If the content trends from 2016 are any indication, 2017 is destined to be another great year for content marketing.
Thought leaders, marketers, and influencers are planning to create more content, and 96 percent of online publication editors are planning to publish the same amount or more of guest content this year, according to our latest report, "The State of Digital Media." Plus, video and visual content are also on the rise.
Long story short: The future of content marketing is looking bright. Still, that doesn't mean you can coast to success. Content is growing, and we all need to be prepared for it.
To help, here are some books for anyone who needs content marketing inspiration — or who wants to feel as hopeful about its future as I do:
When I talk to potential clients, partners, and other members of my audience, I like to think I'm pretty good at customer service (or, at least, I hope). Jay Baer points out, though, that customer service doesn't just happen when you're on the phone with someone; your customers are researching your company online and on social long before they ever connect with you, and that's exactly where they'll call you out if something seems off to them.
"Hug Your Haters" offers refreshing, much-needed insight from one of the world's leading experts on service about the connection between social media and customer service to help you engage with angry consumers and, hopefully, keep the trolls at bay.
This was written by our CEO and co-founder, John Hall, so it might seem slightly biased for me to include it here, but hear me out. I'll argue until I'm blue in the face that it truly is a wonderful book on how to strengthen relationships with and be the first resource for those who matter to you most. Over the past five years, John has come from being relatively unknown at conferences to being a sought-after, engaging speaker. He knows what it's like to truly build influence and how doing so benefits your brand and your relationships.
Originally published as a PDF report, "Non-Obvious 2017" is Rohit Bhargava's third print edition. In it, he sheds light on his process for identifying trends and how you can do the same. Rohit is a prominent thought leader in business, content marketing, and media, and his predictions on everything from culture and consumer behavior to economics are as entertaining as they are accurate.
If your business isn't making the most of data or monitoring trends from outside your own company, you're already behind. With compelling real-world examples, such as Nike and Barack Obama, Jørn Lyseggen identifies data-driven methods for staying ahead of the curve and enhancing your company's future performance — even when the majority of trends affecting you are coming from outside.
This book is a simple, straightforward guide to fixing your content marketing strategy so you can see better results. Written with the understanding of how content marketing has evolved in mind, "They Ask You Answer" gives tremendous insights into how to adjust your marketing budget so you don't overspend in areas that aren't beneficial to you.
At Influence & Co., we're all about authenticity. But sometimes in business, being genuinely human isn't easy, which is why Jessica Ann's insights are so crucial. One quote from her book, in particular, that resonated with me is this: “When you write from your core, you become more human. You rise to the next level of social media — the place where serendipity, exploration, and expansion collide. You start getting real.” If humanizing your brand and getting real with customers through your content is a goal this year, this book is great for you.
Honestly, I never thought I'd see the periodic table of elements after I closed the book on my last chemistry class, but for "Content Chemistry," I'd make an exception. The fourth edition of Andy Crestodina's "Content Chemistry" simplifies content marketing strategy in a way that's central to content while simultaneously being innovative. Regardless of your skill level or content marketing maturity, you'll learn something new in this book.
These books should offer a variety of perspectives and techniques for making this year a great one for content. What other books are you reading that have made a difference in your marketing? Let me know in the comments!