For those of us in online marketing, the word “meta” has a specific meaning, used to refer to the metadata that describes a page’s contents to search engines. But there is an adjacent meaning for meta that is having a major moment, making its way into some of the most groundbreaking and culturally relevant books and movies of our generation: Fight Club, Cloud Atlas and Stranger Than Fiction. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. The Princess Bride. The Neverending Story. But what exactly does meta mean in this broader context? Well, think about it this way: Metadata is data that describes data. Metacognition refers to the process of thinking about thinking. So metafiction, then, is a literary device in which a book or a play reflects on its own nature as a book or a play. Metafiction is a term that is used to refer to a literary work that is aware of itself. Could this, then, be a metablog post? Turn the Page invites you, with a wink, to read on to find out.
The Power of Metafiction in Literature (and Content Marketing!)
Metafiction is one of the most influential trends in postmodern literature. That is not to say, however, that metafiction is anything new. Shakespeare’s famous asides, in which a character directly addresses the audience, are some of earliest examples of metafiction. In the theater, this practice is referred to as “breaking the fourth wall”. While most plays are self contained and protected from audience interaction with an imaginary barrier, playwrights like Shakespeare who dare to break the fourth wall often succeed in creating much deeper levels of engagement with their audiences than would otherwise be possible.
Q: Why do writers have such great success using metafiction as a device to reach their readers?
A: Metafiction speaks to the reader’s desire to participate in the pieces that they read. It flips the usual dynamic where readers interact with the text with no response from that text. Metafiction’s power lies in the fact that it can interact back with the reader.
The Interactivity of Everything
Literary trends necessarily trickle down into content writing. After all, bloggers are often some of the most ravenous readers around, and their writing will be deeply influenced by everything they read. And the power of meta movie making has helped to inform how audiences expect their content to interact with them. Combine this with the fact that the most successful and innovative advances have been in making technology interact with the user and you start to get a deeper understanding of the necessity of reaching your audience on an interactive level to achieve marketing success. Social media marketing is one of the strongest ways that a brand can interact with its clients, responding to their tweets and tailoring Facebook content to speak directly to key segments of their audience. And the best blogs are extremely self-aware. They don’t speak at their audience but rather with their audience, with prompt responses in the comment sections.
You Read This Far. Why Not Keep Going?
Most business owners are so tied up in the day to day aspects of keeping their company running that they do not have the time needed to engage with their clients on a meta level. But that means they are missing out on the awesome interactivity that these techniques offer. That’s why, dear reader, Turn the Page Online Marketing is here to guide you in every step of the process. Whether you want to give your company the edge with interactive social media marketing or your very own metablog, we’ve got the resources to help you meet your goal. All you need to do is call (816) 527-8371. Our expert online marketing team has the tools to turn our expertise with every type of meta into increased business for you.