Using the power of persuasion in your content marketing strategy

When it comes to content marketing, persuasion is power. Using the power of persuasion in your content marketing can lead a customer from the awareness stage all the way through to the decision stage. Let’s explore this in more detail…

What is the power of persuasion?

In simple terms, persuasion is the art of how people or businesses get what they want. In marketing, persuasion is how businesses can use their marketing efforts to influence people to believe or behave how they want.

Given that people are exposed to so many different messages each day, persuasion can help you break through the noise. However, you can’t simply tell people what to do… Persuasion needs to be much more subtle than that.

How does persuasion in content marketing work?

Persuasion and content marketing work together by using psychological tactics to develop messages and content that encourages a customer to purchase or act. Many different elements are involved in making your content marketing more persuasive.

Ideally, through developing persuasive content marketing, you should be evoking a feeling in your customers that your product, service or offering will satisfy their needs. People who really master the art of persuasion can lead people to act without feeling like they are being sold something.

Psychology allows marketers to better understand customers’ behaviours and habits. This enables marketers to use persuasion to influence customers and their decision-making. Developing content marketing that focuses on how customers think or behave is likely to be much more effective.

Using persuasion in content marketing

There are many different methods you can use to make your content marketing more persuasive.

Understand your customer’s problems

One of the first things you should do when marketing to your potential customers is to understand their problems and pain points. Knowing where your customers stand will help you form a solid basis for your persuasive message.

Without knowing and understanding the problems or pain points of your customers, how can you expect to persuade them?

To better understand your customer’s problems, you should be developing your buyer personas. This will provide you with a wealth of information that can make your content more appealing as well as focusing on relevant pain points.

Ask a question

Specifically, a rhetorical question. Using rhetorical questions is one of the first persuasive techniques you should use in content marketing. Why? Because it speaks to the reader directly and gets them thinking.

Using a rhetorical question is a great way to hook in people who have an interest. These questions don’t require an answer, but it sure makes a point. Usually, rhetorical questions will have a simple or obvious answer too. Instead, it is used to emphasise a point. For example:

  • Do you want to increase sales?
  • Want to save your business time and money?
  • Do you really want to miss this amazing opportunity?

Give the people what they want

This may seem obvious in terms of marketing, but persuasive content marketing is about giving people what they want. If your customers are looking for a particular solution to a problem, you need to give it to them.

Promising something and then failing to deliver on it doesn’t make for great persuasive techniques (let alone poor marketing). Misleading blog titles or content offers that don’t live up to expectations are examples of what not to do when trying to create a persuasive message.

Use evidence and statistics

Nothing beats cold hard facts when it comes to persuasion. The same goes for using the power of persuasion in content marketing. You should be making use of evidence and statistics to support your message.

Quite simply, it is difficult for someone to argue facts. No good argument or message relies solely on persuasion. The evidence and statistics add a solid basis to your reasoning. Without it, people will find flaws in your argument.

Regardless of the type of content you are creating, whether it’s a blog post, infographic, or video, statistics provide credibility to your story. People also trust numbers too, being much easier to comprehend than text. Just make sure the statistics fit with your message.

Emotional appeal

Without emotion, you cannot have persuasion (or at least so Aristotle says). Emotional appeals are used to evoke a particular emotion or feeling from your customers. This helps people to form a strong connection with your content and brand.

Using emotional appeals in your content marketing is much more persuasive than information appeals (using information to educate). The right emotional appeal can build trust, make your content much more relatable, and create a strong impact.

Sinek’s Golden Circle is a method you can use to develop content marketing with an emotional appeal. Using the golden circle to develop content, you should start with why – why are you doing what you’re doing? identifying the beliefs, purpose, or cause can provide you with unique ways to connect.

From there, you focus on how you will achieve your ‘why’ before finishing off with ‘what’. What are you offering or providing? Using the golden circle also helps you to develop a narrative in your content marketing that can make your content much more persuasive too.

Credible sources

How many times have seen a piece of marketing that uses expert opinion? Well, there’s a reason for that. It’s a method that can help make your content marketing more persuasive. Expert opinion is using experts in a particular field who are both familiar and trusted by your customers.

Similar to celebrity endorsement, expert opinion uses people who are knowledgeable and well-versed in a particular topic or field. Where relevant, adding expert opinions (or subject matter experts) can help to increase persuasiveness.

You can use expert opinion anywhere, from a blog post to your landing pages. However, it is much more effective when used towards the end of the buyer’s journey for converting leads and influencing action.

Social proof is a similar tactic whereby people will copy the actions of others. Following the bandwagon idea, social proof is where people will take clues from others in an unusual or new situation. Adding reviews, testimonials, or existing customers and clients are all social proof methods that make your content marketing more persuasive.

Make use of persuasive tools

The last technique we’ll cover is the range of persuasive tools you can include in your content:

  • Repetition – using repetition in your content marketing is a persuasive tool. Repeating certain words, such as ‘free’ makes your message stick in people’s minds.
  • Rewards – providing incentives to customers for completing a specific goal or action. The rewards are usually stated before to entice customers.
  • Slogans – the use of a compelling message that seeks to persuade customers to act or purchase. Compelling slogans focus on the benefits to your customers.
  • Shock – using images or details that seek to shock or surprise your customers. Using shock tactics helps to grab people’s attention.
  • Humour – using humorous imagery, messages, or slogans that seek to make the reader Using humour can also help create positive associations with your brand.
  • Sex – one of the most overused persuasive tools in marketing, this method uses sexually appealing content to create shock value that grabs people’s attention.

Persuasion is an art and something you may take time to perfect. However, once you start to harness the power, you can use your content marketing to encourage customers to act or purchase. Now you can say, I’ve got the power!

Important! Always remember to keep your content marketing in line with your brand and values though. Don’t deviate to make your content more persuasive. Unfamiliarity can have an adverse effect.