Here’s a list of the best guides I’ve found to teach yourself startup marketing, digital marketing, growth hacking, or whatever else you want to call it:
GROWTH HACKING/STARTUP MARKETING
Growth Hacking is becoming an increasingly popular term for metric-based marketing for early stage startups. The term itself can be controversial, but don’t focus on that too much. It’s a mentality that’s very helpful to understand.
The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking – A great place to start and get in the mindset of what you need to focus on when growing an early-stage startup. This resource was put together by Neil Patel and Bronson Taylor. Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and is one of the most prominent growth hackers out there.
The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing – This one is less of a general overview of what it takes, but has simple actionable starting points for you. This one is put together by KISSmetrics, which as I mentioned above, was started by Neil Patel.
Want some cool case studies? Check out this slide deck (Dropbox, Living Social, AirBnB, etc.).
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION (CRO)
No matter how much traffic you drive to your site, if those visitors don’t do anything, it does you no good. Conversion rate optimization is all about increasing the conversion rate of your passive visitors to active visitors.
The Beginner’s Guide to CRO – Everything you need to know about optimizing your site is right here. It’s hosted on the Qualaroo site, a company started by Sean Ellis, who is credited for coining the term Growth Hacker. He’s helped many companies grow, but most notably he was the first marketer for Dropbox.
Chapters: What is Conversion Rate Optimization?, Why Conversion Rate Optimization is Important, The Basics of Conversion Rate Optimization, Building and Testing an Optimization Plan, User Experience and Funnel Optimization, Landing Page Optimization, Reducing Bounce and Exit Rates, Myths About Conversion Rate Optimization, Tools to Test and Optimize Conversion, Measuring Conversion Rate Efforts and Calling Winners, Bonus Advanced Tips and Hacks for CRO, Conclusion
SEO is all about how to rank high on search engines when potential visitors/users/customers search for something relevant to your service. While it’s not the ideal marketing focus for everyone, for most, it’s very crucial.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO – Moz’s guide to SEO is IMPO the best out there. It’s a little long, but read the whole thing and you’ll know SEO better than some of the cheaper SEO consultants out there.
The Advanced Guide to SEO – Another great guide to SEO put together by Neil Patel (same guy who did the growth hacking guide at the top).
The Advanced Guide to Link Building – Again, by Neil Patel. I put this under SEO instead of it’s own section because link building is core to SEO.
Content Marketing is about publishing content online that’s so helpful to people that they share it with others, and they all become your customer. Not quite, but something along those lines. You could say this blog post, and most of the guides on here are content created as part of a content marketing strategy.
The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing – Again, by Neil Patel on Quicksprouts. He’s really killing it with these guides.
I hope I don’t have to explain to you what social media is. All the guides below are from Mashable, the king of social media news online.
Twitter Guide Book
Facebook Guide Book
The Beginner’s Guide to Tumblr
The Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn
Reddit: A Beginner’s Guide
Beginner’s Guide to Facebook
Beginner’s Guide to Twitter