You planned your SEO strategy well, driving traffic to your content and ranking well in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). But your conversion and retention rate are still low, or your audience isn’t responding. Why is that?
The answer is simple. You are not being persuasive enough.
When you publish a blog, you expect the reader to take some sort of action. The action can be as simple as getting them to share your content, subscribe to your email list, download your free ebook, or at the extreme, buy your product. Whichever action you want them to take, your writing must persuade them.
So how do you craft the perfect content to engage your readers? How do you get them to read your entire post? And how do you convince and compel them to respond to your content and take the prescribed action?
This article will explore persuasive writing and five techniques you can implement today to persuade your readers, raise your engagements, and accomplish your content goals.
What is Persuasive Writing
Persuasive writing is a form of writing in which the author tries to convince or
compel the reader that their opinion on the subject matter is correct.
To be persuasive, a writer will be logical with their arguments, use personal experience to appeal to the reader’s emotions, and carefully choose their tone when writing.
When we go to Google to search for solutions to solve our problem, we’ll likely read more than one blog post. But we will only choose the one that persuades us the best when we take action.
Implementing the right persuasive writing techniques gives you the power to stay ahead of your competitors and can help you drive sales.
Know your Audience
You can persuade someone you know nothing about. Before writing your next blog post, define who you are writing for by creating a buyer persona. Then research:
Who they are: Define every little thing you can about your audience. Their age, location, profession, interests, and so forth. Doing this lets, you know how to reach and appeal to them.
How you address an audience of 50-60 years old will differ from how you address Gen-Z.
Their Search Intent: You should aim to create content that aligns with your prospect’s needs. It will help you forecast their pain points and put you in a better position to address them. If they’re looking for information, your content should provide that.
Their Customer Journey: How you persuade a returning customer will differ from how you persuade one who is hesitant to complete a purchase. Map your customer journeys and create specific content for each group.
Humanize your Content
Everyone is trying to sell solutions to your reader. Some are more direct than others. To increase your conversions, you need to humanize your content and emotionally resonate with your potential client. Instead of making your product/service the center of your content, focus on the problem before providing a solution.
You can start off by letting your reader know you once had the exact paint point. Follow that by breaking down how you solved the problem and finish by telling them what to do. By putting yourself in the shoes of your prospects, you get to resonate with them, and they will likely compel you when you ask them to take action.
Humanizing your content allows you to tap into your reader’s emotions by creating empathetic content that convinces them to take action.
Be Consistent with your Tone
The tone you use in your copy will determine how your reader will feel. Will they find your writing interesting or boring? It also shapes the perspective they take. Meaning that you can’t persuade someone you are boring.
Different factors will determine the tone you use to persuade your readers. Whichever tone you pick for your brand, it should stay consistent.
Audience: Are you writing and appealing to potential general, knowledgeable, or expert audiences? The tone you use to persuade a reader on a “How-to” article will vastly differ from the one you use in your “white paper” content.
Intent: You intend to persuade the reader. Your content should therefore be descriptive, informational, and tell a story that can convince someone to take action.
Domain: Are you writing a general knowledge audience, businesses, or academics? Your domain will determine how formal or informal you sound in your article. For instance, when writing B2B content, you want to avoid unnecessary slang and colloquialisms.
You can also try to persuade your audience by being conversational. You can achieve this by
- Addressing them directly: This includes using second-person pronouns such as you and your. Involving your reader brings them closer and makes their reading experience more intimate.
- Getting involved: You can achieve this by using the plural form of first-person pronouns, i.e., we, our, and us. This allows you to draw from personal experience and feel relatable to the reader.
- Asking rhetorical questions: Pose different questions in your article that don’t require a “yes” or “no” answer.
Why is that important?
They keep the reader engaged and pull their attention. It keeps them hooked, so they don’t stop reading.
- Being Confident: You don’t want to give your reader the impression that you are unsure about what you are writing about. You achieve this by writing in an active voice.
Passive voice is vague and confusing, and you’ll never convince anyone and be conversational using a passive tone.
- Being argumentative: You are trying to convince your reader to run with your opinion; therefore, show them why they shouldn’t take the opposite or second opinion. Let your audience know you have knowledge of both sides.
Be Authoritative in Your Writing
When you perform a search, you are looking for your problem to be solved by someone who knows more about the subject matter than you. You are looking for an expert. In most cases, the party that displays the highest expertise will persuade you the most.
You build authority when you go an extra step to provide valuable content that helps prospects solve their problems every time. And that plays a significant role when you want to compel readers to take action. Here are some ways you can persuade your audience by being authoritative.
Data Driven: Use numbers to convince your readers that the solution you are providing or the product you are selling will benefit them. You can choose to perform internal research to back up your numbers (which makes you more authoritative) or quote data from reputable sources within your industry.
Use Hyperbole: Make an exaggeration promise to your reader and back it up with your content. Don’t shy away from calling your product the best in the market if you can prove it is. Hyperbole can persuade a prospect to interact with your content, especially in your titles and landing pages.
Communicate your USP: What makes your business different from competitors? By clearly communicating your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), you can convince the reader to keep reading.
Show Social Proof
We have this inclination as humans to make judgments based on the actions of others. We feel or believe their judgments mirror the best choices. By incorporating social proof in your articles, you convince the reader your others have benefitted, and now it’s their time.
You can implement social proof in different ways in your writing. A good example is
- Quoting a previous client
- Showing reviews
- Pointing out how many people use your product
- Interviewing a client
- Producing case study content
Importance of Persuasive Writing
Gone are the days brands relied on their sales team to persuade clients to do business with them. Blogs have taken center stage; more than ever, you can’t afford not to be persuasive in your writings.
According to a study published by ResearchNow, 30% of people use blogs to confirm their choices, and another 33% read blogs to rule out options.
Your blog content has the power to persuade a client to choose you or rule you out.
Without being persuasive enough, your clients will ignore you, your brand will lose credibility, and as your retention rate plummets, so will your position in SERPs.
You need to go an extra length to understand what your audience needs — their pain points- and produce relatable and authoritative content. Only then will you be able to write persuasive content that convinces them to run with your opinion.