Content marketing and Copywriting with Rhubarb Fool Part V
Are these just different legs of the same (chocolate) table?
2. Motivate your audience in a structured and reasoned fashion.
This strategy can be condensed down to one word: persuasion.
Of course you can spend hours crafting a beautifully persuasive piece of prose that's replete with the potential to move your consumer. But the first question that you should actually be asking yourself is whether anyone is actually going to take the time to read it. A good start would be a thought provoking, emotionally relevant and eye-catching headline. But this will only be offered substance by the appliance of science. Think logical. Think reason.
Even chocolate is defined by logic and reason. Think about a Twix bar. Peel away the chocolate and the shortbread is on the bottom and the caramel is on the top. A structure of support is in place. Start designing bars of chocolate without reference to reason and we'd soon be forced to contend with little more than one dimensional blobs. And who is going to wax lyrical about a one dimensional blob?
So let's apply this thinking to your format. One of the most popular and accessible formatting tools for content are bullet points and numbered lists. These short bursts of information have the same stand out potential as headlines. But though a process will individualise these bursts of information, it should not lend them autonomy. It's essential that order remains. Coherent order is important because it's what our brains expect. Lists need to be ordered in a structured and comprehensible manner, otherwise the brain will be far more inclined to ignore them, dismissing them because they apparently don't make sense.
And let's not forget our old pal emotional relevance. Deep in the core of all of our emotional selves is a fear of loss. It's a basic human instinct that predates all of this media malarkey. We get far more afraid that we'll lose something, than we get excited that we'll gain something. As such a great means of communicating with your audience is to highlight something that they might lose and offer them the means of avoiding this outcome. You can do this by:
Highlighting something that's scarce. Make your audience feel that if they don't act they won't get it. Miss this at your peril.
Motivate action through urgency. Time limited offers are a great way of doing this.
Don't be afraid to talk about risks and explain potential costs.
As fear of loss could be reasonably considered as a negative motivator, a sophisticated approach would not be one dimensional. Balance the positives with the negatives. Positive peer pressure really works in this. So don't be coy. Show your audience why your current customers chose you. There are various ways of doing this.
Client reviews, feedback and testimonials.
Product endorsements and (if you're very favourably placed) awards.
A display of media sites that have engaged with your brand or business.
Social media tools that demonstrate the extent of your popularity and the size of your following.
High visibility placement of “seals of trust” such as professional association membership, security / competence certificates and awards.