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The catchphrase for digital marketing trends in 2016 is “content is king.” That means more than ever marketers must differentiate their clients with quality, eye-catching copy. However, clever words and captivating language alone can’t keep or convert your prospective consumers. You’ll have to establish trust to truly hook them. For this reason, statistics are a powerful tool in persuasive writing.
Statistics turn your content from informative to persuasive by establishing your firm as a credible authority. They allow us to present the facts, after all research is the next best thing to personal experience. When you combine story with research study evidence, your audience will see you as a go-to source on any subject you may present.
Check your Sources
While numbers are appealing, especially large percentages that scream your point of view is the valid one, they’re only truly valuable if they’re accurate. And timely. Statistics from reputable sources, such as the US Census, Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Labor, are those that will reinforce your position as an authority.
Of course, if the numbers presented are from studies conducted more than 5 years ago- they may be from a great source, but not a true reflection of the present conditions.
This is not to say that research findings from later years, say 2006 or so, would not provide relevant data. Older studies can point out trends in just about every category, from consumer buying habits to which car manufacturer has the highest percentage of recalls. However, constantly presenting outdated statistics will do nothing to strengthen your budding reputation as a bedrock of knowledge. It will simply read as old and outmoded. And no one wants to be old news.
No matter the year a study was conducted, its true validity often rests with its creators. For example, despite its widespread popularity, Wikipedia is hardly a valid source. This is due to the fact that just about anyone can edit Wikipedia page content. It is particularly frowned upon in academia, where most research studies are funded and supported. If your college professor wouldn’t consider a source authoritative, you probably shouldn’t use it in your copy.
Balance Fact and Fiction
A study conducted by Ohio State University found that stories are 22 times more memorable than statistics alone. Yet, every lawyer knows that evidence – not testimony – can make or break a case. The same goes for copy. Without statistics or study results to present, your audience cannot be persuaded to your point of view, even if that point of view ultimately is for their highest good.
Most people don’t want to be told to do something. They want to know why doing something is important, how it benefits them and if it has worked before. In Hollywood, this formula is known as “The same thing, only different.” Your audience wants to be entertained, and they want to know the same thing works, even if their circumstances are different. Balancing your copy with entertaining elements – such as a vibrant infographic or interesting anecdote – and reinforcing your point of view with timely, relevant data is a sure way to create strong, persuasive copy.
Still not convinced? Try a Google search on using statistics in persuasive writing to discover more tips and related studies. Search query, help back me up on this.