Effective Content Marketing: Engage Readers with a Good Story

content writing tips

What makes “good writing?” Is it sophisticated language? Is it exploring intelligent topics? And what about engagement? And how does telling stories relate to good marketing content?

So, what is the purpose of a story? – to entice, enthrall, make a reader want to keep reading. And what do marketing campaigns endeavor to do: entice, enthrall, make a consumer want to go for the product? But you still might be asking why bother to relate content marketing to telling stories? Because people crave stories; and they feel that taking in these stories is valuable. You want people to consume your content and if your content is not told through the lens of a story, it will drive less readership and engagement.

According to Gartner, “content marketing [are] assets [that] are used to tell stories that help brands build and nurture relationships with customers, prospects and other audiences to drive awareness, generate demand, influence preference and build loyalty.”

In other words, content marketing must “tell stories…and nurture relationships,” and fiction writing must include elements that “add up to some kind of meaningful, larger understanding of the character.” You must seamlessly bring all elements together into a cohesive narrative.

Consider the following five elements of writing and how these techniques can be employed in content marketing.

  1. Show, Don’t Tell

To you, your brand is the best. But to a consumer, it might blend in like a dog-eared paperback. People don’t always hear what you want them to hear. You must include examples and explain your brand story: use visuals the way a fiction writer uses words.

  1. Every Character Should Count

In stories, there are always main characters, foil characters, bit parts, etc. But every character in a good story has a role: to interact, interfere, or inspire. Your brand is a character. A good character has a purpose and wants something. Consider what your content character(s) need and want.

  1. Build Suspense

Give everything away at the beginning, and no one will stay around for the finish. In content marketing, you want to answer the questions of your readers. You want your readers at the end to be absorbed with your brand or concept. This is your suspense.

  1. Don’t be too Formal

Long-winded and preachy writing takes the wind out of your readers. And if you exhaust your readers, they are not going to have the energy to pursue your brand. This also relates to the importance of rereading and proofing. Poor, immature, unprofessional language has a bearing on your credibility. Test your content’s readability so it is not cluttered or awkward.

  1. Write About What You Know

The best stories are woven from personal experiences. Every piece of content you create should enhance your brand. With fiction writing, a piece of the story that just adds words wastes time. If you find yourself attempting to enhance your content by going outside your capabilities, remember that when you write about what you know, it comes across much stronger and more knowledgeable.

Let Your Writing do the Talking

Using fiction writing techniques will encourage more effective content marketing. Awareness of a need and research to fulfil this need means readers consume content marketing mediums like webpages, infographics, podcasts, videos, books, and more. These content forms are just like different genres in fiction; each ready to help compose the right story to reach the right audience. When you alert consumers of your product through character development, suspense building, attention to tone, and showing not telling, your solution will rise to the top and increase your engagement and your sales revenue.

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One comment

  • Christopher Ryan December 20, 2016   Reply →

    Kimberly, thanks for the excellent article on the importance of using stories in marketing content and promotional copy.

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