Occasionally, some books capture our imagination and truly challenge us all to become better marketers. We came across five this year that we are sharing around the office. They each address the digital revolution in an easy-to-understand way, offering many useful ideas that you can put into action regardless of your industry.
The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki
A short, sassy, highly informative book by the marketing guru himself, Guy Kawasaki. The subtitle, Power Tips for Power Users, says it all. Kawasaki assumes you are already familiar with the basics and dives right in with helpful tips to optimize your profile and covers content, blogging, chatting, hangouts and in the end, optimization.
Favorite quote: “Success favors the bold as well as the interesting on social media, so don’t hesitate to express your feelings and agenda. People voluntarily followed you: they can voluntarily unfollow you if they don’t like what you share. My theory is that if you’re not pissing people off on social media, you’re not using it right.”
4.5 out of 5 stars
Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah
The bible for all Inbound Marketing followers, who else could write with such authority besides the cofounders of HubSpot. Since HMG uses HubSpot, this updated version was a must-read for our office. Even if you’re not a HubSpot follower you will gain insight into getting more traffic from Google, creating a solid business blog and how to analyze your marketing efforts. Heavy in content marketing, this is an excellent book covering many trending topics. Halligan and Shah also discuss how to hire employees that naturally have marketing savvy.
Favorite quote: “Don’t overlook the power of an effective inbound marketing campaign. It can’t fix a bad tool, but it can supercharge the growth of a good one.”
4 out of 5 stars
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
Quite simply, good content marketing makes a person stop, read, think, and behave differently. We all know good content marketing when we read it, but how can we create “epic” content marketing on a daily basis? Author Joe Pulizzi gives examples of marketing excellence in a very crowded social environment. Given a choice, consumers want to be entertained rather than informed, so engaging stories always make for better content marketing.
Favorite quote: “Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves.”
4 out of 5 stars
What Great Brands Do, The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate The Best From The Rest by Denise Lee Yohn
Seven brand-building philosophies that all successful companies have in common, with an additional eighth rule thrown in at the end. Giving examples of companies such has Sony and Kodak that have lost footing, the author talks about a core set of values that make for branding success. At the end of the book there is an exercise to assess how your own company is applying the seven core principles and how it would fare with a few simple adjustments.
Favorite quote: “Unless and until your culture is expressed through your customer experience, you have nothing worth communicating. Your brand can’t just be a promise; it has be a promise delivered.”
4.5 out of 5 stars
Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story In A Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
Another book that focuses on quality and not just quantity of content marketing, Vaynerchuk’s basic story line defines a jab as the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your business. What are the right balance of jabs and right hooks? Staying ahead of the curve and not constantly catching up when it comes to social media will put your business on the map, contends Vaynerchuk.
Favorite quote: “Content is king, but context is God. You can put out good content, but if it ignores the context of the platform on which it appears, it can still fall flat.”