Most of you know that I don’t do a lot of book reviews. The main reason for that is that I actually read all the books I review. If it wasn’t worth reading cover to cover, it isn’t worth recommending to you. I don’t write negative reviews, because why would you need to be warned away from a book? So, this review is a few months late becaise I am a slow reader. I mostly read on my phone on the subway or on a plane–it’s a low priority activity. But this book I read really quickly, because I couldn’t stop. It became a high-priority activity.
Mark Schaefer’s The Content Code is a must-read, even if you think you understand content marketing–and God knows I think that. (I hope the clients who hire me think that too.)
Mark’s book explains why people share content, which helps you figure out how to reposition your content so they share more of yours. It sounds simple, but that doesn’t mean that it is obvious-or easy.
For example, I consider myself an expert on blogging. I mean, I have been blogging for over 10 years. Even an idiot learns something over 10 years. And I have dozens of other people that have blogged with me on Biznology, so you would think that between them and me, we’d have figured it all out, right? Apparently, not. In one chapter of Mark’s book, I wrote down three specific ideas we haven’t been doing that we should be.
Not impressed? Well, you should be. That was the chapter for which I wrote down the fewest ideas.
I’ve known Mark for years. We taught together at the Rutgers Digital Marketing Mini-MBA program, and Mark is a great guy, but that is not why you should buy his book. Lots of really nice people write really awful books. (I know, because they ask me to review them all the time.)
You should read this book because it will change the way you view content marketing. Sometimes, Mark has a smart idea that I have never heard expressed before. That alone is worth the time you spend reading the book. But sometimes he says something in a new way that somehow galvanizes you into action.
That’s how I feel about his term “content shock.” I have been telling people for years that you can’t win content marketing on volume, that you must be differentiated to sell in the age of the Interwebz. In a few pages, Mark lays out the case that content marketing is growing by leaps and bounds, but no one is building any more time to consume it. Hence, “content shock.” So simple. So correct. So much better than how I have been explaining it. It makes you take action. It makes you rethink what you are doing.
In this world, when what you pay for a book is trivial, but the time you have to spend reading it is the real cost, it’s very hard to make time to read. Make time for this book. You won’t regret it.
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