So it’s been like 2 years since I posted a blog about books (I even wanted to start a Bbooks Book of the month series… obviously that didn’t happen lol). But I feel like I frequently talk about staying up to date with social media and marketing trends and I link online courses I’ve taken and newsletters you can subscribe to… but I haven’t talked about any marketing books yet!!
I have a love/hate relationship with marketing books, because so many these days are irrelevant within like 6 months. Platforms change. Algorithms change. Strategies change. But there have been some books I’ve read throughout the years that still provide valuable marketing tips but in more general ways – like case studies and concepts instead of tips & tricks.
Many of these books revolve around digital marketing in general, but some have specific strategies you can implement in social media as well.
Also I will say, I either bought the paperback or the Kindle version of these, but these would all be great as an audio book too!
Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen
Ok – so I know I said that I think marketing books about social media are stupid because platforms and algorithms change too frequently that I think it’s a waste to spend money on a book that will be obsolete in like 9 months lol. BUT! I read “Likeable Social Media” by Dave Kerpen back in 2013 (lol… it was the first edition) and it was so good and helpful.
At the time, I was managing my sorority’s social media account (yes, that’s how I got my start in social media! Scroll way back on their account here haha) and had just finished my first internship in social media. This book gave great examples of brands who successfully utilized various social media strategies and gave specific examples of posts or Tweets or campaigns and what made them work. All of the various examples helped to get my brain jogging about how I could apply that to my sorority’s social media accounts at the time, and in way that is still relevant today!
Contagious by Jonah Berger
This is my favorite favorite favorite marketing book ever. This book identifies six principles that help to explain why content is “Contagious” or viral. For some reason the concepts here just really clicked with me. Here are some examples:
- Social Currency (a restaurant makes itself so hard to find that it becomes famous)
- Emotion (the clip of Susan Boyle’s first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent exploded on YouTube because people reacted to it emotionally)
- Triggers (more people search online for the song “Friday” on Friday than on any other day of the week)
- Practical value (a man’s video showing how to cleanly shuck a cob of corn went viral due to its useful application)
Some of the content in this book seems a little obvious, but there’s plenty of good stuff as well. The author even dedicates a good part of the book to explain why the direction that the apple faces on MacBooks was a key reason the products did so well. Sounds lame but I nerd out over these kind of things.
Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jae Baer
This book was recommended by one of my Marketing professors who advised my thesis in 2015 and I just got around to reading it haha. I just finished this book about a month ago – and even though it was written in 2013, the concepts it discusses about content marketing are still very applicable today. The whole concept behind the book is that we need to provide useful information to our audiences so that we’re top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
It’s kind of a slow read, but has lots of good case studies, like the Charmin “Sit or Squat” app lol. Another example is this ecommerce store specialized in selling a certain type of BBQ & BBQ parts, so they started a blog with tons of recipes for BBQ, tips for cleaning and maintaining the BBQs, etc. People who were interested in BBQ or needed to fix their BBQ would Google their problems and come across their blog, and then could buy the part or BBQ they needed right then and there.
Tribes by Seth Goden
The gist of this book? The internet has made it very easy for like-minded people who connect with one another in groups, forums, blogs, etc. – and this gives marketers an opportunity to lead them! Whether these people are customers, employees, readers, fans, or hobbyists, anyone who wants to “lead” the tribe now has the tools at their fingertips – thanks to the internet.
I think this is a great book especially for those in the influencer space.
That’s it! Obviously there are tons of marketing and business books out there, but these ones have stuck. Comment below if there are some I should read or check out!
xx – Becca