All master copy writing services know the value of persuasion as it pertains to content. Each masterpiece of copy whether a 3,000-word blog or a social media snippet must incorporate this art to be effective. Before we get to the heart of it, take a moment to consider how your gut innately knows this principle to be true.
Can you recall the last novel that kept you up far past your bedtime because you could not release yourself from its grip? Or, the website which kept you scrolling and clicking for far too long because you had to follow its lead? Compelling content. Persuasion at work.
Or, think for a moment of the most seductive person you know. What draws you to him or her? How is it that he or she gets you to do just about anything (even those college antics only spoken of in adult circles)? His or her skills are the ones you need in order to craft and hone compelling copy.
Fortunately, if you find it difficult to put your finger on which qualities prompt action on behalf of others when this person is around, keep reading. Magic and charisma aside, specific skills of influence exist. And, today we are talking about the characteristics of persuasion vital to creating convincing web text.
If you feel a bit squeamish because you seemingly lack influence, good news! You can learn it. Whether you’ve got it or not currently, you can get it and develop it. Yes, subtle or not so subtle, well-written, seductive content is within your reach.
To this end, let’s discuss several principles of persuasion for content based on what professional copy writing services and experts on copy already know. (For information on what copy writing services involve, check out a this previous Copywriter Today blog.) With promise, these details and hints regarding this art-matched-with-science create compelling content across the web. And, putting these tools into practice helps you do the same.
Value of Persuasion (According to Copy Writing Services)
Marketing strategists on and offline understand the vitality persuasion brings to campaigns. After all, moving consumers toward a sale requires it. In fact, this art proves to be one of the keys to successful web content.
Check out a few of the end results of this powerful motivator. Persuasive copy:
- Draws traffic to your site.
- Engages prospects to read further.
- Compels readers to take action.
- Generates conversations around your copy.
- Leads readers to comment on and share content.
- Garners sales.
- Earns you credibility and authority.
Without persuasive text, readers click away. While creative writing engages and delights Internet users, even leaves them with a feel-good experience, it does not get the job done on its own. The job of converting, that is.
For one, time is a precious commodity and Internet browsing proves to suck more than its share. Given this, little freedom exists to read for pure enjoyment. Instead, a “What’s-In-It-For-Me?” syndrome prevails among web users. All copy must convince readers quickly there is a reward for their time investment.
Two, the overflow of Internet material leads to information overload. As a result, the average attention span reaches only 8 seconds (A significant decrease over the last few years). If you do not persuade from word one (and, this includes your headline), you lose readers.
Enough said to convince you of the value of persuasion?
Good. Let’s get to the heart of the matter. What is required to curate compelling content?
The Power in the Details
Several writing basics offer the power of persuasion in copy written material. Incorporating these concepts into blogs, landing pages and social media posts boosts readership and engagement. And, this leads to conversions.
While not the focus of this blog (maybe a future one), these foundational details prove worth mentioning. As you craft content, be sure to use:
- Active voice.
- First person. (Even use an individual’s or group’s name if possible.)
- Positive frames to make content tangible.
- Concrete rather than general terms.
- Coherence markers throughout the text to prompt further reading.
- Specific figures and data to support claims.
- Diversified word choice to cater to reader interest.
- Simplified language.
- Power words.
Those working in copy writing services know how to wield the pen (or keyboard) against the canvas to draw readers in with simple shifts in voice and word choice. Follow their lead to see actionable results rising from your web content. For starters, look for increased traffic, improved engagement and a boost to your bottom line.
But also, you can take these outcomes further by switching up your style a bit as well.
Adding Style to Content
The heart of persuasive copy lies in word selection to be certain. But, the concepts which inform those choices play a vital role in engaging readers and producing results. Keep reading to understand how to curb your style in order to intrigue and captivate your readership.
And, create curiosity. By tapping into the interests and concerns of your audience, you get noticed. Use relevant, rhetorical questions to attract readers. Create mental images and metaphors to convey intangible concepts.
And, do not forget the all important headline. Clear, catchy titles with the right keywords prove to be your first impression. Be aware of the power of this vital piece of content and use it wisely.
Copy which proves pushy and obviously sales-oriented fails to attract anyone. Subtlety tends to be the best policy. Give your audience pertinent, informative material while leaving the decision in their court. This approach shows respect and makes readers feel less threatened by allowing them to make an intelligent choice.
However, bolder text needs to accompany any and all calls to action (CTAs). In other words, give readers a clear understanding as to what move needs to be made. Unfortunately, working a prospect into an affirmative decision with persuasive content fails if confusion surrounds the next step. The only result? The sound of a click … to a competitor’s site.
To be persuasive, content must prove credible. Readers want to know that the information provided leads to success. Use reputable sources within your content and link out to others. Also, utilize statistics, incorporate customer and celebrity testimonials, post guest blogs, and connect with industry leader content via social media to build your reputation.
Further develop your credibility by making good on commitments, honoring your word. For instance, under promise and over deliver. Big promises left unfulfilled deflate your consumer relationships. Your authority grows through truthful, supported content.
Simplify your message. Clear explanations pointing back to your main concept or argument focus readers and avoid muddiness. Also, to this end, simplify wording and speak in the language of your audience.
