What Fantasy Literature Can Teach You About Great Storytelling For Your Content Marketing

Content marketing is absolutely incredible when you use a story in it. A storyline gives you the ability to create excellent content whether you are writing blogs, landing pages, product descriptions, and more. You can then send out this content, and convert people into leads, helping to grow your business and make it epic in whatever your industry is.

While developing a story in your content marketing is super awesome, it can be difficult, especially when you are running out of inspiration. I want to take a look at how you can actually gain some amazing content marketing inspiration from one of the leading genres in the fiction world, and one of my favorite genres to pick a book to read – fantasy.

Fantasy is a Leading Genre For a Reason

All you have to do is go to any bookstore or cinema and you can tell the constant theme in entertainment – fantasy. The fantasy genre has been around for quite some time with J. R. R. Tolkien being a huge influence, and “father,” of the genre. Fantasy is a genre that encompasses more than just trolls, orcs, and elves fighting a great evil. You have boy wizards fighting dark lords, a young man finding out he is from the land of faerie and falling in love with a star, and a whole realm fighting each other over a throne made of iron swords. You can even have fantastical elements set in large cityscapes, stories that mix fantasy and horror, and a lot more when you look for a fantasy story.

This wide range of topics and the ability to feel like good will win out over evil is often a huge draw to this genre, and it provides us with a unique take on content marketing. I want to take a look at how you can learn from fantasy to create epic, out of this world content that your clients are sure to love.

7 Great Lessons You Can Learn from the Genre

“Wait. My business isn’t in Middle Earth and we definitely don’t have any fairies flying around, so how will fantasy help?” Glad you asked! Here are some great ways I feel that fantasy can inspire your content, helping you create something absolutely incredible.

1. Give People Something Great that Fights Something Evil. When it comes to fantasy stories, you know the classic aspect that will be part of most any story whether old or new – the battle between good and evil. This is something that many people really enjoy about fantasy literature, and can be great for escaping when things get a little too overwhelming, especially when good wins in the end. But how can the classic good versus evil inspire your content? While you don’t have to go the direct route of fantasy, you can still give your clients this good and evil battle, helping them know how to win.

When you write your content, whether blogs, product descriptions, or anything else, you can give you clients a common problem and answer it with your product or services. For example, if you know that social media is the way to go when it comes to content marketing, you might find it hard to follow suit. Social media can be troublesome for many people, and if you don’t use it right, you won’t be able to get the outcome you desire. What would the answer to that be? Hiring a social media manager. When I write social media blogs, I give people a common social media problem, and I always answer what they can do when it comes to creating an effective strategy with an excellent solution. Therefore, I show people the “evil” side but then illustrate how good will win in the end, giving them a top of the line social media strategy.

2. Connect With Reader Emotions and Create Something Powerful. Fantasy does something that many genres aim to reach, but they don’t quite reach the mark of fantasy. So many fantasy stories are absolutely powerful and they connect with the reader’s emotions. This creates an amazing connection between the reader and the book, which leaves a major impact on their minds. Just think of your favorite fantasy story. How well do you connect with it? How do you feel when it is time to reread it? That feeling is what you want to happen with your content and you can do so by connecting with your clients and readers’ emotions.

Connecting with emotions is a powerful way to create content that converts, and help make your business an absolute success. You can create content that reaches emotions perfectly when you research your client base. You will know what they want to see, and also what makes them laugh, cry, or get angry. When you know this, you can write amazingly effective blogs and landing pages that will convince them to continue using your site and eventually buy your products.

3. Fantasy Tells Many Stories to Create the Major One. As you can see with fantasy, storytelling is amazingly powerful. People love stories, and this can make it a great aspect for your content marketing campaign. When you create a story, you are able to follow point two, and connect to the emotions of your client base, as well as visitors. Telling a story with your content isn’t as difficult as it may seem, however, so don’t let that worry stop you. Debbie Williams at Content Marketing Institute even gives some excellent questions you can ask to help you create powerful stories with your content, no matter your industry.

 

4. Create Evergreen Content for Something Familiar.

Lord-Of-the-Rings-Cover

Photo courtesy Lord of the Rings.net. 

The Lord of the Rings was and is, a huge influence on the genre, and you can see it in most pieces of fantasy literature you read. It is always wonderful to read something that is familiar, which is one of the reasons many people choose fantasy literature when they want to escape. How should this influence your content? Well, this is a great example of evergreen content as common fantasy tropes aren’t something that will ever go out of style. Evergreen content gives you the chance to write on familiar topics with your own flair while creating something that is going to last for a long time. Just look at how exciting the stories in The Lord of the Rings or even Harry Potter still are! Start creating some evergreen content to help drive views and engagement throughout the next few months and years.

