Whitepapers, books & podcasts you can leverage for business growth.
If recent times have taught us anything, it’s that being prepared for and adaptable to change is essential if you want to enjoy long-term success as a small business owner.
The ever-expanding nature of the digital world means that meeting the needs of your customers across every touchpoint is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity.
Eighty-one percent of shoppers research online before making a purchase. Connect with your customers where they’re most comfortable, and you will grow your business.
To help you on your quest for small business marketing enlightenment, here are 15 essential resources that will make you better at promoting your business.
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” – Ann Handley
First, we look at five accessible, practical, and informational whitepapers that will enhance your promotional efforts.
1) Chameleon Collective—’Into The Blue’
This gem from The Chameleon Collective offers a wealth of unique, detailed insights and predictions on the post-pandemic world. The information is visually balanced and well presented, the research is original, and you will find a host of practical information that will help you craft effective marketing campaigns in tomorrow’s world.
2) HubSpot—’Not Another Omnichannel Customer Experiencw Whitepaper’
Omnichannel marketing will propel your small business from average to excellent by offering consumers a cohesive brand experience that speaks to them on a personal level. While we’re on the subject, this standout whitepaper guide from HubSpot is crammed with practical tips and dynamic data-centric insights that will empower you to take charge of your small business’s omnichannel strategies.
3) SnapApp—An Introduction to Interactive Content
Interactive content will empower you to engage with your audience on a deeper level while improving the user experience (UX), which will boost your conversion rate. This content-driven guide from SnapApp is clear, concise, and offers all of the information you need to dip your toes into the world of interactive content.
4) Cisco—’Networking and Your Competitive Edge’
If you understand your customers’ wants, needs, and pain points, you will be able to create promotional content and craft messaging that offers value while inspiring them to invest in your brand. This powerful whitepaper from Cisco demonstrates the power of using digital tools to get to know your customers better—a must-read for any small business owner in the modern age.
5) Alcatel Lucent—Digital Age Networking in Enterprises
While not all the chapters or insights in ‘Digital Age Networking In Enterprises’ are relevant, reading the sections surrounding digital age networking and the importance of embracing digital tools will inspire you to explore new innovative solutions for your small business and use them to your advantage.
Despite the seemingly infinite amount of digital content we have at our fingertips these days, books are still among the world’s best learning tools for small business owners. Here are a few great examples:
6) Stephen Covey—’7 Habits of Highly Effective People’
While this book has been around for a while, it’s a must-read for any ambitious business owner looking to make their mark. Adopting the right mindset while improving the way you approach your everyday operations is vital, and this book will help you do just that.
7) Cal Newport—‘Deep Work’
First released in 2012, ‘Deep Work’ still stands tall today, offering a practical framework that will empower you to focus your efforts in a world of distraction and ultimately gain the core soft skills needed to drill down into your promotional and marketing efforts as a small business owner.
8) Robert B. Cialdini—Influence: ‘The Psychology of Persuasion’
To persuade effectively is to sell—and sell well. This enduring small business guide serves up universal insights on the art of persuasion—the kind that will improve your copywriting skills as well as your marketing messaging across channels.
9) Harry Beckwith—‘Selling The Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing’
As an all-round guide to modern marketing and promotional strategies, this book is one of the best ones you can invest in as a small business owner. It’s a treasure trove of business-boosting tips and strategies and includes techniques you can apply to everything from blog writing to website copy, social media, and beyond.
10) Shonda Rhimes—’Year of Yes’
If you’re looking for inspiration and a few pearls of wisdom that will drive your marketing efforts in the right direction, this personal book from the talented Shonda Rimes highlights the power of saying ‘yes.’ If you embrace more possibilities and gain the confidence to explore more creative ways of marketing, you will push yourself ahead of the pack.
Finally, here are five podcasts that will enlighten, inspire, and entertain you as a small business owner. Podcasts are wildly popular today, and for good reason. With regular tips and insights that will help you stay on top of your promotional game at all times, these podcasts are what you need to succeed.
11) The Social Media Marketing Podcast
Hosted by Michael Stelzner of the insightful Social Media Examiner, this award-winning podcast offers weekly 45-minute installments of actionable ideas and methods you can use to expand your audience through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
12) As Told By Nomads
As Told By Nomads is a must-listen experience for any small business owner, as it offers real-world ideas from some of the world’s leading digital nomads. Here, you will find out how to become authoritative in your niche and deliver marketing content that stands out from the crowd.
This popular podcast claims that it provides ‘tangible and tactical tools for your life and business’—and it certainly delivers. It’s a great resource in terms of motivation and unique approaches to expanding your business audience.
14) Side Hustle Pro
This is a podcast that offers a wide-ranging mix of insights and empowerment for women business owners with big ambitions. Here, you will find all you need to take charge of your business and improve the way you approach your promotional activities from every angle.
15) Content Jam
Content marketing is one of the most important skills you will ever learn as a small business owner. Hosted by Andy Crestodina and Barry Feldman, this straight-talking but very entertaining podcast is sporadic in terms of episodes, but listening to just one or two will provide you with the tools and know-how to get to grips with content marketing and boost your business success.
The whitepapers, books, and podcasts mentioned here are priceless—but it wouldn’t be right to sign off without these honorable mentions:
- AdWeek: This is a must-read advertising and marketing publication. Sign up to the newsletter for regular case studies and tips delivered to your inbox.
- The Drum: Another brilliant online publication, The Drum will show you how marketing can change your world for the better.
- Marketing Over Coffee: Witty and conversational, this podcast serves up a weekly slice of marketing and technology insights for the modern age.
- Social Triggers: A marketing-based YouTube channel filled with accessible episodes tailored to small business owners looking to improve their promotional talents.
- Ogilvy On Advertising: Written by one of the world’s advertising and copywriting pioneers, this is an old book, but it offers a wealth of invaluable tips that are still relevant today.
- Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy: This book is an eye-opening journey about the mindset behind retail, consumerism, and marketing. It’s highly entertaining and will help you understand the framework behind ‘being promotional’ as a business.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”—Kofi Annan
For a small business owner, knowledge is indeed power. Learn all you can, keep on acquiring new skills, remain on the pulse, and success will be yours for the taking.
For more business-boosting pearls of wisdom, check out offbeat local marketing strategies that will drive traffic to your business.