These days, the focus of content marketing is too much on SEO and not enough on emotion. Showing up on the first results page is the best way to drive more traffic to your website, but people aren’t going to keep going back to a website if its only goal was to be more visible to people. All of the content you put out must be written in an interesting way to keep customers around, and not all of it has to contain cold, hard facts. Companies who play into the emotions of their target audience generate more revenue long term. We’re here to show you the six main ways in which you can persuade your customers, courtesy of Dr. Robert Cialdini.
Reciprocity is the first and most simple of the persuasive elements. It describes how people who have been given something at random and at no cost to them feel the need to return the favor. We feel this way because the social exchange is a norm in our society. Apply reciprocity to your writing by including useful pointers without requesting anything in return. In your customers’ minds, you become a great resource they should give back to. Customers will loyally return to your online shop or ecommerce website because of this.
Commitment and consistency explain how people hold even more tightly to their opinions when someone challenges them in an attempt to seem reliable in their views. This can be used in content marketing and general marketing by slowly increasing the amount of information or dedication you ask your customers for. By starting with one personal detail and going up from there, your customers will stick with you, wanting to prove they’re committed.
You’ve probably heard of social proof before. People make choices and demonstrate behaviors based on the choices and behaviors of the people around them. Trigger a social proof response in your audience members by showing a number of positive reviews, promotions, and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Likability doesn’t need much explanation, either. People will more often take advice from people they like than people they don’t, and this liking can stem from charisma, humor, similarity, visual appeal, and more. Use non-physical likability factors in your writing when appropriate to charm your way into the hearts of your audience members.
We all learned early on that people want what they can’t have, and that’s exactly what scarcity describes. Rare but desirable items attract more customers, meaning businesses that provide quality products and services can easily take advantage of it. Limited time offers and sweepstakes are two ways you can use scarcity to appeal to your readers and make more conversions.
Last on our list is the authority, the fact that people side with experts on the topics they’re interested in. It’s natural to want to collect information from someone who has thoroughly studied the subject you want to learn about. Make yourself an authority figure by passing on your knowledge and showing your past success.
Keep these six persuasive elements in mind the next time you go to create content - they work magic when used properly.