Here is our list of top content marketing books.
Content marketing books explain how to use content, including videos, blogs, and social posts, to generate interest in your product or services. These books detail important approaches to creating and structuring content in the most effective way for results. Examples include Everybody Writes by Ann Handley and Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi. These guides outline the best practices for industry professionals to improve their content marketing campaigns.
This list includes:
- books on content creation
- content creation books
- content strategy books
- content marketing books for beginners
Let’s get to it!
List of content marketing books
These books are trusted classics in this field and will improve your team’s knowledge of content marketing, enabling you to create quality marketing campaigns.
Here are the best content marketing books you should consider recommending to your team:
1. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi
Epic Content Marketing is highly suited for content marketing departments or organizations. The book takes you through a step-by-step process of developing relatable, informative, and entertaining content for your target audience. You also learn how to increase sales and position your organization as an expert in the content marketing industry.
Epic Content Marketing breaks down the process of:
- choosing a niche
- attracting customers
- growing your audience
- measuring content performance
- managing a content budget
Epic Content Marketing was named one of Fortune magazine’s five must-read business books because of the practical case studies of companies like Coca-Cola and LEGO. The book will shift the orientation of your content marketing team from the content development stage to compelling your customer to take action.
Joe Pulizzi is one of the world’s leading experts in content and marketing, having been featured on the Wall Street Journal and worked with Disney and IBM. He coined the term “content marketing” in 2001 and has spent decades teaching the best approach to content marketing.
Notable quote: “Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Your customers do not care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves. ”
2. Practical Content Strategy & Marketing: The Content Strategy & Marketing Course Guidebook by Julia McCoy
Practical Content Strategy & Marketing is a hands-on guide that deals with the approach to content marketing. The book will help you to answer the questions of ‘how,’ ‘why,’ and ‘where’ in your content marketing process. Each section of this book has built-in exercises to help solidify important skills your team needs. The principles in this book will guide you in creating content across different platforms and formats and applying different strategies, tools, and content types.
This book covers:
- the core foundations of an ROI-based content strategy
- audience persona
- sales funnel
- content mapping
- content styles
You will learn how to use keywords, optimize for SEO and set yourself up as an authority in your field. The last two modules of the book cover practical steps to content creation, editorial budgeting, content promotion, and budgeting.
Julia McCoy takes you through the rudiments of content strategy. The book’s hands-on approach will help you understand the basic operational principles of content strategy and marketing.
Practical Content Strategy & Marketing accompanies McCoy’s course of the same name. McCoy is the founder of Content Hacker and has been creating content professionally since she was 19. In recent years, she has dedicated her time to teaching content strategy to entrepreneurs, marketers, and media agencies.
Notable Quote: ”Content marketing is the anti-interruptive marketing of today and tomorrow. But to be heard and not treated like an interruptive marketer, you must create content that people are interested in.”
3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
The premise of Everybody Writes is that regardless of your field of endeavor, everyone writes and markets. This premise lays the foundation and walks you through attracting and retaining customers. If you want to make high-quality content, then this is one of the most pivotal content creation books on the market. The author makes the case that writing matters now more than ever.
The tips outlined in Everybody Writes are useful when writing for all mediums, including:
- captions for social media
- landing pages
Everybody Writes provides insights into the process and strategies for content creation, production, and publishing. Each chapter is an actionable step to generate better results in your content marketing strategy. Everybody Writes aims to help you make compelling, competent, and competitive content, the size of your organization notwithstanding.
Ann Handley is a content marketing expert and digital marketing pioneer with over 15 books. She is the first chief content officer in the world and has worked with IBM and American Express. Content marketing books for beginners like this one are great recommendations for newbies in the field.
Notable quote: “Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It is not self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates readers’ questions while reading a piece and answers them. ”
Buy Everybody Writes.
4. Conversation Marketing: How to Be Relevant and Engage Your Customer by Speaking Human by Kevin Lund
Conversation Marketing takes a new approach to content marketing. The average consumer sees thousands of marketing messages daily, which can be numbing. The process recommended in this book will help you connect to your audience’s heart. Having the right conversation with your audience is a great strategy to cut through the noise and win the audience’s trust.
