A Few Lessons for Content Marketers, from Fiction Writers

A Few Lessons for Content Marketers, from Fiction Writers

Content marketing has become married to storytelling; as writers and marketers have quickly discovered.

As marketers begin to nurture a closer relationship with writers, the two are beginning to learn from each other. The lessons exchanged from a fiction writer to a content marketer is one that should not be taken lightly.

Use Suspense

It is a marketer's nature, and necessity, to be data driven individuals. Mysteries don't work for the marketer, who must know how content is pushing sales RIGHT NOW.

The fiction writer can see the issue with this mindset right away. Content marketing has become a storyteller's world, and what holds a reader's attention better than suspense? Holding the answers until the end may drive a marketer crazy, but it really is necessary if the reader is to be taken through the whole text before reacting.

This Isn't Show and Tell – It's All Show

Marketers are far too used to telling customers what to do and when to do it. Fiction writers tend to use words to create a mental image.

It's become necessary to lean more toward that mental picture than toward telling customers what to think. Marketing has been plunged into a customer-centric world, and those customers can no longer be told what to do or what to think. It's far too easy to go to a business that helps them imagine how the product will make their life better.

That's what the story is for – and that's why marketers need to use words to show off product advantages rather than tell a customer how to feel.

Use a Central Conflict

What story does not have a conflict? If there were no conflict, there would be no end resolution, and no reason for the reader to continue reading.

Engage readers by presenting a conflict in content writing, such as a problem faced by a customer that can be solved by the product in question. Use conflict lightly, but make sure it's there, to keep the reader holding on to the call to action.

Love Your Writing

Fiction writers don't tend to stray out of their genre, and there's a reason for that – they're writing what they love. Sticking with the genre that works for the product being marketed is always the best course to keep readers engaged.

When writers, or content marketers, stray, the writing turns into an unsure piece that no one wants to read. If the product or service is in an unfamilar category, it's always a good idea to hire someone else in that field to write the content.

What content marketing tips have you heard that have helped you out? Let us know in the comments below!

Joanna Morgan

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Joanna holds a degree in English, Medical Assisting and Early Childhood Development. She is an experience writer in the areas of online marketing, SEO, childhood development, preschool lesson plan writing, and customer service methods. She will deliver the high quality content you deserve!

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Kaye McGregor
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Kaye McGregor

I love this concept! I’m new to content marketing but not at all new to being a customer, and you are exactly right about being engaged by the words and images … tickle my imagination, intrigue me, lure me, I’m yours! That aggressive, dynamic, commando technique of selling is offensive. I sincerely thank you for making this connection because I’ll be thinking about it for some time to come!

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

I love the show and tell part. Writers are always told to show and not tell, and I think many forget that this goes for nonfiction as much as it does for fiction writing.

Kerry Michaels
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Kerry Michaels

Great lessons! Excellent reminders that content marketing can be just as exciting as reading some delicious fiction. Marketing should never be dull. Boring does not make the big bucks – so take Joanna’s advice and spice up that marketing material!

Siobhan Ros
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Siobhan Ros

I have never looked at content marketing like this before but it is so innovative and true! It IS all show- customers do not need or want to be told what to think or do. Everything should be showing the customer what is offered, not telling them what to do with it.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

Any good writing will do that. For content writing, product description writing, etc., it’s super important to do that. You have to let the reader draw their own conclusion.

Maria Varner
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Maria Varner

Great points. This is an interesting take on content marketing. Your point on creating a central conflict and mystery is particularly true and seems like a great way to engage potential consumers. I’d never really thought about content marketing from this perspective before.

Charmaine Lady
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Charmaine Lady

Absolutely! I think this is a creative topic and well written. As another writer of the world who values all genres and is constantly evolving and changing my written voice, I think that utilizing the specific tools of a fiction writer (and the passion!) is the best advice I have read in quiet a few posts. Thank you Miss Morgan.

Naomi Barceloni
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Naomi Barceloni

Wow! I love writing fiction, and I have never thought of approaching content writing in that perspective. Looking back at some of my work, I realize that I have been doing it all along. Writing is so natural to me that I automatically just write it without thinking about it. It is so cool to read someones post and get a revelation about yourself in the process. Thanks so much. I hope I don’t think too much the next time I write content, though.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

It must be wonderful to be able to write without thinking about it. I’ve been writing for a long time and there are still plenty of times I struggle to get the right words out. I long for the day when the words naturally flow from my mind to the keyboard and create a terrific piece of work.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

The idea that marketers need to move away from telling customers what to think is very interesting. I always thought that was essentially the point of marketing. Joanna makes a clear argument as to why that can no longer be the case.

Tay H
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Tay H

Providing a story feel about a product and how it would fit into a buyers day to day is important but like mentioned in the article. To the point is key to consumers.

auntieemily
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auntieemily

As a fellow fiction writer, I like the way that you did this, combined the paid writing that we do with our fiction work. Thanks for sharing this concept.

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