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Content that Sells

The Art of Persuasion

In the competitive marketplace of ideas, where attention is the ultimate currency (see our post on attention spans), creating content that sells is paramount. Crafting content that not only grabs attention but also persuades is an art underpinned by science, notably neuroscience.

The secrets to making content sell are intimately tied to understanding your audience, employing the right tone of voice, and leveraging principles of memory and persuasion grounded in neuroscience to connect emotionally and therefore sell.

Understanding Your Audience

Knowing your audience is the cornerstone of persuasive content. Different demographic groups have unique preferences, values, and communication styles. Tailoring your message to resonate with your target audience enhances the likelihood of making a connection, building trust, and eventually, persuading.

The Right Tone of Voice: Harmonising with Your Audience

The tone of voice in your content should harmonise with your audience's expectations and preferences. For instance, a professional, authoritative tone might work best when addressing B2B clients, while a conversational, friendly style may be more effective for younger, more casual consumers. The right tone enhances the relatability and credibility of your message, fostering a sense of connection and trust. But it only works if you’re single-minded in your approach. There is no point trying to cover off multiple audiences on the one page just in case. You’re better off creating multiple landing pages and seeing what resonates the best.

Neuroscience suggests that messages delivered in a tone that resonates with the audience are more likely to be remembered. The phenomenon, known as "cognitive ease," explains that information presented in a familiar, easy-to-understand manner is more readily processed and recalled. For example a catchy phrase for a Gymwear company that wants to break into swimwear could be From Gym to Swim. Why? It’s easily processed, easy to understand and resonates an “ease” immediately. But let’s see if it fits the model.

Memory and Persuasion: Crafting Content that Sticks

Creating memorable content is a critical aspect of persuasion. Neuroscience provides valuable insights into how memories are formed and how content can be crafted to optimise retention. Here’s how:

Simplicity and Clarity: The brain prefers information that is easy to digest. Content that is clear, concise, and free of jargon or complicated concepts is more likely to stick. Here our From Gym to Swim example ticks all the boxes

Storytelling: Narratives are a powerful tool for embedding information in the mind. Stories engage multiple brain areas, including those responsible for emotions, which enhances memory retention and makes the content more persuasive. Again our From Gym to Swim example tells a story immediately in only a few words.

Repetition: Repetition strengthens neural pathways, making information more likely to be remembered. However, it should be used judiciously to avoid annoying the audience. Our example – tick.

Visuals: Images and videos can significantly aid memory. The brain processes visuals faster than text, and visual content is often more engaging and memorable. In our example, this would be easy to show.

Emotional Connection: Content that elicits emotions tends to be more memorable. Positive or negative emotions can both be effective, depending on the context and the desired outcome. Great imagery of a beautiful day paired with our headline would tick this box.

Conclusion: Science-Backed Content That Sells

Crafting content that sells is not just about intuition or creativity; it’s also a science. By understanding your audience, adopting the right tone of voice, and leveraging basic neuroscience principles related to memory and persuasion, you can create content that is not only engaging and credible but also persuasive and memorable. As the marketplace of ideas continues to grow and evolve, mastering the art and science of content that sells will be more crucial than ever. With these principles in hand, you'll be well-equipped to craft messages that resonate, persuade, and ultimately, sell.

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About the author

Connect with Cath

Cath is Head of Strategy at MPA. A seasoned professional in marketing and media, Cath has worked across multiple Agencies and Clients from multinationals to start-ups

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