 

5. Reality is a Great Basis for Something Incredible. A top content tip that I see regularly, and completely agree with, is writing on something that is happening in your industry. Writing on the reality, or news, can be a great way to create exciting, new content for your readers. In fact, even basing your content on past items can really help amp it up and make something your clients want to read. All you have to do is look at Game of Thrones to see how basing content on reality can create something stunning and epic. George R. R. Martin has regularly stated that he based the non-White Walker and dragon parts of his story on medieval history. Just take a look at this excellent video that details the similarities between Game of Thrones and a huge part of history – The Wars of the Roses.

 

6. It is Fully Possible to Stand Out in a Sea of Similar Stories. As you can tell, standing out in the fantasy genre can be pretty difficult. However, it is absolutely possible for authors to stand out, creating something unique and powerful for fantasy fans. Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, and author Neil Gaiman are great examples of this. How should this inspire you? Simply put, it can be daunting writing unique content where there are so many pieces that are similar to what you want to write. However, you can easily write content that stands out by understanding what your audience wants as well as letting clients see things going on in your business through photos and behind-the-scenes elements.

7. Your Content Can Connect Readers with Each Other. One of the many great things about fantasy is how it connects readers with hundreds and thousands (and millions) of others. How many people felt and feel the excitement when Harry Potter is told he is a wizard? How many cry (or epically freak out) over the deaths of beloved characters? We all feel this community when watching a show, film, or reading a book, and it can be such an amazing feeling. You can add a sense of community to your content, helping to promote engagement with clients. You don’t need to go the way of George R. R. Martin, but by giving your clients a sense of community by encouraging discussion, you can help them all feel like they are connected in some amazing way.

 

Double Double, Toil and Trouble

Do you want to make some wicked content that generates amazing leads for your business? Then just follow some of these inspiring aspects of fantasy literature to influence your content marketing campaign! What if you have a hard time creating content, you wonder? Never fear! Express Writers is here to swoop in on our awesome content dragon and save the day with fiery, epic content that is sure to spice up your website.

Take a look at our content marketing services to see just how we can help you create the fairest, most worthy content in all the land!

6 Incredible Ways You Can Create Content Worthy of BBC’s Sherlock

Storytelling is an excellent tool to use in your content marketing strategy, giving your brand personality and connecting you with readers. It can help boost your content and shares, but just how can you go about telling a story with your content? Where can you get excellent inspiration?

In this blog, I want to look at the BBC’s Sherlock series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as everyone’s favorite consulting detective and Martin Freeman as his loveable friend, John Watson. (If you’ve yet to watch this incredible series, it is available on Netflix and on DVD/BluRay.)

Let’s take a look at some great lessons you can learn!

How BBC’s Sherlock Wins at Storytelling

Since BBC’s Sherlock is such a great resource for storytelling, I am going to look at what you can learn for your copywriting. These are some amazing things the show does, and it can help your content incredibly.

1. It Utilizes Excellent Story Symmetry. Symmetry is a great part of storytelling and can make a story more impactful. This could be whether in the framing on a TV show like Sherlock or a Stanley Kubrick flick. However, Sherlock illustrates symmetry not only in filming but also within the story. When we get to the end of the first episode of season 1, we see John Watson taking things into his own hands, willingly saving Sherlock’s life. He could have been caught and even charged with a crime, but his friend was more important than his criminal record. When we get to the third episode of season three, the same thing happens, only this time it is Sherlock saving John in a similar fashion. He knew he would get caught and punished, but he wanted to protect his friend, knowing Watson would do, and has done, the same for him.

While you don’t have to create a symmetrical story like this, using symmetry in your posting can help to bring about consistency. Symmetry is soothing to many people and if you create symmetrical content, you could see more engagement and shares. You can create symmetrical copy with your writing or you can create images or videos that utilize it. Either way, it can help you stand out and make you look incredibly professional.

2. The Writers Utilize Emotion to Draw in Viewers. If you watch any season of Sherlock, you know that it can be an emotional roller coaster. What do you mean Moriarty did that and why is Sherlock listening to him? Who is this Magnussen and why is he threatening John and Mary? Whatever happens, people feel the anger, excitement, and sometimes extreme sadness due to the storytelling by the writers of Sherlock. One of the most intense episodes, The Reichenbach Fall, connected with many viewers and created a huge stir online. It still has an impact, even if you’ve watched it multiple times. 

