Content marketing reminds me a lot of cross-stitching. (Really.) It starts off with a logical strategy, a pattern that can be translated into art. Along the way, it can get ugly, and threads can get snagged. But at the end, you’ve stitched something that can become the cornerstone for another project.

Even though I focus on writing content, I do like to learn about the strategy behind it. I’ve attended the Content Marketing Master Class, MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum, and B2B Content2Conversion. I also read voraciously, and I’ve learned a lot about what goes into content marketing and content strategy. Here are four of my favorites, in no particular order.

The Language of Content Strategy: I always like to start with a dictionary when I build a reference library. This is no different. The Language of Content Strategy not only defines 52 critical content strategy terms but also explains why the term is important and why a content strategist needs to know it. Terms are defined by content marketing experts like Robert Rose. If you’re new to content strategy, download it to your e-reader as soon as possible, or order a hard copy. It’s a valuable resource as you continue to develop your content strategy and can even teach experienced practitioners a thing or two.

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less is by the Godfather of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi. (I may or may not have fangirled one time and taken a selfie with him at a conference.) Epic Content Marketing is a step-by-step guide to developing stories that get customers to act, without having to explicitly ask customers to do anything.

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business: if Joe Pulizzi is the Godfather of Content Marketing, Ann Handley is the High Priestess. Ann not only details how to find your voice as a content marketer but also how to get your content distributed via social platforms.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype: it took a little bit of coaxing for the grammar nerd in me to get past the title. But once I did, I was able to absorb myself in all sorts of great marketing tidbits. The idea behind content marketing itself is to help customers, not just sell to them. Youtility explains how to do that, along with a handy blueprint.

 

What’s your favorite content marketing book? Sound off in the comments!