What is your content marketing strategy? Does your company have a strategy?
Contrary to popular belief, if you build it (or post it), visitors (or potential customers) do not always come! As content marketing continuously gains importance as part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan, marketers must determine how content fits into their overall strategy.
The interesting part of marketing in a digital world is balancing the timeless marketing techniques with the changing reality of our time. For example, some of the best marketing books remain relevant to this day. However, the classics don’t necessarily address dealing with social media. Therefore, marketers need to understand the fundamentals as well as modern strategies. As a result, learning about social media strategies helps marketers reach the right audience and promote brand awareness.
And now, as content marketing integrates into search engine optimization, how do marketers stay atop of the changing times? Simple, build your understanding of content marketing and continuously develop your skill set. To help, please find below the most useful books about content marketing strategy!
Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
“Content Strategy for the Web” introduces all marketers (from small business to seasoned veterans) to the importance of strategy. Halvorson and Rach provide an overview and roadmap that enables all businesses to develop and deliver better content. For any company looking to revamp their website, the book offers invaluable insights into creating meaningful content that is easier said than done.
All marketers looking to gain an understanding the business value of content should read this book and be ready to take some notes because the book provides useful tips and best practices that help engage your audience.
Top of Mind by John Hall
“Top of Mind” provides a useful reminder that business still occurs between people. Hall offers a formula that creates a top of mind positioning statement that aims to “get the right people to think of you at the right times.” As the digital world focuses on metrics and analytics, Top of Mind describes the rationale required to develop those great metrics.
Any marketer looking to understand the human element behind content marketing and engaging your audience should read this book. Hall details why personal relationships remain the core of success and the right content marketing strategy allows any company to create this lasting relationship.
They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
“They Ask, You Answer” provides a use case from Marcus Sheridan (aka The Sales Lion) as he leveraged content marketing to turnaround his failing pool installation company. The books acts as a blueprint as Sheridan shares his insights into his strategy, which include how he qualifies prospects, handles competitors and engages sales team in the content creation process.
Individuals charged with creating a content marketing strategy definitely should read They Ask, You Answer to gain an understanding of a success program. For example, the final section culminates with a streamlined list of content marketing best practices that enable a successful and effective strategy.
The Atomic Particle by Rebecca Lieb
“The Atomic Particle” explains and advises existing organizations on the purpose and impact of content marketing. Lieb, an industry analyst, relies on her observations in the field to publish an extensive body of research into content marketing, strategy and the role of content within paid, owned and earned media. In particular, The Atomic Particle, provides insights and detailed “how to” advice into how marketers solve challenges as content marketing moves up an organization.
The Atomic Particle is a must-read for any content marketing specialist within a small to medium size company. As marketers face organizational challenges, Lieb utilizes her experience consulting with large corporations to prepare marketers for common issues.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
“Don’t Make Me Think” was originally published in 2000 as the modern web started to develop. Krug understood that people wanted information and wanted it quickly, without thinking. The philosophy turned into a guiding light of web design as sites focused on usability and providing the right information in a streamlined manner. The book, which distills a similar theory proposed by Seth Godin is simple; enable visitors to complete their intended task as easy as possible.
For any content marketers or copywriters looking to capture attention, Don’t Make Me Think, provides the fundamentals and principles required to accomplish this task.
Content That Converts by Laura Hanley
“Content That Converts” focuses on the core of any corporate website, converting visitors into customers. In Content That Converts, Hanley provides a system that helps businesses generate qualified leads, which turn into conversions, through content marketing. If generating conversions (and paying customers) is not part of your content marketing strategy, then this book explains how to understand your audience, provide meaningful offers and utilize effective messaging.
Anyone involved in marketing strategy should read Content That Converts to understand the core fundamentals of an effective content marketing plan. From developing content ideas to engaging your desired audience, this book provides the essentials required to run any impactful content campaign.
Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
“Content Inc.” is one of the original explainers about content marketing, which makes it an essential read for anyone developing a content marketing strategy. Content Inc. stands the test of time because it delivers the required ingredients of engaging with customers. Pulizzi discusses the importance of some strategies that remain useful today, such as guest posts and developing authority as an author.
Content Inc. remains required reading for any content marketer (or anyone interested in learning about the fundamentals of this emerging digital marketing tool). Pulizzi helped coin the term content marketing and continues to provide useful information about crafting an effective strategy.
The Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey
“The Content Strategy Toolkit” takes traditional content marketing to a new level because the book addresses the overall user experience. The book provides a comprehensive guide that offers readers with a detailed guide to planning, organizing and creating useful and relevant content. Additionally, Casey offers a toolkit that helps analyze an existing site and details ways to improve the user experience.
The Content Strategy Toolkit is a useful read for copywriters, product managers, developers and content marketers understand how visitors experience any website. The book provides marketing teams with a useful resource to organize content and create a coherent set of operations, along with impactful content marketing strategy.
