Do you know how to make your Facebook Ads more persuasive? How about applying scientifically-backed principles of influence that can help you persuade even the coldest traffic to buy from you? That’s what implementing Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion can do for you!
Before I share with you how to do so, let me give you a brief background of Dr. Robert Cialdini.
Image source: Flickr
Dr. Robert Cialdini is a marketing and sales persuasion expert. Some call him “The Godfather of Persuasion” due to his involvement in extensive research and scholarly training in the study of psychology of influence. He is best known for his popular book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
Through his years of research, Dr. Robert Cialdini identified SIX fundamental principles that are hardwired into our social and cognitive minds. He coined these the “6 Principles of Persuasion”.
Here they are:
In this article, I’ll elaborate on each of these principles and show you how other businesses are applying them in their Facebook Ads.
Whether you’re creating new ads or looking to improve the performance of your existing ads, you’ll see how making your overall ad creative more persuasive can turn around underperforming ads.
I will illustrate each principle using 2 real examples showing you how it can be applied to (1) Physical Products sold online and (2) Info Products. You’ll see why these principles can be applied regardless of what you’re selling.
How to Create Persuasive Facebook Ads
Do you remember the last time someone asked you for a favor? Was it easier to ask for a favor from someone who you’ve helped before?
That is the principle of Reciprocity at work. And marketers often use this principle by offering “Free Samples”.
If you offer a free sample of your product to your customers and they find it valuable, they’re more likely to respond in kind to your next offer.
Example of Reciprocity for an Ecommerce Business
For example, FLOR offers free samples to their target audience. And these samples are offered WITHOUT asking for anything in return (and if they do, it’s only communicated as a method of delivering that sample to them).
If FLOR retargets these people with their next Ad, then it can said that they’re applying the principle of Reciprocity (we’re still keeping a lookout for their Facebook Ads. It’s likely that they may call or send an e-mail/mail letter directly to the people who’ve requested for their samples)
This differs from Ads that offer something, like a bonus, in return for buying something.
Example of Reciprocity for an Information Product Business
Similarly, Videofruit is giving a free product launch playbook that people can download instantly. They may be asking for an e-mail in order to download the Playbook, but the e-mail is seen as a gesture for Videofruit to deliver the download link to them and not as something that they’re giving in return for the free offer.
Like FLOR, if they serve retargeted Facebook Ads to the downloaders, then they’re applying the principle of Reciprocity.
2. Commitment and Consistency
Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.
If you provide someone with a sample or free offer, they may see themselves as customers, which allows the marketers to follow up with an offer to buy their products or avail their services.
In other words, if they accepted your offer once, they’re more likely to accept your next offer than someone who hasn’t accepted any of your offer before.
And they do so in order to feel consistent with the decisions they made earlier. That’s the reason why the idea of offering lead magnets and tripwire offers before an expensive offer is becoming so popular these days.
Example of Commitment and Consistency for an Ecommerce Business
For example, the ad of Luxola is retargeted at website visitors who did not buy a product that they have viewed.
For website visitors who were going to purchase the product earlier but did not do so for some reason, they’re likely to respond to the retargeting Ad. And in our experience at J Social, this is highly effective in generating sales.
Similarly, you can retarget past customers who’ve bought from you after the consumption cycle – if your product is used up every month, retargeting customers who last bought from you more than a month ago can help to drive repeat sales. In the next blog post, we’ll share with you our results from running such a campaign.
Example of Commitment and Consistency for an Information Product Business
In the example above, the Ad is only shown to people who have visited his website. In other words, this is an example of a Facebook Retargeting Ad with a copy tailored to his website visitors. His website visitors, to be consistent, are likely to respond to the ad and attend his webinar.
Frank Kern’s ad is courtesy of Swiped.co.
3. Social Proof
Now, imagine arriving in a new city on an empty stomach during the busy lunch hour.
In front of you are 2 restaurants selling your favorite pizzas. The restaurant on the left is full of people while the other restaurant is completely empty despite it being lunch hour. Which restaurant would you dine at?
The answer is obvious. And that’s why social proof can be very important!
