Here are 25 of the Best Digital Marketing Books to Up Your Marketing IQ Before 2021
In the world of digital marketing, information is king.
You can't market your business online if you don't have the right information to get it done.
And it's not just about publishing content on your blog or sharing stuff on social media.
I'm referring to synthesizing all these things into a cohesive digital marketing strategy, allowing you to generate sales and revenue online.
If you want to achieve this for your business, then you must acquire the knowledge from the best digital marketing books available.
MUST-READ DIGITAL MARKETING BOOKS
Below are the must-read digital marketing books categorized according to category. This will help you find out which books to read about your preferred channels.
Keep in mind that some of the featured books below were published years ago, making some of their tactics outdated. However, the ideas found in these books stand the test of time and remain applicable in today's marketing landscape.
Below are books that discuss digital marketing in general. Instead of sharing tips and advice, most of the information found here are timeless insights and ideas to help fan the fires of your current marketing strategy.
by Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry
Publication date: January 6, 2017
This book covers the basics of digital marketing to people who have no idea how it works but want to make it work for their businesses.
It helps tremendously that the authors of the book are two of the most renown digital marketers in the world.
Ryan Deiss is the CEO of DigitalMarketer, an online resource containing tools and training for people who want to learn how to implement digital marketing into their strategy correctly.
Russ Henneberry is the former Editor of DigitalMarketer and is now the founder of THECLIKK.com, a free newsletter about digital marketing.
With them at the helm, the book will teach you how to leverage the latest technology for expanding your reach, engaging with your audience, and turning them into customers.
After reading the book, you should know what it takes to develop a digital marketing campaign guaranteed to help reach your goals.
The book is set for relaunching on August 18, 2020, to contain updated information.
by Dan Norris
Publication date: August 7, 2015
Even if you're not a content creator, you can still make money as an entrepreneur with content marketing. In fact, you can improve your business just on this type of marketing like what Dan Norris did.
He founded WP Curve, a WordPress maintenance service provider, in 2013 until it was sold to GoDaddy three years later. The company made money off WordPress site owners who need website edits, SEO, and advanced support in a single place. During that period, he catapulted the brand's annual rate from $0 to $1m AUD using content alone.
And the most beautiful thing about the site's success is how it gained recognition online without relying on traditional promotional tactics.
In his book, Dan shares the frameworks he used to develop writing guidelines for his team to follow, all of which propelled the success of WP Curve. The result is a measurable marketing strategy that puts his content creation into autopilot.
Dan also shares the most fatal mistake entrepreneurs make on their businesses and how they can avoid it.
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
by Joe Pulizzi
Publication date: September 24, 2013
The last thing you want for your content to be is just a whisper in the loud and boisterous online world. You want them to cut through the noise and leave a lasting mark that people won't forget.
Epic Content Marketing is that book that guides you through the process of creating content that people care about. After creating the content, the book talks about leveraging the best channels where you can share it for maximum visibility.
It also shares examples of marketing performed by leading brands like LEGO and Coca-Cola. They should help give you ideas on how it works on different levels and how you can develop one for your business.
Just like the great digital marketers above, Joe Pulizzi is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), a website with the goal of advancing content marketing practices forward. The site is also responsible for holding the biggest content marketing events in North America with Content Marketing World and ContentTECH Summit.
by Philip Kotler
Publication date: November 17, 2016
There's still a place in the world for mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar stores. But there's no denying that businesses have much better opportunities online to reach out to their audience.
So, instead of staying the same despite the changing time, it's always better to adapt.
Marketing 4.0 is perfect for people who can't seem to let go of tradition and ultimately need to embrace the luxuries that the online world provides.
Take it from Philip Kotler, a distinguished author of over 60 marketing books, to help you find your way around the issues that surfaced from the advent of technology into marketing.
Joining Kotler in this book is author Hermawan Kartajaya, founder and CEO of MarkPlus as well as co-founder of Asia Marketing Federation.
The book is not simply about giving practical advice on how to transition your business to the digital space. Instead, it puts the emphasis on the consumer and its constantly changing habits. By focusing on marketing to those people today and for years to come.
by Seth Godin
Publication date: November 13, 2018
Whether you're familiar with Seth Godin, there's a good chance you've applied one of the many concepts he has shared throughout the years. You've probably even heard the terms "permission marketing" and "purple cow" below, both of which are titles of his books.
