No matter your audience, content marketing is the most important part of your lead generation strategy. It’s essential for connecting with customers, which is one of the main factors for ranking on Google.
You see, it’s not just about keywords anymore. Search engines need to remain relevant and effective or no one will use them. That means providing the most relevant results and directing users to the content they need.
It’s about the user experience, and a great experience is built on providing great content.
You want to connect with your audience on a meaningful level and keep them coming back for more. That’s true for all businesses, not just bloggers and marketing pros.
If you want to convert leads, you have to compel them to act. That’s the art of persuasion.
Why Persuasive Writing is Important for Marketing
The internet is filled with misleading information. This is nothing new. Since the advent of the information superhighway, content providers have relied upon sensationalism and clickbait to lure traffic.
The problem is, that we’ve now become conditioned to expect nonsense even as we continue to hope for facts and authenticity.
We’re hungry for brands that we can trust.
Using persuasive writing is part and parcel of marketing. No matter how solid your brand is, you still need to convince people that you are better than the competition.
But, you have to do it in a way that also instils trust. That’s how you support brand loyalty and transform customers into brand ambassadors.
Persuasive Writing Techniques to Boost Your Content Marketing Game
Persuasive writing is one of the most effective digital marketing tools you have at your disposal.
Incorporating the following persuasive writing techniques and tips into your content strategy will help ensure that your writing is consistently compelling and masterful.
1. Know Your Audience to Grow Your Audience
The art of persuasion begins with knowledge. How many times have you voted for someone, put a song on repeat, or devoured everything in a writer’s catalogue because they really get you?
The best in the business know their audience and use that knowledge to reach them on a deeper level. How do you get to know an audience on that level when it could potentially contain millions of people?
These are the basics of any marketing strategy. but they are most essential when you want to create a compelling, actionable copy.
Drill down from broad audience demographics and segment your audience into groups of ideal personas.
For example, clothing brands are rarely meant for general consumer groups. Even brands that target women’s clothing or lines for children will still have subgroups within that demographic. Some will want casual clothing, and others need business attire.
Footwear is marketed differently to athletes than it is to those looking for hiking boots or dress shoes. Even within that narrow niche, there’s a difference between the needs of professional athletes and weekend joggers.
What do the people in your audience want, and how can you provide it better than anyone? Figure that out and write a copy that connects with them.
2. Make Your Brand Likeable
How many times have you been put off of a brand you otherwise like because the spokesperson was annoying or the staff was rude?
It is not enough to know your audience. You want them to like you, too.
Compelling content that converts connects with the audience on an emotional level. Even B2B customers prefer to partner with vendors who are relatable and seem willing to help them solve their pain points.
How do you convey the concept of “service with a smile” in the digital realm? By writing content that’s professional but friendly, engaging on social media, by being connected and proactive.
Even the simple act of giving your customers a heads up when you are running low on a popular product will keep them in your corner. It’s what a friend would do.
3. Make Sure That Your Content is Polished and Professional
Content marketing is all about building trust and authority with your audience. You’ll be better able to persuade them, especially your B2B customers if your writing is absolutely on-point and professional.
But, even the best writers slip up occasionally on small details.
Make sure to run everything your write through a grammar and spelling checker. There are two that I would recommend, Whitesmoke and Grammarly. In the Whitesmoke vs Grammarly debate, which you choose depends on several factors.
Whitesmoke is more suitable for bloggers and those who use a more casual writing style. One of the bonuses is that it can evaluate copies in several languages. That’s great if you are marketing to an overseas or multilingual audience.
Grammarly is widely used by professional writers at all levels. It is a great tool for professionals who are very prolific and offers several benefits beyond mere grammar and spelling.
First of all, it can help set writing goals. Grammarly also provides suggestions while you write, and it has a built-in plagiarism checker that helps keep your content unique.
4. Reframe the Narrative
One common problem with converting a lead is overcoming their objections. Even someone who is lukewarm can be persuaded to act if you tip the scales in your favour.
How does this work in practice? Reframe the argument by reframing their mindset.
The most classic example of this is looking at a glass of water that’s 50 per cent filled. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? It may be a matter of perspective, but the person who sees it as half full – and is able to convince others to see it the same way – will win the day.
