We have written several posts about how you can step up your business and marketing tactics. And if you have been reading our posts for a while now, you already know the importance of having a consistent brand voice and regularly engaging with your audience.
Yet, most businesses treat their social media marketing as a one-time deal. While they create their company profiles for Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, they often fail to take their time to plan regular posts and engage with their audience.
Most often, they periodically update their pages as they happen to think about it. Yes, this is very common; we ourselves are a victim of it. However, regardless of how you plan your social media marketing campaign, one important factor you should never miss – a consistent brand voice.
Remember, your brand voice is a critical factor that will evolve. Simultaneously, it is responsible for bringing new customers while keeping your current social media audience happy.
And that’s why today, we have put together strategies compiled from ancient theories of rhetoric and the art of persuasion you can leverage to step up your social media campaigns.
“It is the art of effective or persuasive writing or speaking, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional strategies.” – Oxford English Dictionary (1).
People don’t use rhetoric in marketing, debating, and public speaking. We use it every day without realizing when we write, speak, and listen.
In short, rhetoric is always there. And that’s why what we will talk about may not seem new to you, but we will say them anyway to put the knowledge into action.
The simplest examination of rhetorics is how you use words to influence and persuade others around you personally or professionally.
The Art of Persuasion
Think of times when you try to convince your local officers to get out a parking ticket, try to convince your boss to give you a better raise, try to effectively negotiate with a client or vendor, or even when you are late meeting your friend at a restaurant. It all involves rhetoric, and pursuing potential clients to purchase your offerings is no different.
“Rhetoric is the ability to find any particular case all of the available persuasion means.” – Aristotle, A Greek philosopher, Also known as the ‘father of rhetoric (2).’
Aristotle developed a theory of persuasion in the 4th century BCE. And notably, every bit of the theory is still applicable today (3).
According to him, there are clearly defined elements of rhetoric, each working in their own ways, appealing to different parts of our thinking to achieve desired persuasive effects.
As we mentioned, we all use different rhetoric in practically everything we are writing to varying extents, combinations, and aims. You don’t have to keep them in your mind every time you write your marketing content since you already use them instinctively.
However, it is still useful to examine how you generally use these concepts and use them more effectively in the future (4).
Below are three primary pillars of rhetoric that are essential to make your social media marketing campaigns a success:
- Ethos: Your ethos is your authority. It is the degree of trust and respect people hold in your brand. You can speak to your ethos by talking about your capabilities, history, and even what you have given back to the community. It is all about building your brand, reputation, and gaining appreciation.
- Pathos: It is an emotional appeal, the customers’ feeling from your messages that they won’t find elsewhere. Think about what you want your audience to feel, and create your content to match that emotion.
- Logos: It is a logical appeal, where you logically and convey the advantages of your brand whether they are familiar or unfamiliar with your offerings. These are items like prices, facts, and stats.
There are also other two less known but effective elements of rhetorics:
- Kairos: it is about time, not in a chronological sense but in a particular moment or situation. Meaning saying the right thing in the right place and time. You need to be aware of the thoughts and responses of your prospects and tailor your message accordingly.
- Telos: It is all about knowing your purpose. You need to have a clear idea of what message you are trying to get across to your audience and what you are looking to achieve. To sum up, it is about knowing your goals.
In a good persuasive marketing and advertising technique, you will balance all five rhetoric elements. However, it is alright if you have featured one technique more prominently over others. For instance, you may prefer ethos over logos and pathos, or pathos over ethos and logos, etc.
How to Use Ethos in Your Ads?
As we mentioned, ethos is all about credibility. For instance, famous people enjoy a high status in our society. And hence we often see celebrities endorsing products to the audience, even though they may not have the product-specific expertise.
For instance, Steph Curry, a professional American basketball player, was recently featured in an Infiniti commercial even though he is not known for his taste in a vehicle. The same thing goes for Virat Kohli’s ad for Amaze Inverter batteries. He has no relation with it, yet, his stature is enough.
That’s an ethos in commercials.
Ethos rhetoric is also invoked to tie a brand to fundamental rights.