In This is Marketing, Seth Godin distills years of marketing experience and knowledge into a book. The result is an eye-opening book that deconstructs what you know about marketing in general by going straight into the heart of the matter.
In his brand of marketing, Seth encourages you to repackage your product in a way that resonates with your audience. His idea is to use marketing to help answer the questions of customers.
This is in stark contrast with brands implementing attention-seeking, balls-to-the-walls marketing techniques that offer no real insight about their products.
By being useful, you serve a purpose to people, thus helping you make a sale in the process.
by Donald Miller
Publication date: October 10, 2017
One of the reasons why a business fails is because the audience has no idea what it stands for. Without a clear idea as to why a brand exist, there is no reason for people to support it no matter how useful the product or service is.
If you have this problem, then Building a StoryBrand will help you communicate your message better and get your audience behind your brand.
Author Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand, shares the seven universal story points that all people relate to in a story and the main reason why people buy stuff.
By using these to discuss your product or service, you not only emphasize the uniqueness of your business against your competitors. You also help people understand the value that you bring in the market.
Ultimately, you can spread the message across all your digital marketing channels that will convert more of your audience into customers.
by Allan Dib
Publication date: January 25, 2016
For some, digital marketing is a complicated plan that requires the knowledge of different tactics and technique to effective promote something online.
For entrepreneur and marketer Allan, marketing can be broken down into a single sheet consisting of nine squares. At least, that's what his book The 1-Page Marketing Plan contains.
He uses the same approach on all the business he built from scratch and successfully exited through the years. All his companies experienced rapid business growth through the use of different cutting edge marketing tactics.
The book covers a lot of ground that help realign your ideas of marketing with the one that actually works. If you want to make money from marketing, then you need to stop selling to people and appear pushy and needs. Instead, have people beg you to take their money and customers to buy from you again.
As mentioned, Allan Dib synthesizes everything in a single page with nine squares to help you build your marketing plan using the information from the book. From here, all they need to do is put everything they read into practice.
Conversational Marketing: How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)
by David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt
Publication date: January 23, 2019
In this day and age, there are many ways to reach out to your audience in seconds. Still, most businesses rely on phone calls and contact forms to interact with them.
While still effective, they don't provide the instant gratification and response that customers expect from businesses nowadays.
Conversational Marketing makes a case for chatbots by explaining why it is important nowadays to use this technology more than ever.
Among the many advantages of this channel is the ability to hold one-on-one real-time conversations with your audience. You can set up chatbots to send out condition-based messages automatically for helping people find what they're looking for on your site. Or you can install a messenger of your choice to receive inquiries from people on your mobile devices.
By providing quick answers to their questions, you can generate leads and convert them into customers much faster!
Authors David Cancel, CEO of messenger software Drift, and David Gerhardt, CMO of email marketing tool Privy, guides you to the other benefits of chatbots and how you can use them at their full potential.
Ranking on top of Google for your target keyword yields passive traffic to your site. However, getting from where you are now to that point is a challenge in itself. That's why these books serve as blueprints on how you can reach the top spot on SERPs in no time.
by Adam Clarke
Publication date: November 2019
The biggest issue with SEO is that it keeps changing. The tactics that worked in previous years may no longer work this time around. In fact, most of them will probably penalize your site instead of ranking it for your keywords.
Therefore, to help you stay abreast with the constant influx of changes in search engine optimization, you need the best and latest guide on how to rank your website on organic search.
SEO 2020 seems to be that guide. Originally published in 2014, author Adam Clarke keeps churning out a new version of the book every year to update people with the latest on- and off-page SEO tactics to use.
If your site decreased in ranking since, Adam offers ways to help you recover your lost traffic and get your site back and running like before.
At the same time, the book will help you create a website that will sidestep algorithm changes that could penalize it.
by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola
Publication date: September 5, 2015
If there's one book that attempts to cover SEO in its entirety, it's this book.
The Art of SEO is a 900-page compendium that untangles the complexities of search engine optimization and explains how they work in layman's terms.
Upon purchasing the book, you will get exclusive deals for the best tools and software to supercharge your SEO campaign moving forward.
There's also a chapter in the book that discusses how to launch an SEO agency by choosing the best people for the job.
This isn't surprising considering that the authors run their respective SEO agencies: Jessie Stricchiolla is the founder and CEO of Alchemist Media, Eric Enge is the CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, and Stephen Spencer is the founder of NetConcepts.
