As the good old saying goes – ‘Pen is mightier than the sword’ – it holds true. Words are indeed a powerful medium to express and convey thoughts. A good orator can make you believe in what he is saying by his choice of words. Since an orator is present physically, he can use voice modulation, expression, and even look at the interest of the crowd and modulate his speech accordingly.
A good writer has to comprehend beforehand what words to choose and what matter to convey. A professional writer has the skills to use the perfect vocabulary to communicate his intent in a clear and crisp manner.
It is because they don’t write random content. What they write is persuasive content. Persuasion is an art creating a win-win situation for the writer as well as the reader. The writer presents a case playing with tone, approach and bias in such a beautiful way that readers find it beneficial to agree with.
There are some techniques that make the job of content writing easier and compelling. Let’s go through some of them.
1) Multiple Responses
Whatever you have written should provoke multiple responses, the chief among them being anxiety. Readers should get the urge to go through the entire write-up there and then. The language should be easy and commonly used.
Using too many big and fancy words can irritate the reader. This in no way means that you are insulting the reader’s intelligence. Your writing should have the depth, which can provide some mental food to the reader.
Give readers something to really bite into and mentally chew on. Engaging the reader by evoking some sort of emotional response will be the best bet. This will increase the probability that the reader will read and act on what he/she is reading.
2) Authentic and Trustworthy
The ultimate motive is to make an offer, which is too good to refuse, but it should not be manipulative. In fact, it should be honest and well researched giving the readers a true perspective. Remember that trustworthiness is persuasive. Good content is based on facts. Including true facts will make your material memorable and reliable.
You need to convince the readers, so the choice of words should be right. These right words should be backed with examples that resonate with the readers.
The word ‘because’ has immense power. Psychological studies have proven that people are more likely to comply with if the request is followed by the reason. If you want your readers to be receptive to your line of thinking, always give a reason ‘WHY’. So, write with authority after researching the subject well.
4) Three B’s- Break, Bullet and Boxes
These three B’s have immense value if you want to retain the interest of the readers. Break the lines after every two-three sentences, making white space your friend. If you write in points, it is easy for readers to skim through.
Instead of giant texts, use graphs, engaging quotations or charts to maintain interest in between. Quoting an expert’s view on the subject works beautifully for persuasive content.
5) Catchy Titles and Phrases
Nothing can beat the importance of a catchy title to gain the attention of readers. Be clever and subtle in inserting catch phrases to maintain the interest till the end of the write-up. Move through the topic using subheadings.
This movement should be smooth and easy to follow. The transitions should be logical, which flows into the eyes and mind of the reader.
Commas, dashes and contractions have an immense role in making a write-up persuasive. Commas should be used only if necessary. If more than one comma is used in a sentence, it simply means that your sentences are long.
As a thumb rule, long sentences bore and confuse readers. For making content approachable, use contractions. For example, instead of “does not”, write “doesn’t”. This makes reading quick and comfortable.
A dash tends to break the monotony of the content and make it casual. It is a strong visual element and hence it helps with clarity too. A reader understands clearly where there is a break in the sentence.
7) Texture and Tone
Just like clothing, texture here means the ‘feel’ of the written piece. Ask yourself these simple questions. Does it look good on the page? Is the flow of contents proper and rational? Are the different sections balanced? Is the text complimented well with quotes and images? Is the language used crisp and clear? If you get all affirmative answers then you can be assured that the texture of your content is perfect.
The next thing that comes is the tone. This peculiar quality of content writing is created through sentence construction, phrasing and choice of words. Depending upon the content you are writing, you have to set the tone.
If you are warning potential victims, use short, excited sentences. They make things sound urgent. Longer and more fluid sentences, on the other hand, give a feeling of contentment and peace. Always stay in the character while writing.
Along with tone, the sound of your voice should be audible through your content. Persuasive content isn’t technical writing, and your unique voice should be present as you’re writing. A strong voice is entertaining, engaging, and enjoyable to read.
It is normally referred to as “hobgoblin of little minds”. Consistency in thoughts and actions is a valued social trait. Inconsistency, on the other hand, is associated with instability and flightiness. The writing should radiate this consistency.
Start with giving food for thought to the readers. It will be something like getting the reader to agree with something upfront that most of the people would have a hard time disagreeing with.
Then make your case in the following lines. Keep the approach rigorous and support it with plenty of evidence. All this should ultimately relate to your opening scenario that’s already been accepted. Always remember that consistency is associated with integrity and rational behaviour. Consistency in your article will make your readers believe in your integrity.
KnowledgeCage.com is the perfect example of Consistency where we write only “How to” stuff to solve all tech problems.
9) Agitate and Solve
This theme works wonders. First, identify any problem and qualify your audience. The next step is to agitate the reader’s pain.
Here, you have to be very careful as you wouldn’t want to sound sadistic. Rather, you would want to be empathetic with their suffering. The reader should feel that you understand their problem correctly and will help them find a solution. Finally, offer your solution. The credibility of your solution goes way up if you demonstrate that you truly feel the prospect’s pain.
Involving the readers with a glimpse into the future is another persuasion theme. It works beautifully if you know what you are talking about. This strategy is built on your credibility. If you have a solid grasp on the subject matter, then you can back up your claims with your credentials.
Nothing works better than convincingly presenting an extrapolation of the current events into likely future outcomes.
What others are thinking or looking for guidance from others as to what to do and what to accept is one of the most powerful psychological forces in our lives. In social media, testimonials and outside referrals are obvious examples of social proof.
A persuasive content writer can make readers believe in what he/she wants to say by integrating these elements of social proof. It can range from skilful alignment with outside authorities to blatant name dropping.
We all try to act sophisticated evolved beings, but in reality, we humans are exclusionary by nature. Giving someone a chance to be a part of a group, they want to make things easy. Find out what group a person wants to be a part of, and offer them an invitation to join that while seemingly excluding others. This will make them hop on board irrespective of the train you are driving.
Dale Carnegie once said, “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
Once you are through with your writing, give your content a bit of polish and shine. Before it goes live, read it once again. It might require a bit of tweaking here and there. Do that and make a lasting impression by giving the speech that you wished to give. 🙂