5 Inbound Marketing Books You Have to Read


By Brad Harris - April 11, 2016

This time our book list is all about relationships, because at the heart of Inbound Marketing is understanding your buyer personas and educating them.

I hope this list helps to stock your library for the next month, and please let us know in the comments below which title you most enjoyed. 

5 Books to Help You Inbound

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I’ve written about this book before, and it topped that list too. It’s just that good.

How to Win Friends and Influence People was famed American writer and thought leader, the late Dale Carnegie’s, most popular and bestselling work. His life’s best works, including this book, were dedicated to understanding interpersonal relations and skills, and then making his conclusions extraordinarily simple and practical for everyone to understand.

As far as the books relevance to inbound, it is vital for understanding just how to create a strong and personable voice in your content marketing.

As I called it before: “An outlier, perhaps, but one that certainly deserves its place in this list”. 

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging by Scott Stratten

Casually humorous, Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing focuses on building your business and its grown on relationships.

Stratten himself is a leading expert in social marketing, particularly viral trends, and so this book ultimately tackles how best to market yourself socially. Leaving behind cold-calling, flyers and physical adverts, Stratten takes us into the mind of the consumer and helps us to engage with our audiences… which will help to lead them to the logical choice that you are what they need.

As he famously makes known, we need to stop “Pushing and Praying” and start “Pulling and Staying”.

Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing by Lee Odden

The word “optimise” has an enormous web of connotations in digital marketing these days, and Lee Odden tackles the majority of them with serious gusto.

As a successful writer himself, Odden details just how to create an effective content strategy that blends SEO, social media and content comfortably.

While not overly recommended for beginners to digital strategy, this book is great for the professional marketers looking to pinpoint strengths in their existing strategies and make some leaps forward… above all though, Odden makes it clear that the best marketing simply makes it clear to the consumer what’s in it for them.

The Culting of Brands by Douglas Atkin

What Douglas Atkin’s masterpiece is really about is how to create kickass buyer personas and win customers that want long-term relationships.

Atkin, a marketing veteran who has spent years researching the ideology of branding, makes clear surprising links between the branding of leading cults and leading companies. According to Atkin, creating a brand presence is about attracting someone who identifies with you, and so it’s initially about understanding who that “someone” might be. In this way, you satisfy the feeling of normal people to belong, or at least satisfy a sense of belonging.

Just as cults draw average Joes in by offering them this belonging, so do top brands by making you feel as if you’re part of an exclusive group. You feel important, and that’s what sells this book… Atkin helps you to understand the need for and guides you in developing long-term relationships with your customers.

Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

Much like the ideology of Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah are all about pulling your customers in.

Traditional marketing methods are “outbound” and require you to push your message out and pray that it gets received by the right people. There are obvious flaws in that methodology, and that’s why inbound came about. Inbound marketing, as Halligan and Shah describe it, is about pulling your customers in and keeping them with you. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of advertising, and better at blocking it out… which means the need to make consumers feel comfortable, loyal and interested has never been more important.

This book is the ideal how-to guide for beginners and professionals alike, from getting found on Google to nurturing a conversational community on social media, Halligan and Shah have been through it all.

Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog by Thomas Høgenhaven & Rand Fishkin 

As the SEO industry continues to change, and Google has once again tinkered those tricky algorithms, it’s probably a good time to sharpen your knowledge of inbound marketing techniques and channels. Aimed at marketing newbies and seasoned gurus, Høgenhaven and Fishkin produced a compilation of cutting-edge information on SEO practices and inbound marketing competencies. Split into sections, this book encapsulates topics of: SEO, Channel Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media, Conversion Rate Optimization and Analytics.  

After reading this book, you will be well on your way to attract more traffic to your site, turn ‘tire-kickers’ into qualified sales leads and emerge triumphantly on the other side, as an SEO rockstar! 

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content  by Ann Hadley

Ann Hadley’s philosophy is simple. If you have a website, actively use social media platforms or rely on words to carry marketing messages, then you are in marketing. Sure, that sounds simple enough, but the reality is we compete in a world of killer headlines, Twitter feeds, responsive design and #hashtags. And if you are unable to communicate well or neglect to tell a good story, then you might be failing miserably at keeping and retaining the attention of your audience through online communications efforts. 

Everybody Writes, offers expert guidance and insights into the process of content creation, production and publishing. Your take-home from this book would be to tap into the content writing best practices and to apply them generously to your website, landing pages, email campaigns and social media messages. Remember the goal is always to attract, convert, close and delight your prospects through their entire buyer’s journey. 

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers  by Seth Godin 

Today’s consumers are bombarded with marketing messages spurred on by traditional marketing methods, which are simply outdated and disruptive! 

Permission marketing is the polar opposite. The creation of anticipated, personal and relevant campaigns that require the permission of your audience to engage. By reaching out to only those individuals who have expressed interest in your product or solution, empowers you to develop long-term relationships with your prospects, improves visibility of your brand and greatly increases the chances of making a sale. 

Applying the principles of permission marketing, can amplify your communication campaigns or at the very least, help you formulate and launch ever campaign with greater insight and success. 

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott 

Navigating the waters of inbound marketing can be tricky. While most marketers are no strangers to the ins and outs of social media, use of online videos to attract visitors or ways to generate a ton of leads through blogging; there is no harm in getting inspired by people who understand the business of consumers and the way they communicate. International bestseller, David Meerman Scott, offers a practical guide on how to engage in conversation with prospects and to persuade them to take the necessary actions. 

Equipped with an unparalleled step-by-step action plan, supported case studies and the latest industry tools to launch long-lasting content marketing campaigns, you will discover how to conquer minds and markets... playing by the new rules of new media trends. 

If you guys enjoyed this list but feel that it’s missing one or two important titles, please let us know in the comments below. Or if you would like to know more about inbound marketing and its practices, just drop us an email and we’ll get back to ASAP.

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