Each month there are more than 87 million blog posts published. With that many posts, you have to develop some incredibly high-quality and powerful content in order to stand out. Your content needs to lure readers in, engage them and make them want to take action. If it doesn’t, then all of the time and effort that you put into creating that content will have gone done the drain.
So, what does it take to create powerful content? How can you take existing content and turn it around and make it something that will lure readers in and get results? This article will show you 10 copywriting strategies that will do just that.
Tip #1: Make Your Readers Part of the Experience
A professional storyteller has the ability to capture your attention and essentially forget everything else. As they are telling a story, you actually feel as if you are a part of the story itself. Your brain doesn’t just allow you to imagine this; instead, your brain allows you to experience it. It is called coupling. This particular ability is what creates powerful storytelling, and it is what you need to bring to the table. This ability is what will allow your content to get a leg up on your competitors’ content.
It is important to understand that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to develop content that is this powerful every single time. However, you can make sure that your content contains powerful storytelling elements every time. Here’s how:
- Use Strong Verbs – Strong verbs allow you to visualize a particular action. For example, instead of saying, “She looked at her basketball rival,” you could say, “She glared at her basketball rival” because it is far more powerful.
- Use Metaphors – In a study, Spanish researchers found that test subjects’ sensory cortex lit up when given metaphors. A couple of examples of metaphors is “She has a bubbly personality” or “He is the apple of my eye”.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of Open Loops
In 1927, Bluma Zeigarnik, a Soviet psychologist, was having dinner with her colleagues at a restaurant when she experienced something she found strange. The waiter was able to remember each of their order’s with no problem. However, at the end of the dinner, he was unable to remember their meals.
The psychologist decided to study this in more depth and found that it is easier for people to remember unfinished tasks as opposed to finished tasks. This later became known as the Zeigarnik effect in the psychology field. Today, in copywriting, we know it as an open loop, which we see everywhere, from movies to advertisements to blog posts. You have encountered an open loop if you have ever read or watched any type of entertainment.
Open loops work really well due to the fact that they inspire curiosity and build anticipation for what comes next. When a loop is opened, an individual wants to close it as soon as possible so it is no longer on his or her mind.
The great thing about open loops is that they are not difficult to create. In all honesty, when you are creating a headline, you are creating an open loop. This is the most basic type of an open loop. Sadly, this is the only time the majority of people put open loops to good use. You will be able to get gain a much larger upper hand on your competition if you add them throughout your content. Here is where you can use them:
- Introductions – One of the most effective ways at getting people to read your content is to add an open loop or two into the introduction.
- Subheadings – Because so many people simply scan content nowadays, it is important that your add open loops into your subheadings, as this will help lure people in to read the rest of your content.
Tip #3: Read Your Content Aloud
To ensure that your content is what it needs to be, always read it out loud. If you aren’t doing this right now, then it is time to start doing it. The reason that reading your content aloud helps is because it makes it easier on your brain to truly understand what you are reading. Plus, it will make it easier to catch your mistakes. You will be able to determine when words do not flow and when sentences don’t make sense.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget the Rule of Three
This particular rule states that concepts and ideas presented in threes tend to be more intriguing, entertaining and enjoyable. Like open loops, the rule of three is used everywhere, such as:
- Movies – For example, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”
- Jokes – For example, “A blonde, a redhead, and a brunette walked into a bar…”
- Declaration of Independence – “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
This particular rule is incredibly effective because, as humans, we are able to recognize certain types of patterns. Patterns help us to make sense of data and information that is given to us, and three is the smallest number that can be used to create a pattern. This is why it is so incredibly powerful.
Now, there are a couple of benefits to the rule of three, including:
- Your content becomes more persuasive.
- Your content becomes much easier to understand and comprehend.
- Your content becomes more fun to read and poetic.
Tip #5: Make Use of Intentional Repetition
When you listen to speeches given by influential leaders, they are incredibly powerful. How do they make them that way? For example, the infamous “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King touched people – and still does to this day – at their core. That speech gave so many people hope and created movements. One of the main reasons why that speech, and others like it, are so powerful and effective is due to the fact that they use intentional repetition. Throughout the speech, the speaker makes a point to repeat certain phrases or words. In a particular speech of Winston Churchill’s, he kept repeating “we shall fight”.
This concept can be applied to your content. You can deliberately repeat keywords in your content, which will help add a dramatic flair to it and help it stand out from your competition’s content. Essentially, this will:
- Make your content a bit more emotional and dramatic.
