Bored with content marketing? Me too. Then something comes along and gives you fresh inspiration, not only because it’s done so well, but also because it’s so clever.
Mind you, it probably helps that I’m such a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. :-)
In her article, What’s the Formula for E-book Success? Ann Handley says:
One of the tenets of my new book is this: Good writing is like good teaching.
That’s so true. If you want to make anything you’re writing better, ask yourself whether readers are learning anything. And yes, it applies to fiction too. The best fiction takes you on an emotional experience, and you learn from it. In the 1980s, Arthur Hailey wrote blockbuster novels which took readers behind the scenes of an airport, a hotel, and other places they knew, but didn’t understand – and didn’t want to understand. Hailey made them fascinating, and writers have continued that “learning” tradition.
Consider Dan Brown’s books. Or check out the bestseller lists today. THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, by Lev Grossman tops the hardcover fiction list. I’ve no idea what it’s all about, but reading the description, it sounds like Harry Potter-like.
Consider too, the 50 Shades trilogy: erotica for people who don’t read erotica. It’s introduced erotica to a completely new audience, by teaching. At least I think it informs readers on mild BDSM. I haven’t read it, although I do read erotica occasionally.
Content marketing: all teaching, all the time is boring
Ann interviews Lee Odden in the article I’ve linked to above, and here’s Lee’s amazingly clever slide deck on building an audience strategy for content marketing.