Clarity becomes particularly important when making requests or putting forth CTAs. Again, if a prospect suffers confusion, the deal is off. And, statistics prove de-cluttered CTAs increase conversion rates by 232 percent.
Professor Antonio Damasio, the University of Southern California, found that injury to the emotional brain centers causes decision-making difficulties in patients. His conclusion? Emotions and the ability to choose are closely tied.
This research suggests that copy must address the emotions to elicit action, to be persuasive. And, intellectual reasoning falls short on its own. Creating emotional appeal throughout your content builds desire for your product or service and, to some degree, enables a reader to choose.
Have you heard that a confident woman is irresistibly beautiful? While arrogance may turn us off, quiet assurance proves seductive. In the same way, content which exudes your belief in yourself, your knowledge, and your product or service proves intriguing.
Backing up your know-how with facts demonstrates for readers that your confidence and sense of fortitude are earned and can be trusted. Again, look to figures and statistics as well as industry leader affiliations to support your copy. Readers want to know they are in capable hands.
Owning your failures and stumblings makes you relatable in the eyes of your audience. While over confession leads to questions regarding your confidence and credibility, a just-right amount of vulnerability brings in the human element which proves attractive. Let your audience know your struggles and how you grew from them.
Furthermore, C.S. Lewis said that “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” At heart, consumers want to read honest and authentic copy, not puffed up propaganda. In this regard, persuasive text eliminates blatant self-promotion and hones in on the needs of the reader.
Make a Move.
Or, persuade your reader to do so. Calls to action get read second only to headlines. In fact, surveys reveal that 90 percent of headline readers browse CTA copy as well. So, time spent on these two website components alone proves significantly fruitful.
Keys to remember: Single CTAs boast more clicks. And, this increase occurs across formats including email, Facebook, videos and more. Plus, first person phrasing, CTA buttons, arrows pointing to action steps and personalized asks prove more persuasive in getting a response.
Name the Novelty.
As humans, we are attracted to the shiny, novel and newfangled. Endless crowds at plazas and shopping malls along with Internet purchases and homes overflowing with the latest-and-greatest goods attest to this truth. In fact, new things trigger the feel-good hormone, dopamine, which keeps us seeking more.
Applying this understanding to copy, switch out content on a regular basis to create a fresh user experience. Interchange blog posts and infographics. Mix topics and throw in an unexpected subject twist. Post frequently and creatively. And, use a variety of formats to get your message out.
Plug into the Personal.
By nature, humans beings desire the known. Likely you have noticed that we gravitate toward familiar people. Ironically, the perception of a given comfort level and a common spirit prove enough to fulfill this innate want.
With your content, seek to make a connection with your audience. Share a bit of yourself that speaks to the hobbies, interests, habits and problems of the reader. Add in the emotional connection discussed earlier, and you will begin to feel like an old, trusted friend to your audience.
Giving without expectation does not come easily but proves persuasive when applied to your content. Science suggests that a gift or gesture extended by one person internally obligates the recipient to respond in like manner. In general, we naturally feel the need to repay others for their kindnesses.
In other words, by human nature, people return nice for nice. For example, you offer useful information to readers. And, they give you their time. Or, better yet a sale. Extending simple gestures and offering small gifts further demonstrates appreciation and respect while increasing your return based on this principle.
Stick to the Story.
Across the board, human beings love a good story. We like to be taken on a journey. And, the emotional pull of tales draws us in. In short, successful storytelling proves original, shows customers that you care and demonstrates empathy.
In other words, sharing a personal or creatively drafted story communicates your take on the value of a reader’s time and experience. Plus, this technique creates feelings of nostalgia and positive memories along with a sense of believing and belonging which persuade the consumer to take action.
The wrap up to persuasion is creating a sense of urgency. Human beings tend to prove that given time, we often take the deal. However, time breeds forgetfulness. And, many a marketer knows this all too well.
Likely, you have experienced this common phenomenon yourself. You are fully persuaded and poised to click an offer when the kids tumble into the room, the cell phone buzzes with greater insistence or the Internet glitches. And, you leave the purchase for later. Yet, often you never get back to it.
Creating a sense of urgency to decide in the present and take action in the now proves valuable. Copy which raises tension, agitates a problem and offers a viable solution compels readers to grab hold of your product, service, ebook or sign up for more information, join your email list or whatever action you are requesting of them.
Painting the Picture
Whew! You made it to the end. Are you ready to craft your first masterpiece of persuasive content?
The brushes and the paints have been laid out before the canvas. You are aware of the writing details needed to wield words and possess the tools to adapt your style to your audience. Now, the practice begins.
The truth is that each finished work of art is proceeded by many a discarded piece. For example, Cezanne was considered a failed artist in his forties before seeing success in later years. And, Grandma Moses failed to receive ribbons for her earlier works even at a county fair.
So, take heart. Pick up the implements and craft copy. Test it. Watch the results. Adjust with your next attempts. And, learn. All the while, learn.
P.S. As you grow in your skill or if you have questions, leave a comment below as to your struggles and lessons learned so we can encourage one another. And, feel free to share this post with anyone needing to hear its message.
If you lack confidence in wielding the tools of persuasion or simply prefer to outsource your copy writing service needs, we are here to help. Contact us today to start establishing your influence.