15 Must Read Content Marketing Books

by | Oct 26, 2016 | Content Marketing

12 Min Read. |

Every book you read may not save your life but some surely will.

With over 76% of marketers increasing their spend on content marketing in 2016 (Curata.com), it is clear that this practice is heading to the top of many companies’ priority lists. Therefore, in order to keep up with the trends, learn from case studies, and different practices, it is important to go for a content marketing book!

However, choosing the ‘best’ book is a difficult task. How are you going to find a book that is in aligning with your objectives, goals, future plans, and those books which know where you lack?

In order to feed your mind with the best books on content marketing, and minimize your struggles of finding the best content marketing books, we have come up with the list of ‘Top 15 Best Content Marketing Books’. While creating this list of books, we have taken care of timeless principles i.e. the fundamentals that helped you yesterday, help you today, and will help you tomorrow. You can read these books this year, the next year, and so on.

After reading these best books on content marketing, you will become unstoppable!

Best Content Marketing Books

1. Content Strategy for the Web 2nd Edition by Melissa Rach & Kristina Halvorson

About Melissa Rach & Kristina Halvorson

Melissa Rach has been working as a content and communications specialist for more than 20 years. Her methodologies have been taught at various universities and her work has been recognized in blogs and books daily throughout her career. She is also a columnist for Contents Magazine.

Kristina Halvorson is recognized across the world for her content strategy. She is the CEO and Founder of Brain Traffic, a content strategy firm, host of Content Talks, and the founder of Confab, the Content Strategy Conference. Here book, Content Strategy is considered the gold standard for content strategy literature.

Some people don’t really like the word ‘strategy’. Well, this word sometimes turns me off too. But, without a strong strategy, you content will never reach its full potential. It might also suffer from some common pitfalls which could be avoided easily.content-strategy-for-the-web-2nd-edition

The book by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach on the content strategy for the web will help you structure a road map to better content so that you can have a better business! From making smarter decisions about using the content to understanding the value of content in general, this book is a delight to read.

Here’s how this book can help you with content strategy: Read a section of this book, work on your content strategy, pick up the book, read another section, apply the strategy again, and repeat.

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2. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

About Ann Handleythe author: Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, she is also among the top 20 female bloggers by ForbesWoman. She has provided clear tips for better stoeverybody-writesrytelling, easy grammar rules, and functional guidelines to make the goal of writing great content attainable for all.

More like a guide on creating content, the book ‘Everybody Writes’ is a must read for every content marketer. You will learn about important writing rules, common publishing concerns, grammar essentials, and the mechanics of writing on social media.

This book is written by one of the best practitioners in the field. You will have all the great advice in one tidy publication! There will be basics of copyright, fair use, productivity tools, and attribution.

3. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

About the Author: Joe Pulizzi, Founder and Executive Director of Content Marketing Institute, has written his third legendary book. His book is comprehensive as well as a compelling strategy which provides helpful tools for the modern marketer.epic-content-marketing

One of the most famous experts on content marketing, Joe Pulizzi, explains how to draw prospects and customers in by creating information and content they actually want to engage with. There is no space for mediocre content and sales messages that customers don’t care about.

This book will explain step by step of the process of developing stories that inform and entertain and compel customers to act without actually telling them to. With epic content, you will know how to distribute the right person at the right time and how to capture customers’ minds.

“Once we hook customers in with epic content, they reward us by sending our sales through the roof.”

Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi

4. Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

“Content marketing is an iterative process; you’re unlikely to get it perfect the first time around… but, it gets better the more you work at it.” Content Inc. is his fourth book and the second he has written by himself. This book is one of the most readable, personal, and organized of his books. It explains a six-step content marketing process that any self-employed professional, marketing director or entrepreneur can use to earn profit from a content process.

The book has eight sections including the relevance, the challenges, the best possible practices, the tools, and the rewards that other firms have gained from each step.

5. Global Content Marketing by Pam Didner

About Pam Didner

Pam Didner is a Global Content Marketing Strategist and Fortune 100 Senior Marketing Expert. Also, she stands amongst Top 100 Content Marketing influencers, and her book ‘Global Content Marketing’ was amongst top 10 marketing books.global-content-marketing

Being a former Global Integrated Marketing Strategist for Intel, Didner gained important experience and insight on how to support product launches on a global scale and mobilize content campaigns. While many pros lean in to decipher the needs of the US market, her approach addresses content marketing to work across geographic boundaries and create an integrated plan with diverse cultural norms. She makes the book concise, concrete along with humorous touch when the mood strikes.

6. All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

About Seth Godin

An American marketer, entrepreneur, public speaker, and author, Godin has written 17 books and his Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of Year in 2004. His two bestselling books are Linchpin and Tribes.

The title of this book may leave readers curious and same happens when one reads it. He explains the importance of storytelling that resonates the audiences.

Telling stories about your products and services that help you in earning sales is extremely effective but it is extremely important to include authenticity in branding campaigns. As soon as the stories turn false then all hypes turn down that can be extremely destructive for the brands, and that is why Godin emphasizes the importance of including factualness and genuineness in marketing in his book ‘All Marketers Are Liars’.

7. Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly by Bernadette Jiwa

About the Author: Bernadette Jiwa is the author of 5 #1 Amazon Bestsellers on brand storytelling and marketing – ‘Make Your Idea Matter’, ‘The Fortune Cookie Principle’, and her latest book, ‘Meaningful’. Bernadette’s book Meaningful featured on Inc Magazine’s Best Business Books of 2015.meaninful

The book, ‘Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly’ reflects ideas of the story of telling. Her approach to stories goes deeper into the connection between story and product than most, yet her writing style is magnetic in its momentum and conciseness. This book describes a marketing approach on the basis of innovation that goes far beyond exposure, benefits, and features.

Similar to the concept of Content Inc, Bernadette addresses the inevitable disconnect that results from the universal tendency to create products first, then look for customers to sell them to. The actual innovation is story-based, but it is not based on your story rather the stories of your clients and prospects.

8. The Go-Giver: Expanded Edition: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann

About Bob Burg and David Mann

Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker for entrepreneurial events and at corporate conventions. He is best known for his books “Endless Referrals” and “The Go-Giver” that has captured the readers’ mind and heart. “The Go-Giver” shot to #6 on The Wall Street Journal’s Business Best Sellers list just three weeks after its release and reached #9 on BusinessWeek’s.

David Mann is an award-winning author for many books. These books are published in over two dozen languages and have sold more than 2 million copies.


The Go-Giver defines the heart and soul of content marketing. This book describes the philosophies that underlie the daily habits of Robert Rose, Joe Pulizzi, and countless CMI bloggers and Content Marketing World presenters. The principles of Go-Giver are central to the underlying rhythms of content marketing: The law of value and the law of influence.

More than 500,000 copies of this book have been sold around the world.

9. Content That Converts by Laura Hanly

About laura-hanlyLaura Hanly

She has been working with start-ups, consultants, and SAAS companies to extract the expertise into sales copycontent-that-converts, blog content, and books that have been generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. She has written ‘Content that Converts’ with an aim to show businessmen how powerful content marketing could be if done right.

The book ‘Content that Converts’ is for the leaders and entrepreneurs of B2B businesses who want to use content marketing to bring a predictable stream of qualified leads into their sales system. Readers will have an understanding of a step-by-step process that can be implemented in any business to generate good-quality leads and more conversions with content marketing.

10. Big Book of Content Marketing by Andreas Ramos

About Andreas Ramos

SEO pro, Andreas Ramos shares with the readers how to boost content marketing results with effective SEO strategies. He also covers a range of strategies relating to distribution and outlines key metrics to analyze your success to make improvements. He has written ten books about digital marketing and SEO.

book-content-marketing-smOn the basis of real-world experience with Fortune 500s and Silicon Valley Startups, this book covers various aspects such as how content marketing fits into your marketing; ways to build your content marketing strategy; using influencer marketing to distribute your content; using SEO and PPC with your content marketing; metrics, tracking, and business goals for content marketing; and more.

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

About Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Ann Handley is the CCO at MarketingProfs, keynote speaker, and Entrepreneur columnist. She offers tips to find your company’s unique angle, discover which topics resonate with your audience along with tips to get the most out of social media.

