Content marketing is an incredibly lucrative digital marketing tactic, but it requires forethought and planning in order to be successful. From content promotion tactics to the best way to structure your content, there are numerous avenues you can take to ensure success. 

In this post, we’ll be looking at the inverted pyramid and how you can use it in your content to improve sales, time on page, reputation, and overall content marketing performance. 

Benefits of Inverting the Pyramid 

A lot of blogs tend to bury the lede and keep going on and on about a certain topic without actually getting to the point. While there may be value buried in these articles, their readers get bored and bounce back to the search results page and go somewhere else. 

This is not only horrible user experience, but it’s also bad for your SEO and overall website performance. You never want to be losing readers over your own verboseness and inability to get to the point. 

The inverted pyramid model can help you provide value as soon as humanly possible, ensuring your readers stick with you.

This laying your cards on the table upfront method may seem counterintuitive, as you want to keep readers on your page for longer. However, the truth is that they’re more likely to stay if you provide what they want sooner rather than later. 

The Inverted Pyramid in Journalism 

Journalists heavily rely on the inverted pyramid content structure. Their premise is that readers don’t have an infinite amount of time to read the news. If they don’t capture their attention right away, chances are they will lose them.

The inverted pyramid looks like this:

inverted pyramid content writingSource:

As you can see, the lede is placed just below the initial heading, allowing the reader to grasp all the main facts and key takeaways of a story within minutes of reading. If they’re interested in finding out more, they are free to keep reading.

As journalism (or at least good journalism, as opposed to the clickbait variety) is the best kind of writing, content writers can apply the same principles in their own articles, thereby capturing attention and hooking their readers with the opening of their articles. 

How to Apply the Inverted Pyramid in Content Writing 

To adopt this structure in your own writing, you first need to identify your content’s target audience and the key piece of information they’re looking for.

For example, if you’re writing for an audience that is not particularly familiar with a topic, you may want to start with a couple of simple definitions and general facts. Introduce them to the information that will help them better grasp what you will be talking about later. 

If you’re writing for a more experienced audience, skip the general introduction, and start by making your key statement. The rest of the article should serve to explain it in more detail and to provide actionable advice the reader can further implement on their own. 

Bear in mind that not all articles can be subjected to this structure. Something along the lines of “X dog breeds that can live in small apartments” doesn’t need an inverted pyramid. An article on the best way to do cold outreach, on the other hand, does. 

Common Mistakes Made With the Inverted Pyramid Structure 

There are some common mistakes that you can still make when adopting this model. 

For starters, you may sound too vague and still manage to bury the lede with corporate speak. You can use language that is too complex and unfamiliar to your target audience.

You can also choose to lead with the wrong information and lose your audience that way. You might offer answers they haven’t been looking for, or worse yet, you might offer untruths.

Don’t make assumptions about your audience and their biases, either. State all of your information clearly and in a non-biased way. Be objective and speak to them in both the language of your brand and the language they respond well to. 

Some Examples

To illustrate the above points, let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

First, here’s an Ahrefs post about local citations that opens very well. It gives a brief overview of what citations are, how they can be built and where, and then it moves on to various points. Each heading also adheres to the same structure. You’ll find the key information up top, and then you can read further below.

local citations guidesource:

Another good example is Eachnight’s guide on the best mattresses. They summarize the key information with bullet points in a nice-looking pink box at the top the page. The reader never has to read any further but knows that other data is there if they want to learn more. 

best mattressessource:

To Sum It Up 

The inverted pyramid can be a great way to structure your informative and value-driven blog posts. Make sure you construct it carefully by clearly identifying the most important information you have to offer, as well as the further headings you want to use as signposts for your readers.