5 Writerly Ways To Craft Addictive Content That Sticks And Gets More Clicks
Reviewed and updated – Sep 2020
Words are a powerful marketing commodity. Marketers have a lot to learn from writers. Writing talent and technique go into crafting a killer native content — or it doesn’t just ‘happen’.
Whether you’re an affiliate looking to write an awesome landing page, or an advertiser trying to find the recipe for the perfect native ad — there are plenty of copywriting lessons that will help you achieve your goals.
Here are some tips for anyone looking to ‘get back to their writing roots’ — use these five classic tips to create addictive content that sticks and gets more clicks.
1. Address The Reader’s Primal Desires
Go deep! Everyone has primal desires bubbling at the edges of their conscious mind… Great writing can bring these deep desires to the forefront and convince people to part with their money, time, and energy.
Primal desires are emphasized heavily in advertising because they help create an emotional bridge between shopping and a more universal need. Emotional advertising that taps into primal emotions is effective because it plugs into the consumer’s subconscious, as well as conscious, mind.
Desires can be aroused in all types of native advertising, whether you’re appealing to the consumer’s drive to protect, win, fight, flee and so on. Here are six common primal desires you may want to tap into.
Tapping into primal desires doesn’t need to be anything wild or scary. It can be just a simple call to action:
This simple National Geographic ad invites the user to experience ‘thrill and wonder’ — appealing to the adventurer in us all, the message of the ad is clear and simple. It’s all about making the call to action emotive and compelling, without inserting any distractions into the ad.
2. Hit Them In The Guts
Generating a visceral emotional reaction in the reader will also make your writing more memorable. But of course, in native advertising you also need to ensure that your writing tells a story, and isn’t just a jumbled mess of metaphors and associations. Learn how to tell a story by delving into some basic narrative building tips — learn how to set the scene, build suspense, and unveil story elements slowly.
‘Show, don’t tell’ is the number one golden rule for building a rapport with readers — you need to leave an emotional space in your writing for your reader to make up their own mind.
Statistics are great, and can help back up a story, but don’t always fall back on them. Try to illustrate your points in other, more inventive, ways.
Jump straight into a narrative scene and echo (in writing) any feelings or associations that might be coming up the for the reader. Don’t always feel like you need to encouch your content with a clever buildup.
Cards Against Humanity are the kings of gutsy copywriting:
Their irreverent house style is all about landing the reader in the middle of a random narrative (gerbils? coffins?) and letting the imagination do the rest. A great way of bringing humor and storytelling together. Make them do a double take.
3. Make Bold Promises – And Deliver
Of course, depending on the rules of where you’re publishing, you will have to ensure that your copy is compliant and adheres to consumer guidelines. But at the drafting stage, it’s OK to brainstorm the most insane, over-the-top promises for your product, and do all you can to substantiate these claims within the rest of your article. Sometimes a bit of creative licence can help you come up with some wildly inventive and entertaining ideas. Then, when it comes to editing, scale everything back to meet more realistic demands, but don’t lose your wild and free attitude. Be 100% committed and enthusiastic in order to write content that cuts through all the digital noise.
The writers at Nat Geo do a great job of writing punchy headlines and enticing phrases that induce the user to click:
It’s a great example of a classy way of doing “BuzzFeed clickbait” titles! Set the reader up for something surprising and unusual.
4. Think In Terms Of Ad Deployment
With writing it’s not just about the words, but how your content looks on a device. Experiment with different styles, calls to action, and buttons. Altering the layout of your article can help you boost conversions and improve your copy.
Don’t assume that the layout you used last week will attract the same number of conversions today. User preferences evolve in subtle ways over time, and different value propositions call for different layouts. The best way to keep up with design trends is to look at what competitors and similar businesses are doing, and create your own variations. I use Native Ad Buzz to do this. It is the perfect tool to help you keep an eye on the competition, and see what is working for them.
This will ensure that when you do publish an article, it hits the ground running. Optimizing for all screen sizes is a must, but these days you also need to think about emerging tech and devices.
Advertising is changing, and with it so are consumer preferences. Stay current and be open to new formats, layouts, and environments.
5. Revisit Your Vocabulary
Use tools like Google Trends and Native Ad Buzz with popular keyword terms in order to establish a solid niche and topic vocabulary. Just like when you first learn to read and write, your niche vocabulary should guide your content and fire your neurones with associations, synonyms, and antonyms.
A wide vocabulary is not only great for your readers, but it will also help inject some much-needed search relevance and longevity into your native advertising. Focusing on the actual words that you use will help you write more focused, sticky content.
In all of your copywriting efforts, you will need to ensure that your reader stays with you until the end. You may not have many words to play with, but you should always try to make your copy stand out by addressing your audience’s key concerns. If you go in immediately with the ‘hard sell’ you may lose that customer, so make sure you address the key question – “Why, what’s in this for me?”
About the author
Victoria Greene is a freelance writer and branding expert who blogs at VictoriaEcommerce. She loves to help brands maximize their online budgets by creating great content that engages and creates communities.