May 19, 2015

How to Craft Contagious Content (That Appeals to Both Reason & Emotion)

by Digital Marketing Institute

Wake up.

Stop scanning, slouching, switching between tabs and devices. We get it…you’re bored as you stand in a queue, you’re pretending to work as a protest against your unreasonable boss.

Sometimes life can suck the very zest out of you. Often people can turn into full-on zombies – lifeless, limp, zoned-out, weather-complaining, commuting-hating, what-is-this-life-anyway zombies.

Content Marketers You Have a Job:

You need to make your readers feel again, you need to make them care again. Because your words aren’t just competing with your competitors’ – they’re battling against every single element of a busy, draining, need-to-be-inspired again life.

Your New Mission: Make your readers believe – twice. Once for the weight of your words and once for the shiver of your statements.

Below I’ll explain how to tap into the art of persuasion and find that seemingly-impossible-to-reach but absolutely-essential balance between logic, emotion and credibility. I promise you – this knowledge could save your content marketing.

1. Subconscious Rules – How to Tap into Emotion:

People think they are rational creatures guided by rational thoughts and influenced by deeply logical arguments. Well people are wrong. Emotion shapes our decision-making process far more than the average ‘logical’ person would like to believe.

Before you begin writing, consider the emotion you would like your readers to feel while reading your content. Do you want them to feel inspired or motivated for example? Your selected emotion should act as the driving force for your content. For example, if you want your readers to feel inspired, check that each paragraph contains energy – your words should be pumping with vigor, excitement and urgency.

A Note of Caution: Understand Your Customers Before You Make Them Feel.

You have no business trying to make your readers feel anything until you understand them. And I mean really, truly understand what motivates them, what makes them mad, what makes them worry. What problems do they want solved? What will make their commute that little bit better? Before you try any of the below steps you will need to ensure that you’ve created fully-fleshed out personas. You can then consult your personas to help you get into the mind of your target audience before you write.

Tips for Tapping into Emotion:

  • Create Stories – Stories help people visualize and empathize with your tale.
  • Create Stars – Let your readers envision themselves as the stars of your story – address their needs, create a familiar picture and solve their problems.
  • Address Problems – Address real problems based on your target persona’s problems.
  • Offer Solutions – The purpose of your content is to help your readers solve their problems – make them look smarter, more caring or more professional when they share your content with friends.
  • Share – Share your personal story or experience to provide inspiration for your readers and lets them know that you understand their plight or predicament.
  • Access Emotion – Tap into your own emotion while writing – if you, as a writer, feel excited it will show in your writing and you will have an easier time creating excitement within your readers.
  • Mirror Language – Adopt your target persona’s tone while writing – choose the words your target personas would choose.

Read These Digital Marketing Psychology Articles to Help You Tap into the Subconscious:

2. Reason Matters – How to Master Logic:

Put simply, readers need to believe that you know what you’re talking about. Your readers are naturally skeptical and the more articles that get published online, the more people begin to question their credibility and quality. You need to prove that you know what you’re talking about by backing up your content with logical statements, research, evidence and credible sources.

How to Get Ridiculously Logical:

  • Survey Stats & Sources – Back up your statements and arguments with survey figures.
  • Expert Quotes – Add weight to your argument with a quote or statement from a credible online source.
  • Influencer Quotes – Source and include quotes from industry influencers to add further credibility and depth to your article.
  • Get Clear – Avoid jargon, hyperbole ambiguity and keep your language simple and to the point.

Become the Real Deal – Establish Credibility:

‘Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion,’ according to Aristotle. It has never been more important for content writers to establish credibility – people want to read content from people they trust and can believe in. If you’re an influencer, for example, or an expert in your area your blog posts will hold more weight in your industry.

How to Establish Credibility:

  • Influencer OpinionsConnect with industry influencers and include their opinions in your articles.
  • Influencer Shares – Once a relationship is built up with industry influencers you can ask them to share your content to add further credibility – it’s like getting a stamp of approval from those who matter.
  • Personal Brand – Build your own personal brand, guest blog on high-authority sites in your industry and grow your social media following.
  • Establish Authority – Select one subject to become an expert on and make this the focus of your content marketing.
  • Integrity – Remain consistent and truthful throughout.
  • Likeability – Be generous and add true value with your content.
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