C.C. has business experience and has won many awards. He has worked with a variety of clients including The Coca-Cola Company, HBO, and American Eagle Outfitters. C.C. has entertained and educated crowds around the world with his speaking skills.

This book helps in creating engaging web content and builds a loyal following, revised and updated. Content Rules equips the user for online success as a one step source on the art and science of developing content that people wish to read. It has been illustrated with the case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online.

You can boost your online presence and engage with clients as well as prospects in a way that will increase your ROI.

12. Content Marketing Works by Arnie and Brad Kuenn

About the authors: Arnie Kuenn is the CEO of Vertical which is a marketing agency that helps clients drive profitable growth via content marketing. He is a frequent speaker and an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute and Online Marketing Institute.

Brad Kuenn is a content writer, editor, and a strategist in Nashville. His unique approach towards content marketing, imagination, and attention to detail make him an essential asset for a huge number of clients across the US.

content-marketing-worksThis book lists the content marketing strategies and covers 8 steps of content marketing process with best examples and practices. These steps cover Content creation, strategy development, ideation, optimization, promotion. distribution, measurement, and lead nurturing.

This book teaches marketers and organizations, a process through which they can grow their business using search, social and content marketing. Following questions will be answered by this book:

  • What exactly is content marketing?
  • How important is search these days? How about social media?
  • What in the world do I do about mobile?
  • How do I set up a lead nurturing program?
  • Where do I start to create an effective strategy?

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13. Optimize by Lee Odden

About Lee Odden

lee-oddenLee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and online PR agency, has an experience of over 15 years. He has been consulting with some of the best known Fortune 1,000 B2B and B2C companies.

optimize-book-by-lee-oddenLee gives his best tips on ways to combine SEO and social media with content marketing to make your content marketing efforts fruitful. Readers will learn how they can plan a content strategy to achieve the best results for your company and thereby, measure the business value of every effort.

The book is designed to give readers a practical approach to integrating social media and search optimization along with content marketing to boost customer engagement, visibility, and relevance. Companies irrespective of their sizes will benefit from the practical planning and creative content marketing tactics in this book that has been proven to boost online performance.

14. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

About Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is an optimist and teaches organizations how to inspire people. From the members of Congress to foreign ambassadors, from corporations like Microstart-with-whysoft and Hollywood, he has presented his ideas about the “power of why”.

In 2009, Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work and in turn inspire their customers and colleagues. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas and his TED talk based on Start with Why is the 3rd most popular TED video.

Content Marketers after reading this book will realize the need of why. They then need to read their latest articles and ask themselves whether it served the purpose and answered the WHY.

15. Blah Blah Blah: What to do When Words Don’t Work by Dan Roamblah-blah-blah-by-dan-roam

dan-roamAbout the Author: Dan Roam is the author of the international bestsellers “Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work” and “The Back of the Napkin”. He is the founder of the Napkin Academy, the world’s first online visual-thinking training program.

Sometimes words just don’t work and therefore, aren’t enough. Snagging your audience’s attention, making ideas memorable, and explaining complex concepts need the perfect visual. To meet that requirement, Dan’s book shows how you level up your content and engage your audience via visual media.

These books will help you keep your marketing skills sharp!

What content marketing books have you read? We would love to hear your recommendations and if you are looking for more great reads, you can check Top Digital Marketing Books and Social Media Marketing Books.

Image Credits: Amazon.com

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  1. Shalini

    These Content Marketing best books are feed to mind that minimize your struggle and finding that best content marketing books. While creating the list of books and you have taken care of timeless principles.

  2. Hridya Sinha

    What are the best books on content marketing for solopreneurs to learn and create a scalable social media / content marketing plan?

    • Sakshi Behl

      Hridya, I think one can’t read too much. Read as many books as you can. However, to begin with I think you should definitely read ‘Start With Why by Simon Sinek’ and ‘Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi’.

      They will give you a foundation to create an effective content marketing strategy. Best of luck. Let me know which book works for you!

  3. Shilpi Saini

    These surely are some of the best books on content marketing that I’ve come across so far. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive list! Kudos!

    • Sakshi Behl

      Thanks for your kind words. Glad to help. 🙂


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