Businesses can build trust with their audience with their stand with an important cause. L’oréal Paris is one recent example illustrated in its recent “Let’s Act Together Against Street Harassment” campaign.
This ethos advertisement by L’oréal Paris underscores the value of self-worth.
It shows how street harassment detracts women’s self-worth and robs their dignity and sense of security and standing up to it.
It is how ethos rhetoric is used in ads.
Of the several types of persuasive techniques in marketing, ethos is best if you are looking to play up the strength of your brand. You can also use humor to convey the message.
You can also use ordinary people for your ethos rhetoric.
In such an advertising technique, a brand or the endorser appears as common and sensible folk. In doing so, you can align your brand with the values of your everyday customers.
In this video, the insurance company inspires others to do more good and conveys the purpose of us humans. And they are on point!
Many brands use this technique to share their message.
Using Pathos in Your Ads
As we mentioned, pathos is a persuasive technique that aims to convince an audience via emotions.
The most common ways to appeal to your prospect’s emotions include a devastated family, a cute animal, a love story, etc.
Often, you can not only expect to evoke feelings of your audience, but you can also anticipate their response.
If you wish to explore pathos in your ads, language is probably the best place to start.
Why may you ask? Well, it is because the words we read and hear can trigger specific feelings (5). For instance, various positive words can conjure feelings of wonder, excitement, and love.
For instance, Whoopie Marshmallow achieved good vibes of celebrations, small or big, using positive words in its pathos ads.
We see smiles and colors while we hear the word “whoop whoop whoopie.” All of these invites positivity and encourage us to associate with the brand accordingly.
At the same time, pathos ads can also effectively employ unpleasant emotions like worry and fear.
Tragic stories like the kid in the video encourage people not to let it happen to themselves.
Sex appeal is another hugely successful tactic in pathos ads. You can open any Cosmo magazine, and you will find muscular men or cladly dressed models.
Other techniques commonly used in pathos ads include humor, snob appeal, and patriotism. It even extends to the strategic use of music or feeling of nostalgia in ads.
Using Logos in Your Ads
Logos use logic and reason to convince an audience. You can cite charts, graphs, facts, stats, etc., in your ads to make a logical appeal.
Have you ever heard the phrase “listen to reason” in an argument? That’s exactly what logos do.
When you put data, statistics, facts, and surveys in your ads, you can make your product sound like a more reasonable deal.
The most common example for it includes ads for smartphones.
There have been a lot of privacy concerns over the past few years. And Apple exactly targeted that in its recent ad about its privacy feature.
Most other technology ads also use logos so they can showcase their new cool features.
How can you do it?
Well, it is all about making sure that your new features pop out to your audience. It effectively asks your audience why they should choose anyone else but you.
Car companies also use logos in their commercials.
This Tata Punch car ad subtly hints at all its features like projector follow-me-home headlamps, tail lamps, fog lamps with cornering function, cruise control, ABS and EDB controls, and much more.
And how’s anything logical in this ad? After all, we can only see some people running, campaigning, and learning to drive the car on highways, the countryside, and some small paths. The logic is that the car has every function you may need regardless of your personality and style. The aim is to let you know that it is suitable for everyone.
Often there is also a buzzword associated with an ad to sell the product. Look at this commercial from Flex Tape, for example. It has now become a legendary meme. And that’s something.
In short, using logos in your ads will build your brand as the most functional, logical, and practical option.
When you browse several persuasive strategies for your advertising and marketing campaign, first consider what your prospects need from your brand. And then ideal which of these brand voicing techniques can best fulfill their need.
As you have seen in these many ads, the brand should guide how they deploy particular persuasive ad techniques. Consider thinking about what your brand is best known for and for what you stand.
If you are still not sure about your brand voice, consider reading our previous stories, Your Ultimate Guide for Customer-First Content Marketing Plan and Advertising Conversion: 10 Tips for Writing High-Converting Ads, for more examples to set your benchmarks.
You can even consider combining strategies mentioned in all three posts to get the inspiration you need to take your brand’s marketing strategies with rhetorics to the next level.
Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!