Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Methods, trends, and tools are always changing, and you’ve got to stay on top of your game if you want to be successful.
I find that reading books about content marketing and related topics helps me to improve as a marketer. However, it can be difficult to keep up with which books are worth reading.
I’ve put together this list of 10 of my favorite books to improve your content marketing game.
Everybody Writes is a book that focuses on how to create ‘ridiculously good content,’ as the subtitle promises. It’s written by Ann Handley, who is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author and marketing guru.
In her book, Handley focuses on the importance of social media content, explaining how to create and maintain a consistent voice for your brand. She includes some easy-to-understand grammar and usage rules as well as tips on how to infuse your content with the kind of emotional resonance that will hook your target audience.
Creativity Inc is not about content marketing per se, and yet I believe it’s an essential book for anybody who earns a living creating products to sell.
Ed Catmull is a former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Entertainment Studios. In his book, he relates stories from his time at Pixar and how he fostered creativity amongst employees. This is a book that challenged the way I think about the creative process and as such, it’s a must-read for every product creator.
The Definitive Guide to Strategic Content Marketing is just what it sounds like: a bird’s-eye view of the marketing landscape with an eye toward helping readers develop a winning content marketing strategy to grow their businesses.
This book is less about content creation and more about what’s happening with content marketing. It talks about the philosophy of content marketing and how it will shape the future. By challenging some of the conventional wisdom about what content marketing should be, it provides a roadmap that can carry your business through the continually-changing marketing landscape.
Donald Miller’s book is one that has the potential to revolutionize content marketing as we know it. The book is a shortened version of the material he teaches in his Story Brand seminars. The premise of the Story Brand philosophy is that your content should make the reader the star of the story.
That means that instead of focusing on your product’s features or your own experience, your content should focus on how your products will help and benefit the people who buy it. It’s an empathetic approach to content marketing that I think is truly effective. Best of all? The book costs only a fraction of what you’d pay to attend one of Donald Miller’s seminars.
The key to successful content marketing is understanding how and why people make purchasing decisions. In The Choice Factory, Richard Shotton reveals 25 cognitive biases that shape the way we evaluate products.
After explaining the most common cognitive biases, the book then explains how to use behavioral psychology in your content marketing to grow your audience and increase sales. It’s a fascinating look into the human brain and something I think every product creator should read.
There’s no question that mobile marketing is an essential component of any successful content marketing strategy. In Tap, Anindya Ghose digs into the essential of mobile marketing, revealing how to adapt your marketing strategy to target smart phone users.
While many of your customers may still access your content on computers, nobody can afford to ignore mobile marketing. If you want to learn how to tap into the massive mobile audience for your products, this is the book to read.
One of the most difficult things about building an online business is finding a way to get everything done even when you’re operating with a small budget. Marketing is often the thing that gets pushed aside in favor of other tasks.
In Powering Content, Laura Busche explains how to create a well-oiled marketing machine for your business. She covers marketing strategy, content creation, and content management to provide a comprehensive roadmap that anybody can use to succeed online.
If Instagram marketing is your thing, then I highly recommend InstaBrain for your 2020 reading list. This is a book that focuses on how to market to Generation Z on Instagram.
In her book, Sarah Weise covers how to create the kind of Instagram content that will grab your followers’ attention. She also talks about what gets people hooked on Instagram and the ins-and-outs of marketing to young people on the fastest-growing social media platform.
For many people who earn money online, finding the money to market products is a challenge. How do you know how much to spend? How should you measure your results to maximize your ROI?
The Content Formula explains why content marketing is important, how to create a marketing budget, and how to measure your content marketing success to achieve your goals. This is an indispensable book for anybody who’s struggling to figure out the financial aspects of content marketing.
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the biggest names in content marketing – and for a good reason. He’s a genius when it comes to figuring out how to grab an audience’s attention and keep it.
In Crushing It, Gary explains why you need to build a compelling personal brand in today’s online marketplace. He breaks down branding for every major social media platform with tons of helpful examples to inspire you going forward.
You may not have the time to ready every marketing book, but the 10 I’ve listed here are the ones that I think are the most helpful and actionable to help you find content marketing success. If you don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read, you may want to consider audio books as an alternative!