Communicating persuasively may be a tricky art to perfect, but when it’s done properly, the payoff can be huge, which is why marketing campaigns continue to siphon off huge amounts of corporate money every year. If you want your message to reach and influence your target audience there is one golden rule you must follow: tailor your communication style to the medium you’re using. For instance, if you’re launching an email campaign, research shows that we’re more likely to forward an email that makes us feel good, that’s media-rich (includes audio/video/visual information) and, surprisingly, that’s greater in length.
Whatever the medium, a campaign’s success (its ability to influence) will always depend on several key factors:
– the clarity of the message and call to action
– the amount of time and hassle required to complete the task
– the credibility and usability of the website where the action takes place.
In a nutshell, a good campaign will have a clear message, be hassle-free and be easy to act on. When it comes to being persuaded by a source of information (whether it’s a person, news station or website), we tend to respond most positively to people we perceive as likeable, similar to ourselves and credible.
As deceptive as it may be, it’s not uncommon for big businesses to meticulously engineer characters in a bid to get us, the consumers, to buy into their message. You’ll have no doubt come across this in commercials: the friendly, well-dressed “lawyer” who tells you you’re entitled to compensation or the attractive “doctor” who informs you this particular brand of diet pills is safe. “It’s just an actor,” I hear you say. Well, yes, it is, but, even if that actor has never set foot in a legal practice or medical college, the fact that he or she looks the part is often enough to convince our subconscious that we can trust the information they’re spouting.