- Add more flair and rhythm to your content.
- Make your content more memorable.
Tip #6: Begin with a Punch, Yet Finish with a Strong Kick
In the early 1960s, Bennet Murdock, a psychologist, performed an experiment that consisted of providing a group of subjects a word list. After a set amount of time, the test subjects were asked to recall as many of the words on that list as they could. It was found that they were able to remember the words at the beginning and end of the list most easily. The reasoning behind this is because the first word will receive the most attention, while the word is the one that received the most recent attention. In the end, this was known as the serial positioning effect.
As you are creating content, the two most important parts of your content are the introduction and the conclusion. Your introduction needs to lure people in and will get the most attention. Your conclusion will contain the call to action (CTA) and is the very last part of your content that readers will see and read.
Tip #7: Create Short Sentences – Especially at the Beginning
Did you know that just over half of your audience will read your content for roughly 15 seconds or less? These people will review your headline, subheadings and conclusion before they decide whether your article is worth reading in full. If they decide it isn’t, then they will move on – possibly to your competition.
If writing is simply a hobby, then these statistics are something that you can let roll off your shoulders. However, if it is your profession and your livelihood depends on others reading your content, then it means a bit more. Your introduction is crucial to luring readers in. If your introduction can’t do that, then the rest of your article doesn’t mean a thing.
One effective way to help get people to read your content is to use short sentences at the beginning of your content. If someone will read the first sentence of your article, then there is a greater chance of them reading the second sentence. If they read the second sentence, there is a higher probability of them reading the third sentence, and this can go on and on until the end of the article really.
If you can write short sentences while also opening a loop, then you will create powerful content that will be hard for readers to resist.
Tip #8: Choose Clear Over Clever
During the Superbowl, 80 percent of those advertisements do not result in or have any impact whatsoever on sales for companies. While it is true that they have a very wide audience reach (higher than usual, in fact), they do nothing for companies sales-wise. Doesn’t that seem strange? The reason behind this is because advertisers work to ensure that these Superbowl ads are highly entertaining. More often than not, they succeed – beyond expectation in most cases. The problem lies in the fact that viewers remember the advertisement itself, but they fail to remember what the product or service was.
When it comes to content, you can’t allow yourself to fall into that same type of trap. You can’t create an article that is smart or entertaining, yet leaves the reader with no clue as to what it is truly about. Instead, you need to choose between delivering a message that is clear or sounding smart/being entertaining. In the end, you should always choose clear. Here are a few ways that you can be clear with your content:
- Use short sentences.
- Use simple words.
- Use active voice.
- Put action in your verbs.
Don’t forget that there is always a level of cleverness when you are creating content that is clear. As long as you can take a complicated topic and digest it so that it is easier to understand, then you are getting the job done.
Tip #9: Utilize Delayed Transitions
Sentences and paragraphs are bound together with transitions. Transitions make it easier to go from one thought (sentence) to the next. A transition will often combine two thoughts and create one sentence.
When it comes to delayed transition, though, the transition is placed at the beginning of the sentence rather than between two sentences to combine them. The benefits of delayed transitions include:
- They will create a small loop that we want closed.
- They allow the creation of shorter sentence, which will improve overall readability.
- They add a certain level of unpredictability, which ensures your readers are kept on their toes.
Tip #10: Take Words from Your Readers
Each audience has its own inside jokes, language and sayings. If you have the ability to replicate this, then you have the capability of creating some of the most powerful content ever. The questions is now, though, how do you do it?
Ultimately, the best way to go about it is to speak to your readers. Here are some things you may want to ask:
- What goals are you trying to achieve?
- What obstacles are preventing you from reaching your goals?
- What pain are you running from?
The answers to these questions can go a long way in helping you create exceptionally powerful content that will deeply connect with your audience.
But what do you do if you don’t have an audience to speak to? If this is the case, then you will need to take the time to determine how your target audience deals with their problems and describes them by looking at their reviews on Amazon. Check out books that are directly related to your niche. However, whenever possible, always speak directly to your customers.
Don’t Let Your Content Be Ignored
You are now equipped with 10 different copywriting tips that will assist you in creating far more powerful content. Now, all you have to do is implement those techniques moving forward. With that being said, your next steps are:
- Choose a couple of the tips from the aforementioned list.
- Implement them in your next piece that you develop.
If you have any questions or feel that you just can’t create content (maybe you aren’t good with words no matter how hard you try!), reach out to us and our WebDetail team can help you out!