With clients ranging from Microsoft to Cola-Cola among them, you can expect this book to provide you with hard-hitting advice on how to do SEO the right way.
by Bruce Clay
Publication date: September 8, 2015
There is so much to learn about SEO. And due to the depth of factors that come into play when optimizing a website for search engines, you need a book that will hold your hand and guide you through the entire process of learning about this practice.
This book written by one of the most well-respected figures in SEO is perfect for beginners who want to dive deep about the subject.
Bruce Clay has been in the SEO game since 1996 after working for different high-tech companies. As founder and President of Bruce Clay Inc., he has seen and done it all in search marketing. On top of his accomplishments, Bruce is a regular speaker at acclaimed industry conferences and constantly trains students on how to do SEO that deliver results.
The book purses through how search engines work and how you can rank on top of search results for your target keyword in an easy-to-understand manner. That means no jargon or buzzwords that only further confuse instead of educate.
by Will Coombe
Publication date: September 8, 2017
So far, the books featured above discuss how SEO works in general.
With 3 Months to No. 1, author Will Coombe flips the script by putting SEO in action.
Will puts almost a decade's worth of experience running a highly successful SEO agency in London into this book.
The result, as the title suggests, is an intensive three-month period in which Will Coombe optimized his website and achieve the top spots for his top search terms.
Some people respond better to information when the steps are shown instead of being taught to them. When buying this book, you will also receive three-hour walk-through videos of the lessons as well as an SEO blueprint. This way, you can replicate the ideas in the book much easier to optimize your websites much faster.
Aside from simplifying the SEO methods in ways even mom-and-pop shop owners will understand, the book also touches upon different channels like content marketing and social media and how they help round out your SEO strategy.
Email marketing has arguably the highest ROI among the digital marketing channels. That said, it's easy to get one thing wrong for your entire email campaign to crumble right before your very eyes. Below are resources containing email marketing's best practices to ensures the success of your campaign.
Email Marketing Demystified: Build a Massive Mailing List, Write Copy That Converts and Generate More Sales
by Matthew Paulson
Publication date: October 13, 2015
Email marketing starts and ends with your list. If you haven't built a list of subscribers yet, then there's no point in launching an email campaign.
At the heart of Matthew Paulson's Email Marketing Demystified is list building and the many ways to populate your list with people eager to receive your marketing emails.
From there, the book moves onto teaching the best copywriting tactics so you can send out emails that convert into sales. It also touches on cold outreach tactics to help your email marketing come full circle.
The process of getting from list building to launching email campaign is not an easy one. However, with Matthew's experience (he founded financial media company Marketbeat.com and built a email list of over 450,000 subscribers), you will learn the exact jargon-free process of email marketing even without any knowledge of it.
Aside from sharing tips and advice, Matthew shows examples of email marketing campaigns done in his previous businesses to illustrate the effectiveness of his ideas.
Email Persuasion: Captivate and Engage Your Audience, Build Authority and Generate More Sales With Email Marketing
by Ian Brodie
Publication date: November 17, 2013
It's one thing to have hundreds and thousands of subscribers on your email list. But it's another to turn them into clients with the emails you send them. And the volume in your email list won't matter if you can't convert them into sales.
With Email Persuasion, you will learn the step-by-step process of getting subscribers to want your product or service so bad. The key is learning from the examples illustrated in the book and using the provided templates you can swipe.
After reading the book, you should be able to use email as a medium to establish trust and authority in your niche, leading to better conversions.
And among the hundred of email marketers to learn from, it doesn't get any better than Ian Brodie. Using the tips and tactics he shared in this book, he was able to get his consulting business off the ground and into the stratosphere.
Through his achievements, he is considered as part of Salesforce.com's "Social Business Dream Team" and is one of Top Sales World's "Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales."
by Chad S. White
Publication date: May 29, 2017
With over 3,000 blog posts written about the subject and having served as researcher by the top email providers, Chad S. White eats and breathes email marketing.
And there's no other person more qualified them him to talk about its best practices and strategic frameworks that will guarantee the success of your email campaigns.
He covers all this in Email Marketing Rules and then some!
Aside from running through over 150 tips of making the most out of your emails, Chad discusses the not-so-sexy stuff that propel a successful email marketing strategy.
In the book, he helps you navigate through deep metrics that will help you understand the progress of your campaign and how to tweak them to improve your results. He also teaches you how to identify the best sources of generating subscribers and properly managing inactive subscribers.
Best of all, he shows you why email clients block certain emails and how you can avoid them so you can improve your delivery rate.