Using emotion in your content can be a great way to draw in readers and convert visitors into leads. You can focus on a variety of emotions whether they are happy, sad, upsetting, or even cause anger. Always remember when dealing with emotions to do so respectfully, especially if you are going to write content on something people are angry about. Emotions can help you connect with your audience while also giving your brand a personal voice both on social media and within your copywriting. 

3. We See What Sherlock Sees. The show lets us in on what Sherlock sees by going over a person’s body or items and highlighting aspects with words. We learn that someone owns a dog, has a wife in labor, and more just from Sherlock’s glance. When this happens, we are all transported into being Sherlock. This is a great way to connect watchers with the show and help them feel like they are part of it. Breaking the wall between viewers and a show isn’t always recommended in television, film, or stage productions, but many BBC shows, like Doctor Who and Sherlock break it. When it is broken well, people can really engage with the story. Just think, if you’ve watched Doctor Who, how terrifying is it that the Weeping Angles are still stone because you the watcher are staring at them?

You can break that wall easily with your copy, and it isn’t as touch and go as it is with TV or stage. A great way to break it is to write in first or second person and ask your readers direct questions. It can be a rhetorical question like I did above about the creepiness of the Weeping Angels, or it can be an open-ended question that gives your readers the ability to answer with their own opinions and questions. Let people in on what you’re writing to build a great connection and relationship with them. Writing in something like second person can be a great way to draw your audience in and help them connect with your content.

4. The Show Repurposes the Original Stories to Create Something New. Sherlock is one huge example of just how you can repurpose a story and create more for further content. The show has a lot of great source material to work with due to the many stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the writers always make sure to create something incredible and unique. If they followed the typical storylines we all have memorized (see: The Hound of the Baskervilles) then it would quickly become a boring show. However, the writers make each episode different, adding their own twists to each and repurposing the content effectively to create a powerful story.

You can do something similar with your content by repurposing your other blogs and copy to create something new and impactful. You can use your older content to help build a story and create storytelling  that will connect with your readers while still using your existing copy. Repurpose content to see just how powerful it can become and how many clients and readers you are able to reach out to when you do this. 

5. Sherlock Gives Us More Content Than Most TV Shows. With Sherlock, the BBC gives you a lot of content for a TV show, which encourages people to watch even more. It can be a bit of a letdown when you start a show and realize that, while it might be on air for an hour, you only get 45 minutes of content. This can make people give up on a TV show, especially if it doesn’t have a captivating story like Sherlock. This show would probably be just as successful if it were only 45 minutes, but something that really sticks out to fans is the fact that we get a full hour and a half of content. This helps to immerse watchers and get them into the show more than a shorter series. While we only get three episodes, we get a lot of content per episode.

Your readers and clients are taking time out of their day to come to your website and read your content, and if you don’t provide them with enough, they could leave. However, if you provide them with more content than what they’re expecting, you can give them a great surprise and make them happy that they took time out of their busy days. You can give them a variety of content types or give them something free for taking the time to look at your site. Whatever you choose to do, you can help build confidence in your content and business by giving them more than they expected.

6. The Show Uses Visuals to Create a Huge Impact. If you take some time to watch Sherlock, you will notice that the showrunners don’t just focus on the written story but visuals as well. This is what helps make the stories even more powerful than they were on paper and any watcher can get easily immersed in the story when watching. The directors frame the shots gorgeously, and they focus on important details within the story, even if we don’t know what they are yet. In addition to simple images of streets and clues, the visuals of the actors acting out some of the most emotional scenes adds such an impact. Whether you are laughing at Sherlock’s attempts to surprise John or watching John cry with horror, you feel the intensity because of what you see.

According to Susan Kusinitz, at HubSpot, visuals are an important aspect of content and if you want to create something powerful, you need to make sure you utilize them. You don’t need to go quite the route of Sherlock, but if you film high-quality videos, share great images, and create infographics, you can connect with your audience quickly and easily. When you are crafting your content, don’t leave out the incredibly important visual aspects.

Did You Miss Me: Don’t Miss Using Sherlock for Great Content Inspiration 

As you can see, there is a lot of inspiration to glean from this show, helping you create powerful, impactful stories for your readers. If you need guidance to create epic storytelling content or would like experts to craft it, then look no further than Express Writers. We have some of the top writers who can create excellent story pieces for your content, as well as create different impactful content types by using similar aspects that the BBC uses for Sherlock. Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help!