Inbound marketing or content marketing is big these days – and for good reason. It works.
So if you run a business or a marketing agency that needs a constant flow of quality content for marketing, then you also need great writers to create your blog posts, press releases, articles, case studies, and so on. But how can you be sure the writer you’re considering actually has what it takes?
Well, there is a way to increase the odds of finding the writer you need. Just make sure she writes fiction. Good fiction, preferably short stories. Yep.
And here’s why . . .
The judicious selection of which details (facts, figures, statistics, features) to include in a piece of content may be – after audience and purpose – the most important decision of all. It’s right up there at the top anyway.
The thing is you can’t include everything about a product or service, so you’ve got to decide what to leave out and what to include. Space is limited, readers’ time is limited, and attention spans are limited and pulled in many competing directions. So it’s absolutely critical that you choose just the right details to include in your inbound-marketing piece.
And that’s where short-story writers shine.
In all fiction, but especially short stories, every word and every detail have to have a purpose. They must move the story forward and add to the emotional impact. Otherwise, it’s just dead weight at worst or mere clutter at best.
And the same goes for a piece of marketing content. Everything has to count. And a fiction writer knows how to make that happen.
All marketing content is, to some degree or other, copywriting – which, as we all know, aims to get specific results. And copywriting does this chiefly by appealing to emotion.
Whether we admit it or not, we make most of our decisions rapidly and on the basis of an emotional response. Then, after we’ve made our unconscious emotional decision, we go in search of facts to justify it. It’s just that we usually don’t notice this behind-the-scenes decision-making process.
So good marketing content has to evoke the desired and appropriate emotional response in readers. That’s a tough job that calls for a top-notch writer.
And, again, it’s a job that calls for a writer of fiction, especially a short-story writer. Fiction, good fiction, appeals to readers’ emotions – that’s it’s main job. A piece of short fiction aims to evoke an emotional response in readers.
For effective inbound-marketing content, then, you need a content creator skilled enough to unobtrusively evoke an emotional response in readers – in almost the same way a writer of short fiction does.
Emotion – it’s one of the keys to content that gets the desired results.
In content marketing today, “telling a story” is the big buzz phrase. It’s always been important, of course. It’s just that now content marketers are paying a lot more attention to the importance of the elements of story in their marketing efforts.
Without a story, all you have is a dry, dull list of facts. And that’s no fun at all to read (and lacks the crucial emotional impact as well.) Without a story, all that text is nothing more than weak glue to hold the enumerated items together.
Stories have recognizable parts that must flow seamlessly one into the other. Stories also have dramatic tension and suspense to pull you along almost against your will. Good stories also make you care about the characters and their problems right from the beginning.
The sad fact is . . . a lot of marketing content lacks these elements. For example, a case study that doesn’t tell a compelling story will always be a dud.
That’s why you need a story teller, a writer of fiction, to create your native content.
A lot of things go into “readability,” but at the top of the list are flow, a natural/conversational style, and unobtrusiveness. Again, just the same as in a work of fiction, especially a short story where any flaws in these areas will be magnified by the brevity.
Let’s concentrate on “unobtrusiveness” (my coinage, actually).
In a piece of content, say, a blog post or a skyscraper article, anything that pulls the reader out of message/story and draws attention to itself is a glaring flaw. You want your reader to stay immersed in what she is reading till she reaches the very end – where that critical call to action is usually placed.
So, you can’t have gratuitous stilted language popping up here and there. You can’t have clumsy, heavy-handed images suddenly appearing. You don’t want jarring transitions. And you certainly don’t want any grammatical or usage errors.
Any of these things that violate our unobtrusiveness rule will knock the reader out of the content piece he’s reading and rivet his attention on the wrong things. And you just can’t have that.
Again, a content-marketing writer who also writes fiction will be your best bet for getting great content that observes the unobtrusiveness rule for readability.
I betcha I’m right on this . . .
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