Book Masterclass

9 Books Native Advertisers Need to Read - and Why

Jul 19, 2018

Being updated on what’s moving and what’s cooking is essential to any business. But it is just as important to understand the foundation and building stones of the field you are in and be inspired to set up good work processes for yourself. By now, you may already know that native advertising is a growing form of advertising and with only a few years on its track record, new best practices are defined every day. Best practices that just may help you raise the bar for your own work.

So without further ado, here are nine books that will give you both new and foundational perspectives on marketing and native advertising. From the first runners and bar-setting authors, to more recent research and data, here are nine books worth reading if you want to become a better native advertiser.

Native Advertising: The Essential Guide(2017)

by Dale Lovell


The title is self-explanatory and pretty much reveals why you need to read this book. Dale Lovell has written a comprehensive guide explaining to the fullest what native advertising is and what it means to businesses.

The book is filled withfirst-hand advice and how-tos, it’s exploring the future of digital advertising and explains why growth is inevitable. Included are several interviews with marketing leaders from around the world, and a range of case studies such as The New York Times and The Independent.

Get the book here.

Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11  (2014)

by Jason Miller 


You may know Jason Miller from his work at LinkedIn and his energetic personality on stage when doing fast paced, punchline packed talks. In “Welcome to the Funnel”, Miller channels all his knowledge and know-how into some solid advice on content marketing.

And even though there are some very essential differences between native advertising and content marketing, it all comes down to creating great content, raising brand awareness, building trust and establishing credibility. 

Miller’s book explains why marketers need to change their mentality from creating more content to creating relevant content. And Miller’s strategy of repacketing and repurposing content will also be an eye opener that might be helpful in your next native advertising campaign.

Get the book here.

Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell (2016)

by Mara Einstein


Content without a corporate sponsor lurking behind it is rare, says Mara Einstein whodissects the rapid rise of sponsored content in her book “Black Ops Advertising.”

Some people might think, “who cares, I’ll just look away”. However, Einstein dares you to look the issue right in the eye.

She delivers a cultural critique about the changing media landscape and forecasts the potential of a “world where there is no real content: Everything we experience is some form of sales pitching”. Such as sponsored content, native advertising and content marketing.

Einstein is not happy with the contemporary advertising practice and this might exactly be the reason why you need to read her book to become a great - and responsible - native advertiser. In order to open up the world to native advertising and sponsored content, it’s necessary to understand the resistance.   

Get the book here.

The Native Advertising Advantage - Build Authentic Content that Revolutionizes Digital Marketing and Drives Revenue Growth (2017)

by Mike Smith


Reading this, you probably know that native advertising is an effective tool in any company’s digital marketing strategy. Mike Smith explains why and he shows how Buzzfeed, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times attract readers with their native advertising.

Smith also digs deep into essential knowledge about disclosures and regulations that you as  a native advertiser needs to be extremely aware of.  

“The Native Advertising Advantage” will give you the all the great reasons for doing native advertising and his series of examples will hopefully be of great inspiration for your future work with native advertising campaigns.

Get the book here.

Everybody Writes (Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content) (2014)

by Ann Handley


According to Ann Handley, we are all writers. And if you are a native advertiser, you are definitely a (copy)writer too and therefore, you need to beware of your writing, improve your writing, and succeed with your writing in order to succeed with writing. This also applies to professional content producers in native advertising.

Writing tell your customers who you are. It can make you look smart, or it can make you look stupid. It can make you seem trustworthy and competent. Or the exact opposite.

That’s why this book is a must-read for native advertisers who wants to be better (copy)writers. Ann Handley gives guidance and insights into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing together with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.

Get the book here.

All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic that Explains how Marketing Really Works - and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All (2012)

by Seth Godin


Seth Godin has taught thousands of marketers and students around the world that great marketers don’t talk about features or benefits. They tell stories that the audience will believe and as a native advertiser, you have probably already understood that.  

But Seth Godin has an important point which is crucial for all native advertisers to understand: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud.

“All Marketers are Liars” is a must-read for you if you want to learn how telling your customers authentic meaningful stories helps you sell your products and build a long-lasting relationship with them. 

Get the book here

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (2012)

by Daniel H. Pink


Daniel H. Pink argues that we are all salespeople. Whether we like it or not, when we as employees are pitching colleagues on a new idea, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others - some people call it selling.

As a native advertiser, you are in sales too. That’s no secret. You are trying to move potential customers with your content. And if you want to become an even more effective persuader, this is the book to read.

Get the book here.

UnMarketing: Everything has Changed and Nothing is Different (2016)

by Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer


It’s time for you to unlearn everything you’ve been taught and start to UnMarket yourself, says Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer.

UnMarketing is all about unlearning the old ways of marketing and instead attract and engage the right customers. Marketing is not about pushing out your message and praying that it sticks somewhere. Customers want to be listened to, and that’s what you need to remember as well when creating native advertising.

“UnMarketing” gives examples of what to do and what not to do when it comes to idea creation, viral marketing and video, marketing to millennials, authenticity, transparency and much more. Things that are crucial to have an understanding of when striving to be a great native advertiser.

Get the book here.  

Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, 2nd ed. (2017)

by Nathalie Nahai


Being a web psychologist, Nathalie Nahai brings together the latest insights from the world of psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics to explain the underlying dynamics and motivations behind consumer behavior.

If you create native advertising online, understanding these underlying dynamics and motivations, you can use this knowledge to create successful strategies and content that will move your online consumers.

Get the book here.

Do you have any suggestions for great books that all native advertisers need to read? Please let us know in the comments below.


Johanne Eliasson is the former editor of the Native Advertising Institute.

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