2017 is the year of a lot of things. One of them being "the book." No, we're not talking about The Kindle, or the iPad. We're talking real page flippers here, people! (Though as long as you're reading, we don't really care how you do it). But if you want 2017 to be your year, adding a few books to your bookshelf and actually taking some time to read ‘em will be a good way to make success start spilling in. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 picks for marketing reads in 2017.
- SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs
John Jantsch and Phil Singleton
Authors Jantsch and Singleton will catch you up on the latest when it comes to SEO, keeping you entirely aware of the ins and outs and updates that have occurred over the last few years. Web traffic and lead generation is really the bread and butter for us marketers, but it's no good if you don't have a superior handle on how it works and why. We've written about Jantsch's work before (Duct Tape Marketing)—but as far as we’re concerned, this book might even surpass his last.
SEO for Growth will teach you how to create and re-purpose content and plan editorial schedules accordingly, use different social platforms to generate stellar content engagement, conduct keyword research to optimize website and blog content, and so much more. Grow your channel of business; grow your rate of success.
- Hug Your Haters
Baer's website boasts Hug Your Haters as "the first modern book on customer service," and it's right. Embracing complaints and keeping customers is the name of the game, and it's a smart one. Baer's book will both make and save your company money, changing the way you see your businesses downfalls tenfold.
Baer's book chronicles the change in customer service that's happening right now. Customers are moving from private communication with companies to public communication in social media, review sites, and discussion boards. It's a "spectator sport" as Baer's website aptly explains. And it really, really is. Have a complaint? You'll likely go to Twitter, or Facebook, and let that company know of your angst. And even so, a huge number of those complaints go unanswered. We've said it before and we'll say it again: embrace the difficult. Take its side, and then move forward. You'll learn how to handle trolls, overall complaints, and where you should spend your time online to ensure your organization the least number of problems, with a 100% rate of solution.
- Digital Sense: The Common Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology, and Customer Experience
Travis Wright and Chris Snook
More on the customer service front here—and why's that? Because like we said, it's just impossible to ignore, and it's become ever important. Digital Sense will show you exactly how to play it when it comes to your company and a more engaged customer experience strategy. It has everything you need to know about the implementing and customizing a new marketing operating system, no matter the size of your organization. It'll explain the best ways to engage with both potential customers and current customers alike, running through the evolution of marketing and sales demands and how and why they've changed. Business strategy isn't the same that it used to be, and neither is the world of marketing, or even more niche world of Inbound. Wright and Snook will give you a solid strategy for success through real-world examples of implementation. It's a one-stop shop for achievement.
- Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior
There's a lot we don't know about the human brain. Well, maybe as a species that's not entirely true—but one thing is for certain: there’s a lot we don't know about how it works. In his Invisible Influence, Berger, also the bestselling author of Contagious, explores the secret influences our minds undergo during the consideration and decision-making processes... from what we buy, to the employment opportunities we've seeked out, to the clothes we put on our bodies in the morning. There's something to be said for all of it, and Berger is there to explain it all. Especially this: there are secret influences to everything.
Berger supports all of his assertions with real life examples—integrating superb research and considerations from the business and psychology worlds at every turn. It seems throughout as though there's quite nothing the author hasn't considered. Perhaps that’s why Berger’s piece is a New York Times Bestseller. It’s not just pertinent to those of us in the marketing realm (though it is quite revolutionary in that respect)—rather, it says something even to the laymen in us. It’s only through truly understanding social influence and how it works that we can decide when to resist and when to embrace it. It’s gaining this knowledge that’s key—from there we can make more informed decisions, and the heighten rates of all types of success.
- Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small
So far, this very second is the best time to be in the field of marketing. And Get Scrappy makes that readily known. The Internet, social media, and content marketing are all extraordinarily powerful means of communication, no matter the size or budget of an organization. Whether you're big, small, or somewhere in between, Get Scrappy will demystify digital marketing and make it into its simplest self—from the complicated bits to the seemingly simple—Westergaard will show you how to create relevant content that works, integrating it on social in ways that make both it and you irresistible.
Building a brand isn't easy, but it also doesn't have to feel impossible. With engaging examples and real-world advice from the expert himself, Westergaard's book will help you take your marketing practices from "good to great". There’s nothing a little creativity, planning, and stick-to-itiveness can’t accomplish in this day and age. Read this and see for yourself.
No matter which one you choose—or, hey, choose to read all of them!—these books will up your marketing and overall business game in this new year. None of us ever truly knows everything about anything, but these books are a good way to get started on becoming an expert, whatever that may mean to you and your organization. Marketing can be tough… it’s an ever-changing game. But if you’re up for the task, take our advice and get reading.
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.