Digital marketing is essential to the growth and development of any business. More so if we’re talking about smaller businesses that need to make a splash without generous budgets.

To be successful, you need an integrated digital marketing strategy. While that might seem daunting at first, I assure you that there’s enough information to get you started, keep you going, and help you reach your goals on time.

The following books will give you the basics and provide useful tips and tricks and case studies, so you can see how others have done it. As always, your imagination and drive will move you forward.

1. The Growth Manifesto: How to Drive Growth in a fast-changing digital world

The Growth Manifesto: How to Drive Growth in a fast-changing digital world by Alex Cleanthous looks at the modern customer journey, fragmented across multiple channels and devices. As the fierce competition makes it more difficult to be seen and heard, there’s a need for a new approach to finding, engaging, and ultimately acquiring new customers.

The author argues it’s not about the channels or campaigns but a customer’s place on their journey. Looking at his experience as a successful marketer for WebProfits, Alex Cleanthous delivers “the strategies being used on the front line today to drive record growth from digital marketing, month after month after month.”

2. Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves

Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg reads almost like an entertaining work of fiction, weaving together stories of how highly successful business ventures including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, Twitter and Flickr harnessed the immense potential of the viral loop and came out on top.

As Penenberg points out, the trick is that they all managed to create something people really wanted to such an extent that their users gladly got others on board. The best part is that you don’t have to be a huge corporation to make this work. It’s simply a question of knowing your audience and providing them with something genuinely valuable.


Read more: 5 Tips on using Twitter to promote your online course


3. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg helps you understand every option you have for traction and growth. Interestingly, this book was written as the author himself, the CEO of Duck Duck Go, was in the process of figuring out the right channels for his product launch.

It’s a sort of a live case study that gives it an enhanced authenticity. Additionally, Weinberg developed The Bullseye Framework – the three steps to hitting the coveted target: traction. Like an actual bullseye, the method employs three concentric circles:

  1. The first layer is about what’s possible – the brainstorming phase in which you come up with at least one strategy per channel;
  2. The second layer is about what’s probable – a testing phase in which you test all the brainstormed ideas – it’s important to keep the tests simple and contained;
  3. The inner ring is the bullseye itself – the phase in which you have identified the channel or channels that are generating growth.

Eventually, you’ll restart the process to identify which channel or channels will work for the next growth stage.

4. Everybody Writes


Everybody Writes
by Ann Handley focuses on content marketing, an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. If you want your strategy to work, you will need to know how to create content that manages to capture the audience’s attention and succeeds in persuading them to take action.

Writing content can be a difficult task, but Handley offers great advice that will help you get started, optimize and ultimately perfect the art of writing content. Whether your content is for social media, email marketing, newsletters blogging or podcasts, you’ll find valuable tips and tricks on how to get it right. This book is a practical guide that you can’t afford to skip even if you have studied writing before.


Read more: 5 Tips on making your written content more actionable


5. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz is based on the principles of the Lean Startup.

Using case studies from Airbnb, LinkedIn and PayPal, Lean Analytics offers several examples of how fast-growing startups focused on optimizing just one key metric to reach their growth goals. The book comes with a nifty graphic that will help you figure out that key metric for your business. In the age of big data, it’s almost irresponsible to miss out on such an opportunity to make it work in your favor.


Read more: Why knowledge entrepreneurs should use marketing automation tools


6. Exactly What To Say

Exactly What To Say by Phil M. Jones is one of the best “how-to” books for content marketing. It teaches you what to say to drive sales and increase conversions. In the words of the author, “this book prepares you for nearly every known eventuality and provides you with a fair advantage in almost every conversation.”

The book is packed full of concrete, actionable examples of phrases and keywords to use as well as the information you need to figure out what each situation needs. There’s a lot of consumer psychology behind these tactics, and it’s important to understand why, how and when they work.

Wrapping up

Any entrepreneur or course creator needs to know the basics of digital marketing. Having a good presence on the right media channels, communicating with your audience, and giving them what they want are just a few things that can help you grow your business. These six books cover the essential areas of digital marketing for a well-informed and successful journey.

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