digital marketing books recommendationsEditor’s Note: I asked Guy Alvarez for this year’s recommended reads for a new blog post, but since the titles below remain marketing classics, we’ve decided to update this post with Guy’s new recommended titles. Enjoy! 

As we near the end of the year and start thinking about the holidays and winter vacations, I thought it would be valuable to share a list of books on digital marketing that I read this year. In my humble opinion, these books are must reads for marketers looking to revamp or enhance their digital marketing efforts in the new year. Here are my top 5 recommendations:

1. The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization

By Adele Sweetwood

Written by the head of global marketing for SAS, The Analytical Marketer is based on the author’s firsthand experience of transforming the SAS marketing organization from “art” to “art and science.” Key marketers and managers at SAS tell their stories alongside the author’s candid lessons learned as she led the marketing organization’s transformation. With additional examples from other leading companies, this book is a practical guide and set of best practices for legal marketers looking to create a new marketing culture at their law firm. One that thrives on data and analytics.

2. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

By Joe Pulizzi

Another brilliant book by Joe Pullizi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing. In this book, Pulizzi reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience. Content Inc. shows you how to get customers first and develop products later. It’s the best way to build a solid, long-lasting business positioned for today’s content-driven world.  Legal marketers struggling with their content marketing strategy will find amazing examples in this book of how to make content unique and how to build an audience that cares about your content.

3. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers

By Seth Godin

An “oldie” but a goody. Written in 1999 and a little dated. Yet, this book is a must read for every legal marketer who is not familiar with the concept of “permission marketing”. Seth Godin, the man Business Week calls “the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” explains “Permission Marketing”—the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a topic, Permission Marketing enables law firms to develop long-term relationships with clients, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of getting hired.

4. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

By Robert Cialdini Ph.D.

The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered. The author draws on an array of studies and narratives to outline the specific techniques you can use on online marketing campaigns and explains how the artful diversion of attention leads to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience primed and ready to say, “Yes.” This book is a great read for legal marketers who are finding it difficult to create high converting landing pages as well as achieve a higher open and click through rate on email marketing campaigns.

5. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

By Ann Handley

This book is the go-to guide to creating the kind of content that will make your law firm thrive. Ann Handley, author of Content Rules, explains how to use content to attract and retain clients through stellar online communication. This book gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results. These lessons and rules apply across all of online assets — like web pages, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. It’s designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you’re an AmLaw 100 firm or a solo.

More recommended reads…

6. Email Persuasion: Captivate and Engage Your Audience, Build Authority and Generate More Sales With Email Marketing

By Ian Brodie

Marketing expert Ian Brodie reveals the techniques that are working right now to allow professionals and small businesses to connect with potential clients, build trust-based relationships and generate more sales through email.

7. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)

By Steve Krug

Usability guru Steve Krug’s guide helps you understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

8. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization 3rd Edition

By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Stephan Spencer

Three acknowledged experts in search engine optimization share guidelines and innovative techniques that will help you plan and execute a comprehensive SEO strategy. Complete with an array of effective tactics from basic to advanced, this third edition prepares digital marketers for 2016 with updates on SEO tools and new search engine optimization methods that have reshaped the SEO landscape

There you have it. Whether you are planning to be on a beach in Mexico or snuggling at home next to the fireplace for the holidays, take my advice and read these digital marketing books (or listen to them if you have an audible account). It will prove to be very beneficial in the future as the world of marketing continues to rapidly evolve.

Happy Holidays!

Updated and republished December 22, 2017.

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