The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

They say content is king in today’s marketing world, but how are you supposed to know how to implement it into your marketing strategy?

Is there a way to know what works and what doesn’t ahead of time to avoid costly mistakes?

While there isn’t necessarily a bulletproof content marketing formula that works for every business out there, you can learn a lot about the strategy by reading what the experts have to say about what works and what doesn’t.

Books every aspiring content marketer needs to read.

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That’s why we’ve taken the time to create this master list of the best books on content for 2016. Take a look at our recommendations below, and give one or two (or all) of them a read!

1. Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business by Arnie and Brad Kuenn

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

If you’re just starting out in the world of content marketing, then this book is for you. Featuring eight easy-to-follow steps that detail how to successfully implement a content marketing strategy within your business, this is a book that you’ll want to keep on hand for future reference as you begin bringing your content marketing up to speed. Content Marketing Works is a great fit for entrepreneurs, small - medium sized business owners, as well as corporate marketing managers who are interested in learning the ins and outs of content marketing.

2. Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It by Dorie Clark

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Content marketing is really today’s modern public relations. It is the absolute best way to heighten your profile and to stand out from the crowd.

For those struggling to get ahead in their niche or industry, Stand Out is a great read because it focuses on helping the reader become a true “thought leader” within their niche. The book walks you through three steps to make this happen: finding your breakthrough idea, building a following around it and then making it happen.

Find out how to become a true thought leader.

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Pulling from real-life examples and interviews, Stand Out is both practical and full of great ideas for how to make an impact.

3. Buyer Personas. How to Gain Insights Into Your Customer’s Expectations, Align Your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business by Adele Revella

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

One of the most critical (and often forgotten) elements of successful content marketing is grasping who is your ideal client. And the reality is that businesses very often enjoy only a vague understanding of who their target market really is.

That’s why Buyer Personas is such an important book; it will help you understand how to identify and fully understand your ideal prospect.

The book is broken up into three main sections which segment out the buyer persona identification process into easy chunks. Plus the way it is written, it is a book that can help everyone from solo entrepreneurs to large scale business owners.

4. Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing by Robert Rose and Carla Johnson

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Understanding that content marketing isn’t just about the present market, but also about the future, is incredibly important to success.

Experiences takes a wider approach to content marketing, delving into the future of the industry. Outlining a plan for future growth and marketing sustainability, this book is great for those who are serious about taking their marketing strategies to the next level.

Finally a book to help you take your marketing to the next level.

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5. The Content Code. Six Essential Strategies for Igniting Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business by Mark Schaefer

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

With more and more people publishing content on a daily basis, it can be difficult to know what to do to really make yours stand out and captivate the attention of your audience.

To help you create content that’s not only attention-catching but engaging, The Content Code outlines a six step framework that takes you through the basics of brand development all the way through to content distribution. A great resource for those looking to kick their content marketing up a notch.

6. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

In order to really make a splash in today’s content marketing arena, you really need to create content that people care about and actually want to engage in. (In other words, mediocre or ‘salesy’ content simply no longer cuts it).

Written by the ‘godfather of content marketing’ Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content teaches you how to do just that. You’ll learn the skills necessary to take a content idea all the way through to completion in a way that not only makes your message stand out, but leads to increased sales and business growth.

7. Brands in Glass Houses by Dechay Watts and Debbie Williams, with Said Baaghil

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

If you’re curious how real-life brands and companies are growing their business with content, then Brands in Glass Houses is the book for you.

Full of case studies and stories from companies who’ve been there and done that, the book goes into the specifics of what works and what doesn’t, and how to create interesting content that really goes beyond the surface to connect with your audience on an emotional level.

8. Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers for Your Brand by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Content marketing is great in theory, but when it comes to actually applying it to your business, it can be a bit difficult to get going and also maintain in the future. Managing Content Marketing really takes a closer look at the inner workings of implementing and maintaining a content marketing strategy, and is applicable for everyone from small business owners on up to corporate branding professionals.

Get help on your content marketing strategy.

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9. Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Another great book on content marketing, Get Content Get Customers really focuses on implementation, how to create and execute a content marketing plan.

Divided into four main sections, the books guides readers through the basics of content marketing, how to create a content marketing plan, a review of successful plans and finally how to put the plan into action.

A truly practical guide, the sections build on each other so once completed, you’ll be ready to implement a successful strategy of your own.

10. Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program by David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

This book is a fascinating case study; it analyses how content marketing was used to market the Apollo Lunar Program (before content marketing was even considered a viable strategy).

Marketing the Moon is a great read for those looking for a practical, historical case study.

11. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

The power of visuals is playing an ever increasing role in content marketing.

The Power of Visual Storytelling takes an in-depth look at the power and momentum of visual content marketing. You’ll learn more about how to implement visuals and videos into your strategy as well as best practices for each social media platform.

This book is a great resource for both beginner and intermediate visual marketers.

12. Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Cho

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

If you've ever wondered how to implement a successful blog then this book is for you. Blog, Inc. will walk you through the advantages of blogging, the ins and outs of getting started and how to build a profitable blog around your passions and lifestyle. Written by successful blogger Joy Cho, you'll have the opportunity to learn real-world blogging lessons from someone who's actually been in the trenches and navigated the ups and downs of creating a successful, viable blog.

13. 365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Coming up with new and interesting blog topics can be difficult, especially when you're having to do this on a daily basis. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration, and this book is full of great blog ideas to get you started. However, many of the topic ideas are focused around lifestyle blogging, so keep tat in mind when looking through the list of potential topics- some might  not be applicable to your business. 

14. EPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial Planner

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Most of the time, the planning portion of a content marketing strategy can be the most difficult part.

Enter Epic Blog --a great resource for those who need a little help with the planning portion of content marketing. This book walks you through the planning process for each month, including brainstorming, keeping track of goals and milestones, and recording the topics that you will blog about in advance. This would be a great resource for anyone struggling to stay organized with their content marketing efforts.

15. The Badass Blog Planner: Your guide to defining your purpose, creating clarity, and building a year of killer content by Sarah Morgan

The 15 Best Books on Content for 2016

Here’s another book that will help you plan your blog efforts.

Designed as a workbook, this planner will help you keep track of your goals, and ensure that you are blogging with purpose and truly growing your online presence and following.

And it includes more than just blog planning - it will also help you plan and schedule social media posts and email newsletters, as well as keep track of your budget, website design and advertising campaigns.

That’s it! With these resources in hand, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful and profitable content marketing plan in no time at all.

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About the Author

Nicknamed the ‘female David Ogilvy’, Sue Rice is famous for her exquisite writing skills and strategic savvy. A native Californian and Stanford University graduate, she launched her career on Madison Avenue in the 90s and eventually helped run BBDO Europe in Paris as their Communications Director. Now a 7-figure entrepreneur, Sue helps businesses create high-quality content that attracts clients, builds brands and skyrockets sales.