If you look up Cialdini, you’ll see plenty of references to his “six” principles of influence. If you see that, don’t bother clicking. It’s out of date, because there are seven of them.
The often-forgotten seventh influence principle is Unity, which he mentioned in Pre-suasion. We listen to people who are in the same tribe as us.
The Consensus principle says we listen to the masses. The Unity principle says we listen to our kind.
And it’s no surprise content marketing is superb at using this to your advantage.
If your customers are blue-collar sports addicts, talk with plenty of sports terms and common slang. If they are doctors, use medical terms. In other words, speak their language.
Even better is if you can be one of them. Someone who struggled with weight loss – and talks about this struggle – will do a much better job at selling a book on diet tips.
This isn’t new – marketers have known this for decades.
With content marketing, though, you can go one step further.
With traditional marketing, there’s a barrier between you, the seller, and them, the buyer. It’s hard to overcome this and still, you know, sell something.
Content marketing has a different dynamic to it.
You create and share a lot of useful, interesting content with your reader. And with that content, you sell them on something.
This is what I do with my hypnosis business. On the one hand, I’m a talented and experienced hypnotist selling books and training programs. You get that from my sales letters.
On the other hand, I’m an enthusiast just like you, looking to train my mind to better live my potential.
And you get that from my content.
A great sales letter achieves this to some extent. It can be tricky to balance the Authority principle, where you lead, with the Unity principle, where you’re one of them. Tricky, but it can work.
It doesn’t compare to content marketing though, where you reinforce your common bond five times a week.
You’re an expert and a student.
A general and a soldier.
Because you may be at the top of your field, but you’re still exploring and learning – just like everyone else.
And this level of intimacy can do amazing things for your brand.
Vulnerability, carefully managed, makes you seem human among a sea of puppets.
Never forget your audience is vulnerable too. Put them at ease by joining them in the trenches.