The Top 8 Content Marketing Books for Summer Reading

Summer is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to start crossing off books on your summer reading list that will help you revamp, reevaluate your strategy and expand your horizons on the ever changing worlds of digital and content marketing. Here are a few of our recommendations for you.

1. Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web by Ahava Leibtag

Throughout the book, Ahava Leibtag does a fantastic job detailing the essentials of crafting great content through the fundamentals of branding, messaging, business goal alignment and creating portable, mobile content. Leibtag stresses putting your audience first, involving stakeholders early and often and creating multidisciplinary content teams. Leibtag also asks hundreds of introspective questions to help the reader better understand the task at hand. She makes it clear that there are no quick fixes to create quality content.

2. Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik presents a new framework that permanently changes how you think about analytics, their application and forward-thinking trends. It provides specific recommendations for creating an actionable strategy, correctly applying techniques, solving challenges such as how to measure social media and employing tactics for truly listening to consumers using analytical data. This book will help your company become more next-generation data driven and socially intelligent.

3. Google Analytics by Justin Cutroni

Google Analytics is a great starting point for Analytics newcomers and marketers trying to hone their skills. Justin Cutroni shows you how to track different market segments, analyze conversion rates and reveals advanced techniques such as marketing-campaign tracking. Cutroni also provides complete code samples for web developers and explains the concepts behind the code.

4. Semantic Search by David Amerland

This is the complete guide for next-generation SEO. David Amerland plainly tells you what SEO techniques you need to be using for Google to easily find your website. Amerland breaks down the Knowledge Graph, TrustRank, AuthorityRank, personalized and mobile search, social media activity and more. Amerland has a profound knowledge of Google’s internal workings and patents; he also reveals the increasing impact of social networks, such as Google+, on your SEO performance.

5. Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich tells readers how to communicate honestly, responsibly and authentically in order to truly earn the trust of your audience. This is the complete, actionable guide for every business that understands there are new rules to the communications game, but don’t know what they are or how to execute them.

6. YOUtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer

YOUtility emphasizes developing a marketing strategy that is useful for the customer as opposed to useful for the business. Jay Bear explores the dynamics between service and marketing and insists helping customers make better decisions about a product or service today better benefits businesses in the long run. Baer’s explores how technology requires businesses to build relationships and trust with consumers using informational content.

7. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

Marketers who know they need a content marketing strategy but don’t know how to go about it will get the most out of Joe Pulizzi’s book. He offers dozens of do’s and dont’s, 15 causes of why your current content marketing may not be working and six principles of epic content marketing. The thinking and advice around each of these is woven with case studies ranging from Fortune 500 to small companies. Highlights include: creating a content marketing mission statement, an editorial calendar and tips on how to amplify your content. Pulizzi also offers approaches to identifying the value of content marketing in order to communicate that value to your executives.

8. Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman provide a great base-line understanding on why content has become central to any online marketing efforts through the increased presence of social media and how you can jump into content marketing. The authors discuss the importance of and provide techniques for developing content people actually care about through their industry knowledge combined with case studies. Note: this book is aimed more at marketers who have a mid-level understanding of content marketing as the authors quickly gloss over the basics before moving onto more valuable discussions.

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