5 Content Marketing Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2023
There are so many articles about content marketing books if you google this term. How to choose what’s really worth reading?
Like you, I used to google “best books on content marketing” to find recommendations from industry experts. Surprisingly, most of the search results display the very same books on content marketing. I assume those are such popular books about content marketing worth mentioning.
However, new books are published continuously, and what was applicable in marketing a few years ago might not be relevant today.
As a marketer and an avid reader, I decided to create my own list of top marketing books about copywriting, storytelling, business, and mindset. The books listed in this article helped me become a self-made content marketer and solopreneur.
These books taught me the art and science of copywriting to create seductive selling pages. The tips from these books helped me publish over 200 blog posts and a few viral posts.
My mindset shifted from an action-taker to a results-driven content creator. These days, I have my own writing routine that helps me produce impactful content.
Below, you can find my list of marketing books for beginners and advanced marketers looking for actionable advice.
Top Content Marketing Books to Read in 2023
Best copywriting book
“The Copywriting Secrets” by Jim Edwards
Date of publication: 2018
Length: 330 pages
If you want to read only one marketing book and make sure you spend wisely, read this one.
I assure you won’t regret it and even thank me at the end. This is the best book for beginner copywriters who don’t know how to write seductive sales copy but want to master this skill as soon as possible.
The author lists 31 copywriting secrets in the book going from the simplest ones — “What is copywriting,” and “What really sells to people” to “Sales formulas that never fail” and “How to polish your sales copy.”
In the first chapters, Jim Edwards explains what makes people pay attention without noticing the sales message in the copy. He writes:
“Copywriting is selling. Nobody will write better copy for your stuff than you.”
This is why you, as a marketer or an entrepreneur, should know your audience so well to address their pains and needs in your sales copy. The content marketing book “Copywriting Secrets” by Jim Edwards will help you learn how to do it right.
Best storytelling book to master content marketing
“Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular” by Derek Thompson
Date of publication: 2017
Length: 368 pages
Available on: Amazon
Seth Godin, an author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker, once well-said:
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
It’s not enough to market your products or services these days. Everyone does the same. Instead, your task is to make people care.
How to make your target audience care about your message if there are so many opportunities on the market? The answer is through storytelling.
Imagine you are looking for the best content marketing books for writers. There are thousands of books on the same topic, but how to pick the best one?
Now, imagine the author sharing his personal story of becoming a self-made content marketer by reading dozens of books a year. He says his workplace did not help him develop the right skills. Instead, he spent years serving clients worldwide as a freelance marketing expert. Through his book, he shares his learnings and experiences with avid readers.
Now, would you pick this content marketing book knowing the story behind it? I bet you will.
Stories give you the power to connect with people who have similar goals, struggles, and life challenges like you.
What does it all have to do with the “Hit Makers” book? 368 pages of exciting storytelling on how objects of art and science became popular over the past centuries.
From the old German lullaby that conquered the world to what made “The Japanese Footbridge” by Claude Monet extremely popular.
In this book, the author talks about the fame and familiarity in art, music, films, and politics through storytelling. He follows the rule “show, don’t tell,” helping your mind recreate the book’s scenes while reading.
The Guardian reviewed this book as:
“Hit Makers is less a how-to guide, but a winning combination of social connection, five-star ebook reviews, the fan-fiction community and, finally, marketing.”
This top content marketing book is my go-to recommendation to nail storytelling and content writing skills.
Best content marketing book on what makes online content go viral
“Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip and Dan Heath
Date of publication: 2007
Length: 291 pages
Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Together with his brother, Dan Heath, a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, they published four commercially successful marketing and personal development books.
“Made to Stick” is one of the best marketing books of all time that made the Heath brothers famous. The book was featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
This is a marketing must-read book for beginners and professionals looking for a clear how-to guide to creating popular content.
The book authors give you a “virality formula” based on six principles:
- “Simple” — Less is more. Make your ideas simple, and people will easily remember them.
- “Unexpected” — Make your content surprising to catch and hold people’s attention.
