Top 5 Books About the Science of Storytelling in Marketing for 2021

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller
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Photo by Robert Anasch

Storytelling in marketing is a hot topic lately. 

But if there’s one thing we marketers can learn from the entertainment industry, it’s this: telling a good story is harder than it looks. And if you mess it up, you’ll leave your audience raging. 

So we know we need to be better storytellers in marketing. But how do you tell a good story?

Luckily, we aren’t starting from zero when we ask that question. If you want to be a better storyteller, learn from the best by reading any of these five books. They’re all backed by research and provide practical tactics you can use right now to improve your marketing.

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Image Donald Miller

Donald Miller was a writer before he was a business owner. Like many writers, he was amazed to find the best stories in the world all follow a similar structure. But he went a step further and applied these ancient principles of storytelling to business marketing.

By using his clearly outlined principles, you can position yourself as the Wise Mentor helping your clients be the best Hero they can be, conquering their problems and improving their life, while increasing your sales in the process. 

Click here to start building your StoryBrand.

Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

Image Sally Hogshead

Fascinate covers a system of “fascination” developed by Hogshead, a system that connects to thousands of years of human persuasion and influence.

In this book, Hogshead describes the different aspects of Fascination, so that you can pick what works best for your brand. She even provides specific words you can use in your marketing to attract the right audience for your story.

Click here to become fascinating.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Image Simon Sinek

You’ve probably heard of this book, but have you read it? In it, Sinek explains his philosophy of leadership and provides case studies to back it up. 

To sum it up: If you want to inspire people, don’t start with the what or the how… start with why you do it, and the rest will follow.

You may have seen excerpts from Sinek’s Ted Talk or read blogs summarizing the concepts, but none of those are going to go into the depth of the book. It’s worth your time to read through the original book if you want to apply Sinek’s ideas to your own business.

Click here to start with why.

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Image Al Ries & Jack Trout

Al Ries is basically the marketing Godfather, with many of his books considered fundamental reading for marketing professionals over the decades. His and Trout’s book, Positioning, though it was published in the eighties, has stable principles and is backed by research that stands up today.

This book will show you how to improve your leaders’ public personas, roll out new products, and become a household name, all while crafting a story that lends you a permanent “position” in your customer’s mind.

Click here to get into position.

Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

Image Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

Humans are emotional creatures, but after we make a choice, we like to rationalize it with data and logic. To bring a prospect across the line and make them a satisfied customer, you’ll need to show them data, but even the best numbers are only effective if they’re accompanied by an evocative story.

Use data and visualizations to build compelling stories for your business and break through from the dull PowerPoint treadmill.

Click here to tell stories with data.

Next Week: Learn to tell better stories for your brand‍

Ready to tell great stories? In addition to these five top books about the science of storytelling in marketing, we’ve also curated our favorite blog articles about storytelling.

Read these next:

Now that we’ve shared our favorite books about the science of storytelling in marketing, next week we’ll dive deeper into telling great stories and discuss how strategic storytelling can benefit your brand.

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