10 of the best content marketing books to read in 2020

Content marketing, by definition, is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of digital content such as videos, blogs, podcasts, whitepapers, eBooks, websites, and magazines to promote a company’s perspectives on specific topics.

In other words, content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy to build stronger relationships with your target audience by producing and promoting high-quality, helpful, and relevant content on a consistent basis.

Content marketing has become an important part of marketing because it helps build trust, generates leads, and cultivates customer loyalty.

Here are 10 books about content marketing to help you start or enhance your content marketing strategy, planning, and implementation:

1. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

Epic Content Marketing

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn that publishing is the new marketing. The author is one of the world’s leading experts on content marketing. He takes you on a step-by-step process of developing content that informs and entertains. He shows how to position your company as a trusted expert in your industry, propelling your brand with increased sales.

This book helps you determine what your content niche should be to attract and retain customers, how to develop your content marketing mission statement, how to grow your audience, how to measure the performance of your content, and how to increase your content marketing budget. The books provides  in-depth case studies of how John Deere, LEGO, and Coca-Cola.

2. Conversation Marketing: How to Be Relevant and Engage Your Customer by Speaking Human

Conversation Marketing

Author: Kevin Lund

Why should you read this book? Did you know that each of us sees more than 5,000 marketing messages every day? Companies are trying to find new ways to cut through the noise and reach their target audience. In this book, you’ll learn why it is critical that your brand moves beyond service and price and connect with the hearts (not just the minds) of your audience.

The author discusses how today’s customers want a conversation with your brand before they act. This book will show you how to earn your audience’s attention, how to provide value at every touch point, how to tell a memorable story, how to listen (not sell) and change your tone to get better results. The author outlines the rules brands should follow to increase sales and establish a lifelong connection with their customers.

3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Everybody Writes

Author: Ann Handley

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll how to create content that makes your business thrive. The authors provides a guide to attracting and retaining customers with digital communication. The secret? It starts with great writing. 

If you have a website, if you are social media, you are in marketing. That means that we are all writers and publishers. In a world with click-bait headlines and Instagram feeds with gifs and videos, should you focus on writing? The author argues that our words are today’s currency. They are who we are. Our writing can make us look smart or stupid. Our writing can make us fun, competent, and trustworthy. It also the potential to make us look boring.

In this book, you’ll learn how to write better, how to give your audience the gift of a great story, best practices for creating  trustworthy content steeped in rules of journalism, and the content tools to get the job done.

4. They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer

They Ask You Answer

Author: Marcus Sheridan

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn that you should stop selling and start answering questions to get results. The author provides a revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing and how to connect with today’s digital consumer.

The author explains how the traditional sales funnel is no longer effective. Instead, brands should focus on the questions and problems that buyers and address them honestly and as thoroughly as possible. If you want to the top of the search results, your content strategy should answer the questions that thousands of potential buyers have.

The author discussed how he turned his struggling pool company into one of the largest pool installers in the United States. This book has become a must-have resource for organizations looking for a fresh and proven approach to marketing and sales that generates more traffic, leads, and sales.

5. Master Content Strategy: How to Maximize Your Reach & Boost Your Bottom Line Every Time You Hit Publish

Master Content Strategy

Author: Pamela Wilson

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn about how to create a content marketing strategy from an author who was a business owner and a marketing consultant.

This book is good explains that too often organizations fall into the trap of creating content one after another without figuring out how each piece fits together. This book will help you take a lifecycle approach to content creation and how to create the right content at the right time.

Discover how to create very important content and learn how to map out monthly, quarterly, and yearly content plans that guide your content marketing efforts so you can maximize your reach and increase your bottom line every time you publish a piece of content.

6. Inbound Content: A Step-by-Step Guide To Doing Content Marketing the Inbound Way

Inbound Content

Author: Justin Champion

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn how to develop and implement an effective content strategy. This book provides a step-by-step process for attracting the right people, turning them into leads, and, ultimately, into customers.

We all know that content is king so how do you create the right approach so customers will come to you? The author explains how your content s should be valuable, relevant, and consistent.

This book shows you how to create a unified content strategy, explains the power of storytelling, how to generate effective content ideas, how to plan a long-term content strategy,  how to develop a content creation framework, and how to extend the value of your content.

7. Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-Figure Business With Zero Advertising

Content Machine

Author: Dan Norris

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn how to create a content machine and build a seven-figure company with little to no advertising. 

The author will teach the fundamentals of content marketing, how to create great content, and how to stand out from the crowd. This book focused on how to create a business that grows through your content and the authors discusses his story about how he grew his WordPress support business and the lessons he learned, including the top mistake that kills content marketing efforts.

The authors explains how some of the best content marketers built their audience and their content. Finally, the author shows you how build out your content team as your organization grows through content.

8. The Content Code: 6 Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business

The Content Code

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn how to break through the wall of tons of information. This book takes a deep dive into the value of social media marketing and the steps companies need to enable to achieve measurable results.

The author explores the psychology of sharing and offer ideas that can be used by organizations of any size and any budget.

The book explores the connection between brand and content transmission, how to build “shareability” into all your content, and the new role of promoting your content online in a competitive, digital world. The author provides strategies for how to move beyond content, social media, web traffic and search engine optimization.

9. Brand Identity Breakthrough: How to Craft Your Company’s Unique Story to Make Your Products Irresistible

Brand Identity Breakthrough

Author: Gregory V. Diehl

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn the importance of your brand identify. How does your brand stand out from the crowd? The author shows you the key to creating innovative brand identities and distinct business stories. You’ll learn how to develop a strong brand identity by combining your personality and values with the functionality of your products.

The books provides you with a smarter way to think about product development flow, branding, brand mapping strategy, and business model generation. You’ll learn how to incorporate a unique selling proposition into your branding, how to use business storytelling to sell products in both physical and online marketplaces, how to educate your audience about your brand identity, and why others fail to see your values and how to uncover them.

10. Content That Converts: How To Build A Profitable and Predictable B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Content That Converts

Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn how to use content marketing to bring a predictable stream of qualified leads into your sales pipeline.

The author outlines a step-by-step process to generate qualified leads and improve your conversions with content marketing. This book will show you how to create longer form content that establish you as an industry leader and how to distribute your content effectively through email and search engine optimization (SEO).

You’ll also learn how to write powerful sales copy, how to expand the reach of your content, how to create conversion opportunities that result in sales, how to hone your conversion potential over time with the principles of influence and market sophistication.

What do you think?

Is your favorite content marketing book missing from this list? Leave a comment below so you can share your thoughts on content marketing books that are a must read.

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