Conversation Marketing will help you provide value in every interaction with your audience in a memorable way. Instead of trying to sell to your audience at every touch point, Conversation Marketing helps you listen more. This approach will save you from intense competition and help you sell more.
Notable quote: “SPEAK HUMAN, BE HUMAN. The most well-intentioned strategy is only as good as your last tweet.”
5. Master Content Strategy: How to Maximize Your Reach & Boost Your Bottom Line Every Time You Hit Publish by Pamela Wilson
Many organizations must look at the big picture and how each piece of content fits together. Master Content Strategy is out to correct the challenge of haphazard content and help you approach content creation from a strategic angle. An effective content strategy will help you create the right content at the right time and maximize the impact.
Master Content Strategy takes you through the lifecycle of your content creation. You will learn the components of great and impactful content. Using this content creation book, you will also learn to map out annual, quarterly, and monthly content plans and repurpose content for other mediums. The approaches listed in this book apply to B2B and B2C content.
Notable quote: “Content marketing helps your website get found, attracts prospects to your business, and it gives you a way to develop a trust-based relationship with them. But if you do not ask your readers to take action, you might as well skip the whole exercise!”
6. They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan
Unlike many books on content creation, They Ask, You Answer proposes that you should stop selling and start answering questions. Marcus Sheridan argues that this approach will get more results than selling desperately. The author argues that the platforms that give the most helpful answers get the most attention.
In this argument, Sheridan states that the traditional sales funnel is not effective anymore, and content strategy should focus on answering questions. Following the solutions in They Ask, You Answer will help you build trust with your audience and establish you as an expert in your field.
They Ask, You Answer offers a fresh approach to your content and sales strategy. If your goal is increasing traffic and leads to your business, then consider changing your strategy. According to the author, this approach is neither budget-dependent nor expertise-dependent.
You can make more impactful content with the financial and human resources you already have by simply tweaking your strategy. The solutions approach will help your business thrive in the internet age and increase conversion rates in any sector.
Using this principle, Marcus Sheridan built his pool business from scratch to become one of the largest installers of swimming pools in the US. The success of Sheridan’s business strategy has sometimes meant that his company had to turn down millions of dollars annually because they are fully booked.
Notable quote: “ In almost every industry, consumers make poor buying decisions and purchase the ‘cheapest’ products and services, not because they are solely price motivated, but because they do not know any better.”
Buy They Ask, You Answer.
7. Inbound Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing Content Marketing the Inbound Way by Justin Champion
Inbound Content is a step-by-step content strategy book that will guide you in developing effective content strategies and implementing these strategies flawlessly. The book will help you to create compelling content that attracts the right prospect until they become customers. Justin Champion shows you what makes content valuable and relevant. Your strategy must consistently deliver valuable content to the right audience at the right time.
Inbound Content goes beyond creating valuable content. You will learn to maximize the highest potential of your content and develop the content into a comprehensive long-term strategy. Champion goes further to show the power of storytelling in your content, revealing how to use storytelling effectively and extend the value of your content. Inbound Content will show you how to promote, measure, and analyze your content.
Notable quote: “When looking at your long-term content plan, it’s important to break up the large goals into digestible chunks that can be completed on a short-term basis.”
Buy Inbound Content.
8. Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-Figure Business With Zero Advertising by Dan Norris
Content Machine is a strategic book that will help you grow your organization into a seven-figure business without relying on advertising. Dan Norris breaks down the process of creating great content that will stand out from the crowd. The author also chronicles how he built his business and the mistakes that can hamper your content marketing efforts.
Content Machine aims to make your organization a consistent producer of great, high-converting content. The approach outlined in this book will help you build a framework that facilitates scaling. You will learn how to build content, an audience, and a business simultaneously. Content Machine is a complete book that will help you generate ideas, write guidelines, hire, and scale your content team. This book is an important tool for entrepreneurs, bloggers, content marketers, and managers.
Notable quotes: “Do not just write about your business or your product. Your content has to be educational and solve problems.”
Buy Content Machine.
