Marketing Books to Read in 2018 (from Entrepreneur)

This week we are sharing a post by John Rampton that was published by Entrepreneur.com. It’s one of our favorite topics – great marketing books and there are some top-notch recommendations on this page. Please check it out. If you’ve been nice this year there are still a few days left to include some of these titles on your Christmas list…

Here’s the article. Happy reading!

Why Use Video Marketing for Your Small Business?

Welcome to our first guest blog, written by Nicole Standish of Charm Digital Media. Enjoy this article and let us know what you learned in the comments below!

Videos are some of the most effective marketing tools today. Customers find them attractive, relatable, and relevant. They are highly effective at capturing and retaining the client’s attention. Small Businesses especially can benefit from the value and engagement that video provides.

So, how can this form of marketing be useful to your small business?

Boosting Conversion Rates and Sales

Using a targeted video content strategy, you will not struggle to boost your conversion rates and sales. Therefore, be ready to make serious money and become wildly popular. A landing page that contains a video is capable of increasing conversions by as much as 80 percent.

Amazing ROIs

Videos offer amazing returns on investment (ROI). They guarantee the best results based on what you spend. They are a worthy investment when done correctly. All it takes is a bit of planning, a great video marketing team, and a smartphone to begin seeing your conversions soar.

Research shows that businesses publish on average 18 videos per month according to this HubSpot Infographic. That is close to 1 video per work day. Do not, however, place too much emphasis on producing perfect videos. Instead, focus on the content and solving problems for your target audience.

Building Trust with Clients

Videos are perfect for building trust with your customers. Most times, clients find it easier to relate with brands that produce videos. Trust is the foundation of any business relationship, especially if you are a small business that is just getting acquainted with your buyers. To do this,  Use video to highlight your team, show your community involvement, outline your mission and vision as a company, and show off your well-earned testimonials. 

Search Engines Love Videos

Google – and all the other major search engines – love videos. They reward marketers who use videos to pass messages across. Visitors on your site tend to spend more time browsing through your pages while engaged in one of your videos, improving your reach and validating your relevance to search engines. 

The likelihood of showing on the first results page increases 53 times when you feature videos.

Popular with Mobile Phone Users

Mobile users love videos. Today, there is a 233% increase in mobile video views. Businesses can take advantage of this trend and reach people on their mobile devices, while they are at work or at leisure. Video is the easiest content to consume on a smartphone or smaller device.

Tip: Include text in your video as many viewers watch with the sound off.

Videos are Ideal for Explanations

You have a higher and better chance of reaching out to your customers with a message they understand when using videos to explain your product, service or process.Explainer videos are popular with more than 98% of all video viewers, meaning they value the effort that you are taking to produce the videos and provide the answers they are looking for.

There are many ways to create an entertaining explainer video. If your subject is difficult to explain and low on the likeability scale, you can easily narrate or animate your videos to add more emotion or pizzaz. Use emotion, drama or humor to draw in your audience and keep them engaged.

Popular with Lazy Buyers

Today, your business will engage with many lazy buyers. Such buyers are a difficult lot to market to without videos. They are not interested in your long-form content, they want to know quickly and easily how your product or service can solve their problems. Video allows them to listen or watch while they are multi-tasking. Additionally, video gives them a deeper glimpse into your businesses without needing to visit your about us page, removing another click in their buyers’ journey.

Vidoe Marketing For Small Businesses = Conversions & ROI

If you have small businesses or any business for that matter, video can work for you. Using a mix of written and video content, you will surely attract more customers and do so in the way they feel the most comfortable engaging with your brand. There really isn’t a down-side to video marketing. Video marketing is affordable, easy to produce and has outstanding ROI. 

Nicole Standish is the President of Charm Digital Media.  As a digital media consultant, Nicole helps businesses attract and convert online business.  Nicole evaluates existing digital resources and strategies; develops campaigns to reach targeted audiences, and optimizes marketing channels to reach and exceed sales goals. Follow Charm Digital Media on Facebook at Charm Digital Media and Twitter at @CharmThem

Interested in learning more about video marketing? Comment on this post or subscribe to our digital marketing blog – The Content Catch Up! 

 

Tell Me a Story

It’s no secret that we are attached to our phones and other electronic devices. In fact, a recent study in the UK found that most people would rather give up the following as long as they got to keep their smart phone: sex, shoes, house keys, their partner, alcohol, a car, and… get ready for it… JOY. Let that sink in for a minute. People would forfeit joy if it meant they got to keep their phone.

Ok. So, we can accept that electronic devices are not going away anytime soon. But what does that really mean to you and your business? If you’re in the market of selling something – pretty much anything – you need to reach the people who are on those devices. And that means that you have to find something interesting to say – and a way to say it – on a consistent basis.