For example, a customer could comment on a post that your brand looks great, but Brand B offers X. You can reframe the argument by conceding that what they say is true. This helps to build comradery because you’re agreeing with their opinion of the competition.
It also demonstrates confidence in your brand. You don’t need to stoop to slam the competition. You simply need to show how your brand is unique in its solution or complements the competitor’s brand in some way.
That brings us to …
5. Demonstrate Your Authority
There are several ways that you can accomplish this and create persuasive content. First of all, build credibility by using facts and statistics in your copy.
“Work-related injuries are down by 25% in our industry because of X. We’re proud of our contribution to improving that record.”
“People who eat more fibre report higher energy levels. Our brand contains 10% higher dietary fibre than any other brand on the market.”
These are facts that instil confidence in your brand. However, you need to be able to back them up.
Bring the receipts and boost your authority by linking to high-authority, reputable sources to back up what you say. Whenever possible, cite trusted news sources, and trade journals. academic studies, research, and government resources.
Testimonials, case studies, and even before/after photos of real clients will help build trust and support your credibility by demonstrating your value in a verifiable way.
6. Strategically Deploy Repetition
We retain information best when it is repeated in an engaging manner. This is as true of children learning their ABCs as it is with learning new things as adults. How many times have you remembered a name or a phone number by repeating it in your head until you can write it down?
This even works in popular songs and advertising jingles. The most catchy earworms are those that use repetition to burrow into your brand. If anecdotal evidence isn’t enough to persuade you, scientific research backs this up.
Repetition must be done selectively and strategically in order to be effective, You don’t want to come off as boring or redundant. For example, you can include a key point in the subject line of an email or your heading, reinforce it in the body of the content, and then bring it up again in closing, using slightly altered wording with each repetition.
7. Be Specific When Creating Marketing Content
I remember not too long ago when the practice was to create a long, rambling landing page. The intent was to tell some kind of story that eventually led to a call to action at the bottom of the wall of text.
The intent was to draw the reader in with an engaging story and convert them at the end.
This can be a very effective tactic when it’s done right. However, most of these come-ons just made me silently scream “What are you trying to tell me? Just get to the point!”
In the digital world, you have only about eight seconds to grab someone’s attention. That means your writing must be persuasive, factual, and concise.
Keep it friendly, professional, and engaging, but use factual information and specifics to persuade your audience. But, be sure to avoid using buzzwords or jargon in your copy.
The former become stale and dated quickly, and the latter can be off-putting to all but insiders. You want to be your copywriting to be current, but also relatable and evergreen.
8. Create a Sense of Urgency
Few things are more persuasive than FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Create a sense of urgency with your content to foment FOMO and compel your audience to act.
This can be achieved by releasing certain products or offering discounts that have a defined expiration date, offering deals to s select number of people, and other methods that tell your audience in no uncertain terms that they need to act fast or lose out.
However, it’s important that the deadlines be reasonable and that you stick to them. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen an online ad for a product that says “Offer ends tomorrow” run month after month.
9. Tell Your Audience Why
Most people want to know one thing: “What’s in it for me?”
Your copy can’t persuade an audience to act unless you tell them why.
What is your value proposition? Why is your product the ideal solution for their problem? How can you do it better than Brand X?
If you want your audience to act, you need to give them a reason why they should.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Rhetoric
Another spin on telling the audience why is to frame your argument so that they are able to answer the question themselves. That’s the art of strategic rhetoric.
Ask a rhetorical question at the beginning of your content, and then lead the reader to reach the conclusion you want by the end. When you do it right, they will arrive at the “Why?” on their own.
10 Persuasive Writing Techniques For Your Marketing Game
Use the following persuasive writing techniques to supercharge your content marketing game today:
- Know your audience to grow your audience.
- Make your brand likeable.
- Make sure that your content is polished and professional.
- Reframe the narrative.
- Demonstrate your authority.
- Strategically deploy repetition.
- Be specific when creating marketing content.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Tell your audience why.
- Don’t be afraid to use rhetoric
Content marketing is ineffective unless you master the art of persuasion. By incorporating these techniques into your writing, you’ll supercharge all of your marketing platforms and attain a much higher ROI for your efforts.
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Uday Tank is a serial entrepreneur and content marketing leader who serves the international community at Rankwisely. He enjoys writing, including marketing, productivity, business, health, diversity, and management.