What content marketing books should I read?
From This is Marketing by Seth Godin to Brand Bewitchery by Park Howell, here are 16 answers to the question, “What is your favorite book about content marketing and why?”
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin
- The Content Formula by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor
- The Content Trap by Bharat Anand
- They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
- The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- The Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey
- The End of Marketing by Carlos Gil
- Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
- Art and Craft of Feature Writing by William E. Blundell
- Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
- Creative Trespassing by Tania Katan
- Brand Bewitchery by Park Howell
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
I can’t recommend This Is Marketing by Seth Godin enough. It’s one of the best marketing books out there. One thing I love about it is that it’s really practical. It’s not just theory – Godin gives you concrete steps you can take to market your products or services effectively. He has a unique and thought-provoking perspective on marketing, framing it as a way to connect with people and create change rather than just sell products. It’s a really inspiring book that will make you think about marketing in a whole new way. Plus, it’s written in an engaging and easy-to-read style, so anyone will enjoy reading it. This Is Marketing is an essential read for anyone interested in marketing.
The Content Formula by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor
My favorite book about content marketing is The Content Formula by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor. I love this book because it provides a clear and actionable framework for creating effective content that drives results.
The book covers key topics such as identifying your target audience, creating a content strategy, and measuring the success of your content. It also includes a wealth of practical tips and examples to help you apply the principles to your own content marketing efforts.
I appreciate the balanced approach of the book, which combines both strategic and tactical advice to help marketers create content that resonates with their audience and drives business outcomes. Overall, I highly recommend The Content Formula for anyone looking to improve their content marketing skills and achieve better results.
The Content Trap by Bharat Anand
The Content Trap is more about digital strategy than content marketing. fact that content is becoming more and more of a business asset and product of and by itself for many organizations makes this topic an important one for content marketers. In this book, Anand addresses two major challenges all companies face: getting noticed and getting paid – both of which can be achieved through content and content marketing. What stuck with me the most were the following three key insights:
1. Content (marketing) should be based on first principles rather than best practices.
2. Users’ preferences for content define the price, not the quality or quantity.
3. Most value lies in connecting users through content (it’s not the content itself or the products we sell).
In summary, the book is a great source of inspiration for people working with content who want to understand how all the small things are tied together and add up to a successful content marketing program.
They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
My favorite book about content marketing is They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. The book is all about how to create content that answers the questions your customers are asking. It’s packed with helpful advice and tricks you can immediately apply to your content strategy
The book also goes beyond just providing tips on creating content; it also helps you understand the psychology behind why people ask specific questions and how you can use that to create content that resonates with your audience. It dives deep into how to craft content that will engage your audience and help you build relationships with them.
The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer
My favorite book about content marketing is The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer. I love this book because it really delves into the psychological aspect of content marketing and how to effectively tap into the emotional triggers of your audience. Schaefer discusses the importance of creating “shareable content” and how to utilize social media to amplify your message. He also goes into detail on how to measure the success of your content and how to continually improve and adapt your strategy.
Overall, I found The Content Code to be a highly informative and practical guide for anyone looking to create and promote effective content. It has definitely helped me improve my own content marketing efforts, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the industry.
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
If you work in content, you’re no doubt familiar with the brilliant Ann Handley. Ann is a superior storyteller with a knack for bringing the mundane to life using words that paint a picture in the mind.
In her book, Everybody Writes, Ann takes you through a framework for great content creation while driving home the elements that make an excellent writer. From understanding that your first draft will always be ugly and considering your audience (and not your boss) while writing to structuring a sentence properly and ridding your work of unnecessary words, Ann will make you a better writer by the end. Every content marketer should pick up a copy of this book
The Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey
There are so many great books out there about content marketing, it’s hard to pick just one favorite! But if I had to choose, I would say my favorite book about content marketing is Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey. It’s a comprehensive guide to creating content marketing plans, strategies, and tactics. book offers an in-depth look at the essential building blocks of content marketing and provides readers with practical advice on how to create effective, impactful content.
I especially like this book because it provides a wealth of information on topics like segmentation, content strategy, content creation, and optimization. It also features case studies, templates, and checklists to help readers get started and develop their content marketing plans. book is designed to be a practical resource for content marketers of all experience levels, so whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced pro, you can benefit from its wealth of advice.
The End of Marketing by Carlos Gil
The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI by Carlos Gil is an all-encompassing masterpiece intended for both the budding marketer and the seasoned veteran. It covers everything from common-sense advice to practical guidelines and concrete strategies for developing your brand in this day and age. It represents a paradigm shift in how we perceive marketing by boldly claiming that traditional marketing is dead and that people are on the lookout for something more tangible and personal.