9. Brand Identity Breakthrough: How to Craft Your Company’s Unique Story to Make Your Products Irresistible by Gregory Diehl
Brand Identity Breakthrough poses important questions to every organization, such as “how does your brand stand out from the crowd?” Questions of identity and unique selling points are not always addressed in the content marketing industry, as most companies try to replicate another company’s formula.
George Diehl takes time to explain why that is a bad idea and how you can identify a distinct business story. Brand Identity Breakthrough will teach you how to combine your personality with your product’s value and functionality. This combination is the key to creating an innovative brand identity that is true to your organization.
Brand Identity Breakthrough shows a new approach to branding and strategy, business models, and product development flow. The tenets taught in this book work for online and offline markets to display your value to your audience.
Diehl argues that your business tells a story whether you are aware or not, and you should control the narrative. Diehl bases the book on decades of studying business globally and harnessing the true stories behind great companies.
The book explains why your brand identity matters, how to create one, and how to craft your story and convey the story in a convincing and educative way. You will also learn how to unify your brand identity over different platforms, how to fast-track your personal brand growth, and some success tips for entrepreneurs.
Notable quotes: “The greater the meaning behind your business, the harder it becomes to communicate it to the world.”
10. Content That Converts: How to Build A Profitable and Predictable B2B Content Marketing Strategy by Laura Hanly
In Content That Converts, you will learn how to generate a predictable and consistent income stream through your sales pipeline. This step-by-step guide will improve your content marketing’s conversion rate. This book is highly suited for B2B business owners needing a predictable sales cycle.
Reading this book, you will understand who your audience is, what to offer, and how to communicate with your audience. You will also learn how to create long-form content assets that will position you as a thought leader in your industry.
Content That Converts will show you how to expand your content’s reach effectively across different platforms using SEO. This book will teach you how to use influence and sophistication to deliver power sales copy.
Notable quotes: “Understand that every business produces content, whether intentional or not.”
11. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
Building a StoryBrand is a great book for business leaders who want to improve the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns. Many business owners have lost millions in revenue due to an inability to communicate effectively with their customers. Building a StoryBrand will show you how to use the right words to talk about your products in a way that connects and converts.
Storytelling is an important component of an effective content marketing campaign. Miller walks through how to use universal storytelling elements to influence customers dramatically and grow sales. You will learn the seven universal story points every customer will respond to, how to simplify your brand, and what influences customers to make purchases.
Building a StoryBrand will show you strategies for more effective messaging on websites, brochures, and social media. The lessons in Building a StoryBrand work for businesses of all sizes by transforming how you present your business.
Notable quotes: “We must tell our customers how great their life can look if they buy our products and services.”
12. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi
Content Inc. is one of the best content strategy books for experts. This guide offers a new model for content marketing strategy and entrepreneurial success. Pulizzi subverts the general belief that the product should come before the content or the audience. He states that you should develop valuable content and build an audience around your content before creating a product that meets the audience’s needs.
The reverse engineering of this traditional content marketing model results in a smart, simple, and cost-effective way of ensuring brand uniqueness. The approach in Content Inc. will teach you how to build an audience you can sell anything to instead of trying to find the audience for your product. Pulizzi used this strategy to build his company into one of the fastest-growing private companies.
In Content Inc., Pulizzi teaches the six steps to create a robust business startup. First, identify the sweet spot where your unique competencies and passion intersect. Then, locate an angle with little to no competition and establish a medium for building an audience. Next, harvest your audience through social media and SEO strategy.
Once you have established an audience, you should diversify your delivery channels and monetize. The six-step process is easy to visualize and incorporate into your business plan.
Notable quote: “A blog post is like a miniskirt. It needs to be long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to keep it interesting.
Buy Content Inc.
Content marketing books are a great way to harness your competencies and improve overall marketing results. You will need to create time to read through an entire book, which can be demanding, depending on your schedule. However, you can also learn from the books by listening to the audiobook version. These content marketing books present the lessons the authors have learned through experience or research, which can save your business time and resources. Reading these books will show you what type of content marketing is right for you for the best results.