What is the end goal for every marketer? Sure, we want to generate brand awareness, customer loyalty, and engagement, but, ultimately, the whole point of any marketing effort is to persuade people to buy from you. Do you truly understand the power of persuasion?
In a heavily promotion-saturated world, you may think this task is impossible. Good ads activate an action through persuasion. Persuasion works in any area of life – from getting your spouse to do something to convincing potential customers to pull out their wallet. In 1984, Dr. Robert Cialdini, a researcher, psychologist, and professor conceived the six key elements of persuasion, published in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
We know you probably don’t have time to read the whole book. So we’ve broken down each of the six elements of persuasion and how you can apply them to your own campaigns.
If given something for free, people feel obligated to return the favor. Humans are bound to repaying a debt. Think about it: If someone does something for you, you feel obligated to repay them, right?
How to apply it: Have a low-cost item or service you could giveaway to potential customers? Entice them with a free product or service giveaway and promote it on social channels, email newsletters, social posts, and ads. It will give them the warm and fuzzies, drive them to your website, and may even prompt them to add items to their shopping cart.
Going, going, gone! Scarcity refers to a person’s attraction to things in limited amounts. If there are only a few of something, a person thinks to themselves, “I might not be able to get this thing I want down the road,” and they are more apt to buy immediately.
How to apply it: Use time-based language in your copy, like: “Get X While It’s Still Available” or “Limited-Time Offer on X – Available Until X.”
When uncertain about making a decision, people look to authoritative figures for information to guide their decisions. Any person or brand with specialized knowledge, credentials, or even an air of confidence can be viewed as an authority on a given subject matter.
How to apply it: Incorporate reviews and testimonials in your marketing copy from legitimate, recognized people of power in your industry. Credentials, awards, or major milestones work too!
If you’re confused about what action to take, it’s likely that you’ll look to others. Otherwise known as the “bandwagon effect,” the consensus principle is about going along with the gang.
How to apply it: Try influencer marketing as an added tactic in your marketing mix. It’s one thing to toot your own brand’s horn, but even more effective for someone else to do it for you.
People are creatures of habit. They are consistent with their commitments, attitudes, beliefs, and actions. With this principle, once someone makes a decision or action, they strive to have their future behavior match their past behavior. This is an adaptive behavior that can actually be useful to brands.
How to apply it: Involve customers! Gamify ads or apps, get customer input, or create an interactive experience of some kind. Taking these actions will warm them up as a sales lead.
Keep a consistent look and feel of your brand channels by using the same imagery, color scheme, logo treatment, and even copy tone. For example, you want your ads across social and the web to mimic your website and vice versa.
Why do you think salespeople wine and dine potential customers before making a sale? They’re building rapport with the client – essentially getting them to like them, so they are more apt to say “yes.” With the “liking” principle, people are likely to engage with brands they love and that they feel they have things in common with.
How to apply it: In your ad copy, use an approachable, honest, and encouraging tone. Avoid jargon and complicated verbiage. Write from the perspective of a mentor versus dictator.
Luckily, applying the elements of persuasion is not rocket science and is a useful monetization strategy for any business. After you understand each one of the concepts, put them to practice and see the effects. Have you tried using any of the above elements of persuasion in your marketing efforts and had great success? If so, comment below!
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