You know to use facts that persuade to appeal to your logical readers. Factual proof gives your reader actual evidence to back up your claims, which is important for your less emotionally-driven readers.
But facts are useful, too, to persuade your emotional readers. Stories rouse your reader’s feelings and prompt her to act. Facts help to justify a purchase, gift, decision, change in behavior … whatever action she has taken. When you present facts, you help the reader validate her emotional decision and prevent buyer’s remorse. This one-two punch is a powerful persuasive writing technique.
Since your content will draw both kinds of readers – logical and emotional – you can see why using facts is always a smart idea. The point here is to convince your reader to take action. Both stories and facts play an important role in achieving that.
That’s why I use both when writing persuasively. And you should too!
Always use facts when you write content.
Always? Yep. Honestly, what kind of content do you write that you’re not working to persuade or bring around your reader to your point? For instance, your article or blog post opens with a problem statement and your position on that issue. As the article or post unfolds, you support your solution with several points. Facts help you make each point.
You also want to use facts that persuade in copywriting projects. These projects are specifically structured to lead the reader to buy, give, sign up, register, volunteer, or take other action. Good copywriting rouses emotions with a story or word picture – but then combined with facts to appeal to your reader’s logic and prevent buyer’s remorse.
Facts are one of your best friends in content writing. There’s all different kinds of “fact friends” you can use make your persuasive writing colorful and varied. Here are some of my faves.
Statistics are numbers that are collected, organized, analyzed, and reported. The data is gathered in surveys, reporting, polls, censuses, or other methods. Statistics are persuasive because numbers are concrete. This form of proof is especially credible when the data source is reliable and respected. When you use statistics as facts to persuade, be sure to keep a note of the data source in your files. Readers contact me regularly and ask where I get statistics that I use as proof.
Scientific or documented research studies are authoritative. They follow procedures, state parameters, and then document and publish results, which means you can report the data source. Quantitative research reports numerical data. Qualitative studies gather non-numerical data. Both offer proof you can use to make your point.
You ask friends to recommend a babysitter, a restaurant, a church, a podcast. The same is true for using personal experiences as facts to make your point. A personal experience is like an eyewitness who gives first-hand facts from the scene. Personal experiences are more subjective than other kinds of facts. But this kind of anecdotal evidence still proves a point. Use it.
List examples to show variety, amount, and popularity.
History has a long trail of documentation, which translates to readers as trustworthy and reliable. Use the example of history or lessons learned from a historic event to prove your point and you’ll have a convincing set of facts that persuade. Cite your sources.
Interview people who can speak to your point: the man on the street, the clerk, the entrepreneur, your neighbor, the amateur, the professional … anyone with experience in your topic can provide supporting content. (Here are tips for asking interview questions.) Use quotes or information from an interview to reinforce your point.
Citations from books, articles, reports, media, digital products, websites, and other media can offer supporting evidence to make your point. Be sure to acknowledge the source.
Use a quote from an expert in a related field of study. (Here's how to write a quote.) Include the expert’s qualifications, whether it’s a set of credentials, a string of letters indicating a college degree, or the title of the expert’s published works.
Anticipate why your reader may protest, question, doubt, embrace skepticism. Then address those objections head-on in your content with corresponding facts. When you acknowledge a possible objection to your idea, you convey credibility and address fears.
Explain how the product works … the steps that led to the idea … the phases to the project … the stages provided by the service. When you give sequential steps, you answer “why” for readers. Those details are powerful to readers who thrive on logic.
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