With everything from social media to video production, where should you start investing your attention? Take a look at the following marketing resources
“The Valley skill set that should be in highest demand and greatest scarcity is neither engineering nor design, but rather Internet marketing.” – Dave McClure on what startups are missing
Makes a lot of sense, right? Internet marketing has only been around for a little over 15 years while design and engineering have been around for far longer. Given the relative infancy of internet marketing, there still isn’t solid training or education available. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of information out there — you just need to be able to find the right resources by filtering through a lot of noise on the net.
Where to start
The hardest part about doing things is starting. Internet marketing is no exception. The trouble in this space is that there are a lot of people writing content for the sake of gaining search engine rankings or for quick affiliate marketing wins.
The big takeaway with learning internet marketing today is being able to discern signal from noise — getting the right information from the right people and taking action. Here are the areas that I think are most important in internet marketing below and helpful blogs that cover each topic more in depth.
Also Read: Infographic: 8 content marketing tools you should use
Blogs to read
Organic search (SEO) is still the top growth channel in most cases today, according toCustora. It takes the most time and effort, but if you can execute well, it brings the most long-term value.
Moz Blog: On top of having the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, the Moz blog has a lot of advanced SEO tips plus a helpful video series every Friday called Whiteboard Friday.
Pay-per-click (PPC) has evolved quite a bit from just text link ads in search results. Now there’s access to social ads, retargetting, video ads and much more. It might seem overwhelming, but if you have the basics down for AdWords, you should be able to transition into other forms of pay-per-click.
PPC Hero: PPC Hero has great how-to posts that provide lots of utility to the reader. Their popular posts are a good place to start. They also have a series of guides and whitepapers.
Bonus: I also recommend Brad Gedde’s Advanced Guide to Google AdWords. You can either pick up his book or use the video training.
If you’re not looking at the numbers, you’re not going to get anywhere. Average order value? Bounce rate? Engagement? Traffic? Conversion Rates? All inside your analytics.
If you’re at a tech startup, you’ll probably be paying attention to lifetime value, churn and more.
Occam’s Razor: Avinash Kaushik is the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and really knows analytics. Most of his blog is Google Analytics related, but it’s great for anyone that is just starting out.
Also Read: 3 content marketing tactics for startups that convert fans into customers
Email is still one of the best acquisition channels today. It’s essentially the world’s biggest social network.
Email Institute: This includes tons of email marketing best practices.
Writing great headlines is one of the easiest ways to generate more click-throughs and eventually more conversions.
Copyblogger: This is great for improving your copywriting skills. Take a look at the headlines for their posts and try to mold them into your own. They say that the headline is worth US$0.80 of the US$1 you spend on your content, because if people don’t click on it, your content is almost worthless.
At the end of the day, social media is all about connecting with people who care about what you do. There are new platforms coming out every year, and it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on.
Social Media Examiner: This provides valuable, actionable social media posts to emulate.
Content marketing is a new buzzword but the practice has been around for ages. Content that brings utility to your readers helps build brand awareness, likability, trust and more. Like SEO, content marketing takes a lot of time, money and effort to see results but it compounds over time.
Content Marketing Institute: This offers up-to-date tips and tricks on effective content marketing strategies.
Also Read: What startups can learn about marketing from the food and beverage industry
Startup marketing is a different beast from typical marketing. It’s very metrics driven and requires a lot of testing through different channels. There’s a finite amount of time to hit numbers. Most startups need full-stack marketers to help with growth, and unfortunately, there aren’t many around today. You’ll also learn about customer development, product market fit and driving growth with little to no budget.
Startup Marketing: Sean Ellis’ blog covers a lot of these different topics well. You’ll also want to note that he’s now blogging on his company’s blog.
Affiliate marketers are sometimes seen as shady, untrustworthy marketers, but I have found that to be untrue. They’re actually some of the most creative marketers because they tend to make things happen by doing anything it takes to get the job done. Learning affiliate marketing is just one piece of the puzzle. If you’re trying to grow a startup and you start an affiliate programme, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of managing an affiliate programme.
Affiliate Marketing Navigator: This is Geno Prussakov’s blog on affiliate marketing. He’s a leader in the affiliate marketing space and has written a highly rated affiliate programme management book.
YouTube is a major search engine, and video will continue to grow as people shift more of their attention online. It’s a good idea to get in now.
ReelSEO: This is great for video advertising and YouTube tricks.
There are a lot of channels and a ton of information to dive into, so here’s my recommendation on how to actually get started:
Focus on one channel at a time
Choose the topic that you find most interesting and dedicate your time to it. Don’t spread yourself thin. For example, I started off with SEO and created a few websites to test out different strategies. Once I started getting a hang of it, I tried running some affiliate marketing campaigns. One thing led to another and I was eventually helping large publishing sites and Fortune 500 companies with SEO.
I decided that I needed to branch out into other online marketing areas so I could become a well-rounded marketer, so I then picked up PPC. I learned more about analytics and social media. Then, I studied copywriting and so on.
A good full-stack marketer understands that they need to keep learning because things move so quickly. Become complacent and you’ll quickly become average. Keep testing, keep reading, and keep asking questions.
There’s a lot of information about i=Internet marketing online, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to learn everything at once. Start small and then branch out into other areas. Don’t be afraid to take risks every once in awhile and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a full-stack marketer.
To me, a full-stack marketer is a growth hacker. But that’s up for debate since there are multiple interpretations about what a growth hacker actually is and isn’t. What do you think?
A version of the post originally appeared on GrowthEverywhere.com
Eric Siu is the CEO of San Francisco-based digital marketing agency Single Grain. He also interviews entrepreneurs on his podcast, Growth Everywhere.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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