyal fans. They’ll go away if you ignore them.
43. The easiest sales are not always the most important ones.
The quality of customers and customer relationship matters. Certain toxic customers can be poison for your business.
44. Statistics and figures are more memorable if you can find ways to more visually represent the numbers.
46. Be both authentic and believable in your marketing.
People can tell if you’re exaggerating or being inauthentic.
47. For ranking on Google:
•Read the #1 result for what’s ranking for your search phrase. Can you write or create something even better?
•Https is better for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
•Include your keyword at the beginning of your title.
•Create rich pins that link to your website and blog posts.
•Your url should include your keywords.
48. Can you be the best on the web in your niche?
If not, you may need to drill down to a more specific audience or segment.
49. Educate people on what your industry or competitors do poorly.
Don’t take cheap shots, but also explain the problems and issues with your industry as well as the way you’re different.
50. If you confuse you lose.
We think people will become curious and want to learn more if they are confused, instead, they just will leave.
51. Your customer should the hero of the stories you tell, not your brand.
We want to be the hero’s guide and compel them toward action on their journey.
52. People should know what you’re about within 5 seconds of visiting your website.
53. Who is the biggest influencer in your industry and space?
Don’t copy them, but also look into what they’re doing well and the ways they are connecting with their audience.
54. You need to weep before you can make audience weep. You need to be down to earth and in touch.
55. The affluent are usually much more careful buyers. They need more persuasion and more facts.
56. It can often take 35 weeks for a blog post to fully rank.
57. Dig your well before you are thirsty
Establish relationships with bloggers and podcasters early on. Follow them, buy from them, and establish a relationship. Have the relationships in place so when you need something from them, it’s already in place.
58. A few google ranking factors to be aware of:
•Keywords in body.
•Time on site.
•Number of images.
•Overuse of ads.
•No follow and do follow backlinks.
(Have a question about what one of these means? Leave a comment and I’ll respond or write a new article.)
59. Don’t be afraid to compliment your competitors, as long as you can show why you’re even better.
60. Don’t fight against peoples’ pre-conceptions. You need to work within the framework of what they already believe.
61. 60% of our audience don’t read past the headline.
62. People love seeing children, babies, mothers, animals, and food.
63. Show your product in use, not just a picture of it sitting there.
Better yet, show a video of it in use.
64. Look at your own email inbox, write down what piques your interest and guides you to click.
Looking for inspiration is incredibly important.
65. Your marketing goal is only as powerful as your commitment to it.
66. What’s the core of your product or idea? How much can be wrung out of the idea before it loses its essence?
67. Too many choices causes anxiety for people.
Keep things simple. Have a few great options.
68. When you talk about your story, do so in a way where the reader/listener can put themselves in your shoes.
69. Explain new concepts by connecting them to concepts that people already know.
The phrase “it’s kind of like” is useful for drawing parallels.
70. Whose opinions and perceptions does your audience care about?
If you’re getting endorsements or doing partnerships, this is important to know.
71. Look at the reviews of Amazon books in your sector.
This will tell you the topics people care about and the comments will demonstrate their questions and frustrations.
72. We wouldn’t make a key and then try to find a lock that will fit with it.
Seth Godin (This is marketing)
Don’t do the same thing with your product or your marketing efforts.
73. We can’t change everyone. We can only change a small group of people.
74. In your blogs, make your subheadings tell their own story.
75. The captions under pictures get read more than body copy
MORE PEOPLE WILL READ THIS CAPTION vs other parts of your article
76. Think of how a gripping TV show tells a story (when you’re telling your story).
There’s cliffhangers, there’s an overall message and story. There’s repeat characters and plot lines. Tell your brand’s story the same way.
77. Here’s a list of over 100 email spam words.
84. The most important priorities: #1 keeping existing customers #2 Selling more to existing customers #3 Selling to new customers
78. The number one focus should be strong, long term customer relationships on social media.
Conclusion: This 2020 marketing takeaway roundup is just the jumping off point.
We covered a lot of content on ways to connect with your audience, tell stories, rank on Google, blog, and conduct social media.
I’m guessing you have questions.
Maybe there is a term you didn’t understand, maybe there was an idea you’d love to hear more about…I’d love to know.
Check out my ultimate guide to each of the marketing platforms
If you are interested in learning more about Facebook ads, check out this free Facebook ads strategy course and prepare to take yourself from beginner to expert in just 2 hours.
1 The 1‑Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand-Out From the Crowd
– Allan Dib
2 Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
3 Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too
4 Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
6 YouTube Growth Hacking: How to Drive Massive Traffic to Your Channel and Turn them Into Rabid Fans
7 Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
8 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
-Al Ries and Jack Trout
9 The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users
-Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
10 The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come
11 Scientific Advertising
Claude C. Hopkins
12 No B.S. Guide to Brand-Building by Direct Response: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Creating and Profiting from a Powerful Brand Without Buying It
13 The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells
14 The Boron Letters
-Gary C. Halbert
15 Fill Your Funnel: Selling with Social Media
-Dan Portik and Tom Hopkins
16 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
-Chip Heath and Dan Heath
17 If You’re Not First, You’re Last: Sales Strategies to Dominate Your Market and Beat Your Competition
18 Brian Tracy Success Series: MARKETING
19 Permission Marketing
20 This is Marketing
21 Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers
22 How to Write a Good Advertisement
-Victor O. Schwab
23 Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media
24 Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice
25 Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams
26 My Life in Advertising
-Claude C. Hopkins
27 #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness
28 Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
29 Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money
30 DotComSecrets The Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online
31 Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing: How to Stop Wasting Your Time on Things That Don’t Work and Start Doing What Does
-Jessica Higdon and Ray Higdon
32 The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
-Clayton M. Christensen
33 Passive Income Ideas: 50 Ways to Make Money Online Analyzed
– Michael Ezeanaka
34 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
35 The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
36 Blue Ocean Strategy
-Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
37 The Thank You Economy
38. The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
39. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
40. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?