By Joe Pulizzi published January 13, 2012

10 Content Marketing Books to Help Sell the C-Level

Just ended a pretty impressive Content Marketing Institute webinar hosted by Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua and Rebecca Lieb, Analyst for Altimeter.  During the Q&A session, Joe talked about how to sell content marketing to the C-level through some amazing books.  Below are some recommendations from Joe (and some that I would recommend as well) for the marketing pro that needs more content marketing budget.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

I consider this David Meerman Scott book mandatory reading for all marketers.  This best seller, now published in over 25 languages, clearly states the case for why we need to think about marketing differently. A big part of that…the creation of valuable, relevant and compelling content that positions you as the expert in your industry.

Get Content Get Customers

Yes, forgive me…this is my book written with my co-author Newt Barrett.  This was the first book that really talked about the content marketing industry as we know it today and how to actually handle the changing rules (as DM Scott describes above).  The first half of the book tells you the why of content marketing…the second half is chock full of online, print and integrated case studies.

Content Rules

Where Get Content Get Customers leaves off, Content Rules ramps it up a notch, with clear instruction and motivation on everything from content strategy to newsletter creation to blogs and social media…with some amazing case studies along the way.  Really like the practical tips in this book, like how to develop a publishing schedule and ideas on “reimagining” your content across different platforms.

And, it couldn’t have been written by two better people: Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.

eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sell

This incredible resource from Ardath Albee is one I recommend to marketers very focused on the B2B industry.  Ardath details the complex sales cycle that most B2B marketing executives deal with and the important the role that content serves in each of those stages.  Do you have a long sales cycle with multiple client touch points? If so, this book can’t lose.

Managing Content Marketing

Sorry, guilty as charged…mine again.  This time, Robert Rose leads the charge.  Simply put, if you are a marketer trying to actually develop a content marketing practice within your organization, this book will help you with the structure and process.  This is not a book for the beginner, but for the believer that wants to take the next step.

Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher

I love Rebecca Lieb’s writing style…and on my favorite topic no less.  The best part about this book is the amount of real-world examples that will show you the true impact of content marketing on the organization, and on customers themselves (PS: I wrote the foreword).

The Best Books for Specific Content Needs

For agencies trying to sell services in this new content marketing world:  The Marketing Agency Blueprint by Paul Roetzer

For content marketing on a small business budget: Launch by Mike Stelzner

For selling social media into the organization:  The NOW Revolution by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund and The End of Business as Usual from Brian Solis.

It’s amazing that just a few years ago, there were NO books on this topic, and now we have 10 amazing books.  Did I miss any that you would recommend?

Get the support you need for successful content marketing. Check out our starter kit, Mastering the Buy-in Conversation on Content Marketing, for stats, tips, and essential talking points.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Ardath Albee

    Thanks very much, Joe! I need to go grab Rebecca’s book. I’ve read all the others, and agree they’re great!

  • Paul Roetzer

    Great list, Joe! Honored to be a part of it. And already looking forward to Content Marketing World 2012!

  • Todd Lohenry

    I’m sorry I missed that. How do I get a copy? Make sure I don’t miss the next one?

  • C.C. Chapman

    A great list and I’m honored and psyched to see that Content Rules made the cut!

  • Fred

    Good selection Joe, however I must say I’m surprised that Launch by Mike Stelzner is not there. This book gave me great ideas to sell content to big clients.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Ha…Fred, it is. I have it specifically for small businesses, but yes, it’s a great book that any marketer or business owner would get a ton out of regarding content marketing.

  • Ann Handley

    Thanks for including Content Rules, Joe!

  • Robert Rose

    Love this list – honored to be among these super smart people… And proud to say that I’ve read them all…. All excellent – well maybe not that Managing Content Marketing book… I hear it’s a dry as English toast 😉

  • Nenad


    my Twitter content marketing reading “marathon” will continue for awhile. 🙂

    Thank you for the list.