The Content Marketing Institute reports that 86% and 91% of B2C and B2B marketers respectively employ content marketing to reach their customers.
In other words, a large portion of marketers today rely on written content to create brand awareness, nurture leads, and convert readers into loyal customers.
At the helm of this entire process is writing—good quality writing that holds readers’ attention and convinces them to buy.
But how do you craft the perfect piece of writing to the point that it sells?
Let’s explore five helpful tips for writing persuasive content that drives more sales:
1. Write for your audience
Your content can never leave a worthwhile impression on your readers if they can’t relate to it. Therefore, you need to research your target audience to know more about them. By researching your audience and their interests, you can easily create content that meets their expectations.
Suppose you’re writing content to sell product X to baby boomers. To make your writing relatable and valuable for them, you need to use the language that they use and quote examples they can best connect with. Writing like you’re talking to a millennial will not enable you to retain their attention. Therefore, study your audience first and then start writing to them directly.
Studying your audience also gives you the opportunity to write about what interests your readers. Let’s take another example of CoSchedule, a digital marketing suite provider. Its target audience comprises of marketers, so their team plans write-ups around common problems marketers face in their daily content creation process. As such, CoSchedule covers topics like planning and organizing content strategy, lead nurturing strategy, and so on.
Another case in point would be Setalks, an SEO firm, which would need to write content relevant to their target audience, such as link building and white hat SEO tips that offer value and solve their readers’ problems. Similarly, tailor your own content to your target audience precisely.
2. Pay attention to your content’s readability
Nobody wants to read a wall of text crammed together that is hard on the eyes. This is why readability or how easy your content is to read is vital for a great piece of sales copy.
The Nielson Norman Group (NNgroup) confirms that nobody reads web content unless the text is legible, the words and sentences are simple, and the information easy to understand.
According to NNgroup, readability measures the complexity of the words and sentence structure in a piece of content. The assumption behind this metric being that complex sentences are harder to parse and read than simpler ones.
Let’s be honest– would your content sell if its readability is poor and your audience can’t understand a word of it? Nope. Therefore, take steps to make your content more readable, including:
- Write shorter sentences because readers easily lose the train of thoughts with longer sentences
- Write in an active voice as it uses fewer words (equating shorter sentences) and creates a fast-moving narrative. This makes your writing easier to understand and more engaging in contrast with writing in the passive voice
- Write short paragraphs and use simple language. Make sure you add no more than 3-4 lines in each paragraph.
3. Craft powerful ledes and a memorable kicker
In the bestselling book “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content,” digital marketing pioneer, writer, and speaker Ann Handley writes:
“A good lede invites you to the party, and a good kicker makes you wish you could stay longer.”
Let’s back up a bit to understand exactly what she means. A lede is the opening sentence of your write-up; whereas, the kicker is the last one. As a content writer, you need to ensure that both of these sentences are punchy enough to hold readers captive.
To get the best ledes and kickers, do one thing – draft several of their kind. The more the better, because you'll have a large pool of possible content beginnings and endings to allow you to pick the best and most impactful of the lot you come up with for your content.
Cite a credible source to inject authority in your lede, or mention the stakes involved in your topic or subject to heighten interest. Close with a kick, which can entail adding an unexpected or surprising remark, revelation, or set of circumstances when summing up.
You may also want to point out little known facts or the most newsworthy facts of your story to pique reader's curiosity and heighten their interest in your opening sentence. By doing this in your lede, you'll be able to craft more powerful article introductions.
4. Use power words
Power words are terms or phrases that trigger an emotional or psychological response. In fact, these words can boost your conversion rates by as much as 12.7%, according to a recent case study conducted for Teespring, an e-commerce company.
Hence, sprinkle your copy with these impactful words to trigger just about any emotion, for any conversion goal so that your content sells more, including:
- Power words that play on scarcity and loss aversion, like Bargain, Giveaway, Hurry, and Deadline.
- Power words to arouse curiosity and drive more clicks, like Astonishing, Shocking, Bizarre, Unexplored, and Little-known
- Power words to make your lead magnets sound more digestible, and your products sound more useful, like Painless, All-inclusive, Quick, Fail-proof, and Straightforward.
Use power words in your headlines to encourage readers to click-through to read your content, and in your calls-to-action to add a little oomph to you copy.
5. Remove fluff from your writing
Fluff or redundant words and phrases can significantly take down the quality of your content. You can also bore your reader if you keep repeating yourself. This automatically ups the risk of losing your readers’ attention. In other words, your content won’t meet its goal with fluff.
Pursue the following tips for fluff-free writing:
- Stop relying on adverbs and use expressive verbs in your content instead
- Remove fluff words from your writing as you edit your work
- Tighten your bullet points. Rewrite them if you have to, but keep them short and to the point.
Remember that writing requires meticulous work. Don’t dive blindly into it. Instead, plan and strategize how you will deliver the best content that converts readers to buyers and subscribers.
Start by learning all you can about your audience, their interests, and then plan out topics and solutions around that data.
Use examples in your content readers’ can relate to. Offer value, and don’t be repetitive. Not to forget, add power words to your content to entice desired responses from your readers.
With all that covered, you will be well on your way to crafting stellar content that sells more.