It’s not enough to write an article or blog post one time and call it a day. In this crowded but all-important digital space you have to learn how to define your company’s story and how to tell that story in an impactful way.

And just what that way is depends on your business. You have to know your customers and find out where they’re hanging out online, then find a way to be in that space in some meaningful way.

Across the board you’ll find that people tend to spend the most time on social media sites. Most of us are on these sites 1-2 hours a day, and for many it’s a lot more than that. This means that if you’re in business it’s a good idea to have a social media presence that people find interesting and engaging. Depending on your sales cycle or type of service people may or may not purchase from you right away, but staying top of mind is worth the investment of maintaining an active presence.

Also, speaking in general terms, YouTube is a site that cannot be ignored. Not only is the YouTube search engine second in size only to Google, but the platform is growing at mind-numbing speeds. At this point in time 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute. It’s important to have a presence here for all sorts of reasons (Google the statistics on the percentage of people who would prefer to watch a video about a product or service instead of reading about it). But it’s even more important that you have a message that will get noticed among all of that clutter in the YouTube space.

At the end of the day, people want to be entertained, but they also want to be smarter about all kind of topics, especially if getting to that place of being smarter is fun and easy to understand.

So, please, make story part of your strategy and use videos to help engage your audience too, but make sure you’re doing so in .an interesting and consistent manner, and preferably one that brings value to your clients. People are always up for a good story. You just have to figure out the right way to tell yours.

Elin Barton is the President of White Knight Productions and the host of the podcast, Ready, Set, Grit.  Her first book, Ready, Set, Grit: How to Turn Your Daydream Into a Phenomenal Success, will be released early 2018. To find out more about how you can use video to grow your business visit our website.

You’re Weird and Unusual? Me Too!

I’ll never forget the first conversation I had with my friend, Meagan. We were hiking in the Angeles National Forest outside of L.A. There were rather a lot of us on this day hike as friends-of-friends rounded out our original core group of hikers to about 15 or 20. We split off into smaller groups of twos and threes as fitness levels and varying degrees of patience created a kind of natural selection process and determined who was going to end up in conversation together.

Meagan and I found ourselves together and as we made our way down the trail we discovered that we both loved traveling and had done a lot of it. As we talked I was starting to realize how much I liked this person, but when our discussion turned to food and cooking – another passion for both of us – the conversation had gotten to the point where we were already planning our next meeting. But then Penzeys came up and that’s when we knew we’d be friends. You may know that Penzeys is a company that sells spices, herbs and seasonings. These days they have specialty shops all over the country, but back when I first met Meagan they were a fairly small mail order business. Not many people knew about Penzeys in those days, but Meagan and I were both huge fans, and once we realized this our conversation – and friendship – really had gone next level.

Today Meagan and I live across the country from one another but we’ve stayed friends. We both are still loyal Penzeys customers too, and that’s the issue that I want to talk about in this blog post. Penzeys has always had a strong brand and a clear voice. Back when they were the “little guy” there were certain things that they always talked about, and which came across in all of their materials: quality, integrity and a kind of homeyness. It made Penzeys customers feel loyal and inspired, like we were part of a movement of goodness, healthy home cooking and a place where the little guy could come out on top.

Now, decades later, the tone of Penzeys hasn’t changed much, even though the business has become much, much larger. The company has put their voice behind social issues and hasn’t been shy about political ones, either. While their choices may cost Penzeys the business of a few customers, the remaining ones are loyal advocates who feel like the company understands them. And the steady growth of Penzeys earnings speaks for itself as a testament to what happens when you’re real and authentic. You end up with a tribe of brand advocates – loyal customers like me and Meagan who not only talk about the brand, but who bond over it, forming a life-long friendship halfway up a mountain!

These days, more than ever before, it’s imperative that businesses begin to show their real selves to the world as a way to attract the right people to them. Even corporations need to realize that it’s okay to be a little weird and quirky. Trying to please everyone only leads to a bland vanilla brand that no one will ever get excited over, so go ahead and let your hair down. Be yourself.

Take a chance and share your thoughts. Let us hear your voice, peek behind the curtain of your operation, see you step in front of the camera. When you find the courage to let your voice be heard, and do so consistently, week after week, you’ll watch with amazement as your tribe begins to form around you, one loyal follower at a time.

Elin Barton is the President of White Knight Productions and the host of the podcast, Ready, Set, Grit.  Her first book, Ready, Set, Grit: How to Turn Your Daydream Into a Phenomenal Success, will be released in the Fall of 2017. To find out more about how you can use video to grow your business visit our website.