This book is for people who are looking to evolve their perception of marketing and step away from stale mantras and techniques. What I also feel is very important is the fact that it’s a book from 2019, so it’s fairly recent. I find that reading outdated books on marketing is a terrible waste of time given the ever-shifting nature of the industry.
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less is a must-read book for newcomers and veterans to content marketing alike. The author, Joe Pulizzi, is widely considered to be a content marketing guru. The book guides users on the steps they need to take to gain authority in their space through the effective use of content. Using the methods described within this book, I’ve been able to help establish my brand as a strong competitor in my industry.
Art and Craft of Feature Writing by William E. Blundell
The top book I recommend to content marketers is my primary recommendation to most nonfiction writers: Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on Wall Street Journal Guide by William E. Blundell. That’s because I treat content marketing the same way I approach journalism: You need to capture a reader’s interest, give them useful or entertaining information (ideally both), and do so with a narrative that makes the reader stick with you all the way to the end.
Twenty years ago, Blundell’s book helped me hone that skill, starting with identifying the difference between “a story” and “an idea.” Too many marketing departments think about what they want to say instead of what a human is motivated to read, and this book helps you keep your attention where it ought to be.
Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf
A deep understanding of the audience is the first principle underpinning every piece of great content. Historically, that’s meant finding out what topics they’re interested in, what issues they care about, and what they want to learn
After I read Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf, I realized “understanding your audience” also means understanding how their brains interact with the content you’re creating.
Decades of tuning digital content to take advantage of search intent, scanning behavior, touch screens, and serving ads has also tuned our minds to engage with that content in a completely different way. We’re much less able to focus, think critically, and mentally dialogue with digital content.
That’s a gut punch for those of us trying to connect with and persuade readers. It’s just much harder, and we’re all culpable as content creators and marketers.
This book changed how I write, how I lay out pages, and what I choose to write, and a lot more. Highly recommended.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
In the book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami shares his experience as a runner and a writer-both occurring simultaneously in his life. Part memoir, part exercise guide, and part writing guide, the book showcases the value of showing up consistently. Murakami’s writing is always inspiring, if a bit odd, but this book in particular serves as a valuable resource for content marketers
Stay the course, keep moving in the right direction, and your words, work, and efforts will eventually yield fruit. If nothing else, this book will remind you that even famous authors can grapple with language or struggle to put one foot in front of the other (literally and figuratively).
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
While Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is designed to guide readers on finding what is truly essential in their lives and removing the peripheral fluff that doesn’t add value, I apply it regularly to my work in content marketing.
No marketer has all the resources, time, and budget to execute on every great idea they have, so successful content marketers must be smart investors. I use the principles in this book to invest wisely into which programs and projects will genuinely add value to my target audience. From there, I apply the same principles to every word in every sentence, evaluating if each is truly needed. It’s easy to get caught up in keywords, but it’s not worth the investment if the content isn’t essential to your audience.
Caitlin Erickson, Senior Marketing Manager, Content & Programs
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
It’s not a content marketing book, per se-the modern concept of content marketing didn’t even exist when the book was first published in 1918-but great writing is the foundation of great content, and I consider this the bible of the written word. Strunk and White teach the principles of clear, succinct, engaging writing in a clear, succinct, and engaging way-with plenty of examples and a dash of humor. The Elements of Style is a must-read for anyone in the writing and editing space.
Creative Trespassing by Tania Katan
My go-to book is Creative Trespassing by Tania Katan. Although it is not a content strategy book per se, it has a lot to do with it. Especially if you’re a writer and a creative working in a corporate space. We all know that when you work for someone else, your vision isn’t always appreciated or “approved” when you send a concept or draft to your boss. But Creative Trespassing gives you the permission to keep being you.
Writing and content strategy requires you to give a lot of your heart away to your work. And when you think you’ve hit a dead end and when you’re disengaged from continued disappointment and frankly sometimes bored, Creative Trespassing removes the shackles of corporate day-to-day and helps you keep your creative edge. No matter where you work, you can sneak a creative spark into anything you do.
Brand Bewitchery by Park Howell
As a marketer and communicator, storytelling is key to creating memorable content that your audience will get hooked on. Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand by Park Howell is one of those books that brings storytelling to the forefront and offers up some solid formulas and approaches that work like gold. This book and Park’s personally developed Story Cycle System sets you up for success, using story as the prominent vehicle for moving your purpose-driven brand forward.
As a B2B marketer and content writer, understanding and learning how to wield story as my most powerful marketing weapon to influence, inspire, and hook my audiences is critical to my success. Park’s system and this book are a key player in my marketing and communication toolbox, and it should be in yours too.
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