It’s that time again, time for my third annual mid-year roundup of recently released books recommended for content marketers. The self-education never ends for content marketers…even when the holidays roll around.
As always, one of my goals is to highlight the latest must-reads for the content marketing community. And many of the following pieces were written by familiar content marketing stars.
But, in a broader sense, my goal is to draw attention to equally important books from beyond the content marketing community. Ironically, the most productive content marketing ideas often come from outside the content marketing world, from books on traditional advertising, creativity, personal branding, and psychology.
Either way, due to their hybrid backgrounds and each author’s unique perspective, the following books have something for everyone, from entrepreneurs and freelancers to top marketers and consultants. And, they can turn rainy days or delayed flights into career-enhancing learning opportunities.
An added bonus: the following provides inspiring examples of the types of books that are popular today in terms of content structure, length, and style.
The Advertising Concept Book: A Complete Guide to Creative Ideas, Strategies and Campaigns by Pete Barry
One of the reasons I’m a big fan of Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose’s weekly This Old Marketing podcast is that they take a thoughtful approach to traditional advertising. They recognize the lessons to be learned from advertising and the fact that there is a time and a place for it in content marketing.
The Advertising Concept Book is a great example of learning history. It Argentina Mobile Number List offers content marketers a valuable source of content and design inspiration based on the best examples from the past.
I’ve been reading advertising books ever since Gutenberg printed the original edition of David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man , but I’ve never come across a book like The Advertising Concept Book .
It’s definitely not for everyone. It’s bigger, thicker, heavier, and a bit more expensive than most of the books that follow. (This is definitely not a book to read on the plane to Content Marketing World in September.) But, in return, your investment will be repaid in depth and reading pleasure. Nowhere else will you find so much analysis and detail of content and design in a single volume.
Each page is a visual treat. Classic ads have been redesigned to highlight key Cryp Email List ideas, without any distractions. It’s a book to be read slowly on paper, giving your mind time to digest the ideas.
Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Follow Around It by Dorie Clark
Stand Out is a companion, implementation guide to his first book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future . His first book described the importance of reinvention. Stand Out outlines a three-step process to:
- Findyour breakthrough idea
- Builda following around him
Stand Out covers the tasks and details involved in each step with examples, interviews, and tips. To help you start your journey, each chapter ends with challenging questions. These are not “summary” questions; they provoke thought.
Focus: The Hidden Engine of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
It is the easy-to-read and immediately applicable development of ideas he introduced 10 years ago in his best-selling emotional intelligence book . It is much shorter and focuses on career and work issues. The 21 chapters are organized in terms of activities, eg, self-awareness, reading others, well-focused leaders. As a result, it is less of a general manual and more of a guide to best practices for day-to-day interactions with bosses, colleagues and clients.
It’s a great example of psychological research that boils down to acceptance, recognition, and day-to-day self-management. (Note: Focus was originally in 2013, but the paperback edition that’s much easier to read and take to the beach has just been released.)
Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive by Edward M. Hallowell
Ultimately, distraction is probably the biggest killer of content marketing productivity. There is distraction everywhere in today’s world 24/7, always connected. I suspect content marketers are particularly vulnerable because those I’ve met are truly passionate about creating, curating, and sharing ideas, words, and visual images.
Pioneering ADHD researcher Hallowell coined the phrase “Attention Deficit Trait” to describe the growing problem in today’s workplace. In the first part, he describes “The six most common distractions at work – and how to overcome them”. For better or worse, I recognized most of them, screen sucking, multitasking, brainstorming, etc. Part two, “Train Your Attention,” outlines seven specific ways to increase your focus. Imagine how much more productive you would be by January 2016 if you mastered just one technique per month from now on.
Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn by Anne H. Janzer
Positioning a new book in the content marketing sphere isn’t easy – there are plenty of books available and many are well-established bestsellers.
One of the things I love most about subscription marketing is book positioning. By identifying a key concern faced by all content marketers and sharing a system to address it, Anne Janzer has created a niche she can dominate in the world of content marketing.
Anne also positioned her book in terms of length and value . In less than 150 pages (print version), Anne convincingly describes:
- The problem(i.e. symptoms and implications of changing subscription)
- The solution(i.e. an alternative, a series of value strategies)
- Implementation (e. putting the strategies into action)
I especially liked Chapter 10, “Helping Clients Live by Their Values.” This provided new insight into the opportunities highlighted by recent research.
Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transforming Your Business by Arnie and Brad Kuenn
Some books are so good that you want to buy the paperback version even after reading the Kindle version. That’s how I feel about Content Marketing Works .
While reading the digital version, I found many ideas that I wanted to highlight, comment on or reference in future projects. (Yes, I realize Kindle offers a way to