The 17 Best Content Marketing Books You Can Read Right Now
May 15, 2020 8 min read
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Don’t get me wrong, those books are good, and some are even classics, but content marketing is always evolving. You must keep up with what’s new and exciting in the field so you can apply it to your business, no matter how big or small you are.
So, I decided to take a deep dive into the newer content marketing books that have been released in the last couple of years. I’ve gathered the best 17 books on content marketing that’ll help you be a better marketer, strategies, and business owner.
1. Content Marketing by Gavin Turner
Turner’s book is a step-by-step guide on how to set up your business with proven strategies that’ll help grow your brand and business. It’s filled with useful tactics you can use in both the short-and long-term to ramp up your marketing, boost content recognition and production and how to tie it all together.
2. Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
A fresh alternative to the dull grammar and writing books out there, Dreyer’s English was written by a long-time copy chief at Random House Publishing. It’s an engaging and fun look at words and grammar that anyone will appreciate, no matter if you’re new or a veteran marketer. Use it to answer your questions about when to use a semicolon or em dash and why it’s okay to start a sentence with “And” or “But.”
3. F#ck Content Marketing: Focus on Content Experience to Drive Demand, Revenue & Relationships by Randy Frisch
Once you get past the title, this book is an excellent resource for content marketers. Frisch, the CMO and co-founder of Uberflip, wrote it to help marketers focus more on the way content is experienced, rather than simply pumping it out. His main idea is that marketers have worried too much about content production and not enough about content scalability. It’s an interesting read and one that can help marketers surface their content in the never-ending chronological scroll that is our online world today.
4. Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Schaefer
Schaefer wrote this book because he knows that the marketing landscape has changed dramatically. Consumers have so many ways of avoiding ads on TV, their browsers, and social media streams that marketers have no choice but to change their tactics. In the book, Schaefer advocates that marketers take a more effective and human approach to their messages. He explains it all clearly and outlines actionable steps that all marketers can take to move forward.
5. Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life by Michael Brenner
This book was published at a time when interest in the customer experience is more critical than ever, and job dissatisfaction is at an all-time high. Negativity can seep into any business from anywhere, so Brenner explains the benefits of empathy at work, and how it can help people be better outside the office too. Brenner’s filled the book with stories of companies that were able to replace toxic cultures and dissatisfied customers with helpful, positive employees that delivered high-quality customer experiences.
6. Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business by Pat Flynn
Flynn wrote this book to help entrepreneurs build a more engaged, loyal audience, and explains why a smaller, more loyal audience is better. Superfans makes the case that we should be thinking more about connecting with our audiences on a deeper level through extra-special moments that “create novelty, defy expectations, and break the mold.”
7. Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
Baer and Lemin do an excellent job of writing about an often overlooked aspect of content marketing in this book — word of mouth marketing. Most marketers don’t have a strategy for this particular marketing channel, so they created one. Their “4-5-6” learning system will help you uncover and activate talk triggers in your business. They’re such good writers that this well-organized book explains a complex topic without being overwhelming.
8. They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
Sheridan’s popular book got an update last year, with new sections on closing deals with video marketing and the essential elements every good business website should have. He also included new stories of businesses who’ve used these tactics to great success, lending even more proof to the fact that this strategy works for everyone.
9. Conversational Marketing by Dave Gerhardt and David Cancel
Drift co-founders Cancel and Gerhardt wrote this book as the definitive book on how to generate better leads and close more sales with chatbots. Conversational Marketing explains how chatbots are transforming the way brands market themselves and interact with customers. It’s a well-written and digestible primer on how to convert a business from traditional communication channels to the modern messaging apps we all use today.
10. Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose
In this follow-up book to an earlier classic, Pulizzi and Rose explain how today’s innovative companies are achieving remarkable results by fundamentally changing their approach. They’ve dramatically increased customer loyalty and revenue by creating more value for customers by using owned media and changing to a customer-centric way of thinking about content. Pulizzi and Rose write in an engaging, easy-to-read manner that makes it enjoyable to learn more about this new take on content marketing.
11. Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World by Melissa Agnes
Information moves fast today, and many marketers aren’t ready for when things go wrong. Since marketers are often involved in PR and crisis management for today’s modern brands, it makes sense that they learn a bit more about how to handle bad situations. Agnes focuses more on being proactive rather than reactive in her book, helping brands anticipate threats so they can handle them with resiliency and poise.
While not about content marketing specifically, this book can help entrepreneurs and small business owners develop strategies to manage the digital marketing channels they’ll use to distribute their marketing. It walks you through the steps to create a social media strategy, explains how to increase SEO, add subscribers to your email list and convert loyal fans into customers.
13. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Seth Godin has written several wonderful books on marketing, and his latest is another great entry. In it, he breaks down how to tap into conversations with your audience and engage them with marketing that matters to them. He teaches you how to craft content that speaks directly to your audience, builds trust with them, builds a product or brand they’ll care about, and how to use storytelling as a powerful marketing strategy. Another great read from Godin.
14. Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step StoryBrand Guide for Any Business by Donald Miller
In keeping with the storytelling theme, next is Donald Miller’s latest book about using his StoryBrand framework for any business. Here, he offers a five-part checklist to help marketers and business owners apply his StoryBrand messaging framework to key customer touchpoints to develop, strengthen, and communicate their brand’s story. Companies that use his methods see double-digit increases in engagement and sales numbers, so if you’re interested in the nuts-and-bolts of it all, this book’s for you.
15. Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers by Russell Brunson
As more people jump into entrepreneurship, they must learn how to generate traffic and fill their sales funnels; otherwise, no one will hear about your amazing products that could make a difference in their lives. Traffic Secrets will help you discover and understand precisely who your dream customers are, find where they are online and create the hooks that’ll grab their attention and bring them to your business.
16. SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke
SEO is always a moving target as the search engines change their algorithms. In this updated version of the book, Clarke explains how to do SEO today, dives into the details of what Google’s changed in their algorithms and explains how to use them to your advantage.
17. Top of Mind by John Hall
Staying top-of-mind is the ultimate goal for a brand. You want to be the one consumers remember when they’re ready to buy. In this book, Hall reveals how consumer expectations have changed and what that means to brand owners and how to build a helpful, authentic brand that serves others more than it serves you. He explains the proven methods you can use to reach out to consumers and create a deeper relationship through digital channels, so you’ll maintain that prominent spot in your audience’s mind.