Everybody's using social media, so it makes sense to promote your site on those sites. However, you can't just promote your brand on all channels - you need to pick your spots by choosing the best channels with majority of your audience. The books below will help you determine what those channels are and more.
by Gary Vaynerchuk
Publication date: November 26, 2013
If you've heard of Gary Vaynerchuk before (and it's hard not to), then it goes to show that what he's doing to reach an audience works. And his tactics are in full display in Jab,Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
Thanks to the proliferation of social media platforms, there are now more than enough ways to reach out to people. However, it's no longer enough to create quality content and share it across all the platforms.
In this book, Gary shares with you the kind of posts that your audience on Facebook, Twitter, and others want to see from your brand. Sharing the most appropriate content type on your platforms of choice, you can you can connect with them much better.
This series of engagement with your audience on social media sites serve as your jabs, setting them up to the eventual hook that they won't expect coming. And Gary Vaynerchuk retells his process using actionable tips that you can easily do right after reading the book.
by Jason McDonald
Publication date: October 17, 2016
As with most digital marketing channels, a year in social media is a lifetime. By then, there will be new approaches that will render the previous year's strategies obsolete.
That's why this year's Social Media Marketing Workbook should help you stay updated with the latest techniques that you may not have even heard of before.
Author Jason McDonald has been teaching SEO and social media since 2009 online at Stanford University Continuing Studies and other institutions and training programs. He uses this book to teach his students social media in a way that even beginners can easily understand.
In a nutshell, Jason teaches you how to plan for a social media strategy across the top platforms and market your business there. The book is a very good introduction to social media and works best as a complementary piece to other books like Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk and Donald Miller's Building a StoryBrand.
500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More!
by Andrew Macarthy
Publication date: January 13, 2018
Instead of presenting you with ideas and concepts, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips goes the practical route instead.
The book presents you with actionable tips on how to improve brand awareness and attract the right followers for your social media marketing strategy. Following them should result to higher your website traffic and conversions, whichever your end-goal is.
Author Andrew Macarthy started dabbling on social media during its infancy in the mid-2000s. Through the years of using this channel to promote businesses, he noticed the gap in reliable and easy-to-follow instruction on how to use social media the right way. Thus, the book was written and published in 2012.
The book became a #1 Amazon bestseller under the web marketing category upon its release. And with over 100,000 copies sold, the book is available on Kindle and regularly updated with the latest social media trends and best practices.
The Kindle version also gives you access to over 250 video tutorials on how you can properly execute the advice mentioned in the book.
by Jay Baer
Publication date: June 27, 2013
One of the most praised social media books by critics and contemporaries, Jay Baer's Youtility reshapes the way you approach marketing as a practice.
Basically, you must develop a marketing strategy that helps your audience using your business instead of selling it to them. This way, you not only turn people into customers but also keep them as customers for life.
As the founder of Convince & Convert, a content marketing and social media agency, Jay Baer has consulted hundreds of brands on developing a strategy that effectively connects them with their respective audience.
Drawing from his experience and successes, Jay developed and shares the friend-of-mine marketing in the book. It focuses on the creation of useful and relevant content shared across different channels to showcase your expertise and build relationships with an audience.
He does this by telling life stories and showing brand examples to communicate this framework that the top and leading companies use in their marketing strategy.
Among all digital marketing channels, paid ad campaigns will deliver you results the fastest. On the downside, PPC requires you to spend money to launch campaigns. To ensure that you get more than you spent on your ads, read any of the books below.
by Michael and Mal Cooper
Publication date: December 26, 2017
It's difficult to ignore Facebook as a marketing channel considering the millions of its users whom you could reach out with your business. Therefore, it makes sense to run paid advertisements on the platform to win over your audience into becoming your customers.
However, one of the biggest problems of running Facebook ads is the low conversion rate. Now, there are various factors that affect the performance of your ads. But bottom line is your Facebook ads suck.
If anything, this book empathizes with your pain of losing money from FB ads. Authors Malorie and Michael Cooper were on the same boat until they will able to perfect their ads and generate sales off them. In fact, Malorie broke into the New York Times Best Seller list thanks to the success of her ads on Facebook.
She happily shares how to find out how profitable an ad can be so you can make informed decisions before launching them. During the duration of the ad, Malorie also shows you how to improve their performances by tweaking their demographic.
by Brian Meert
Publication date: December 1, 2019
Leaving no stone unturned, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising covers everything you need to know about Facebook advertising.