Here’s how Dr. Robert Cialdini defines social proof:
It’s a principle of persuasion. It says the people want to follow the lead of those individuals around them, like them so in any given situation will look to see what the people around us like us our doing and follow soon.
Example of Social Proof for an Ecommerce Business
In the example above, the Dollar Shave Club features Hillary B, one of their customers, to show that others are already using their product.
Furthermore, Cialdini’s principle of social proof works great when the testimonials come from people similar to your target customer, because they’d be able to relate to them.
So, if I were you, I’ll start getting testimonials from satisfied clients and use them in your ad.
Example of Social Proof for an Information Product Business
You can see the same concept being used in Info product Ads as well. Import Empire self-promotes and uses social proof by promoting their event using the phrase “used by the most successful e-Commerce businesses”.
However, you’d also be right to say that this is a fairly weak example because such social proof is unverifiable and hence people are unlikely to believe it.
Can you think of other examples of social proof besides using testimonials and self-promotional phrases like this?
What does liking mean?
It’s extremely meaningful because it will affect the chances of you being influenced by that individual. If a friend invites to do yoga, you’ll agree in a heartbeat. If you’re annoying neighbor asks you to do it, you don’t like it. It means that we enjoy doing things for people we like.
This principle can be applied to your Facebook Ads in the following way – use an object or person who your audience likes and promote your product in association with it.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Example of Liking for an Ecommerce Business
In the ad above, TRESemme, one of the leading hair expert companies in the world, featured a well-known celebrity. If you are an avid fan or you simply like the celebrity, you’re going to like the product too.
In Marketing, this is also known as the Balance Theory.
Example of Liking for an Information Product Business
Re-using Frank Kern’s example, it is worth understanding that you can use more than one element of influence being used in the same ad.
In this case, Frank Kern is well-liked by entrepreneurs and online marketers. His success stories are well-known and popular as well.
This Ad alone uses 3 Principles of Influence, 2 of which we already mentioned – Commitment and Liking. This brings me to my next point.
In reality, it’s human nature that people obey authority figures.
Imagine this scenario:
If your doctor tells you to do something, you’ll listen and take his advice seriously. Between the two of you, your doctor’s education and experience trumps your knowledge about your health. Because he’s an authority in health and medical related issues, you’ll listen to him.
In the corporate scene, when a memo is issued by the CEO, the subordinates follow. Yes, that may be other moderators apart from Authority but you get the gist.
But Authority does not have to be formalized – perceived Authority can be effective as well.
To illustrate the principle of authority, let me give you some examples.
Example of Authority for an Ecommerce Business
In the ad above, High Grade Hair and Beauty, a Swedish Nail Polish store, advertises their product which was featured by Linda Hallberg, a top hair and makeup artist in Sweden.
By featuring her blog post endorsing their product, High Grade Hair and Beauty applies the principle of Authority to attract more customers.
Example of Authority for an Information Product Business
In the example above, LinkedIn features the CEO and co-founder of Transatomic Power. Including the phrase “CEO and co-founder” on the image and introducing her as “one of the top 10 professionals…” illustrates the principle of the law of authority at work.
Scarcity creates urgency.
Scarcity (whether actual or merely perceived) generates demand and thus compels customers to act quickly.
In this case, the use of “limited time offers” and the inclusion of expiration dates on vouchers and coupon codes are ways to apply the principle of Scarcity.
To illustrate this principle, take a look at our examples below.
Example of Scarcity for an Ecommerce Business
In the ad example above, Brooks Brothers uses the phrase “ends today”. With such great deal on the line, it’s either you make a purchase or lose out forever.
Example of Scarcity for an Information Product Business
In the ad example above, the phrase “highly anticipated” implies high demand, which then creates the illusion of scarcity.
I hope these 6 principles have given you new ideas to make your Facebook Ads more persuasive. Try to apply these principles to your Ads one at a time to find out what works for you.
If there’s one thing I’d advise you to do right now, it’d be to take another look at your Facebook Ad and make use of the checklist I showed you above to see what principles are not yet implemented in the Ad.
Grab the checklist here: http://bit.ly/1M0RKJ7
If you use any of our tips, it’d mean a lot to me if you let us know how it turns out for you!
P.S. Thank you AdEspresso for putting up wonderfully curated ads.