14 Books For Beginner & Advanced Digital Marketers in 2021
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We work in one of the most fast-paced industries in the world.
Don’t believe me? Let’s see.
In 2020 alone, Google’s algorithm went through at least 9 relevant updates, and hundreds of minor ones. In fact, it is estimated that Google updates its’ algorithm around 500-600 times each year.
As for Facebook, it wasn’t much longer than 5 years ago that the Facebook Pixel was launched. Woah.
So where am I getting at with all this?
You see, if there’s one constant in digital marketing is that it’s always changing. What worked a few months ago, might not work today. So as marketers, we need to adapt.
All the time.
Why Digital Marketing Books?
I know what you’re thinking.
“But books become out-dated so fast that they can’t possibly be worth it…”
While that can be true for the more technical books, there are hundreds of books out there that have remained valuable for marketers and advertisers over decades, even to this day.
And even in the more technical books, while the “hacks” and strategies discussed in them can indeed become obsolete, you can still take a peek into the authors’ mind and learn some invaluable stuff that will open new thoughts and ideas into your work.
Just take a peak into our list below and see for yourself.
Let’s get into it.
The Best PPC Books
: Everything You Need to Thrive in the New Digital Economy, So You Can Live on Your Own Terms, by Molly Pittman
Molly Pittman is one of the industry’s leading experts, and one of the most passionate ones out there, too – particularly when it comes to Facebook Ads.
She’s also co-host to Perpetual Traffic, which is one of our absolute favourite podcasts, so when we learned Molly had released a new book we just had to get our hands on it – and boy, are we glad we did.
Click Happy has immense value for both new, and advanced Facebook Advertisers, as it dives into her exact techniques and frameworks for her accounts.
But that’s not all.
It also talks about a lot of other important topics such as how to create killer offers, how to write incredible copy, or how to build high performing creatives.
Plus, it’s a super quick read – and we love that.
There’s a lot more I could say, but I don’t way to spoil it for you.
If you’re into eCommerce or an aspiring entrepreneur, this book is an absolute must-read.
You can buy the book here.
I know what you’re thinking.
“This book is so old even the name is outdated! No book in Google Ads can remain relevant for THAT long”
Well, not quite.
If you don’t want to take our word for it, take a look at how recent the reviews are in Amazon, and what they say.
Brad Geddes is truly one of the most experienced marketers out there when it comes to Google Ads, and his book is an absolute must-have in any marketer’s library.
Some of the content in this book may be a bit out-dated – especially when it comes to the platform itself – but the ideas and main principles behind it will always hold true, no matter how old the book becomes.
This isn’t an easy book for beginners, but a must-read if you’re committed to the art of PPC.
Frederick Vallaeys was one of Google’s first 500 employees and one of the minds behind Google AdWords. In fact, he was Google’s first ever Google AdWords Evangelist.
With over a decade spent teaching marketers how to use Google Ads for their businesses, Frederick now shares his vision on how agencies can (and should) prepare for tomorrow’s AI-driven world.
The author goes into a lot of detail about how marketers will need to shift their mindsets to remain successful, and how we can work with AI to make better business decisions and focus more time on our business.
It also contains some curious insights on his early days at Google and how everything used to work back then, which makes it an even more interesting read if you’re relatively new to the industry.
Whether you’re an agency owner or PPC professional, this book is a must-read if you want to thrive in this business and stay at the forefront of digital marketing.
: A Collection of Philosophical, Yet Practical, Observations to Help You Win at Pay-Per-Click Marketing, by Kirk Williams
Named as one of the world’s 25 most influential PPC’ers for 5 years in a row, Kirk Williams is the author behind one of our favorite reads of 2020.
With a 100% 5-star rating on Amazon, this short book can be read in under 2 hours and holds immense value for any PPC marketer out there.
This isn’t a technical/how-to book about PPC marketing. If you’re looking for such a book, this isn’t it.
Instead, the book discusses some of the different elements of PPC such as attribution, data privacy, audiences, and a lot more.
If you’re an agency owner (or soon-to-be), the book even includes a few sections about pricing models, contracts, and clients.
All in all, a whole lot of value for such a small book.
The Best Copywriting Books
This book is considered by many as the Bible for Copywriters, thus is incredibly valuable to any marketer and advertiser out there.
The book, written by master copywriter Eugene Schwartz, is almost impossible to find at your usual bookstores or even Amazon since it is no longer available for retail.
However, you can still purchase it on Brian Kurtz’s website (the only official reseller) even though it will set you back a few hundred dollars.
Yep, pretty expensive for a book – but entirely worth it.
In a very brief introduction to the book, the author claims that as copywriters, our role is not to create a desire in consumers in order for them to purchase our products, but we should rather channel their already existing desires and needs and simply point them in the right direction.
We feel this falls in so strongly with our roles as media buyers, that most of the lessons in the book are of extreme value to everyone in the industry.
It’s a very heavy book, so make sure you take the proper time out to read it thoroughly.
Gary Halbert is considered by many as one of the most successful copywriters to ever live.
However, back in the1980s, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the Boron Federal Penitentiary, where he would create this absolute classic in copywriting.
Talk about commitment to the craft, huh?
The book is a collection of letters that he wrote for his son where he shared valuable business and life lessons, so he could teach his son how to become a better copywriter, and a better advertiser.
There are a lot of different reasons as to why this book is so good.
To mention a few, it contains a lot of actionable information on how to write better copy. But even better than that, is the way in which the letters themselves are written.
You can actually see a master at work and learn from how he writes the actual letters.
I’ll have to ask that you trust me on this one.
Most of the book’s chapters are available online for free, but you can also grab your copy on Amazon.
Yet another of the “classics”, How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab covers 100 headlines from some of the world’s best copywriters.
