All digital marketing bloggers want to believe their efforts will compel their readers to take action. The written word gets us to do things all of the time. Think about the last thing you bought online. Chances are you read up on it first, then reacted.
Unfortunately, too many blog posts are simply written for the sake of adding content. Consistently adding content to your website is critical to its success and the success of your business. But if you’re adding blogs and your heart isn’t in it, how can you expect your readers to engage?
So, let’s talk about how you can use your digital marketing blog to get your visitors to take the next step and buy your products.
If you want your blog writing to get your readers to do something, give them a reason to do so. Look at it from their perspective. Every person wants to know “What’s in it for ME?” or WIFM. From the readers’ point of view, should they bother with your message?
The first time I heard the term WIFM was years ago at a writing seminar in Chicago. Writing expert Ann Wiley taught the class. What’s ironic is that a lot of the things she talked about that day still hold true today. If you can't show your readers how they will benefit from your digital marketing blog, you will never actually get them to convert.
Simply providing benefits to your readers (or visitors) does not ensure that they will take action. Think about what it's like every time you try to stay on a diet. You know you will benefit, but that by itself usually doesn’t mean you’ll stick to it. But understanding the principles of influence can help.
The good news is that “The Godfather of Influence” Dr. Robert B. Cialdini went ahead and did all of the work for you. What’s even better is that he broke down what he found in a book he wrote back in 1984 called “Influence: How And Why People Agree To Do Things.”
The classic book on persuasion explains the psychology of why people say "Yes". Your goal is to understand the principles better so you can apply them to your writing. Cialdini revises the writing with new information every so often. In fact, a new edition came out in 2021.
But the core of the principles he outlined back in the early 80’s remain the same. He says the six principles of influence are:
We’re compelled to return favors and treat others as they treat us. That’s because we're uncomfortable with feeling indebted to them. Just like when a friend gives you a gift for your birthday. You typically feel compelled to reciprocate.
Once a person commits to a course of action, they are more inclined to follow it through to a conclusion. Your blog can capitalize on this by getting your readers (potential buyers) to agree to small, intermediate steps along the way to a purchase.
We’re already overwhelmed with information and don't have time to research every buying decision. That is why referrals work so well. We trust our friends. This principle relies on your sense of "safety in numbers."
People are more likely to be influenced by someone they like and can relate with. This is why so many salespeople compliment us on matters totally unrelated to what they are selling. We like people who compliment us.
We’re programmed to respect and listen to people who have a position of authority. We have learned from an early age to respect the opinions of experts in the field.
When something is rare, it’s more desirable. We’re even willing to pay more for it. Home Shopping Network builds its entire business model on FOMO. It always has a limited number of items and a limited time you can purchase them. Buy it now, or go without.
Cialdini discovered that everyone, regardless of their gender or origin, will take action when they encounter these six principles.
Blogging is an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy. It goes beyond data-driven insights or keywords that drive search engine traffic. It also takes more than just writing about breaking news, industry trends, or industry news.
To write a good digital marketing blog you must engage with your audience and provide them with benefits. So, the next time you’re putting a digital strategy together and blogging comes up, remember to build your blogging strategy foundation on the principles of influence and WIFM every time.