The book shares similarities with the one above. However, Help! My Facebook Ads Suck is written by a fiction writer who uses the ads to grow the sales of her books. Therefore, this one may be right up your alley if you're selling products other than books.
Author Brian Meert is currently the CEO of AdvertiseMint, an agency specializing in social advertising based in Los Angeles.
With over 15 years of digital marketing experience up to that point, Brian turned AdvertiseMint into one of the highest rated Facebook Ads agencies according to Google.
In the book, Brian covers more than just the creation of high-converting ads. He also discusses setting up your Business Manager account, creating various formats for your ads (Dynamic Products, App Installs, etc.), and developing marketing funnels, to name a few.
by Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes, and Bryan Todd
Publication date: October 17, 2017
When it comes to Google advertising, Perry Marshall is your guy. He has helped thousands of marketers get their ROI from ads and companies from generating leads and customers from this channel.
Therefore, if you want to understand how Google AdWords can help your business, then all you need is this book.
As the title suggests, Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords helps you navigate through the arduous terrain of paid advertisement so you can create ads that convert. Aside from that, the book talks about how to leverage other properties like Google's Display Network and Shopping Campaign, as well as Youtube advertising, and more.
Best of all, everything is delivered to you complete with screenshots and examples to help better illustrate the ideas shared in the book.
With help from Mike Rhodes (Founder and CEO of WebSavvy) and Bryan (Google AdWords specialist), the book fleshes out years of experience among the authors to write a must-read book about the subject.
Mastering Google Adwords 2020: Step-by-Step Instructions for Advertising Your Business (Including Google Analytics)
by Noah Gray
Publication date: May 4, 2018
This 300-page book covers Google AdWords across 46 chapters. If you have no idea what Google AdWords and how it can help your business grow, then this book covers all the bases for you.
As an online entrepreneur, author Noah Gray has dabbled into different businesses with great results. This allowed him to write books about affiliate marketing, social media, and others released on Amazon and share his success with others.
In this book about Google paid advertising, Noah holds your hand and goes through the entire steps of setting up your account, launching an ad, and tracking its results. He also talks about using Google Analytics to measure the performance of your ads and learn to interpret its data.
Web design and layout play a crucial role in digital marketing. Regardless of your efforts in promoting your business, you won't generate the results you want if your website looks terrible. To improve user experience and make the most out of your marketing strategy, the books found here will guide you to the way of greater traffic and lower bounce rate.
by Steve Krug
Publication date: January 3, 2014
Don't Make Me Think is one of the best books of its kind. It allows you to look at your business from an information design standpoint so you can identify usability issues of your website, products, and services and how to fix them.
Author Steve Krug first wrote the book in the early 2000s. As a usability consultant for big brands like NPR, Apple, and Bloomberg, he shares his wisdom in this field in an easy-to-comprehend manner, which resulted to 600,000 copies of the original edition sold.
In this third edition of the book, Steve shares even more examples to help readers visualize his ideas about usability. He also dedicates a new section about mobile usability to help site owners create beautiful, responsive websites that adapt to the screens of mobile devices.
by Tim Ash, Maura Ginty, and Rich Page
Publication date: April 24, 2012
The goal of every digital marketing campaign is to grow the sales and revenue of your business. To do this, you must create landing pages that converts visitors into leads or customers.
However, to build a high-converting page, you need to know what one looks like and the different parts that comprise it.
Landing Page Optimization is a book that covers all this and then some.
Author Tim Ash is a computer and cognitive scientist who is one of the first advocates of conversion rate optimization in mid 2000s. As CEO of SiteTuners, his firm grasp of user-centric design allows him to help brands like Google, American Express, and Canon, among others, with their online initiatives successfully.
Joined by authors Rich Page (conversion solution specialist for Fortune 500 brands) and Maura Ginty (CMO of Mode Analytics), their book features case studies and examples of landing pages and how to interpret their results so you can increase your conversion rate.
There is more than enough digital marketing books covered in this post to keep you busy for months - if not years!
Choose wisely from the titles above based on your needs and absorb the information found within the pages like a sponge. Take as much time finishing the books from cover to cover to make sure you have all the details covered.
Eventually, you will have to put everything you learned into action. Because there's no point in reading these books if you won't put in the work of practicing what they preach.
So, make the most out of your business by applying the framework in the books into your strategy!
Christopher Jan Benitez