Content marketing is a tactic companies use to reach and engage audiences with the hopes of converting readers into customers. However, content marketing is becoming more crowded than ever. With all the noise you see online, it can be challenging to stand out. To ensure your business succeeds in this realm, it’s essential that you start reading the best content marketing books on the market.
1. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
Epic Content Marketing is a wonderful guide on crafting content that engages and captures the customers’ attention. If you’re wondering what type of content cuts through the noise, this book shows you. Joe Pulizzi is often regarded as the godfather of content marketing, and his specialty is creating value-driven content that audiences actively seek.
Pulizzi also discusses how interruptive advertising is dead. The way to gain more customers in your pocket is to share stories. The book’s central belief is that brands must think and act like media companies, consistently delivering valuable information that establishes trust and loyalty. Pulizzi illustrates this through real-world examples, such as Red Bull’s evolution into a media powerhouse beyond its energy drink origins.
The key takeaways from the book include the six principles of epic content marketing, which lay the foundation for any successful content strategy. From originality to consistency, Pulizzi provides readers a clear roadmap to elevate their content marketing efforts.
2. Practical Content Strategy & Marketing by Julia McCoy
Practical Content Strategy & Marketing is one of the best content marketing books for those seeking to establish a strong foundation in the field. Julia McCoy has vast experience as a content strategist and offers a hands-on guide complete with the following:
- Actionable steps
This way, readers can implement the strategies as they learn. What you’ll learn in the book is that content is more than about the creation itself. Instead, it requires thought and specific approaches using audience research, brand voice development and distribution planning.
McCoy also urges the value of authenticity in content marketing — a brand should be true to themselves and their audience when speaking to them. Within the book, you’ll also find a simple six-step process outlined for readers — from initial research to final content promotion. With case studies weaved into this outline, McCoy provides tangible examples of the principles in action.
3. Conversation Marketing by Kevin Lund
One of the best books on content marketing is Conversation Marketing by Kevin Lund. The book talks about how to dial into meaningful conversations with your customers. Consumers live in an age of information overload, and the traditional ways of pushing content no longer suffice. Instead, brands must foster authentic two-way conversations with their audiences to create lasting relationships.
The main essence of the book is about humanizing brand messaging. The author draws on his experience to show you how storytelling, empathy and listening can transform content from plain old information to engaging conversations. In his book, Lund introduces nine key principles of conversation marketing, guiding brands on how to speak “with” their audience rather than “at” them.
One of the examples in the book is the analysis of how companies like Apple and Airbnb foster community engagement through conversation-centric strategies. As such, brands can foster deeper loyalty and trust with their customers.
4. Master Content Strategy by Pamela Wilson
Master Content Strategy is invaluable for anyone who wants to implement content marketing but needs to know how to strategize. The book details everything about content planning, creation and maintenance. While you’ll attract audiences using the tactics from this book, you’ll also retain them over the long haul.
Content creation can be overwhelming to beginners, but this book lays out all the fundamentals of it. This book’s main theme is content marketing’s cyclical nature. Pamela Wilson introduces the “Lifecycle Content” concept, highlighting that strategies should evolve based on a brand’s maturity.
Practicality is at the heart of this book. Wilson offers tools, techniques and actionable insights that businesses can customize for their content strategy. You’ll also find her strategies work by showcasing real results from her methods through the Big Brand System.
5. The Content Fuel Framework by Melanie Deziel
Melanie Deziel’s The Content Fuel Framework offers a refreshing view of content creation. Content marketing is a crowded sphere, and Deziel’s book provides creative brainstorming and ideation approaches. That way, content creators always have compelling story ideas.
Content Fuel Framework is a system that gives you focus areas and formats to generate a variety of content possibilities. Deziel breaks down content into two main axes — the “what” (focus) and the “how” (format). By combining different elements from each axis, she showcases how brands can derive an almost infinite array of content ideas.
For instance, by bringing the focus of “people” with the format of “infographics” together, a brand may create visual biographies of its founders. This framework is so simple and adaptable that any business can put it to good use.
6. The Content Code by Mark Schaefer
The Content Code addresses a critical challenge marketers face in the digital era — the overwhelming abundance of content. With the rise of content marketing, creating quality content is no longer enough. Mark Schaefer shares that the next frontier is igniting that content, ensuring you get it in front of your audience and drive value.
Schaefer introduces the concept of “Content Shock” — an idea that the exponential growth of online content makes it increasingly difficult for any single piece to stand out. To combat this, he introduces the “Six Factors of Content Ignition,” guiding brands in ensuring their content is consumed and shared.
The interesting aspect of this book is that it dives deep into the psychology behind:
- Sharing content.
- The value of influence.
- The importance of building an engaged community.
The Content Code contains strategies to unlock your content and ensure it relates to your audience while achieving virality.
7. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
Content Strategy for the Web is a workpiece that has shaped the discipline of content strategy. Many regard it as a definitive guide, as the book details the complexities of planning, creating and managing web content. However, the type of content you are producing should be the kind that serves your business goals and the users’ needs.
Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach explain the challenges organizations face in managing vast amounts of online content. Therefore, it stresses the importance of having a clear, unified strategy. To achieve this, they introduce the core components of content strategy, from conducting thorough audits to ensuring proper maintenance.
Learn All About Content Marketing With the Best Books of All Time
There is a large amount of work that goes into content marketing. To succeed, you must strategize, perform research, analyze it and create it all while ensuring you provide relevant, authentic content. While this may sound overwhelming to beginning content creators, you can make it easy by learning and growing. In the meantime, consider boosting your content marketing skills by adding these best content marketing books to your reading list.
As an Amazon Associate, Designerly may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.