10 Marketing Books You Shouldn't Miss

Books have been a main source of information for a long time and although we can’t exactly say that today, they’re still very important. Lots of people still read books to educate themselves.  Even though the internet is now overshining our good old books, it doesn't mean that there aren't great works of literature anymore. If you keep on walking around the marketing section in your favorite bookstore and you just can't decide which one you should read, here's your new TO READ list.

Maybe one of them is exactly what you're searching for.


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Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz

Breakthrough Advertising

Published in 1966

“The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.”

Breakthrough Advertising is an absolute classic and a must for copywriters, marketing experts and anyone who wants to run a successful business. One of the main messages is that you should always target people who are already interested in your product and not waste your time on convincing someone who does not want it at all. You are going to learn about the very basics of advertising, from discovering the drive behind mass desire to focusing on the customer, to learning multiple techniques that will help you understand the importance of doing it right.

This key quote says it all: “Let’s get to the heart of the matter. The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy. Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exists in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it. Actually, it would be impossible for any one advertiser to spend enough money to actually create this mass desire. He can only exploit it. And he dies when he tried to run against it.”


Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Published in 2013

We’re all exposed to advertising daily. And when I say daily, I mean ALL THE TIME. If we wanted, we could find ads everywhere for everything on the internet.  Not just the ones that pop up in search results, or those video ads that haunt you whenever you try to play a YouTube video. Even an Instagram user posting a picture with his “favorite Nike t-shirt” or a friend of yours telling you about the body lotion from a certain brand…all of them are ads.

Jonah Berger explains what’s behind the curtains of successful advertising, so that you can understand the tricks brands play on you by using ads. Why is it that some ideas just catch on and spread like an infection? This entertaining easy-read book can help you get to the core of advertising, become immune to it and especially, learn how to utilize advertising for your own purposes.

Everybody Writes

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes

Published in 2014

It’s true. Almost Everybody writes today. Whether it’s a book, a blog post, an Instagram caption, an e-mail to actual or potential customers or any kind of website post, most of us simply have to write. And it’s important to know that our words aren’t meaningless and they actually matter a lot. What we write tells people online who we are and it should carry the story we aim to tell.

In marketing, content is necessary. That’s why Ann Handley delivers this content marketing guide full of tips, tools and inspiration. It could educate anyone who’s new to the whole idea of internet storytelling. It might not be useful for experienced writers, but if you want the basics with clear, brief explanations, this book could be the one.

Social Media Success for Every Brand

Social Media Success for Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits by Claire Díaz Ortiz

Social Media Success for Every Brand

Published in 2019


This piece by Claire Díaz Ortiz is a social media success 101. Getting into social media and especially doing social media right can be pretty overwhelming. What should you do to make it work for your purposes without letting it consume too much of your time and energy? Claire, who’s a former Twitter employee, will tell you all about it. 


If you’re just at the beginning, struggling with developing a solid strategy or having trouble organizing your posts, or even if you do know social media, but you lost your inspiration and need new ideas and some good advice, Claire can help.


InstaBrain

InstaBrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z by Sarah Weise

InstaBrain

Published in 2019


How do you sell to the generation of consumers? This book is about the generation that was nursed on the internet and social media. Is there something that most of those, considered to be Generation Z, have in common? What resonates with them? Why does Generation Z answer so well to influencers? Why shouldn’t you overlook the massive potential of Gen Z? Sarah Weise answers all these questions and many more. 


In order to catch the attention of this generation, it’s necessary to develop a whole new marketing strategy. InstaBrain will walk you through the things that bond all these people, where they search for content, why they choose to follow or unfollow, and what pushes them to make the move and buy.

#GetSocialSmar

#GetSocialSmart: How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy by Katie Lance

#GetSocialSmart

Published in 2017


Using social media for business purposes has been a must for quite some time now. But doing it wrong can be a real time consumer. To avoid the mistakes that many beginners do (simply because no-one told them), Katie provides us with this social media guide that has already taught many curious readers how to use social media from scratch. 


In #GetSocialSmart, you’ll receive tips for your own smart social media strategy through all of the biggest social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat. Besides the platform’s functional basics, the pros and cons of each site, #GetSocialSmart contains tips for different types of content. Get inspired with the tips from a Pro.

Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgn

Blue Ocean

Published in 2017


Blue Ocean Shift is the second book in the “Blue Ocean journey”. It is an expansion and update to the ideas mentioned in the previous book. “The Blue Ocean Shift is a roadmap to move you, your team, and your organization to new heights of confidence, market creation and growth.”


Why “Blue Ocean”? In the Blue Ocean strategy, there are red oceans and blue oceans. The Red Ocean represents a zone of fierce competition and no differentiation of value. On the other hand, the Blue Ocean means extra demand. This can be achieved via the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low-cost. Moving from red oceans of bloody competition to blue oceans of uncontested market space is as easy as following a five-step Blue Ocean shift process.

Blue Ocean Strategy


Originals

Originals

Published in 2016

Would you like to know how to go against the flow, bring original ideas to life and master new values? It might be quite risky to get into the uncharted waters, but there is a way to achieve all of this without losing everything. 


Originals will help you tell the difference between a good idea and a bad idea, learn how to navigate a period of uncertainty, make new allies, understand when it is the right time to act, and last but not least, fight your fears and doubts. You will discover the story of a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below and other brave people who rejected conformity and put their opinions and ideas out there.

What Customers Crave

What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas J. Webb

What customers crave

Published in 2016

What do customers crave in today’s hyper-connected and competitive business world? It's true that lots of the old ways of providing customer service, even the ones that used to be the most effective, are failing. The two main questions of this book are: What do your customers love? What do they hate? 

It doesn't matter who your customers are. All that matters is what they want, expect and the fact you can or cannot provide it for them. What Customers Crave is about truly understanding your customer types and helping you create great experiences for all of them across all digital and non-digital channels.

Conversational Marketing

Conversational Marketing: How to Grow Leads, Shorten Sales Cycles, and Improve Your Customers' Experience with Real-Time Conversations

Conversational Marketing

Published in 2019


“How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)”


Are you wondering why lead forms are not as effective as before? Maybe conversational marketing is the answer. People are getting used to it as technology advances. Almost everything a modern user does on the internet nowadays, is real-time. All our actions are instant and we can always see instant feedback. Traditional marketing methods should improve along with technology.

Dave Gerhardt and David Cancel, CEO and founder of Drift, a company which creates messaging software for businesses, talk about how to merge inbound and outbound tactics into a more productive dialog with customers and how to integrate conversational marketing techniques into your existing sales and marketing workflow.




These are 10 of our top suggestions. Of course, there are hundreds upon hundreds of other great books out there, but maybe our list will help you choose your next favorite. Let us know which books have helped you!

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How to Target People According Their Location on Facebook

How do you catch potential customers that are near you? How do you target people according to their location?

Do you have a house to sell and you want to find a buyer in your area? Or do you run a small hot dog stand and want to sell more of your delicious repast? Try to target the people that are near your business!

Is your stock full of T-shirts that say, “I ♥ Boston” and you want to sell them? Target the real Bostonians!

Facebook simply allows you to target people according to their geographic locations. You can sort your audience broadly or very specifically. That means you can target the whole country, state or region, city, zip/postal code, and if you have a store, you can use the option for your very own business address that is to be set on your Business Manager page.

Geo Targeting Options Facebook
Geo Targeting Options on Facebook
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Find Your Customers Where They Truly Are

A  few months ago, I moved to a new flat. Before that, I had been doing thorough research on what part of the city is the most child-friendly in terms of security, what are the prices and how far the flats are from the public transportation. I took many things into consideration before even getting in touch with an agent.

Did I Google things? Of course! Was I keen on reading research on what parts of the city suit my needs? You bet I was! Did I spend some time scrolling on Pinterest for furniture inspiration? Yes, I did.


I was lucky to meet Josh, a real estate agent who has been in the business for some time. We got in touch after I visited his website and read his article about the prediction of real estate prices, plus went through some interesting content on his LinkedIn profile. 


I was astonished by the speed of his reaction. Within two days, I had 5 flats to choose from. And a few days after that, I went to see them all.


What I did, nonetheless, within those two days, was thorough research – again. This time, I examined Josh's Instagram profile and checked out the other flats he had to offer. I read the reviews on his Google listings and read more educating articles on LinkedIn. I am a social media freak and I probably use all of them. But Josh was always there… Offering me exactly what I was looking for. At the exact time I needed it.


