If you’ve decided to become a digital marketer or if you wish to lead a digital marketing campaign for your company, you will probably think that the Internet gives you all information you need to start. And it indeed does.
The Internet is full of information. However, you have to be looking at all the right places and rely on all the right sources.
There are incredibly useful online resources about digital marketing. However, they don’t offer you systematized knowledge on the matter. What is systematized knowledge, exactly? – Information derived from observation, study, and experiments that determine the principles or nature of what’s being studied.
When it comes to digital marketing, you’re getting great resources that cover different aspects. However, it’s hard to learn everything when those resources are scattered all over the place.
If you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start with the books that will certainly have their influence on you later on.
Let’s check out the top 10 must-read digital marketing books that every beginner should read.
This is the Bible of digital marketing! Seth Godin, former business executive, reached 150,000 sold copies in the first two years after publishing the iconic Purple Cow in 2003. This new edition comes with a bonus section, and it’s still as relevant as it ever was.
So why is this book a must-read? Godin explores the success of major companies, such as JetBlue, Starbucks, and Apple. He shows how remarkable marketing makes certain brands stand out from the boring cow. In other words, he shows you how to use specific marketing techniques that will make you the purple cow in your niche.
Seth Godin’s theory is often criticized, mainly because being remarkable is not enough. Critics say that you should be different, but in a way, that’s useful for the audience.
Regardless of the critiques, this is still a really important marketing book. Read it, and then explore some more. You can use it as a foundation for growing your approach to digital marketing.
#2. The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits
Big data is everywhere! Every action of your target audience gives hints about their wants and preferences. The Internet is collecting tons of information, which you can access. But how do you handle all that data? How do you know what data is relevant to your analysis?
Russell Glass and Sean Callahan, the authors of this book, offer expert advice and real examples on how big data works to a brand’s advantage. When you’re trying to bring a brand closer to the audience, big data will be a major source of insights. This book will help you use that data in a way that makes a difference for your digital marketing strategy.
#3. They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer
In this book, the author Marcus Sheridan focuses on a very important aspect of digital marketing: it has to be about answering the online consumer’s needs and questions.
The Internet brings you in direct touch with your target audience. The relation goes the other way, too – the consumer is directly connected with your brand. They can and will ask questions on your brand’s social media profiles. They will make their experience and recommendations public.
In this book, you’ll find tips on how to connect with that audience and answer those questions through high-quality content.
The best part is that this book teaches you how to develop a digital marketing strategy in the most affordable way; by targeting your audience via social media and other platforms.
With this book, Jay Baer criticizes the main disadvantage of Purple Cow. As the title itself says, the author proves why smart marketing is not about hype. It’s not just about being different and building a recognizable brand. It’s about helping the target audience to improve their lifestyle in one way or another.
Today’s consumers are extremely smart and picky. They won’t choose your brand just because it’s different from the crowd. They will choose it only if you convince them that it gives them the greatest value for their money.
The key takeaway is: instead of just trying to be amazing, make sure to be useful, too.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media expert and an influential online personality. Digital marketers have a lot to learn from him. We have a lot to learn from this book, in particular.
Social media is a huge part of digital marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all other social media platforms are incredibly accessible and easy to use. Making your story noticed, however, is not easy at all.
Whenever a marketing strategy is being outlined, the “right hook” is the focus: the next campaign that is going to beat the competition. Jabbing, on the other hand, stands for the patient process of engaging customers and building relationships with them. This book tells you how to achieve the winning balance between jabs and right hooks.
This book is part of A Book Apart project, which includes several editions in the form of meticulous examinations of single topics. You’re My Favorite Client by Mike Monteiro is the 12th book in the series, and it’s the one that everyone interested in digital marketing should read.
The book is focused on the designer-client relation, but you can certainly translate most of its observations to seller-client relations. The point is: you must make your clients feel valued. When they are paying for your products or services, they must be sure that they are getting tons in return.
Marta Richards, part of the team at Assignment Masters, explains how this book helped her develop a better marketing campaign: “It made me realize that the key factor for a successful branding campaign is understanding the clients’ expectations. The book exposes specific techniques that can elevate the effectiveness of a digital marketing project. Making the clients happy – that’s what takes brands to succeed in the digital world.”
You don’t feel you fit into today’s digital world? You believe it’s all too mainstream for you? You don’t think you could conform to the trendiest digital marketing practices? Then Chris Brogan should have your attention.
In this book, he shows us that strange people make it in the online world all the time. The good news is that there is space for everyone on the Internet. No matter how weird your product or marketing campaign is, you can always reach your target audience. Chris Brogan will teach you to appreciate being different, and use that as the highlight of your campaign.
#8. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
Joe Pulizzi, the author of this book, is the founder of Content Marketing Institute – a huge online authority. In this book, he focuses on six foundational steps towards building a successful business. With the right content marketing strategy, you could sell pretty much anything. Pulizzi gives you tips on how to develop that strategy.
Reaching out to a massive audience and converting them into customers is a lot of work, but this book will guide you in the right direction.
Michael Stelzner, the author of this book, has also founded a crazy successful online project: Social Media Examiner. If you’re looking for the ultimate expert to guide you through the crazy world of social media, he’s the one.
In this book, Stelzner teaches you how to build an online business not by making sales your main goal, but by catering to the expectations of your audience. When you focus on the audience and you make them happy, the sales will come on their own.
It’s a book you should read before the launch of your business. Since you want to distinguish your brand from the competition, you’ll have to show how you’re meeting the needs of your audience in a better way than the competitors. The book will teach you how to do that.
Let’s not forget your website. It’s an important element of the entire digital marketing campaign, and that’s what author and web design expert Ben Hunt is trying to prove in this book. There’s a huge difference between a plain website and an impressive one. When you have great functionality combined with outstanding design, the conversions will grow.
Increasing conversions – that’s the whole point of digital marketing. Even if you’re not a web designer, you should definitely read this book.
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Digital Marketing is an Ongoing Journey
The best part about digital marketing is that it’s an ever-evolving category. These books give you a starting point as a beginner, but your learning won’t stop there. Keep discovering and testing new methods. Keep learning and experimenting! Essentially, that’s what makes you a great digital marketer.
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