Creating great content is artistic. It requires you to have a solid understanding of language, persuasion, creativity and the ability to craft an interesting story. As marketers we are always in the search of finding new and unique ways to pull our audience in and keep them engaged. This is no easy task. People’s expectations and demands for high quality content is changing almost on a daily basis.
As a result, if you want to be on the top of your game and retain the attention of your audience through your content and message it’s important that you are familiar with the four different writing styles. Each writing style serves its own unique purpose, so it’s important to know what kind of writing style you should use for your intended purpose.
It’s no question that different writers have their own way of using language to make their content interesting and engaging. But when it boils down to it, there are only four types of writing styles that currently exist: descriptive, narrative, persuasive and expository.
Descriptive content writing includes juicy details that reel in your audience. Descriptive content writing carefully describes people, places, events, products, struggles, trials and tribulations, lessons learned and so much more. It is meant to help the audience visualize an emotion or an experience through carefully molded writing and choice of words. In content marketing this can include:
In content marketing you should be just descriptive enough to hold the curiosity of your audience member, but never truly reveal what they want. You should focus on making them want to continue reading and clicking.
You should be using descriptive writing when you want to paint a picture for your audience and keep them fully engaged and wanting more. It usually helps if you write a story that leads up to a product pitch. Common language that should be used in descriptive writing includes:
It’s especially powerful when you are listing out the value added benefits of a product or service and when you want to help someone envision themselves using your product or service.
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The narrative style of writing aims to tell a story. It will typically include some sort of plot with a few main characters and creative dialogue. There is a clearly identifiable storyline and it’s meant to invoke curiosity and pull on the emotional strings of the audience who may have a problem they need help with.
There’s some sort of conflict and a proposed resolution (product or service pitch). This can most often be seen with car insurance commercials. See our example below.
Narrative writing is good to use for content marketers who want to talk about people, places and things and is oftentimes combined with descriptive writing. It’s very effective when used to create testimonials by customers and experience.
Persuasive writing is probably one of the more difficult forms of writing and requires great skill. It’s an attempt to make the audience see the other person’s point of view. Stories in persuasive writing have the ability to convert clients. There are numerous arguments, reasons and justifications about why someone should consider a product or service.
It’s an attempt to get the reader to believe what the writer is putting out. When it comes to content marketing this can often be seen in pieces such writing such as:
Persuasive style of writing should be used when you are trying to push for a sale or conversion. It should be the cherry on top that helps to get you a conversion. Your strongest sales points should be made and you should also have your objection handling specced out.
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If you want someone to purchase your digital product or service, your sales and ad copy needs to be extremely persuasive, informative and full of value for someone to want to buy.
This style of content writing is probably amongst the most common when it comes to content marketing. Expository style of writing seeks to deliver factual information to readers, explains ideas and concepts and tries to educate the audience about a product, service or a set of procedures. Expository style of writing typically includes:
Expository pieces are most commonly seen in news articles and typically don’t include opinions or biases. There tends to be a structured order in expository style of writing and it seeks to deliver valuable information to your audience.
Expository style of writing should be used when you are trying to inform or educate your audience about a specific topic, new product or service, deals or sales and also when you want to build yourself as an authority figure in your niche.
As a content marketer it’s important to know at what stage to use what kind of style of writing. When you first gain the attention of a reader or you get an initial subscriber to your business you should start off by educating them.
As you begin to build a relationship with your audience you can slowly start to trickle different styles of writing that are intended to get them to perform a specific action. Again, this should be done slowly so you build the initial trust of your audience.