What I just described, was a perfect user experience and great customer-centric approach. Josh knew his business would grow if he invested in these channels. He also knew what content to serve on each of them. And I engaged, liked, followed – was totally sold! – Successfully ended my buying journey – call it whatever you want. Josh won. So did I.


Do I live in one of these aforementioned flats today? I surely do and I am happy with my decision.


Reach your customers wherever they spend their time. This is a golden rule Josh and other successful businesses completely abide by. 


The fact that you are missing out on the chance to speak to your customer or potential customer on any channel can only be leveraged by your competitors… If you don't worship the customer-centric approach, they will.

And by customer-centric I mean going beyond on what YOU want to be doing to what a CUSTOMER wants to do – where she spends time, where she expects to get in touch with your business, where she takes out her wallet and pays for goods or services...

We are not talking solely about social media here. Customers visit your store – interact with you personally, get in touch with someone from support or sales, search for a cheaper substitute on Google or Bing and eventually visit your website. To gain trust, users tend to rely on reviews and customer feedback listed on your social media profiles. One customer – multiple channels. And you'd better be on all of them.


Customer Interact with Multiple Channels
Your Customer Interacting with Multiple Channels



Every touchpoint matters. Everyone builds the complete image of you through your customers' eyes. And everyone determines whether a customer chooses you instead of your competitors.


In 2018, the average time spent daily on social media was 136 minutes. That is more than 2 hours of one's precious time. And more than 2 hours for you to catch their attention with what you have to offer.


What you can count on, is the fact that they will search for products like yours. And if they don't find you, they will buy somewhere else…

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Do Your Marketing Right in 2020

Marketing is an ever-changing field and the methods that work aren’t usually long term. Are you having a hard time navigating the latest trends and the most efficient ways to optimize your content? Don’t worry, because most people struggle with the exact same thing. Here are 10 up-to-date tips for online marketing.

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7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert

We have all been there- investing into an ad that simply does not convert! We spend hours trying to figure out where the pain point lies and NOT being able to get it right… Your goal, as a business owner or marketer, is to get the most out of the investment that you put into any marketing campaign, right? Marketers call it the ROAS – return on ad spend. We are lucky to cooperate with many businesses that continually generate revenue on Facebook and, thus, grow their business. Thanks to this valuable data, we are able to bring you the 7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert. Let's dive in!


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Marketing Funnel Explained (for Non-Marketers)

Have you ever wondered if the journey of your customer is trackable or even viewable? I have good news for you – it is. You can – in many cases – track how many people know about your business, how many of them consider purchasing your goods and, of course, how many already bought and referred your product to a friend. Being able to view the customer journey, optimise its steps and analyze your efforts is crucial for any kind of business. Trust me, the size does not matter (in this case). Every business should do it.


Marketing funnel is a term that resonates with the majority of marketers. They tend to use this model to illustrate the customer journey – from brand discovery to purchase. As stated, measuring every step of the funnel brings you a much better overview of your efforts and, thus, a higher return on investment, which is your goal, isn't it? The more you can get out of every stage of your customer's journey, the better the results are in terms of number count or revenue.


Let's say your customer journey has three main phases:


Three main phases of the customer journey (attention, consideration, decision)
The Three Main Phases of Customer Journey

Please note that in this case we don't cover the scenarios that happen after the purchase is made (retention funnel).


Each stage represents a different behaviour stage of your potential customer. Say she has a problem which she is able to name. She begins to search for a solution – which you offer with your product or service. As soon as she discovers your business – among others – offers the solution she is already in the awareness stage.


Your presentation, product, its price and other factors determine whether she will move further on the journey. The consideration stage, needless to say, is a phase in which a potential customer already considers your product, is comparing it to your competitors and is aware of its pros and cons.


Decision. That's the phase we aim for. We want her to buy our product, right? That's when a decision is made. In this stage, your potential customer has already conducted the research, has chosen you over your competitors and is happy to buy what you have to offer


We just described (in a very simple way) what a customer journey can look like. Sometimes it takes weeks to guide her through all stages of the journey, sometimes it is a matter of minutes. Imagine yourself buying a coffee in the city center. You probably don't do any thorough research, but you certainly look for coffee quality and price. You don't spend days comparing the product to other cafés or bars. You make the decision according to a few key factors. Your journey is fast and your decision is made pretty quickly. But it does not mean the café owner should not pay attention to the key factors, like what the café window looks like, or if their prices are reasonable, as it influences the customer's journey.


