The Key Requirement of Content Marketing

The Key Requirement of Content Marketing

Content marketing is supposed to entice loyal customers to your business. The articles your business publishes should be read top to bottom. In this article, I’ll explain why. Principles of Persuasion Dr. Robert Cialdini is a psychology and marketing professor and the author of the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Cialdini suggested that influence is based on six principles: authority, likeability, reciprocity, consistency, consensus, and scarcity. Content marketing can position your business as an expert in a particular field (authority). If your content also reinforces a reader’s ideas or beliefs (consistency) or discusses popular positions (consensus), it is possible to use all six principles. Over time, content marketing helps your business build a relationship with your audience so that when you do recommend a product or a service, folks buy it. Content marketing, however, only works when it engages. Joshua Hardwick of Ahrefs wrote that “dwell time is a confusing and misunderstood metric,” adding that Google has not officially said that dwell time — “the amount of time that passes between the moment a user clicks a search result and subsequently returns to the search result page” — is a ranking factor. Kenrick had some reservations about how marketers use the principles of persuasion.

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Content marketing is supposed to entice loyal customers to your business. It is supposed to be useful, informative, and entertaining. It should hit key principles of persuasion. But how can content do any of these things if no one reads it, watches it, or listens to it?

The articles your business publishes should be read top to bottom. If your company makes a video, you want folks to watch it twice. Your podcasts should be anticipated and appreciated from the opening to the outro.

Thus the key requirement of content marketing is to be engaging. Without engagement, content cannot fulfill its potential as a marketing tool. In this article, I’ll explain why.

I am not going to suggest writing techniques or patterns. I am not going to explain how to compose better sub-headers or describe how Malcolm Gladwell, a superb writer, can make an article about ketchup interesting enough to get published in The New Yorker magazine. I am, instead, going to encourage you to write better copy, make better videos, and produce better podcasts.

Content marketing should provide value to your audience. When it does, it will be engaging. <em&gtPhoto: Glenn Carstens-Peters.</em>
Content marketing should provide value to your audience. When it does, it will be engaging.

Photo: Glenn Carstens-Peters.

Principles of Persuasion

Dr. Robert Cialdini is a psychology and marketing professor and the author of the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Cialdini suggested that influence is based on six principles: authority, likeability, reciprocity, consistency, consensus, and scarcity.

“In brief, we are inclined to go along with someone’s suggestion if we think that person is a credible expert (authority), if we regard him or her as a trusted friend (likeability), if we feel we owe them one (reciprocity), or if doing so will be consistent with our beliefs or prior commitments (consistency). We are also inclined to make choices that we think are popular (consensus), and that will net us a scarce commodity (scarcity),” wrote Dr. Douglas T. Kenrick in a 2012 Psychology Today article about persuasion and Cialdini.

Content marketing can position your business as an expert in a particular field (authority). It can endear you to your audience (likeability). When your company offers free and valuable content (scarcity), your audience of potential customers may feel obligated to your business (reciprocity).

In this way, content marketing employs at least four of Cialdini’s key principles of persuasion. If your content also reinforces a reader’s ideas or beliefs (consistency) or discusses popular positions (consensus), it is possible to use all six principles.

Over time, content marketing helps your business build a relationship with your audience so that when you do recommend a product or a service, folks buy it.

Content marketing,…

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