Let’s explore 10 of the best digital marketing books. Each of the books in this list covers a unique and valuable perspective when it comes to creating an effective digital marketing strategy.
You don’t have to read all 10 books immediately. Instead, I recommend that you go through the list to familiarize yourself with the basic premise behind each. That way you can choose the books that will have the greatest impact for you.
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1. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares
This is a must read for anyone starting a new business or launching a new product. That’s because the #1 reason why new businesses fail is due to a lack of customers. And this book can help you attract more customers customers.
It breaks down 19 marketing channels that can help you bring in new customers. And it introduces a simple framework for identify the best channel for your specific business. It’s a simple yet powerful combination that can help you get off to a great start.
2. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
It’s critical that people understand who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. This must be conveyed in simple and clear terms. That’s because the last thing you want is someone to say “no” to your offer simply because they don’t understand it.
This book is about how to clarify your message so customers will listen. Not only can this help you convert more customers, but it can also boost word-of-mouth referral. That’s because when more people understand what you do, it’s easier for them to spread the word.
3. Contagious by Jonah Berger
Word-of-mouth is one of the most important marketing strategies for almost any business. If you can increase the rate at which people recommend your brand, it can have a profound impact on the long-term growth of your business.
This book covers the six principles of contagiousness. Six things that you can incorporate into your products, services, or content to boost word-of-mouth referrals. And it includes many examples of how businesses have used them effectively.
4. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
This is one of my favorite business books of all time. It explains the importance of positioning your product, service, or brand in the minds of customers. And it covers many examples of how positioning can be used very effectively.
The core concept is that it’s valuable to own a category in the minds of customers. For example, McDonalds owns the “fast food” category, because when people think of the category, more often than not, they think of McDonalds.
Being viewed as the leader in a category provides a significant advantage. Not only do people prefer to buy from the leading brand, but they assume that it’s the best option. So it’s very important to position yourself as the leader, and this book can help.
5. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
One of the greatest challenges when launching a new product or service is generating initial momentum. That’s because there is a lot of noise in the marketplace. It can be very difficult to attract attention or get potential customers to care about what you’re doing.
This book is all about how to cut through the noise. It starts with identifying the “smallest viable market”, a core audience that will benefit most from what you have created. This is important, because such an audience is more likely to take a chance on something new.
By satisfying the needs of one core audience, you can create brand advocates. And this in turn helps to initiate word-of-mouth referral that can build meaningful momentum.
6. They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
Content marketing has become a popular strategy over the last decade or so. Many businesses are turning to the creation of articles, blog posts, videos, or podcasts to attract potential customers. And it’s a great way to build trust and authority.
When it comes to using content to promote an established business, this is my favorite book on the subject. It covers all of the fundamentals that you need to know. And, it goes a step further, by explaining how to use content to streamline your sales process.
7. Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini
This is a cult classic for marketers and salespeople. Which is ironic, because it was written to help the average consumer identify and overcome persuasive tactics. Yet it’s become a manual of sorts for those who want to be more influential.
A word of caution when reading this book. Many marketers make the mistake of abusing persuasion techniques. And that is one of the fastest ways to destroy brand reputation.
So, instead of looking to abuse the tactics, use the principles to avoid actions or situations that negatively affect your ability to influence others. And be sure to read the next book in this list to better understand the value of trust.
8. The Language Of Trust by Michael Maslansky
A brand is the single most valuable asset that you can build over the long-term. This applies to both personal brands and business brands. The credibility that you develop over time can allow you to achieve remarkable things.
Unfortunately, people are becoming very skeptical today. They have been let down by institutions, governments, and big businesses. And as a result, in this age of social media, they are quick to assume an ulterior motive for any good that you do.
This book is all about how to sell ideas, products, and services to a skeptical audience. And it’s packed with practical tips on how to build and maintain trust with your audience. It’s an incredibly important book for anyone interested in building a long-term business.
9. Friction by Roger Dooley
Friction is anything that needlessly complicates the life of prospects, customers, or employees. For example, anything that make it difficult for customers to complete a purchase. Or extra steps that someone must take in order to use a service.
This book is about finding ways to eliminate steps, reduce confusion, and address uncertainty. This is valuable because when something is easy, people do more of it. And that can boost sales, increase customer engagement, and drive word-of-mouth referrals.
10. Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
Long gone are the days when product or marketing decisions were made once a cycle or at the beginning of a new project. Today, it’s critical to build a culture of continuous experimentation. Where new ideas are constantly being considered, tested, and launched by small cross-functional teams.
This book is all about how to do that more effectively. It explains how to go about testing and executing on ideas to improve products or services. Many of the ideas focus on things like customer acquisition, activation, retention, and monetization. It’s a must-read for businesses that want to achieve rapid growth.
Beyond The Best Digital Marketing Books
When you’re ready to move beyond digital marketing, consider checking out some of my other reading lists, including: the best product management books, the best entrepreneur books, and the best leadership books (coming soon).