It’s late December and your holiday shopping should be over. Hanukkah has already begun, Christmas and Kwanzaa are barely an Amazon Prime shipping period away. What you don’t need right now is a gift-giving guide. You should be done. I’m here instead to help you with a Gift-Getting Guide for Content Marketers. In other words, I’m going to help you spend those Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play gift cards with excellent books on content marketing and strategy that you really should have in your collection, be it paper or electronic. You’ll be all set for a holiday break with good reading by the fire that will get you set up for success in 2015.
New and Wonderful
- Global Content Marketing – Pam Didner – I’ve used a lot of my yellow highlighter pen up noting Pam’s sage wisdom so I would be sure to implement her thoughtful suggestions for our own content strategies. While much of the book focuses on implementing a global strategy for team across many regions, there is plenty of Content Marketing 101 smarts to help anyone new the industry alongside some great examples that have application for just about any brand or business.
- Welcome to the Funnel – Jason Miller – I’m glad to have picked up Jason’s excellent book for reading on my iPad after his electrifyingly good performance back at Content Marketing World. It’s a slim volume you can plow through quickly but it is dense with excellent ideas (and plenty of amusing “food = content” metaphors) from Jason’s experience supercharging both Marketo’s and LinkedIn’s marketing efforts with a resourceful mentality and passion for results-driven activities.
- Everybody Writes – Ann Handley – Ann is one of the best speakers in the space on how to improve your content creation skills. Her book, which is helpfully chopped into snack-sized chapters perhaps more suitable for modern read-it-on-the-train audiences, is chock full of wise thoughts on how to optimize what you write. For beginners, she’ll help you get into what we at PublishThis call the “Content Habit” – producing regularly with tips and tricks that keep you focused on content that will make a difference to your business. To the experienced writers like me, she’s still got a ton of ideas to help us refine what we do. A must read if you’re creating content.
- Smart Cuts – Shane Snow – Strictly speaking, Shane’s book isn’t really about Content Marketing. It’s more about life-hacking in general and it contains his trademark purposeful storytelling. I enjoyed it immensely and I’ve been encouraging my teenage kids to read it (reading excerpts out to them – hey, they’re never too old to enjoy reading aloud) because I think it’s an important book for Millennials and Gen Z to consider when they consider how to approach the business world.
- Experiences: The 7th Wave of Marketing – Robert Rose and Carla Johnson – This is actually a pre-release review based on the excerpt that Robert Rose has posted on his website for the book. It’s actually not scheduled to be released until early in 2015 (hold onto that Amazon card) but based on the three chapters you can read right now, this is going to be another seminal book for the Content Marketing space.
Older But Great
- Managing Content Marketing – Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi – The other book that is making my highlighter run out of ink is this essential book from the two brilliant minds at the center of the Content Marketing Institute. If you need the basics covered for mounting your content strategy, this is the ultimate workbook for you to get ready for next year.
Epic Content Marketing – Joe Pulizzi – We can’t forget the Godfather’s book. The CMI Master’s book is only a year old but it’s already one of the books frequently quoted for its inspirational quality and usefulness to forward thinking marketers. If you’ve heard Joe speak in person, you know why. If that idea is still something you are selling people on internally, this book will give you the weapons you need to get the 1.0 and old-school thinkers to understand the value of content marketing.
- Optimize – Lee Odden – As a big fan of Lee Odden’s writing online (you MUST read the Top Rank Blog – one of the essential sources online), this was an instant add to my reading list last year. This book goes well beyond just content marketing by marrying it with helpful information about your distribution channels, SEO, and search. Like Robert Rose, Lee is one of the great thinkers in the content and publishing space and his work is both educational as well as highly useful.
- QR Codes Kill Kittens – Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer – Scott was another favorite speaker at Content Marketing World and while Unmarketing is a more useful read, this little ‘picture book for marketers’ is a funny way to some time by the fire during when it’s cold outside.
Those are some of my favorite books from the last year or so of reading on the subject. What would you add?
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