Marketing in 2020 is proving to be a unique beast.
The world has been through a terrible crisis known as COVID-19. It has been a formidable enemy, and it has introduced some interesting challenges.
Namely, many have wondered whether marketing efforts should cease, business efforts should cease, etc.
These are fair questions.
Nevertheless, I think Nick LeRoy’s analysis is insightful:
Like paid search, teams everywhere are seeing performance losses in the organic channel due to a drop in overall search demand. Unlike paid search/social, I recommend continuing your execution on SEO and content marketing efforts.
In reviewing over a dozen websites whose organic performance has dropped, most have flat keyword rankings. Google Search Console also shows a considerable drop in search impressions despite rankings staying the same. This further validates that this is not an SEO/ranking issue but rather a drop in search demand due to COVID-19.
If you choose to reduce spend in your SEO and content marketing efforts, you significantly risk your organic rankings. Once search demand returns (and it will) you will still drive considerably less organic traffic than before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Right now, it’s vital to maintain – if not grow – your SEO campaign.
Defining the Power of Persuasion
The idea of “persuasion” sometimes gets a bad rap.
I think people fail to understand what is meant. Insofar as you think persuasion is defined as “persuading against one’s will,” you are right.
But that’s not persuasion.
Simply, it is “the action or fact of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.”
In other words, the motive is not part of the definition. There is nothing inherently ethical or unethical about it—it is benign; amoral. A brick can be used to build a church or a strip club; the brick is not a party to the choice.
Unethical persuasion is certainly a thing. When you write or speak with the intent of getting someone to do something they otherwise would not have, you are using unethical persuasion.
However, you can ethically persuade folks! So, what does that look like?
The Case for Ethical Persuasion
There is a huge chasm between persuading someone to do something or purchase something they otherwise would not, and persuading someone to do something or purchase something they did not know they needed.
If you have a product or service that is genuinely good for people, you must persuade others to buy it—especially if they don’t even know about it.
The power of persuasion is a tool in your tool belt. You can use it to enlighten people, to win people over, and to help them see things from a completely different perspective.
There’s a trap to look out for, though.
Even if they need it, someone should not be persuaded to buy something if the purchase compromises their values.
A Case Study in the Power of Persuasion
A great example of this is Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is one of the top finance and business influencers in the world. He has made a killing giving people common-sense advice, some of which involves not using a credit card.
Folks over the years have crucified Ramsey because he charges for his flagship program, Financial Peace University (FPU). Not to mention what he makes off of his live events, book sales, business relationships, etc. And yet, his “target customer” is the person who is sick and tired of drowning in debt.
Isn’t it unethical to persuade someone to pay for resources when the problem is that they are broke?
Why think a thing like that?
To date, FPU, a program that costs just over $100, has helped millions of families pay off billions of dollars. These days, on his call-in radio show, he ends up speaking with many “financial peace babies”—these are millennials and even Gen Zers whose parents went through Dave’s program and changed their family tree forever.
Let me ask YOU: Is $100 worth it to change the course of your family’s legacy? To turn it all around, potentially for good?
Sure thing. This takes persuasion, but it is ethical. If you do what Dave says, you will, without fail, make good on his promises. This stuff works. Folks in Dave’s target audience need his program—even if they don’t know it yet.
The catch? Dave doesn’t take credit cards.
If you use your last $100 in cash to pay for FPU, fine. But to take your credit card would not only compromise his values, but the values he wants to instill with you as well.
So no matter the circumstance, never be afraid of persuasion. As long as you use it wisely and ethically, the ability to persuade is the tool your business needs to grow and impact more people than ever.
To your success!