Tips and tricks

15 Books to improve your video marketing skills

At Moonbuggy we think a lot about how to make outta-this-world brand and product videos. In preparation for the new year, you probably are, too. There’s an entire expanding universe of possibilities when it comes to creative content, especially with the advent of new channels, AI, and other digital marketing tools. 

So how do you plan a stellar content plan that includes captivating, eye catching, and effective video? We went to some experts to answer just that question. In this blog, we provide reviews for 15 books in three critical categories: 

  1. Storytelling for engaging videos
  2. Video marketing strategy & implementation
  3. Content creation and technical skills

We think if you level up in these areas, your videos will practically produce themselves! Or at least you’ll know where to start.

So, buckle up and prepare for liftoff. Here's Moonbuggy's curated list of essential reading to turbocharge your video marketing strategies in 2024. 🚀🌟

Storytelling for engaging videos

Storytelling is fundamental to any good or great video, whether it’s a 6-15 second unskippable ad on YouTube or a 90-second product explainer. We reviewed some of the best books on storytelling. Here’s the round up:

  • StoryMythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories
  • Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
  • Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar's Greatest Films
  • Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
  • Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
  • Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience
  • The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Use Them to Connect with Others

Read on for a summary of each of these awesome resources.

"StoryMythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories" by Jessica Brody (2017)

When we think of a hero’s journey, our brains quickly recall our favorite movies, books, and TV series. While narrative, character development, and plot points are important in shooting a movie, this holds true for laying the foundation for a solid corporate culture where people are excited to work.

Shane Meeker helps readers approach branding, marketing, and internal communications by diving into some favorites on stage and on screen. Plus, this book has workbook sections so you can apply your own skills while reading.

Read it

"Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business" by Kindra Hall (2018)

In this bestseller book, Kindra Hall explores the four different types of stories you can use to differentiate yourself and captivate your listeners: the Value Story, the Founder Story, the Purpose Story, and the Customer Story. 

Kindra Hall shows us how simple it is to develop storytelling skills. Filled with case studies, company profiles, and personal accords, readers learn how building storytelling abilities can separate them from the rest of the competition. Reading this book will give you useful and practical steps to find, craft, and leverage your own story. 

Read it

"Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar's Greatest Films" by Dean Movshovitz (2018)

Some of the greatest stories ever told can be found in Pixar’s greatest films. This book has ten chapters, each one covering an element of storytelling that Pixar does well. Author Dean Movshovitz teaches readers the common theme between all of Pixar’s stories, how they create compelling conflict, and craft emotionally satisfying resolutions in their films. 

Readers who are passionate about storytelling and searching for video script inspiration will find exactly what they need in this book. There is a lot we have to learn from the greatest stories from Pixar, and utilizing their storytelling methods in your video marketing can help create a warm and memorable brand experience for your customers. 

Read it

"Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence" by Lisa Cron (2012)

This is another rad book that explores the science behind storytelling and why humans connect so deeply with stories. Captivating your audience is challenging. All marketers can attest to that. Knowing how to make pretty videos does not make you a captivating video marketer, storytelling does. That's exactly what Lisa Cron covers in Wired for Story.

This book explains the neurological responses our brains experience when hearing a good story. This lays the framework you need to write captivating stories that tap into the section of the brain that is hardwired with the desire read on. Igniting this curiosity in your readers will trigger a dopamine rush that keeps them engaged for the long haul.

Read it

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences - Master visual storytelling techniques for impactful presentations and video content by Nancy Duarte 

We've all watched videos from brands that are super boring. One of the biggest fears when making video content is putting in hours of prep work, feeling good about it, and then watching it flop when it gets published to the world.

If you want to grab your audience's attention, keep them on the edge of their seats, and see a line of excited fans ready to ask you questions afterward, this is the book for you. This book will help you connect with your audience and motivate them to take action after they hear you speak. It might even help you prepare for your Ted Talk!

Read it

“Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience - Utilize personal storytelling to build trust and connection with your audience” by Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli

In the world of working professionals, there is a surplus of communication, but a deficit in meaningful dialogue. We often assume people do not reply because they are too bombarded with messages, when in fact the message itself may be the reason you get overlooked.

In Rehumanize Your Business, the authors show you how to improve the relationships you have with customers, employees, and partners by adding personalized video content to your strategy. Personalized video can be sent through emails, texts, and social media, and it is a great way to improve engagement with your audience.

Read it

"The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Use Them to Connect with Others" by Will Storr (2020)

As humans, storytelling is an essential element of who we are. While there are many resources out there that explain why storytelling works well, author Will Storr explores the concept of storytelling further to help readers understand the science behind why it works. Before you can become a great storyteller, you must first understand how the human brain reacts to stories. 

Storytelling is an essential part of creating compelling content for your audience. Video marketers will benefit by learning how the latest psychological research and neuroscience plays into our deepest archetypes and myths, and by gaining practical tools to tell better stories in a chaotic world.

Read it

Video marketing strategy and implementation

So you have some spectacular video content, now what? There’s an art and science behind effectively implementing a video content strategy. You can repurpose long videos, for example, to be maximally effective for a wide variety of channels. You can also implement effective processes to improve video efficacy. Read on for a summary of each of these awesome resources:

  • Become a Content Brand: Build a Team, Own Your Audience, & Create Video Your Customers Will Love - Develop a successful video content strategy and build a team to execute it.
  • Video Marketing Strategy: Harness the Power of Online Video to Drive Brand Growth - Learn effective video marketing strategies for various platforms and goals.
  • ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever - Implement efficient workflows and processes to enhance your video production and marketing efforts.
  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die - Understand the principles of memorable video content and apply them to increase engagement and brand recall.