- “Concrete” — Make it to the point. Abstract things are hard to remember.
- “Credible” — People should believe in what you say. Otherwise, your message won’t resonate.
- “Emotional” — Use emotional triggers in your content. Make people care about your message.
- “Stories” – Use storytelling to convey your thoughts and connect with your audience.
No, I am not giving spoilers here by sharing this virality formula with you. 🙂 There is so much more to learn from the “Made to Stick.”
This content marketing book is among the best-selling marketing books and my personal favorite. Highly recommended.
Most up-to-date digital content writing book
“The Art and Business of Online Writing: How to Beat the Game of Capturing and Keeping Attention” by Nicolas Cole
Date of publication: 2020
Length: 340 pages
Available on: Amazon
I often write on Medium to reach a wider audience and get paid for it. This is how I stumbled upon Nicolas Cole’s blog. His Medium page is a goldmine for novice writers and content marketers who want to nail the art and science of online writing. I learn a lot from Nicole’s articles and keep following his updates.
In short, Nicolas Cole is a top writer on Medium with over 100M views, a Quora top writer, and an entrepreneur. Besides, he is the author of one of Amazon’s most popular content marketing books called “The Art and Science of Online Writer.”
Nicolas’ book was recommended to me by one of the top writers on Medium. This is how I found out there must be a lot of value in it.
“The Art and Science of Online Writer” is the best book on content writing in the modern age, in my opinion. It’s full of up-to-date information and strategies based on over ten years of Nicola’s digital writing experience.
In short, the book will teach you the following:
- How and where you should start writing online
- How to beat “the game” of internet publishing
- How to go viral on social and do not give up on the way to success
- How to become an idea generator machine and never run out of blog post ideas
- Anatomy of a “perfect blog post.”
- How to repurpose your blog posts into ebooks, books, physical products, businesses, etc.
- One habit you should adopt today to become a successful blogger.
“The Art of Online and Business Writing” is a must-read marketing book for novice and advanced writers and content marketers. It will help you learn blogging and up-to-date content monetization techniques.
Best book to learn marketing and product development
“Jobs to Be Done: Theory to Practice” by Anthony W. Ulwick
Date of publication: 2016
Length: 202 pages
I stumbled upon this amazing quote by Gary Vee on Linkedin:
“No amount of marketing is going to sell a bad product.”
My whole content marketing career with wins and failures has gone through my head after reading this quote.
Creating products people need and relying on word of mouth seem so simple, yet more complicated when it comes to reality.
A desire to enter saturated markets creates tough competition. Moreover, it puts a lot of pressure on marketers who have to develop new promotional hacks.
Besides advertising, businesses use the “product innovation” strategy to remain competitive.
“Jobs to Be Done” is one of the best books to learn about product marketing and explains what innovation is and why particular companies fail to innovate their products.
If you believe creating personas is not the most effective way to segment your audience, you are not alone. Some products are better defined by the job they do than by the customers they serve.
For instance, here are a few examples of the jobs we need to do daily:
- Order meals online with speed and confidence
- Clean our apartments
- Get in touch with our friends and family members wherever they are.
Regardless of audience demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics, the actual need or a “job to be done” is a better way to approach a new product development or innovation.
In this book, the author introduces the Jobs-to-be-Done Needs Framework to discover, categorize and prioritize customer needs in the following way:
- The Core Functional Job-to-be-Done and Desired Outcomes
- Related Jobs
- Emotional and Social Jobs
- Consumption Chain Jobs
By focusing on “the job to be done,” you can better identify and address your customers’ needs. It will help you develop and market a product tailored to what people are already trying to do themselves.
Intercom Co-Founder Des Traynor has also published a free and short content marketing ebook on jobs to be done. It is an excellent addition and one more helpful tool for better understanding the job customers use your product for.
I hope you find this list of the best marketing books to read helpful! I will keep this list updated and add more books on content marketing, social media marketing books, and SEO writing books.
Meanwhile, feel free to share your personal favorites in the comments below!
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