James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, passed away on Christmas Day in 2006. His last words? “I’m going away tonight.”
Talk about last words.
Content marketing writers tend to spend a large portion of their time crafting the perfect headline, introduction and body. And why not? That’s most likely going to be about 90% of your article.
However, conclusions are just as important. They have a direct impact on how your reader feels after consuming your content. It’s the last thing they read before deciding whether to go back to Google or keep searching your site for more content.
Unfortunately, a closing paragraph is often written with much less thought than the rest of the piece.
Before writing your next conclusion, read through your piece. Then step into your readers’ shoes and ask “What’s in it for me?” If you don’t know the purpose of your content or what you want readers to get out of it, then you’ll have a hard time writing an effective conclusion. Once you’re able to answer the “so what” question, consider these four ways to write a better conclusion and find the best way to make an impact.
1. Ask a question
Ending your blog post or other content with a question encourages readers to think – and want to read more.
Ask readers to consider their own opinions and thoughts about a subject and encourage them to share in the comments. Or encourage readers to think about the article in a way that relates to them. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on why it’s important to wear sunscreen, you could end the blog post by asking users to consider their own sunscreen routine and whether it matches up with the advice you’ve just provided. Or ask your reader if there’s a particular brand or SPF they like.
2. Get personal
This could be the easiest way to write a better conclusion. Appealing to your readers’ emotions is often the best strategy for helping them understand your perspective. You may even change the way readers feel about a given issue. To inspire your readers in a powerful way, conclude your blog post with a personal experience to help personalize you, your brand and your content.
3. Sum it up
Your blog post contains a lot of essential information that you want the readers to remember, but it’s the middle section of any article that people tend to forget. Determine the main takeaways of your article and summarize those points at the end of the post. This is also an effective conclusion style if readers are only skimming your article.
Make sure to only sum up points you’ve already made. The conclusion isn’t the place to bring up new points or introduce new ideas.
4. Include a clear CTA
No matter what your article is about, leave your audience with a strong call-to-action. Your CTA can be as simple as telling readers to visit your website for more information or read a related piece of content. But it can also be the perfect place to motivate audience to register for a webinar or sign a petition.
Although it may be only one to three sentences, your closing paragraph can have a huge impact on readers and what they take away from your content. So make it a good one.
Looking for more writing tips? Subscribe to the Brandpoint Blog for weekly tips and trends to improve your content marketing.
This post was originally published in August, 2014 and has been updated for relevancy and comprehensiveness.