7 Ass-Kicking ‘Awesome’ Digital Marketing Ebooks of 2014
Catching the attention of buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.
Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.
In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?
What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.
Not all of them are of the same quality.
But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.
In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.
With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).
* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.
1. The definitive guide to lead generation (Marketo)
If you are unfamiliar with the definitive guides of Marketo, you should definitely ;-) check them out. One of my favorites is the one on lead generation.
In a whopping 160 pages they cover all practical aspects of:
- content marketing,
- website and SEO,
- social media,
- online advertising,
- email marketing,
- lead nurturing and lead scoring,
- testing and optimization etc.
It is an absolute drop-dead, jaw-dropping, must-read piece of work, even if you are not into marketing automation.
2. The Alchemy of Content (Comblu)
Comblu is a company you might not have heard of. I have been following them for a while now, and regularly they produce some ‘golden nuggets’ in the gold-diggers land of avid ebook collectors like me.
- a framework for tackling the content publishing challenge,
- best ways to organize content creation and distribution
- how to create regular high quality content
- How to calculate your Content ROI,
This is definitely a hidden golden nugget, and you should definitely check it out.
3. The Content Marketing Software Landscape (Altimeter)
Digital marketing is such a wide domain. It deals with all aspects of how paid, owned and earned media are handled in the digital space. That ranges from audience targeting, analytics, creation, distribution, curation & aggregation, optimization, etc.
At the core of digital marketing, at the core of your media mix, you have content. But content marketing is a complex discipline that fuels this mix, which digital marketers use to be found, engage and convert buyers in the digital space.
Tools exist to guide this complex process of fueling paid, owned and earned media, aligning it with the business objectives, aligning it with buyer personas, etc.
In this brilliant ebook of Altimeter, they describe current landscape of content marketing tools.
It’s interesting because:
- Their vision of how “content stacks” (end-to-end solutions) will emerge in the marketplace.
- Provides a good overview of all aspects that come into play when doing content marketing.
- A content marketing needs checklist
- Content tool best practices
- The present and future vendor landscape
- Individual vendor capabilities comparison table.
Get your hands on this excellent insight into content marketing tools, today and in the future.
4. A new brand of marketing (Chiefmartec)
O boy, do I just love this one!
This is an absolute must-read of one of my favorite “marketing rock-stars” out there. Scott Brinker is the author of this eye-opening ebook on the big ‘mothership’ trends that are transforming marketing as we know it.
The massive disruption happening in buying behavior of consumers and business, caused by the current advertisement blindness, content overload, and new digital and social media connections, is rocking the stable boat of marketing.
In an absolutely clear, concise and well written manner he describes why marketing is transforming from:
- traditional to digital,
- to converged media,
- to inbound,
- to experiences,
- to data,
- to agile
- and to in-house marketing.
If you need to read any of these ebooks, I’d recommend you start with this one.
5. The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing (CEB and Google)
B2B marketers across industries are investing in building out digital infrastructure and capabilities, exceeding 15% of the total budget, with some large organizations claiming to invest more than 50% of marketing budget in digital programs.
CEB is a leading member-based advisory company, based in the US. They collect best practices from their members, do advanced research and analytics, and once in a while they produce content pillars like this ebook on “The Digital Evolution in B2B marketing”.
This ebook focuses on B2B organizations that have progressed toward consolidating and deepening expertise on key digital tactics and responsibilities. The interesting part of this ebook is that is provides several models and best practices on how you can mature your organization:
- How to integrate digital tactics into all marketing activities
- Management frameworks for continuous collaboration, integrated campaign planning, standardization of campaign architectures
- Central demand generation team models
- 3 models for managing content production (campaign, coverage, activation)
Although more abstract, and more focused to larger B2B organizations, definitely worthwhile reading. I am sure it will spark some inspiration on how to improve your current digital marketing.
6. Marketer’s guide to sales enablement (Kapost)
Buying behavior is changing. Customers used to rely on information from sales people to make purchase decisions. Those days are over. More and more of the buying process is shifting to online. Buyers research, evaluate their options, and then reach out to vendors. Sales people only come into play when the short list is already made.
- what technology to use
- how to organize and align internally between marketing and sales
- what processes to use
- how to measure and use data
- and they even included a worksheet to help you build your plan.
Don’t be fooled by the great layout incorrectly trying to mask the lack of quality; this ebook is packed with wisdom and best practices. Every marketing and sales managers should read this!
7. The Ultimate guide to conversion centered design (Unbounce)
For a digital marketer, conversion means convincing a visitor to do one thing and one thing only. Not one of many things, not accomplishing it in under seven seconds, not successfully navigating from one point to another — just completing a single business-driven objective.
Unbounce is a DIY landing page platform for marketers. In this 68 page-long ebook they show they know their stuff when it comes to conversion centered design and the critical role that psychology plays:
- conversion centered design vs. user centered design
- principles of conversion centered design
- CTA design & page placement
- persuasive copywriting
- A/B testing design
- design of mobile conversion
- conversion-based page templates
This is a very visual ebook, packed with numerous tips-n-tricks, examples and best practices. If you are looking for a full guide on conversion centered design, this is the one!
There you have it. 7 ebooks that impressed me in 2014.
If you want to get more of these “best-of-the-web”, just subscribe to this blog and I’ll keep you up-to-date!
Tom De Baere