Editor’s Choice: The 10 Best Books on Content Marketing
Content marketing has arguably been with us since before the beginning of recorded history, and certainly since the advent of mass-distributed publishing. In fact, entrepreneurs have almost always used publications that contain free and useful information as a means to market their products. Poor Richard’s Almanac is widely thought of as the first credible and best historical example of content marketing: a booklet of weather predictions that Benjamin Franklin began printing for farmers in 1732 to promote his own printing business—a practice in promotion that almanacs continue to this day. It’s only in the last five-to-ten years that the method of information marketing has grown so popular that it constituted 93 percent of modern business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategies in 2014, and 88 percent of B2B marketing strategies in 2016. Compare those figures with Google Trends’ search interest in the term “content marketing” from 2004-present, and we see that interest in the term has grown 88 percent in popularity, up from 10 percent in January 2004 to 98 percent in October 2016, i.e. now. This growth period includes sustained linear and at times explosive growth from January 2011 and on through to its present peak, meaning that the search term “content marketing” has currently reached a new zenith in search interest. This is the online marketing world where we find ourselves today, a world where “Content is King“, and it is why contemporary marketers can’t afford to ignore the importance of content creation, underestimate the power of new media publishing, or fail to develop a dependable content marketing strategy for their businesses. It’s also why we’ve ranked and assembled the ten best books that appear on content marketing’s continually growing bookshelf, so that readers can discover for themselves the best ideas from the best minds out there, who think about content marketing for a living. To compile this ranking, we sifted through over 400 books that were shelved under “content marketing” on the popular reader review site, Goodreads. We then handpicked the 350 most accessible, and scored them according to the average number of stars that readers have given them; the total number of ratings each book has received; and the relevance of their author to developing an understanding of the discipline. Only the highest rated, most rated, and most authorially relevant books rose to the top of our list. See if you recognize some of the titles. If you’ve been one among many self-taught content marketers who’ve Googled “content marketing” and contributed to its rising popularity over the past 12 years, we bet you’ll recognize at least one title, perhaps even several that you’ve read yourself.
1. #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media & Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk#AskGaryVee is the fourth best-selling business book written by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal -bestselling author and serial entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk. Known by fans and followers as Gary Vee, the businessman based this most recent title on his YouTube series of the same name. In that series, Vaynerchuk answers questions that he receives on Twitter via the hashtag @garyvee, which may explain the the book’s hyper-specific and explanatory subtitle: 437 Questions and Answers on the Current State of Entrepreneurship, Business Management, Monetization, Media, Platforms, Content, Influencer Marketing, Investor Leadership, Legacy, Parenting, Family Business, Crushing, Storytelling, Thanking, Jabbing, Right-Hooking, Hustling, & the New York Jets. If it won’t fit on Twitter, it should be a book, and so a book it became. Published in March 2016, #AskGaryVee is more than just another content marketing screed. It’s a quick-and-dirty romp through Vee’s free-associating and fast-paced mindspace, a mindspace that sits atop a body and soul brimming with wit, business acumen, and oftentimes therapeutic advice. Although Vaynerchuk never spends much time dwelling on a single topic, preferring byte-sized quips to in-depth musings, his compassion for new entrepreneurs of content marketing shines through with exactly the kind of wisdom that young startups need to hear: “If you religiously follow just the few core business philosophies that mean the most to you, and spend all your time there, everything else will naturally fall into place.” It’s thought leadership like this that makes #AskGaryVee a must-read for everybody new and old to content marketing, and especially anybody who wants to startup a new business. AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness
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