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4 Great Marketing Books to start 2015

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4 Great Marketing Books to start 2015

Originally posted on Ron Wave Design Blog 

At the end of the day, books are probably one of the most effective sources for new information and knowledge sharing. They allow for a more thorough explanation of new skills rather than the short articles and videos that exist online. Thousands of business books are published every year and to be honest, its really difficult to sift through all of the mess. I've compiled a list of Marketing books that I have read over the last year and shortlisted 5 of my favorite. Note that these are not necessarily published in 2014.

Jason Khoo - Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Written by Social Media Marketing evangelist Gary Vaynerchuk, this marketing book is one that is a must have for all social media marketers. Gary combines his incredible success with his own family business, Wine Library, and the hands on experience with his media agency, VaynerMedia to create a complete social media tutorial. No social media is spared as he takes you through all the large social media platforms. Inserted are specific steps and examples that puts everything into perspective. The cherry on top is the aesthetically pleasing photos and color he uses throughout he text. It feels less like a textbook and more like a magazine!

Jason Khoo - Web Analytics 2.0

2. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik

We live in a world of data now. Avinash Kaushik's book Web Analytics 2.0 is a refreshing read that presents complex theories in simple easy steps that will make you wonder how you didn't understand any of this. No matter which Web analytics tool you use, Avinash probably knows it better than you! Utilizing a language that mere mortals like you and me will understand, Avinash doesn't delve into the jargon. The book reads as a professional conversation, one that respects both sides and the common goal. With examples and multiple supplemental chapters, this book puts you the fast track to analytics success!

Jason Khoo - Made to Stick

 

3. Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Made to Stick is a personal favorite of mine. Every chapter completely changes how you approach the simplest marketing messages you send. By following a simple acronym SUCCESs, these brothers add a Gladwell-esque type of analysis into every message that your business sends out. This marketing book is definitely one that requires more than one read and it will offer a complete overhaul in the ways you develop what you know about marketing. They back up their theories with relevant anecdotes and eye opening research. I recommend this to anyone who would like to really work on the way they craft and write their marketing message.

Jason Khoo - Epic Content Marketing

4. Epic Content Marketing by Joseph Pulizzi

Despite the cheesy cover, this book was one of the most thorough books I've read. Providing calendars, corporate case studies, and team dynamics that support a successful Content Marketing team, Joe Pulizzi lays out a step by step plan on how to get it done. Pulizzi brings a view of Content Marketing that plunges you out of the blubbery abstract discussions of Content Marketing and into a tangible, solid concept. With a transparent intent, Pulizzi holds nothing back. Once finished with this marketing book you will feel like you experienced the life of Content Marketing and now understand its complete history!

This list makes up my favorite reads of the year 2014 and I highly recommend any of these books  to anyone who wants to really understand the field of marketing. Trust me, get one of these books and you will find yourself bubbling with new ideas! Please comment below if I didn't include a book that you loved because I am a proud Barnes and Nobles member and I love increasing my personal library!

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5 Free Marketing Tools & Apps for any Small Business

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5 Free Marketing Tools & Apps for any Small Business

Marketing is easier than ever, but it is also confusing as ever. So many tools exist and hundreds of companies have created marketing solutions to make your marketing campaign easier to track and more effective. It's hard to know which one is right for your team and your business.

Every business and its team will have its own preferences on tools, but the best way to figure out which is best for you is to use free tools to give you an introduction and sometimes these tools are all you need! I created a list of free tools that can introduce and power your marketing campaign.

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Marketing - It Takes A While

Jason Khoo - Marketing, It Takes A While

I had a rewarding conversation with my client this morning. We talked about how events and emails we sent out months ago were starting to show results now. I must say learning this was a sigh of relief, but also breathed life into the high quality work I try putting in. Whether it be link building, search engine optimization, blogging, or just outreach, Marketing takes time. My client would visit farmer markets in the Fall of 2013 and he started to see a steady stream of customer returning back in the Spring and Summer of 2014. Emails I sent out to bloggers were done in early Summer and bloggers were starting to roll in the Fall Time.

It takes time. Building leads, getting links, and finding customers. My advice is to use a strategy of short term gains with long term high quality contacts. Run quick campaigns that will bring a shot of consumers flying in, but make sure to take time out of every month to find the best events or leads.

Leads can be in the form of conventions, events, bloggers, journals, publishers, networking organizations, pretty much anything. However, this requires research, what you need to do is identify and reach out. It'll take a while, but once you get one things will start snowballing.

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All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach

All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach - Jason  Khoo

I had a thought today while working on some client work. I've spent the last two years helping my clients create materials and content. However, I realized that what often is not emphasized enough is outreach.

Outreach? The hec is that.

What I mean by outreach is the concept of sending emails, interacting with other businesses and blogs to gain connections. I think we often forget that marketing is for people. It is not sticking a piece of paper on a cork board and hoping that people will come running to you. (Yes this works, but only for a limited time)

Marketing encompasses some cold calling and sales. Find those who are your industry leaders, those who are your community leaders, and connect with them. Interact in order to gain an opportunity to expose your business to new customers and new businesses.

How Do You Do This Outreach?

Outreach is vital, but one of the most time consuming and meticulous tasks for marketing. The best way to reach out and connect with people is to look on the internet, especially social media. Social Media makes it insanely easy to connect with people.

Find those who are the leaders of your industry. For example, find the best food bloggers or the best parenting newsletters. If you find the best, you will find a multitude of other people following them as well.

