We tell ourselves stories …

This caught my eye in Andrew Marr’s column from today’s Sunday Times: “[Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky] believed humans don’t listen to hard evidence and statistics clearly because we tell ourselves stories. That’s how we make sense of an uncertain world. But the very vividness of stories can persuade us that we understand things we don’t.”

Devilishly persuasive #writing

The wicked ways of copywriters, according to ABC Copywriting’s Tom Albrighton. This was originally written for Halloween but, being a tad late, I’m re-purposing it for Black Friday and Christmas. Among his highlights: Psychologist Bertram Forer gave a group of students what they thought was a personal profile, but was in fact a list of […]

The cost of dumbing down – @thisissethsblog #contentmarketing

Seth Godin on the hidden cost of chasing that last 2% of understanding. “When you find yourself overwriting, embracing redundancy and overwhelming people with fine print, you’re probably protecting yourself against the 2%, at the expense of everyone else.” Read the full post, here.

Thoughts on Ad-blockers

Ad-blocking software has been big news over the last couple of weeks.  This week, even The Times devoted a leader to it (Ad Armageddon, firewalled, though it should be accessible via my Tweet). That increasing numbers of people now choose to avoid intrusive, irrelevant and increasingly annoying ads is no surprise.  I research a wide […]

The neuroscience of story #writing

Here’s an interesting piece on the neuroscience of storytelling, from Melcrum. The difference between story and dry facts lies essentially in the different associations that story creates, activating different parts of the brain. Worth a read.

Certainty is a tool of persuasion – @HarvardBiz #writing

It is not stated beliefs that drive action, but the certainty with which those beliefs are held. In September’s Harvard Business Review, Zakary Tormala and Derek Rucker outline the finding of their research and suggest how these can be applied. They find four levers that can be used to improve certainty: consensus repetition ease defence […]

Create compelling customer case studies

Marketing case studies, done well, can be persuasive pieces of marketing content. They are, effectively, just brief stories.  Readers, especially prospective customers at the top-of-funnel to middle-of-funnel stages read about a situation similar to theirs’ and they relate to it.  They can imagine what the product in question could do to help them address their […]

Put rhythm in your writing

Tom Albrighton explores the importance of rhythm in writing. Having suffered at the red pen of an editor who managed to combine high pedantry with a tin ear, I felt I should share. Also, inspired by Animal in Tom’s post, it gave me an excuse to post some Cozy Powell.        

Discontent marketing: Publish and be damned (from @Bezmeleon) #contentmarketing

I’ve just come across this great post from Chameleon’s Tom Berry (@Bezmeleon): Publish and be Damned. Next time you create a piece of content, I implore you, just do a quick check. Ask yourself: “am I creating this content simply to tick a box, or am I really saying something that my reader will care […]

Like vs. Respect #socialmedia #contentmarketing

An important reminder from Nicholas Bate: “There is like: for friendships. And there is respect: for business.” The rest, here.

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