The customer journey can easily be viewed as a funnel. Therefore, marketers use it to analyze their efforts. To explain the basic idea behind the marketing funnel, let's use the widely-known model AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Each of these phases represent a stage in which you might find your customers. 


Obviously, your ultimate goal is to guide them through the stages without friction and in the shortest time possible. 


Let us look at an example of a basic marketing funnel:


AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

People obviously start at the top – marketers call it the top funnel. This represents the awareness stage. As customers move further in the funnel, they know more about you and your offer and start, as well as continue to consider it more and more. 


Here is what a perfect marketing funnel would look like:


Example of a Perfect Marketing Funnel

This would mean that everyone who discovers your product will decide to purchase. Going back to our example, 100% of the people who enter your café will buy a coffee. Of course, that's a seller's utopia. In an ideal world, this would work, not in the real one.


Your task is to carefully measure your funnel and optimize its steps.


Let's finally give a more concrete example of what a marketing funnel can look like in your case. Say you run a real estate business, and aim to attract potential house buyers with your website. That's also where you generate leads that you can then convert. Your main channels would be:

  • social media or ads on Google or Youtube
  • a website
  • a chat or phone call


You would try to attract as many people as possible with your marketing budget and lead them to your website to show all the products or services you have. After they land on the website, ideally you want them to fill out a form, in case, they are interested in a particular offer. As soon as they do so, you connect with them via phone or email and find out whether their interest can lead to a conversion. 


This is what your funnel would look like:

Example of Marketing Funnel

Let's do some math now. Say your marketing efforts help you reach 10,000 people with your ad. 3% of them interact with your ad and visit your website. That would mean you have 300 people on your website, right? 


How many of these people are you able to convert into leads? That depends on how your website attracts its users and how juicy your offer is, doesn't it? Let's say you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of website visitors convert into leads). In this case, you would have 30 leads waiting to be contacted. 


How many of them can you convert into sales? Again, factors like your response time, will play their role now. If you made it to 50%, you just made 15 sales. Now go back and think about what can be improved...


You can see that there are more factors that influence the efficiency of your funnel (and your efforts). One bit of advice would be: measure each step of the funnel, focus on the customer and do your best to improve the areas where it falters! 


Going back to our example, simply by making your ad more appealing, you can increase your outcome from 3% to 6% which (if other metrics don't change) make 30 sales at the end of the day! Improve your website from 10% conversion rate to 15% and you almost hit the sky… You know where I am heading, right?


You may be wondering where you can get all of this data? Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager or our own app that simplifies the process of ad management, can give you great insights into how many people you reached, how many of them interacted with your content, how many made it to the website and finally, how many were converted into leads. There is a plethora of ways to measure your marketing funnel – the customer journey. Even a piece of paper and good data sources can create miracles… 


One thing is for sure: if you don't measure your efforts carefully, you may be investing money and energy into something which does not bring you results at all.


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No Professional Stuff. Be Natural. Leverage INSTASTORIES.

I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?

Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing

In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:

AirBnB Instastory
AirBnB Instastory

Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.

But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.

Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.

Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.

Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?

  1. The premise is: You already have your business/ personal Instagram account (if not, get one).
  2. Visit the Instagram app and tap your icon (with the + sign) on the top panel/ or simply swipe right.
  3. The interface where you create Instastories will open up. Choose either to make a picture, create a video or choose any of your pictures/ videos in your gallery. The options you have when it comes to content creation are hundreds (check out all the features like Boomerang, Live Stream, polls or uploading Gifs to your story).
  4. After you are done, click “Send to” and choose either your Instastory platform (yes, this is the one) or send it to some of your friends/ followers.
  5. Done. Your Instastory will now be public. Make sure to check the results afterwards. You can see who watched your story (within the first 24 hours of posting it) and how they reacted.

You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.

There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…

Key takeways:

  • Instastories offer an opportunity to reach out to your audience — potential customers/ followers.
  • Be yourself! Be natural and spontaneous, when creating Instastories.
  • Do not insist on the best-of-breed equipment — less is sometimes more.
  • Follow the 5 steps stated above to get started with Instastories.
  • Inspire yourself with our Series of great examples of Instastories.
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