HOW TO USE PERSUASION TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS
START WITH THE FIVE P'S.
You all know the five P acronym; Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. It's true that marketing correctly all begins with preparation; knowing exactly what you're marketing and how you are going to market it.
Before you begin to promote your product or business, you need to understand three main things:
Know your target market
Know your competitors
Determine your marketing strategy
KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET - AND YOUR COMPETITORS
Why do people respond better to a post from a relatively unknown source than a known one?
Why do people react more to a certain post?
Why can people overlook a well written piece and respond well to one with no thought put into it?
These are questions that marketers struggle to answer but they are important to consider when writing your posts.
In the advertising world, your audience is referred to as your Target Market. What you need to completely understand about your target market is, well, everything! You need to know what age group they are in (ie. 20's through to 30's), whether you're advertising to men, women or both, what location you're advertising to (Worldwide if you have an online store) and why you believe they would be interested in your product (ie.Through music interests).
Researching your competitors is a great way to understand how they are marketing and what works. It's important to really dig deep in your researching about your competitors. You want to know their weaknesses and their strengths. The more you know, the more you can improve on your business.
There are two types of competitors; Direct and Indirect. Direct competitors are ones that offer exactly the same service as you and Indirect competitors offer similar services. Even though they are a competitor, you need to ensure that you are not going to be too similar to them. You need to have your own niche so people don't just choose- they have to go with you because you offer different or more things.
Once you know your competitors and your target audience, you can begin setting up your advertising strategy.
DETERMINE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
First off, what is your overall goal? If you're promoting your business to get more followers, you're promoting a product to get more sales, or you have a club and you want more members, either way, you need to be organised.
Pretend you are a writer. Turning on your computer with a blank mind and hoping to write a book just doesn't happen. You need to sit down, determine your goal, define your topic, create an outline (characters, setting, time period) and set yourself up with a structured writing plan (ie. once a day for an hour). You need to know step by step what your plan is and how you'll reach your goal.
WHAT IS PERSUASION?
The long term success of every organisation worldwide relies of successfully persuading their audience to stay with them. To use persuasion, you need to understand it. Think about when you were younger and you were trying to persuade your parents to let you go to a party. You would think about different scenarios and how you would word your 'speech' to let them agree to you going. In this situation, persuasion is used as an attempt to influence your parents to agree to you going to the party by you convincing them that they want it.
People don't like to be told what to do. They want to feel as though everything is their own idea. This is something to not be afraid of, but to use to your advantage. Persuasion is the ability to alter not only attitude but also action. This is used everyday by so many businesses. Don't tell me that you haven't been fooled by an advertisement on the radio for a business and just happened to stop in on the way through- even if it was ten minutes in the other direction.
This is what you want to use!
SO... HOW DO YOU USE PERSUASION?
Now we get into the interesting part. Since you understand what persuasion is, you need to figure out how to use it to your benefit- and how to use it correctly.
I enjoy acronyms so here is another one for you; AIDA Principles. The AIDA Principles are used everyday by marketers as a simple reminder of who and what your marketing should be directed to.
A - Attention Grab your audience's attention
I - Interest Make them interested/curious in your business/product
D - Desire Get them to think they want it
A - Action Which will ultimately make them act on their desire
The best ways to use persuasion starts with being curious. Research, ask open ended questions (ie. Tell me how...), and listen. Always give that person your full attention. Don't think about what you're going to ask them next while they are answering your last one, really listen to everything they're saying and build on that. Once you understand a person's position, you'll have more of a chance to persuade them.
Be honest and confident. The business world is a fickle one and people believe that to get somewhere, you need to lie a little here and there- but that's not the case. Your credibility and power of persuasion rests largely on your ability to be honest in all situations, therefore the more honest you are, the better relationship you'll have with your audience. Remain confident when speaking about your business to your audience, showing how much you believe in it and canceling out any doubt.
You must emphasis the target audience's importance by developing your advertisement from the reader's perspective rather than your own. You should focus on what their intentions are, what you want them to perceive,
This is an interesting point that I came across when researching for this article... Be mindful of your use of connotations. If you are reading something and you relate the words "Used" and "terminal" to bad experiences, then chances are, other people would too. Businesses have caught on to this and is the reason why "Used" car places now offer "Pre-owned" and airports say "Gates" rather than "Terminals". Marketers understand the importance of reducing the negative connotations and replacing them with positive or non-effective language.
When we begin talking about consumers attitudes, a large amount of phychology can be involved. Influencing attitudes is at the heart of content marketing and persuasive writing but by all means, is not a simple thing to do. If you are interested in the workings of persuasion and attitudes, I implore you to do some research as there is some incredible readings online about this whole process. The best way to make it work for you is by understanding the basic fundamentals of people's attitudes, you can develop your content towards your audience's perspective and shift it to the ideas you want them to have.
Attitudes are shaped by emotion (feeling), cognition (thinking) and behaviour (actions).
OVER TO YOU...
Now that we have discussed the importance of using persuasive writing in your promotional material, you can begin researching and planning. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid is the last acronym I'll leave you with as I want to remind you all that even though this is a large amount of information to take in, sitting down, writing out your goal, doing the research and making a plan is the best way to successfully market your business.