Persuasive writing is difficult to master. The writing we did in school was full of reports, facts and formality. The marketer’s voice is different from the academic voice; the goal of marketing writing is to sell, not report. Let the reader know it’s all about them. Make your readers feel like they can’t imagine what life would be like without your product or service now that they know it exists.
The transition from college to professional work has been a little hard on my writing skills. After learning academic writing in the IB programme and journalistic writing in the Mass Communication Department, marketing writing is a whole new ballpark. Here are some of the more useful things I’ve learned in the transition, thanks to my mentor at 237 Marketing + Web and the Internet.
Before Writing an Article
- What is the goal of your article?
- Does the article align with your marketing strategy?
- What is the angle?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the specific call to action?
- What response do you want your reader to have?
The Article Itself
- Keep your message compelling, consistent, and clear.
- Use persuasive language.
- Do your research, both on your topic and your audience.
- Cover who, what, when, why, where, and how.
- Your headline should have a key word or phrase, so readers know what to expect.
- The first paragraph is the introduction. Use a hook to draw the reader in, and support the headline. This is a good place for the “what.” If your “what” is an event, go ahead and drop the “where” and “when,” too.
- Your second paragraph is the start of your body content. The body of your article needs to begin with topic information the readers can relate to. Why should the reader care about your topic? This is a great place for “why.”
- The people who have made it to your third paragraph are interested in your topic. It is now safe to include details. Break down this middle part of the article into as many paragraphs as much as you need in order to keep your paragraphs short and accessible. This is where you can insert the “how” and more info on the “who.”
- The last paragraph in your article is your conclusion. This should include a call-to-action, contact information and a simple closing statement. (Not necessarily in that order.) This is where you quickly recap “when,” “where” and “how.”
- Even if you choose to disregard this structure completely, be sure to continually captivate your readers while you break all the rules.
After Writing an Article
- Sorry, you’re not done yet! Just one more thing: Even if you’re written a killer article, it won’t mean anything if no one ever sees it. If you’re publishing online, look up some SEO guidelines.