So it's often hard to connect and communicate with the best because they are bombarded with thousands of people trying to get a hold of them. If your starting out too, it's not likely you'll be able to get their attention. Don't worry though, there is more.

Look through those who are following and see if any of them are mid level leaders or better yet, local leaders. It's easier to connect with those that are in proximity or those that are not so famous yet. These people are much more willing to connect because they have the time.

Though I am a believer in go big or go home, you got to start somewhere and sometimes the best is to start building small.

How Do You Connect?

This is one where you shouldn't over think it. This is where you send that email, private message, or comment asking for some sort of connection. Remember though, know what you are asking for, whether it be a link, product review, or a coffee.

Just make sure you don't sound like spam or too generic. Remember people always love new opportunities, but these opportunities need to sound real and from a person. So sound real, and like a person :)

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How to Make Fans Fanatical: Case Study on Community (NBC)

Jason Khoo: How to Gain Loyal Customers (Community Wallpaper)

Today the craze is about finding your niche and optimizing your niche. With internet it's possible and probably the best strategy to market small rather than big. I don't think enough conversation is discussed when it comes to retaining this niche. So today I've decided to take a look at how to properly market and retain your niche so that hopefully they become fanatical fans. I've decided to pick a show that I was once insanely crazy for, hoping one day that there would be six seasons and a movie. This show pretty much built my high school days and was probably my first love when it came to TV shows. If you couldn't guess by the little hint I dropped earlier, the show I am talking about is NBC's, or I think now Yahoo's, sit com, Community.

Quick note, sadly I am not an avid fan or viewer of the show anymore. After about halfway through the fourth season I stopped watching.  I felt like the show's direction moved on from what I was looking for. I'm not hating, just acknowledging the show went in a different direction. However, I think this makes it even more perfect for the case study. I'm far enough removed from my insane loyalty to the show that I can now look back and do a partially unbiased look.

So let's begin.

1. The Pilot provided great laughs, a good product, and a promise for more fun to come!

Jason Khoo: How to Create Loyal Fans

This one is pretty simple. Create a good product for the first impression. I'll come back for more later.

2. They Knew their Target Audience

Community was a highly niche, specific show. The whole premise of the show revolved around satire, comedy and pop culture references. If you didn't enjoy quit wit or subtle humor, you had a hard time following the show.

Jokes were poignant and required background knowledge of other TV shows and the nation's current political and social environment. The show was geared more toward younger informed millennials in the upper teens to early 30's, where people had enough experience watching other TV shows, but were still young enough to be a part of mainstream culture.

Sexual acts were made, racist topics were joked about, yet the show never had to worry because it resonated with the audience. Community knew who they were targeting and did not bother trying to please everyone.

3. Start Creating an Emotional Connection between your Customer and the Product.

If you have a good product the only thing keeping  your customer coming back is that good product. However, if any inconvenience occurs or there is a change in their life, it's quite possible your product will be lost because it might be a hassle to still interact.

If you can make an emotional connection, where the customer starts to feel like they have a relationship with the product they will be more reluctant to leave. For example, in high school whenever I had a test, which was quite often, I made sure I knew that there was a way I could watch the show the day after. (Hulu!) Fridays became my Community day even though the show aired Thursdays. Why did I go out of my way to keep up? Because I felt the connection with the characters and the show.

4. Listen and Interact with your Audience. 

Community is by far one of the most successful shows at accomplishing this. After about half of the first season ended for Community, a fan created the following video. It featured clips, with Sara Bareilles's Gravity as the theme music, portraying a love between two characters who so far had NO signs of romance or love.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/SsBvqDwVqwc]

After this video came back. Dan Harmon, director of the show, created an episode that featured the same songs and format of the video into the actual show.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/f3IlLn3TTKU]

Note the same music, the same style of clips. When this episode aired, community fans raved and fell deeper in love. The show's director paid actual homage to this original fan made video and even made the two characters fall into a romance! This was just one of many things that Community noticed from their fans and incorporated into the show.

5. Inside Jokes, Create Features or Aspects that Die Hard Fans can share and create a community around.

This goes hand in hand with the prior section. After an episode where Abed, the aspergers' afflicted son of a falafel cook falls in love with a show, he screams "Six Seasons and A Movie!" declaring his faith in his new favorite t.v show.

After the episode aired, fans started to tweet and hashtag that saying. Summarily Community started featuring it in the show. Those who were die hard fans took notice and loved the continual inside jokes as the show continued to play more and more on these quips. There are PLENTY of instances where this occurs and just watch past the first season and you will see the multitude of references.

6. Swag it Out!

Jason Khoo: How to Create Loyal Customers (Troy & Abed Cup)
Jason Khoo: How to Gain Loyal Customers (Greendale Shirt)

Community did a great job of bringing it's community a step closer by having awesome promotional items. All items were props you could see on the show. Having these items allowed fans to feel that much closer and proclaim their love for their tv show.

I do want to note that most TV shows create swag, however, where Community excelled was that many of their swag was built off of inside jokes and things that their community, no pun intended, seemed to talk about the most.

Note: I have that cup above. I Love it!

In Conclusion...

Community may not be considered the greatest show ever nor will it attain the popularity it once had, but one thing is for certain. Community had one of the strongest and most fanatical following of any T.V show. Their following continually petitions and fights for the show to find a place to broadcast.

So though I'm not a die hard any more, the show will forever have a place in my heart and I continually use it as a guide for when I create marketing campaigns for clients.

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