After all, what better way to learn from none other than the best?
By breaking down each of the different headlines, the author describes exactly what makes these ads successful so that even rookies can understand.
You have likely even seen some of these famous headlines.
- “How to win friends and influence people.”
- “A little mistake that cost a farmer $3,000 a year.”
- “They laughed when I sat down at the piano – but when I started to play!”
The book then goes on into how to write headlines like these, and the framework/principles behind them.
While it isn’t the easiest book to read from this list, it has still earned its’ place as one of the best books on copywriting, ever.
How To Use More Than 100 Secrets Of Ad-Agency Psychology To Make Big Money Selling Anything To Anyone, by Drew Eric Whitman.
This is a famous book in the DTC eCommerce industry since it elaborates on the basic principles behind direct response advertising.
In this book, the author states that in order to sell products to our customers, it all boils down to what he calls the “Life Force 8“.
Or, as the author states, the “human desires that are hardwired into our brains. (…) powerful wants we’re biologically driven to fulfill, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we do.”
For instance, these forces include our need for social approval, freedom from fear or pain, or even our need for “keeping up with the Joneses”.
So how do we use these forces to make our consumers take the actions we want them to?
Well, you’ll have to read on to discover more… I don’t want to spoil it for you!
With dozens of broken-down headlines from other incredible copywriters, this book is great for anyone that would like to get better at selling.
Written for beginners and advanced marketers alike, How to Write Seductive Copy teaches you everything you need to know about writing web copy that sells.
Broken down into six different sections, this books touches down on all bases about how to convert web visitors into business leads and customers.
To make the content easier to understand, the book even includes some downloadable worksheets and exercises so you can practice while you read.
As the author herself mentions, you don’t need any copywriting or marketing experience to benefit from the advice in this book.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-read book that will improve your web copy quickly, this is it.
PS: her blog at enchantingmarketing.com is also brilliant if you want to get into copywriting.
The Best Content Marketing Books
: The Solopreneur’s Guide To A Year’s Worth Of Blog Post Ideas In 60 Minutes And Creating Content That Hooks And Sells, by Meera Kothand
This book goes out to all the content marketers who have thought to themselves “I have no idea what to write!” or “Let me take a look at what other blogs out there are posting…”
I know you’re out there and feel your pain, all too well.
Meera Kothand created the One Hour Content Plan to serve as a guide to easily generate content ideas that will easily nudge your subscribers into becoming buyers.
And above all, it helps you develop a voice for your brand so that all the content you put out there is aligned with your brand. The truth is that users look for consistency. If your content is all over the place and you don’t establish your voice, users will have a hard time attaching themselves to your brand.
Take it upon yourself to improve your content and never go without new ideas for engaging content that fits your brand.
Content is a huge part of digital marketing, and more and more marketers have become aware of this.
As much as they’re aware of it though, many marketers admitedly struggle with creating engaging content.
That’s where Everybody Writes comes in handy.
It plainy lays out the rules to writing more and better content, content that helps you achieve your business goals, whatever those goals are.
The book also takes you through the process of writing by helping you write a good lead, a good closing and improving your grammar and usage.
With the help of this book, just about everybody writes.
: How Entrepreneurs Use Content To Build Massive Audiences And Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi is one of the world’s most influential content marketing strategists.
In this book, he advocates that content should be at the center of a marketers’ strategy, before even having a product to sell. In other words, create valuable content, attract an audience around this same content, and then create a product for that same audience.
But how does that even work?
In this book, the author covers the exact methods he used to build his own business and describes how you can do so, too.
From how to find a content/niche you can write about, how to distribute this content to readers all over the web, and even how to monetize these users, this book covers it all.
With all of that said, this book played an important role in our decision to create this website.
Need a better recommendation than that?
The Best CRO Books
Conversion Rate Optimization For More Leads, Sales And Profit, Or The Art And Science Of Optimized Marketing, by Chris Goward
Running traffic to your website is only the first part of the equation.
Sure, bringing the right type of traffic plays a big part when it comes to conversion rates – but what actually happens once users are there plays an equally (or even more) important role.
The book, filled with detailed case studies, exercises, and colorful examples, teaches you everything you need to know about conversion rate optimization.
From creating your A/B testing strategy, to creating hypothesis on what to test, which tools to use, and how to report on these results, you will learn how to get a lift in your conversion rates.
Our only critique is that we feel the book could be a little shorter, since it can be a little repetitive at times.
In any case, it’s one of our favourites in the topic and we 100% recommend you grab a copy.
You can grab your copy here.
The Best Automation & Email Marketing Books
The title of this book couldn’t be more fitting given what it teaches you.
Its helps you set up your digital business in such a way that you sell without even having to sell, or like the book puts it: you sell in your sleep.
And how is this accomplished?
By automating your entire sales process through an effective and lead nurturing email marketing strategy.
Automation is the backbone of any digital business. It’s the process that, once set up, runs in the background while the rest of your business demands your attention.
It may sometimes go unnoticed because, unlike paid media, you can’t put money into it watch your sales rise right away. Email marketing is a lengthy process but one that is much more qualifying and can ultimately lead to more loyal customers.
This is a great book that takes you through the process of automating your business, written by the CEO of one of the largest marketing blogs worldwide (https://www.digitalmarketer.com/), Ryan Deiss.
Books are still an incredible resource to learn more about digital marketing, even though in some cases they can indeed become obsolete.
The solution to that… well, read more! If you’re reading books as they’re launched, you’ll undoubtedly uncover a few golden nuggets from some of the world’s most brilliant minds.
To make it easier to get your hands in these books, I recommend you grab a Kindle device and order the books online.
I personally love my Kindle device, and keep it around at all times.
Enjoyed the list?
Let us know in the comments below and let’s talk!
What books do you recommend we add to our purchase list?