To make your product or business successful, you need a strong content marketing strategy. Fortunately, you are not alone and do not need to learn the hard way. Numerous designers, entrepreneurs, and writers have done the grunt work for you and put their experience into books.
Learn to write better, predict the world, be memorable, and keep your customers by spending some time with one of these seven books.
“Content Chemistry” by Andy Crestodina
Andy was the keynote speaker at Content Marketing World 2016. His writing style is crisp and clear. He takes the complexity out of online traffic patterns and communicates them in plain speech.
“To be successful,” Andy writes, “websites must do two things: 1) attract visitors, and 2) convert those visitors into leads and customers.”
“Chemistry” in the title refers to the periodic table of elements. Andy combines and rearranges the “elements” of content to create molecules. He calls this “content atomization.” Blog posts can be split into tweets or combined to build books.
It includes deep research, but is ultimately easy to read and understand. It includes four hands-on laboratory sessions on content, promotion, inspiration, and persistence.
“Content Strategy for the Web” by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
Kristina and Melissa wrote the road map for guiding a fledgling businessperson to the big time. It’s a great starting point for beginners. Too often people begin without a focus and spend months or years swimming in circles before finding the current.
“This book is an introduction to content strategy,” the authors say. “It describes some of the key benefits, roles, activities, and deliverables associated with content strategy.”
This delivers a step-by-step approach to moving forward with a plan. They suggest you read a section then work on a strategy for your specific business before moving on to the next section.
It’s a perfect book to grab before you launch your enterprise.
“Hug Your Haters” by Jay Baer
Image via Flickr by couchlearner
Customer service is not only about person-to-person interaction. It’s also about creating the right content to set the stage for the best customer experience. Jay has extensive customer service experience and knows ways to mollify the unhappiest of customers. He gets to the root of the issue and sees how content can sometimes set a business up for trouble.
Jay wrote this to help us deal with “people who are perturbed, displeased, disappointed, or downright angry.”
Sometimes there is a disparity between who a company is and how they represent themselves. Jay presents strategies for preventing and dealing with angry business relationships.
It’s a good guide for everyone who deals with customers, even if you think you’re good at it.
“Content Marketing Strategies for Dummies” by Stephanie Diamond
For dummies but definitely not by dummies, this franchise continues to get brilliant people to describe complex ideas in simple terms. Stephanie was in charge of AOL’s marketing campaigns during its boom. Her approach to content marketing is task-based and includes a multitude of links to websites and blog posts.
Stephanie writes: “Very little has been written about how to develop the underlying content marketing strategy that is crucial to your success.”
She uses customer data to create a journey for each buyer. Subtly, she guides potential customers and hooks them with engaging content. She covers how to create various personas for specific customer types.
This is a great book for the beginner but also a fresh resource for experienced marketers.
“Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley
Image via Flickr by TopRankMarketing
Most people are terrible at it. It’s a lost science, but Ann is bringing it back. She covers the basics like grammar and working with an outline, as well as more complex elements like copyright and attribution. She gets all the stuff in between to turn anyone into a solid and influential writer.
Plus, it’s modern. She covers how to write for various types of social media. It’s a different style but she balances smart, quality content with a casual, non-grammar-dork style.
Ann proposes the question: “In a time-challenged world dominated by short and snappy, by click-bait headlines and Twitter streams … does the idea of focusing on writing seem pedantic and ordinary?”
Whether you’re an experienced writer or a lousy one, you can learn a lot from this book.
“Non-Obvious 2017” by Rohit Bhargava
It’s easy to spot a trend once it’s trending, but you can’t be late to every game. Being on the leading edge of a trend is the difference between mediocrity and life-changing success. How do you spot the next big thing?
That’s Rohit’s bag. He’s been publishing a version of this book every year since 2011. He shares his techniques for analyzing data and predicting the next wave so you can catch it. He predicts culture, consumer behavior, and economics to put you ahead of the trend.
“The simple aim of this book is to teach you how to see the things that others miss,” Rohit says. “I call that ‘Non-Obvious‘ thinking, and learning how to do it can change your business and your career.”
If you want your content strategy to be ready for the next big thing, check out this book.
“Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath
The Heath brothers study what makes one idea travel around the world while another dies. Often the bogus, inflated, and un-true ones get much further than true and valuable ones. Why is that?
Want your story to be viral and sticky as the flu? Learn from the brothers who stepped back to gain perspective on urban legends, rumors, and gossip to see how it all works. They developed a skeleton you can build your own content on.
“So how do we nurture our ideas so they’ll succeed in the world?” they ask. “Many of us struggle with how to communicate ideas effectively, how to get our ideas to make a difference.”
This is a book about how to make your writing, and your entire content marketing strategy, adhesive and infectious.
If you’re just starting out or feel like you need fresh content marketing ideas, pick up a book and see how someone else has done what you’re doing now.