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36 Books on Digital Marketing

The rapid expansion of both the internet and ecommerce has resulted in some seriously dramatic shifts in terms of business marketing best practices.  If you’re feeling a bit lost in this new world of digital marketing, take a look at any of the following recommended resources to help get you up to speed!

Digital Marketing

  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly – David Meerman Scott

If you’ve done traditional direct response marketing or promotional work in the past, Scott’s book will give you all the tools needed to transfer these skills to today’s digital world.  Available in both print and Kindle editions.

  • Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Engaging the Digital Generation –  Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones

Ryan and Jones have produced a great overview of the world of digital marketing, encompassing everything from search to social media to mobile marketing and more.  Read it on your Kindle or pick up a print copy from your local bookstore.

  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies – Charlene Li an Josh Bernoff

In this case, “groundswell” refers to the unstoppable growth of social technologies and the way consumers use these tools to discuss products, companies and brands.  It’s a fascinating read on how businesses can proactively harness these changes in order to influence the conversation.

  • Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy – Vanessa Fox

Published in May 2012, this print book contains a concise, insightful look at the state of search engine growth and the impact this trend should have on business marketing.  Touching on everything from search engine optimization to online reputation management, it’s a great primer for companies that haven’t yet embraced the world of digital marketing.

  • The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World: Mastering the Art of Customer Engagement – Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones

If you want examples of companies that are doing digital marketing well, look no further than Ryan and Jones’s book, “The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World.”  It’s sure to provide the inspiration necessary to launch and run effective web marketing campaigns!

  • The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

In his second book, blogger Chris Guillebeau showcases some of the ways that the web has changed the process of launching and growing a business – particularly small enterprises that now enjoy a wider reach than ever.  Take a look at this print book to see exactly how the digital world has changed business growth strategies over the past few years.


  • The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success – Rick Mathieson

Brands matter more than ever in the worlds of SEO and digital marketing, so if your own company’s efforts fall short in this arena, pick up a copy of Mathieson’s “The On-Demand Brand.”

  • Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team – Alina Wheeler

Though Wheeler’s book encompasses both online and offline branding techniques, it’s a worthwhile read for business owners who have been told that “branding matters” – but don’t know how to put branding practices into place.

  • Brand Media Strategy: Integrating Communications Planning in the Digital Age – Antony Young

One final branding book you’ll want to take a look at is Young’s “Brand Media Strategy,” which offers specific guidance on how the branded elements you’ve developed for your business can be deployed most effectively across today’s digital marketing mediums.

  • The Online Reputation Management Guide – Outspoken Media

In this age of social connections, online reputation management is a must, as it’s imperative that any negative brand mentions be caught and addressed as quickly as possible.  Outspoken Media has put together a great comprehensive guide on this subject, which can be read online or downloaded for free as a PDF.

Social Media

  • The Social Media Marketing Book – Dan Zarrella

According to the book’s description, Zarrella’s comprehensive overview, “guides you through the maze of communities, platforms, and social media tools so you can decide which ones to use, and how to use them most effectively.”  It’s a great introduction for marketers who are new to the social sphere.

  • The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff – Clara Shih

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more in-depth knowledge on the web’s largest social networking site, look no further than Shih’s “The Facebook Era.”

  • Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time – Joel Comm

Or, pick up this detailed study of using Twitter to achieve business marketing aims from one of the internet’s most successful marketers, Joel Comm (the man behind the ubiquitous iFart app).

  • Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks) – Dave Kerpen

Social media marketing seems intuitive, but it can be tricky to carry out in a way that seems authentic and likable to your customers.  For tips on how to “keep it real” in the digital marketing world, take a look at Kerpen’s great entry on this subject.

  • The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web – Tamar Weinberg

Weinberg covers another important aspect of social marketing in her book, “The New Community Rules” – that is, how to balance social media marketing activities to avoid turning off customers as a consequence of your self-promotion.  Balance is the key here, and Weinberg lays out an excellent strategy for maintaining customer buy in while still promoting your brand.

  • How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day –Hubspot

Hubspot’s Marketing Resource Library has a ton of great products, but pay special attention to the company’s online guide, titled, “How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day.”  The ebook offers a refreshing, actionable plan for balancing social media marketing goals with the limited time available to most business people.


  • The Referral Engine – John Jantsch

Inbound marketing – which is based on increasing word-of-mouth referrals over labor-intensive outreach activities – is the web’s current “hot button” marketing technique.  Jantsch lays out a great system for increasing these referrals naturally in his book, “The Referral Engine.”

  • Convert – Ben Hunt

Hunt’s book offers concrete guidance on how to build and optimize websites in order to maximize conversions – making it a “must read” for any ROI-oriented digital marketers out there.

  • The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More – Chris Anderson

Anderson’s seminal book, “The Long Tail,” was released in 2006, making it one of the older entries on this list.  However, his groundbreaking theories on the rise of the niche and the potential of the digital web to reach more specialized consumers are just as valuable today, giving the book a permanent place in any informed web retailer’s library.

  • Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers – Khalid Saleh

When it comes to digital marketing, conversion rates – and the subsequent ROI they produce for business investments – matter.  For a comprehensive look at how to both measure and bring about positive changes in your website’s conversion rate, check out Saleh’s informative book on the subject.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Citation Labs Link Building Book – Garrett French and Ben Wills

This comprehensive link building strategy ebook, published by the leaders of SEO firm Ontolo, isn’t cheap.  At $67 a pop, it’s one of the priciest entries on this list.  But if you’ve exhausted the potential of traditional link building techniques, it’s well-worth a look for the advanced strategies shared by its industry-leading authors.

  • Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions – Jason Burby

Web analytics matter – but only if you actually use this data to bring about positive changes in your business.  Jason Burby shows you exactly how to do this in his book, “Actionable Web Analytics.”

  • Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO – Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land’s guide isn’t really a book – it’s a series of digital chapters that introduce readers to the various elements involved in search engine optimization.  But whatever the format, it’s a great starting place for digital marketers who don’t know much about how the search engines operate and how businesses can work with in these guidelines to get their content seen.

  • Web Analytics: An Hour a Day – Avinash Kaushik

Again, it’s no secret that we at Single Grain believe web analytics are important.  But since the process of selecting metrics and implementing tracking systems can seem overwhelming, we highly recommend Kaushik’s “Web Analytics: An Hour a Day,” for making these techniques feel more manageable.

  • The Art of SEO – Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin

“The Art of SEO” isn’t exactly light reading (in fact, it looks substantially more like a textbook than an industry best seller), but it’s the de-facto, authoritative guide to everything SEO.  It’s worth a read if you’re interested in expanding the depth of your SEO knowledge.

  • Double Your Traffic in 30 Days – Neil Patel / Quicksprout

Neil Patel is one of the most effective digital marketers working online today, and you can pick up some of his SEO secrets by subscribing to his free newsletter.  In exchange, you’ll receive his action-packed, comprehensive guide to increasing your website traffic significantly within a month.

  • Complete Guide to SEO – Single Grain

Obviously, we’re pretty partial to our own Complete Guide to SEO.  J  If you haven’t had a chance to download it yet, visit our homepage and click the bright yellow “Download SEO Guide” button.

  • Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs – Brian Halligan

Halligan’s book offers a number of great tips on how to capitalize on SEO and social media marketing techniques in order to increase your inbound website traffic.  When used effectively, his “inbound marketing” techniques can help to generate steady streams of free traffic, which can make a big difference in your business’s digital bottom line.

  • The Clockwork Pirate – Kelvin Newman

The writing in this digital guide leaves something to be desired, but if you’re willing to look past a few grammatical errors, you’ll find plenty of great link building advice here.  Get the book for free in exchange for a social share on

Online Consumer Behavior

  • Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust – Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is another famous blogger who’s translated his online experience into actionable tips all businesses can benefit from.  In this instance, he delves into the role trust plays in motivating consumer behavior, as well as how websites can use these principles to build influence and increase sales.

  • Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug

Krug’s book, “Don’t Make Me Think,” introduces the concept of user experience – that is, how websites can be structured to minimize resistance and encourage the types of enjoyable experiences that lead to repeat visitors and referrals.  It’s a great choice for webmasters who are struggling with high bounce rates or low average times on site.

  • The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web – Jesse James Garrett

Garrett’s book on this same subject of user experience is quite a bit more technical than Krug’s, but if you’re interested in making significant improvements to the ways in which visitors interact with your site, it’s a “must read.”

  • The Principles of Beautiful Website Design, 2nd Edition – Jason Beaird / Sitepoint

Given that website design can play a major role in user experience, taking a look at Sitepoint’s “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design” may offer insight that’ll help you take your website from blah to beautiful.  Described as “design training for non-designers,” Sitepoint’s book (which is available in both online and offline versions) is highly accessible and easy to translate into actions.

  • Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business – Erik Qualman

Qualman’s book explores the idea that consumer reviews and influencer opinions are more effective at generating sales than advertising, considering the widespread reach of today’s social networking websites.  Take a look at his book to learn more about the consumer behaviors driving this shift, as well as what you need to do to capitalize on it.

  • The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google – Nicholas Carr

Carr’s text offers a fascinating look at the economic and societal changes that have led to the development of the digital age, as well as what these movements mean for businesses and consumers.  It’s heavier on the theory than that actionable advice, but it’s still an interesting, worthwhile read.

  • Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging – Scott Stratten

Without a doubt, the web has changed the way business occurs forever.  In “Unmarketing,” author Scott Stratten takes a look at the implications of the shift towards digital marketing, as well as how businesses can best capture this potential by focusing on engaging with customers over blatant advertisements.

Of course, these are just a handful of the best digital marketing books out there.  If you have a recommendation of your own, share it in the comments section below!

Image Credit: hashmil

Category SEO
Sujan Patel When I Work

Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost ...

36 Books on Digital Marketing

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