Fiction and marketing content may be different forms of writing, but learning to write fiction is necessary to become an effective content marketer. The trends in social media and digital marketing have made it more important for online content writers to have the same set of skills fiction writers do. Using the following fiction writing lessons in your content marketing strategy allows you to create more compelling blog entries, e-books, social media posts, or website copy that engage and intrigue your audience.
Write Based on Reality
The key to creating believable content is to base it on reality. Good fiction writers always draw inspiration from their own experiences and the people they encounter. Content writers should think the same way. The content you post on your website or social media channels needs to be consistent with what your business offers and promises consumers. Knowing your products, services, and industry well will help you craft content that is rooted in reality and provides something of value to your readers.
Make Characters Your Readers will Care About
Our favorite fictional stories are often the ones with characters we relate to and root for. Effective and memorable characters keep readers interested in the story and make them develop emotional attachments. Creating fictional mascots, like GEICO’s the Gecko and Fully Booked’s Lucy, or using real buyer and employee personas helps turn your visitors into readers who will stick around as your brand’s story continues to unfold.
Create Something That’s Worth Sharing
When you enjoy a book or a movie, one of the first things you do is talk to someone about it, or post about it on social networks. People still discuss memorable works of fiction like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter because they provide so much material for readers to share and talk about. Your content should be interesting and useful enough to evoke this kind of response in your own readers.
Leave Things to the Reader’s Imagination
A real page-turner gives readers just enough information to stay interested, but holds back some details to keep them wanting more. You can apply this principle to create a perpetual marketing campaign using teasers and “watch this space” hooks on your website or social media pages. Avoid spoon-feeding your audience and let them figure out how the scenarios and solutions you present through your content relates to them. This keeps them excited about what you can provide while giving them a sense of accomplishment as problem solvers.
Set Your Own Imagination Free
Writing fiction is about using your imagination and creativity to create your own worlds and stories. Srivanas Rao, blogger and founder of Blogcast FM, says “Forget best practices, SEO, and all these things for a while. Worrying about those things will stifle your creativity, and lower the volume of the brilliant voice within you.” Let your words and ideas flow freely, and don’t self-edit as you write. You can always review and polish your work once you finish, but keep the next tip in mind when you do.
Don’t Refine Your Work Too Much
As Emma Coats, the storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios, tweeted: “You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.” The beauty of most stories and characters lies in their imperfections. Polishing your work based on someone else’s rules and fussing over it too much can make the end product too impersonal and stiff. “In a world where everybody has a microphone,” Rao says, “Being imperfect and honest are essential to standing out.”
Don’t be afraid to cut loose, be honest, and get creative with your content marketing. Building your brand and developing its story using different aspects of fiction writing will provide your audience with more in-depth and personal brand experiences they won’t soon forget.