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The Best Psychology Books for Improving Your Content Marketing Plan

December 18, 2014

By Amber Kemmis


In my recent post, How Behavioral Psychology Can Improve Your Content Marketing I explained how behavioral psychology theories can benefit content marketing.  Although this provides a lot of great information, having a degree in psychology, I can tell you that there are thousands of other psychology theories and principles outside of behavioral psychology that can benefit content marketing.

Below is a list of some the best psychology books you can to read to help improve content marketing:

  1. Intro to Psychology Book: Knowing the basic branches like cognitive, behavioral, social, developmental and even cross-cultural psychology will help you to understand how all these various components work together to influence decision making and also content marketing. You can pick up any introduction to psychology textbook on Amazon, and you’ll likely find that psychology textbooks aren’t as boring as some of the other subjects you may remember from college.  

  2. The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson: The branch of psychology that is probably most related to content marketing is social psychology. When I was in college, the most interesting subject to me was the social psychology of cults. Yes, like the Manson family and Scientology. In the Social Animal, Aronson provides a review on social psychology topics like cults that are actually important in content marketing. For example, brands use the same social psychology principles behind a cult - helping people feel as if they belong - to market their products.

  3. Drive: The Surprising Truth Behind What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink: Also the author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others, Pink offers a different view on motivation than what is found in business by examining decades of research. His assertion is that people’s motivation stems from one’s desire for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  You can also watch his Ted talks on the subject.

  4. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: One of the most important things about content marketing is discovering what can make your content go viral. In the Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell explains why some products, ideas or content go viral while others do not.

  5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger: After reading The Tipping Point, a great follow-up is Contagious because many of Gladwell’s principles ring true in Berger’s Contagious but offer additional research and insights on six basic principles behind social transmission. What I love about this book is all the great examples and the research that backs Berger’s principles on why things catch on.

  6. Numbers Rule Your World by Kaiser Fung: Statistics was, surprisingly, one of my favorite subjects in college. At first, it is a scary subject but then it can become just plain boring.  In Numbers Rule Your World, Fung makes statistics a subject that is far from boring answering questions like What does it mean, statistically, to be an “Average Joe”?  In content marketing, statistics are an impeccably important aspect because they help you deliver content based on existing contact data and gauge how profitable your content is. Without statistics and analytics, you are, metaphorically, putting your content in a bottle and sending off into the ocean. This book will help you to take a statistical perspective on content marketing.

Understanding psychology and applying it to your content marketing strategy will help you to convert more leads and accelerate and improve the sales process. If you need help developing a content marketing strategy or growing inbound sales, make SmartBug Media an extension of your team. Request a consultation today.


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Topics: Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing