You’re not in business just for fun. You’re in business because you think you have a great product or service to offer. But what good is this aforementioned product or service if it’s unknown to your target market of consumers?
That’s why creating and implementing a marketing plan is so important. It helps to get the word out about your offerings so you can start generating leads and ideally, creating revenue. But marketing isn’t easy, especially if you’re a small company or start-up without capital to fall back on.
For small businesses, the marketing plan needs to be targeted, detailed and set up to succeed. It’s something that’s much easier said than done. The good news is that there’s no shortage of resources for marketing professionals to tap into for inspiration. Here’s a look at some of the best marketing books we’d recommend checking out today.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases
and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (David Meerman Scott)
The title says it all when it comes to this book. Essentially, it’s a comprehensive guide on how to use a variety of new-age marketing tactics to build your business, generate leads and speak right to your existing or prospective customers. The book is written in an easy-to-understand manner, and many of the tactics are presented in a how-to style. Readers can take these steps to begin implementing the various strategies.
One of the best ways to market a business is through online content. However, in order to optimize this online content and get it to rank high in search engines, it’s imperative to write with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. That’s the big takeaway from this book – it’ll show small businesses how to ensure that their websites are being found.
The nice thing about social media marketing is that it doesn’t just provide an affordable opportunity for purchasing digital ads and generating reliable leads. When done correctly, your brand’s social media pages on various platforms can help build a community. Today, many companies have dedicated social media managers. You don’t necessarily need to go that far, but Mark Smith’s book can help you cover the basics when it comes to building your brand on social media.
Ideally, you’ll get a nice return on investment from your marketing budget. But Pulizzi’s book has insight on how to turn your company’s marketing into a “profit center.” The book covers best practices for attracting and keeping customers, mixing new-age marketing with traditional marketing mediums, and balancing paid and earned social media. Pulizzi shares success stories from the likes of Red Bull, Johnson & Johnson, Disney and other companies that have accomplished these goals.
Unlike many of the other books on this list, Kolenda’s popular Methods of Persuasion text examines the psychological aspect of building relationships with customers. Kolenda’s book consists of seven parts, each of which is dedicated to a particular strategy to help persuade people into doing business with you and your company. The book doesn’t cover the x’s and o’s of marketing so much as it takes a hard look at human behavior and emotion. Then, it details what your company can do to tap into it.
What’s the ultimate goal of any marketing plan that your business initiates? Leads! And not just any leads – but interested, quality leads. Brooks walks readers through digital marketing strategies and explains how to generate more website traffic and more leads. He also discusses how to build a marketing campaign, attract and evaluate leads, and retain customers.
Small Business Marketing for Dummies (Barbara Findlay Schenck)
This book isn’t for everyone, but if you’re still very new to marketing, then Small Business Marketing for Dummies is a nice overview. The text covers the basics of building a business, from how to communicate with customers and set up a social media plan to budgeting for a marketing campaign and assessing what technologies you should be using. The book also comes with a disc that includes templates to help get you started.
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions (Guy Kawasaki)
We’ll round out this list with a book that communicates a theme more powerful than marketing: enchantment. Written by renowned business guru Guy Kawasaki, the book covers how to truly connect with others, enchant them and build your business accordingly.
So what’s your marketing plan? How are you going to attract consumers and manage leads? A good CRM software program can help with the latter, but it’s up to you to formulate a plan to bring in prospects. The marketing books we’ve shared here can give you the inspiration and ideas to help you get started. Now it’s up to you to follow through with the rest.