Bidtellect CEO Lon Otremba has offered a healthy share of advice on Forbes the last couple of weeks on everything from bad advertising to holiday campaigns. The bottom line? Stay truthful, know your audience, and test early. Here’s a round up of Lon’s October Forbes Features with actionable advice you can start implementing now.

1) Why Consumers Hate Your Brand’s Advertising

First, the bad news: consumers probably hate your advertising. Good news: Forbes tapped the experts for not one, not two, but 13 reasons why and how to fix it. But as Lon proves, sometimes good life advice is applicable to advertising advice. If you can stick to this, then all of your other tactics will fall into place, and your brand’s image will be beloved in no time.

Lon says: Not Being Truthful

I’ve found the quickest way for consumers to hate your advertising is to feed them something not genuine or truthful. Consumers can spot a phony a mile away, and when you lose credibility — as with anything in life —  it is nearly impossible to win it back. 

 

Read more: 13 Reasons Why Consumers May Hate Your Brand’s Advertising (And How To Fix It)

2) How Marketers Can Tell Compelling Stories 

What’s the key to all good marketing, advertising, and content marketing? Good storytelling. What makes an engaging story? So glad you asked. 

Lon says: A Compelling Story Is Stronger Than Any Pitch

The first storytelling lesson I ever learned was the most basic of all: a story is much more engaging than a pitch. So, rather than making good pitches, tell compelling and engaging stories. These are my four components of engaging stories: specific detail (not generalities); emotion; proximity (make it close and personal); having a point — a loss is as compelling as a win if there is a point to make. 

 

Read more: How Marketers Can Tell Compelling Stories: 13 Valuable Lessons

3) What Are the Most Important Content Marketing Metrics?

And while we’re on the topic of content marketing, Forbes’ experts agree on 13 crucial metrics to determine the quality of your content marketing strategy. But there’s one metric that will inform all your other goals.

Lon says: Audience Engagement

Tracking audience engagement is the most critical metric because it measures interaction with your brand. Developing an informed set of engagement component metrics that you can synthesize into one measurable metric is the goal.

 

Read more: 13 Crucial Metrics To Determine How Good A Content Marketing Program Really Is

4) How To Ramp Up Holiday Marketing in the Fall

Finally, maybe you’re reading this because you’re in the middle of/already planned/are stressing about your holiday campaigns. Yes? No? Forbes offers 12 tactics to get your holiday campaigns in tip top shape before the first echoes of holiday music pipe through speakers everywhere. According Lon, testing optimization strategies ahead of time should be top priority:

Lon says: Test Optimization Strategies Early

Use fall season to test optimization strategies. Test out different creative combinations and personalization tactics based on your key performance indicators. Consider placement level optimization, dynamic creative optimization (DCO), contextual targeting and retargeting, as well as ad types and devices. The holiday period will be your chance to reach far and wide — you don’t want to lose budget to error.

 

Read more: 12 Tactics To Ramp Up Your Holiday Marketing During The Fall Season