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Words That Sell: How To Craft Persuasive Copy On Social Media

Successful marketers write in such a way that their readers buy into their ideas or products. They do this by creating content that engages people enough to encourage them to take action. Whether you are crafting a 500 word article or a 140 character tweet, the basic principle is the same. It’s not just about effectively communicating a message; it’s about making that message persuasive.

Ray Edwards, a communications strategist and copywriter, came up with a handy acronym for being persuasive in your writing (I first read about in Social Media Examiner). The word PASTOR is associated leadership, so it should be easy to remember in this context. The acronym can be used as an outline for producing any written message, working through each step consecutively.


Think about the three Ps (person, problem and pain) before starting to create your message. Consider the person you are talking to, the problem they are facing and the pain they are experiencing because of it. Do your research to really get to know your audience and understand how they feel. This is essential if you want your copy to really speak to the reader.


Amplify the problem and dramatise the consequences of not resolving it. The goal here is to demonstrate that you understand your audience and the things they are dealing with. Then there’s aspiration. Switch from poking pain points to introducing desired outcomes. “Wouldn’t it be great if..?”


Give an example of someone who faced the same struggle and then describe the solution and how it can turn things around. You have already set the stage to give your readers a solution to their problems, so tell it with an engaging story.


Do you have people who can testify that your proposed solution works? Discuss the transformation they experienced as a result. There may be unexpected outcomes and benefits. The solution isn’t enough without discussion of application and experience.


This is when your goals for writing the copy come into play. Explain what you have to offer the reader, making sure you focus on the benefit to them. You might be offering the ideal product or service to answer their problem, or it might be an e-book, webinar, subscription, event or further reading. Describe what you have to offer, remind the reader of the transformation it will bring and concentrate on outcomes.


What do you want people to do and how to they do it? You’ve brought them this far and they’re interested, so make it easy for them to take the next step. Give instructions on how to book, buy, subscribe, download, share or get in touch.


So what do I want you do after reading this article? Well I don’t like to ask, but if you think it may be useful to your network then please go ahead and share it.

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Bethany Carter,  June 8, 2016

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