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.
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!