Writing marketing content can be a very stressful task, everything is riding on the content that you develop and release. There are many ways to write things, but not all styles are appropriate for each message. We here at Convrrt have found that there are two major writing styles that have helped with marketing content development.
In our experiences when developing marketing content for Convrrt, we found that the persuasive long-form page style and clear short-form page worked the best under most situations. We found these forms to be very different from each other, as they involve stylistic, voice, and different values in ethics for each.
Still confused? Don’t worry, in this post, we will go over each style, what works best for us, and help you understand which post may be most appropriate for your marketing needs.
So, how do you know which style to use for your killer offer?
The biggest difference between the two is also the simplest to understand:
Long-form sales pages sell hard, and short copy pages sell softly.
Long-form Landing Page:
Typically when you’re doing persuasive writing, it’s a long-form page, we found that these can be long, dry, and boring. However, in many use cases, long-form pages have been shown to convert the best.
This feels counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it will all make sense by the time we are done.
We found that the following are the product types for which long-form landing pages have been shown to produce the best results:
- Training products, like books, DVDs, video courses, and seminars
- Diet products, including health education materials
- Gym equipment
- Heavily discounted products
- Investments, including real estate
You may be asking, what do those products have in common? When we look closely, there are two important things that stand out:
- You could describe them as “miracle cures”
- You can buy them directly (online or over your business phone)
This tells us that long-form sales copy can be pretty great at selling miracle cures that are nearly frictionless to acquire.
After all, people don’t buy things. They buy outcomes.
The long copy style tells a story. It’s like the script for a demo you’d see the “Sham-wow” guy do during a commercial or infomercial. The only problem is that you probably won’t have a fast-talking guy with bright colors offering an amazing deal. You have to achieve the same goal using only words on a screen.
With a long copy, you have the space and freedom to address nearly every objection and anxiety a visitor will have about you, your company, and your product. You’ll be free to pinpoint various pain points and show explicitly how you can cure those pains. You’ll even be able to demonstrate your product in many cases. You may even rank higher organically if your copy is keyword-rich and interesting to read. We all know that the ever-looming SEO is a never-ending quest.
Most importantly, long-form lets you write content that serves both quick decision-makers, as well as people who require a large amount of research before they buy. In just a minute we will discuss how to appeal to each group effectively.
Characteristics of the long-form sales page generally include:
A narrative structure
Is your hook anecdotal? It very well may be the best way to hook a reader and maintain interest. Keeping people interested in your content will allow you to convey information they may be looking for. You should stack paragraphs like in a book to provide the reader with a comfortable reading experience. Naturally in a narrative structure, you can easily add large amounts of content to convey your point, or sell your product on the page
No global navigation
If people have navigation, they have somewhere else to go, they have other options to split their attention. Removing this will help keep their attention in one spot, and ultimately make sure they are receiving the message you would like them to.
An extremely simple header
This should be simple enough, we found that just going with a logo and a phone number is the best option here.
Minimal visual distractions
Make sure you have no unnecessary icons, or photos. These things should be reserved for testimonial-providers only.
Large, centered cross headings
The paragraphs should include large, easily seen cross headings, this allows for easily identified content.
Trust is a difficult thing to offer these days. Make sure you display your prices in a way where they can not be missed, along with deadlines, guarantees & payment option icons (e.g.,VISA, PayPal).
A single call to action
You should have only one call to action. Your call to action can be said more than once in the same or slightly modified language, but it should have the same end goal.
Detailed bullet lists
You should offer bullet lists that are introduced by obvious indicators, such as checkmarks or Xs.
Keep in mind, that long copy works best when you’re selling only one product and moving people directly from the call to action to the first page of the shopping cart.
Short-form Landing Pages
Now that we covered the longer, more difficult content style, let’s take a look at the shorter, more direct style.
If you’re looking to increase the number of leads overall, then using short-form landing pages is the key to achieving your goal.
Short-form pages feature less information, which means fewer distractions that deter a person from signing up.
When you make the signup form, remember to keep it short. Doing so makes it easier for a person to fill it out and become a lead.
Let’s face it, we all hate it when forms are extensive and time-consuming, in fact, it will cause people to not continue altogether. The major advantage of a short-form page is that it can help increase conversions if the content is enough to convince a person to perform an action. When the content is kept simple and short, it can result in an effective means of driving conversions.
Typically the goal of short-form landing pages is to entice visitors to download your premium content. Short-form pages are ideal when you are offering a free resource, like a case study, eBook, email newsletter, or other low-commitment action that won’t cost a visitor anything but some information to take action. Signing up for a free eBook is a low-risk action for a visitor to your website. Therefore the landing page doesn’t need to be as extensive as long as it captures helpful information about them for future use in your CRM.
Key Elements for Successful Short-Form Content
When developing your short-form content, there are a few key elements that we need to keep in mind. We’ve already done the “leg work” for you, below are the results of our experience. The following items are elements that are required to develop successful short-form content.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- The main headline
- A supporting headline
- A reinforcement statement
- A closing argument
The hero shot (images/video showing context of use)
The benefits of your offering
- A bullet point list summary of benefits
- Benefits and features in detail
- Social proof (I’ll have what she’s having)
- Trust indicators
A single conversion goal — your Call-To-Action (CTA) (with or without a form)
An easier to create landing pages at scale
After reading this blog, hopefully, the two major types of content development and when to use them effectively are a little clearer.