Last November, I published a review of Robert Rose’s new book, Content Marketing Strategy. Rose’s book is one of the best I’ve recently read, and it’s an important addition to our library of content marketing literature. If you haven’t read Content Marketing Strategy, I recommend that you add it to your reading list for 2024.
Shortly after I finished Rose’s book, I discovered and read Purna Virji’s new book, High-Impact Content Marketing: Strategies to Make Your Content Intentional, Engaging and Effective (Kogan Page, 2023). This is also an excellent book, and I enthusiastically recommend it.
Purna Virji is a globally recognized content strategist and marketer whose work has been featured in The Drum, Marketing Land, Adweek, and other publications. She is currently Principal Consultant, Content Solutions at LinkedIn, and before joining LinkedIn, she was Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft.
What’s In the Book
High-Impact Content Marketing contains 12 chapters that are packed with strategies, insights, and frameworks designed to enable marketers to conceive and produce intentional, engaging, and effective content.
Purna Virji uses the first two chapters of the book to explain why many content marketing efforts produce underwhelming results and to describe the essential building blocks of long-term content marketing success. These two chapters are particularly important because they reveal the perspective that Virji brings to the material in the balance of the book.
In Chapter 01, she argues that marketers struggle to achieve success with content marketing because they often get five basic choices wrong.
- Focusing on outputs vs. outcomes (a/k/a content quantity vs. business results)
- Chasing trends vs. being grounded in strategy
- Prioritizing short-term vs. longer-term
- Creating for machines vs. humans
- Not balancing creation vs. distribution
Virji uses Chapter 02 to discuss what she calls the “four essential element pairs” of long-term content marketing success.
- Behavioral science and learning design
- Empathy and inclusion
- Copywriting and selling skills
- Strategy and measurement
The balance of High-Impact Content Marketing covers several topics that Virji argues are critical for the development of a high-impact content marketing program. These include:
- Needs analysis (internal and customer) – Chapters 03-05
- Competitor content audit – Chapter 06
- Content marketing strategy and measurement – Chapter 07
- Copywriting strategy – Chapter 11
- Content distribution techniques – Chapter 12
Virji also includes two chapters that explain how to use brainstorming to come up with high-impact content ideas.
High-Impact Content Marketing is an excellent book that should be considered required reading for anyone involved in content marketing. The book is well organized and well written, and Virji includes numerous real-world examples, which make the book more engaging and relatable.
She also provides several practical tips and frameworks in the book, which will enable readers to more easily apply the principles and techniques she discusses.
One particularly valuable aspect of the book is that Virji includes a discussion of “instructional design” principles and explains how content marketers can leverage those principles to create more effective content.
At the beginning of this review, I mentioned Robert Rose’s new book, Content Marketing Strategy, and I noted that it is one of the best content marketing books that I’ve recently read. Rose’s book and High-Impact Content Marketing address different aspects of content marketing, but these books are highly complementary.
Purna Virji’s book provides a road map for creating effective content, while the primary focus of Rose’s book is the organizational structures and processes that are needed to effectively manage a content marketing function. By applying the principles described in both books, marketers will greatly increase their odds of achieving content marketing success.
So, the bottom line is: If you’re involved in content marketing – and especially if you’re responsible for leading your company’s content marketing efforts – you need to read both of these valuable books.