Have you noticed references to #persuasion around you? I have and decided on tallying up several of these resources to become more attuned to persuasive content marketing.
Consider this a reference of sorts. You'll find below a recap of highlights from these 7 persuasion resources. I encourage you to visit them directly as each includes examples and visuals worth experiencing.
How I got started on persuasive content marketing
What got me started is Nancy Harhut's wisdom in How To Create Persuasive Email Marketing With Nancy Harhut where she touched on:
- People are twice as motivated to avoid pain as to achieve gain.
- The Scarcity Principle, the Availability Bias, Social Proof or any of a number of other behavioral science principles can make a huge difference in how persuasive your message is. Will someone feel they’ll miss out if they don’t open the email? Will they feel the sender’s described a situation they can readily call to mind? Will they get the sense that people like them are interested in the message?
- Cognitive Fluency – the idea that people prefer things that are easier to think about and understand.
- People are hardwired to look at another person’s eyes. We’re drawn to them. We’re compelled to either make eye contact or to follow someone’s gaze.
- The “information gap theory” refers to if someone finds a gap between what they know and what they want to know, they’ll take action to close that gap.
- Ellen Langer conducted a study that revealed the word because is a compliance trigger. When people see or hear the word because, we often just assume that the phrase that comes next is a good, valid reason – without fully processing it. We automatically start to nod yes.
- Essentially, people are more likely to do what you ask them to if you give them a reason why – even if it’s not a rock solid one. This can be a useful bit of information for marketers in today’s competitive, parity-product world.
- People are hardwired to take the easy, simple route.
And.... How To Write A Persuasive Email which touches on:
- People respect authority.
- Humans are naturally curious.
- Gatekeepers make very deliberate assumptions.
- People look at who and where mail is from.
- Our eyes gravitate to certain words.
- No really can mean ‘tell me more.’
- Some responses are automatic.
- People are most interested in themselves.
- People make decisions for rational and emotional reasons.
- Avoidance of pain.
- People feel obligated.
- We do what people like us and people we like do.
Since speaking with Nancy, I've started reading Robert Cialdini's Influence: The Science of Persuasion. That will surely get your persuasion wheels spinning.
7 Persuasive Marketing Resources
Meanwhile, I came across these 7 resources that persuaded me to explore them in more depth.
1. The Five-Step Process for Writing Powerful Call-to-Actions By Reverse-Engineering Customer Mindsets recommends the following approach to better understand customers so you can craft better calls-to-action. The steps for uncovering compulsions in your key target audience and craft better calls-to-action from the get-go include:
- Craft a survey where can probe about biological compulsion, experimental and social compulsion, aspirational compulsion,
- Find your market
- Supplement your data via search result resources, census data
- Create your hypotheses about your market
- Call-to-action logic where you brainstorm words that relate to your results for A/B testing. "The best approach to find a CTA that works is to tap in to the fears and attributes you uncovered in your research."
2. Apply These 12 Secret Neuromarketing Tactics To Increase Conversion recommends the following:
"In short, neuromarketing is the technique of hacking into the minds of consumers to influence their purchasing decisions. The goal is to identify and capitalize on certain psychological quirks that have been shown to influence us. So, how exactly do you use neuromarketing to increase conversion?"
With these 12 tactics:
#1. Use the herd effect to increase conversion
#2. Give small gifts to compel reciprocation
#3. Find excellence by association
#4. Aim to draw on emotion
#5. Publish easy-to-understand content
#6. Ask people for help
#7. Offer fewer choices
#8. Create scarcity
#9. Choose images correctly
#10. Type with the right fonts
#11. Use the right colors
#12. Be confident
3. 8 Persuasion Techniques to Change Anyone’s Mind suggests the following approaches:
- Foot in the Door
- Door in the Face
- Commitment & Consistency
- Social Proof
4. 6 Principles of Persuasion to Up Your Marketing Game highlights these principles and includes a powerful infographic:
- The Rule of Reciprocity
- The Rule of Commitment and the Strive for Consistency
- The Rule of Social Proof (Monkey See, Monkey Do)
- The Rule of Authority (all the bells and whistles)
- The Rule of Liking (flattery and praise)
- The Rule of Scarcity (we want what we can't have)
- Bonus: don't underestimate the power of transparency
5. I like this version, too, How to Use Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion to Boost Conversions.
6. How to Use Psychology in UX to Entice Leads & Increase Sales focuses on the user experience with:
- Adding in Social Proof
- Framing and Contrast
7. 15 Psychological Triggers to Convert Leads into Customers explores these triggers, providing actionable takeaways for each one:
1. The Driving Forces of All Human Behavior
"All human behavior, at its root, is driven by the need to avoid pain and the desire to gain pleasure. Even when we do something that appears to be painful, we do it because we associate pleasure with the action..."
"We as human beings love novelty... Novelty makes our brains feel like there is a possibility for reward waiting for us just around the corner. That potential for pleasure motivates us to seek it out."
(Think shiny object syndrome...)
3. Explain Why
(This goes hand-in-hand with Nancy Harhut's comment about 'because' being a compliance trigger.)
4. Tell a Story
"Human beings have been telling stories for thousands of years. It is how messages have been passed on from generation to generation...Telling stories activates parts of the brain associated with sight, sound, taste, and movement."
5. Simplify Your Solution
"In his bestselling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, says “A general ‘law of least effort’ applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.”"
6. Create a Common Enemy
"Create a common enemy and ally with your prospects against it in order to get them fired up to invest in your products and services."
(See Ron Ploof interview in #4.)
7. Inspire Curiosity
"George Loewenstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, discovered that when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know, we will take action to fill that gap. It is referred to as the Information Gap Theory."
8. Build Anticipation
9. Use Social Proof
10. Create References
"Dan Ariely, the bestselling author of Predictably Irrational states that “humans rarely choose things in absolute terms. We don’t have an internal value meter that tells us how much things are worth. Rather, we focus on the relative advantage of one thing over another, and estimate value accordingly.”"
11. Make Your Potential Customers Feel Significant
12. Build a Community
"Build your community by creating a compelling why that drives your business forward and enrolls people into your vision for the world. Do this and your tribe will promote your business without you even having to ask for it.""
13. What Is Hot Off the Press?
"We react to what is most prevalent in our minds."
14. Implement Scarcity
(A corollary to this is Avoiding 'Paradox of Choice' When Connecting With Customers.)
15. Build Controversy
"In his research, Jonah Berger, the ... bestselling author of Contagious, found that too much controversy turns people away, but small amounts draw people in... Mild controversy in your marketing engages your audience. It not only inspires curiosity, but it triggers anger as well."
What's next? Create your own persuasive content marketing with these techniques!
Ready to apply persuasion to your marketing? Here's some advice from CopyBlogger: 58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content Your Audience Will Love.