"Become a Content Brand: Build a Team, Own Your Audience, & Create Video Your Customers Will Love" by Chris Carter (2019)

In this book for video marketers, author Chris Carter shares his insights as a CMO of a video marketing agency. After working with nearly 200 clients on marketing strategies, it became clear over the years that the demand for video content was on the rise. 

Chris Carter takes readers through his video marketing play-book to help brands grow their exposure, audience, and bottom line. Learn about today’s video standards, strategies for content marketing campaigns, creating a mix of in-house and professional studio content, how to produce content your audience will love, and many more rad video marketing tips!

Read it

"Video Marketing Strategy: Harness the Power of Online Video to Drive Brand Growth" by Jon Mowat (2018)

Video is the most effective type of content your brand can use to build awareness, web traffic, and sales. Consumers demand more and more video content from brands, and social media platforms make it easy for brands to deliver. 

The best way to see a good ROI on your video content is to develop an effective video campaign strategy. While carving out your video strategy, this book will help you understand how your video content plays into your overall content strategy. Most importantly, this book helps readers understand the key to creating captivating and engaging content.

Read it

"Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier (2017)

Today’s business climate is very different than it was twenty years ago. Anyone can push out an idea with easily accessible technology and networking opportunities at our fingertips. Plus, you can do all of this without having to break your back working eighty hours a week.

The authors of Rework challenge the old standards of what it takes to start a business and market an idea. This book will rewire the way you think about doing business in the digital world. A lot of companies get too bogged down in the details of the business plan instead of getting out there and maximizing the time in areas that can grow the business.

Read it > 

"Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (2007)

Have you ever noticed how quickly lies and "fake news" can spread around the world? Why is it that negativity can spread at the speed of light, but people with incredible and positive ideas need to work night and day to tell people about ideas that will make the world better?

This book explores and dissects the anatomy of how ideas stick with us. You learn about different cases of "sticky" stories that have happened throughout history - from rumors to sports to product launches - and receive an in-depth analysis of how sticky ideas can apply to any situation.

Read it

Content creation & technical skills 

Finally, we reviewed some books that will take your content creation and technical skills to the next level. These resources dive a little deeper into specific topics such as design, applying storytelling to video content, and – simply – just improving your writing. The round up of books includes the below but we’ve also provided summaries here: 

  • Design Is Storytelling - Master visual design principles to elevate your video aesthetic and communicate your message effectively.
  • Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen - Craft clear and concise video messages that resonate with your target audience.
  • Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style - Improve your writing skills to create strong scripts and narration for your videos.
  • The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human - Understand the fundamental principles of storytelling and apply them across all video content formats.

"Design Is Storytelling" by Jessica Helfand (2018)

Storytelling does not just apply to the script you write for your videos; it also extends to the video’s visual design. In this book, Ellen Lupton demonstrates how storytelling guides and influences great design. Talented designers can bring a story to life in your video content by using their skills in line, shape, and form. 

Ellen Lupton explores the psychology of visual perception and the impact it has on our narrative. No matter what industry you work in, this book helps readers understand how to perfectly blend visual design and written language to improve your storytelling power and deliver strong messages that resonate with your audience.

Read it

"Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen" by Donald Miller (2017)

The StoryBrand process developed by Donald Miller helps businesses struggling with marketing to clarify their message, attract more business, and land more sales. This proven method of communication will help video marketers make more compelling brand messages to help customers understand exactly why their products, services, or ideas work.

Whether you want to excel as a leader within the company you work for, improve engagement on your next video marketing campaign, or win the next election, the StoryBrand is the best way to clarify your message so your audience remembers your name and engages with your brand.

Read it

"Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style" by Benjamin Dreyer (2020)

If you are ready for a brilliant, hilarious book to help you start writing better messages to the world, then Dryer’s English is the best book to read! We all write content in some way, and we always finish thinking we can do better. Sometimes all it takes to bring our work from a 5 to a 10 is by working on your grammar.

Benjamin Dreyer takes readers through an amusing read that puts an emphasis on the fine elements of the English language. Punctuation to overused words, this book will sharpen your skills as a writer so you can make videos with ultra-clear messages that your audience will love.

Read it

"The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human" by Jonathan Gottschall (2020)

Children aren't the only people that enjoy make-believe; adults love it as well. How else do you explain the cult following for Game of Thrones, Starwars, and the Twilight series? We're biologically designed to listen to a narrative.

Jonathan Gottschall dives into the power of storytelling and how it helps us navigate life's most complex and rigorous social challenges. He backs it up with the latest discoveries in psychology, neuroscience, and biology. This book will give you the tools you need to use storytelling to make a positive impact in the world.

Read it

Bonus Recommendation – make the case for content marketing 

Here’s a bonus recommendation we’ve found helpful if you need to take a step back and think “big picture” as you approach a content marketing strategy. 

Content Marketing Strategy: Harness the Power of Your Brand’s Voice, by Robert Rose (2023) 

In this book, Robert Rose leverages his perspective as a Chief Strategy Advisor for the Content Marketing Institute to recommend how brands can hone their approach to content marketing. He recommends an approach that is both strategic and scalable. If you are looking to streamline content creation, focusing on the hardest hitting opportunities — in other words, if you are ready to get serious about building a long-term successful content plan — this book is for you. 

Read it


If you find these book recommendations useful or even have a recommendation yourself, please let us know. We’re always relational, never transactional and think a big, star-filled sky holds a lot of potential to reach your goals and have fun doing it.

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