Get Content Get Customers by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
“Get Content Get Customers” outlines the essence of content marketing; providing value to potential customers. In today’s noisy internet, potential customers remain inundated with endless messages about superior products and the best companies. In this book, Pulizzi and Barrett shares the secret to impactful content marketing; deliver value to customers. There are no shortcuts to beating the competition. The only way to stand out from the crowd is differentiate yourself through value. Offer customers useful information to the questions that want and gain their trust.
Get Content shares useful advice that enables marketers to connect with customers through compelling content. The book adds value to companies struggle to engage with their desired audience.
Develop Your Content Marketing Skills
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
“The New Rules of Marketing and PR” provides readers with a complete toolkit to understanding content marketing, social media and influencer marketing. The book expands on the initial version (which itself is an international best-seller). The new rules describe how content marketing changed over the years. No longer is a simple “blog” useful, now any content marketing strategy must include amplification, creativity, outreach and proactive steps that generate engagement.
Anyone and everyone involved in digital marketing can improve their skill set by reading The New Rules because the book offers useful advice to fully engage with social media, online video, mobile applications, newsjacking, viral marketing and more.
Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
“Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” advances Cialdini’s work from his original marketing classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In Influence, which was ahead of its time, described how the human psyche reacted to six universal persuasive techniques. In Pre-Suasion, Cialdini offers updated information about these six principles and shares a seventh persuasive technique.
All marketers and product developers, along with user experience professionals should read Cialdini’s work because it explains common reactions to standard marketing (and UI/UX) messaging.
Digital Sense by Travis Wright and Chris Snook
“Digital Sense” offers readers with a thoughtful and insightful look about creating a more engaged customer experience. Wright and Snook take readers on a journey filled with a framework for implementing and customizing your user experience. Additionally, the book provides a roadmap to audit any organizations current web experience, which enables companies to gain an advantage over their competitors.
In Digital Sense: The Common Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology and Customer Experience” the authors provide readers with a pragmatic toolkit of strategies. The book is useful for all marketers, and in particular, helps content marketing teams think about the complete user experience.
Everybody Writes by Ann Hadley
“Everybody Writes” offers a useful guide that helps anyone create and publish content necessary to make a business thrive. In Everybody Writes, Hadley provides a go-to guide that helps businesses attract and retain customer via their online communication. Essentially, Hadley argues, in an online world, everyone is a write and needs the skill set to communicate through our words to deliver the right messages to the right customers.
The book provides useful tips, lessons and rules, which help everyone in marketing, communications, PR or development understand how words drive actions. Hadley delivers a practical approach and strategy that helps create compelling and competent content.
Mobile Usability by Jakob Neilsen and Raluca Budiu
“Mobile Usability” describes the current age of digital marketing; writing for the mobile audience. Neilsen and Budiu conducted industry research and expert reviews to understand the difference between traditional web and the mobile experience. The book offers a guide to understanding mobile strategy, designing for smartphones, writing for mobile and more.
In Mobile Usability, readers learn how screen size impacts everything. This book is useful to designers, developers and copywriters because everyone gains understanding in how to design for a future on a small screen.
The Road to Recognition by Seth Price and Barry Feldman
“The Road to Recognition” provides a comprehensive guide to branding that helps accelerate success in a digital world. Price and Feldman developed a series of practical lessons filled with actionable takeaways to develop a brand. In addition, the book includes useful insights from a variety of professionals the created a brand based on these principles.
Anyone looking to create or enhance their personal brand or corporate brand should read The Road to Recognition because the book offers a useful roadmap to gain the attention and recognition needed to succeed and stand out in the crowd.
The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer
“The Content Code” outlines the best practices within the content marketing world to develop copy that gains attention in a crowded field. Schaefer utilizes a variety of case studies that showcase effective copywriting. As a result, The Content Code provides useful insights that help draft engaging material for social media, landing pages, ebooks and more.
Content marketers or copywriters (plus social media experts) looking for a practical guide to creating headline grabbing attention should read The Content Code and leverage as a resource. The book offers useful strategies to increase awareness and spread the word about your content.
Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
“Content Chemistry” provides marketers with an illustrated handbook detailing numerous lessons about content marketing. Crestodina conducted thousands of interviews to compile the most effective lessons and advice starting with the theories behind our current digital marketing practices. The book continues with to explore modern strategies by providing details about various actions through real-world examples and practices.
People new to content marketing or others looking for a high level overview of the best practices that developed over the years should gain valuable insights and improve their skill set through this book.
Optimize by Lee Odden
“Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing” provides readers with a practical approach to integrating common digital marketing initiatives with content marketing. In Optimize, Oden explains how all digital marketing disciplines, such as social media, work together and ultimately boosts the impact of any individual strategy. The book offers advice that helps marketers create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
For any marketers or companies struggling to turn visitors into customers, Optimize provides a series of customer-centric approaches to test various tools in the digital marketing game plan. The book provides useful tips, tactics and guidelines that create an impactful process, which aims to optimize your site for success.