6 Principles of Influence in Content Marketing

In this post, I have shared the 6 principles of influence and persuasion postulated by Dr. Robert Cialdini in 1999. Let’s go through these 6 principles and know how to use each of these in content marketing strategies.

Since you create content for your audience, you have certainly got to take their interest and behavior into account. This is what every single content developer out there is taught before beginning to develop or market any piece of content. However, you can still play your author’s role by putting your influence on your content and making your readers behave the way you want them to.

Below, I have shared the 6 principles of influence and persuasion postulated by Dr. Robert Cialdini in 1999. Let’s go through these 6 principles and know how to use each of these in content marketing strategies.


The rule of reciprocity is really simple to understand. It means the readers would want to reciprocate or return something as a favor to the author. You, as the author or owner of your content, would have to offer true value in the form of ‘tips & tricks’, advice or any useful information about a specific topic through the content, goods or services. Then, you need to ask your audience or customers for something they can give you back. This technique is really easy to execute in content marketing.


By the rule of Consistency Cialdini means that people always behave consistently. How they behave now is almost like a repetition of one or few of their past behaviors. This, you need to understand and learn to use people’s behavioral consistencies in marketing your content. You might consider subscribing to an email or following somebody on social media to create a behavior, and then use different follow-up techniques to give rise to meaningful responses. You might also take specific polls or surveys to initiate some relevant behaviors that can further produce worthy responses consistently.

Social Proof

People, in general, have got a tendency to follow the herd. The topic that’s trending on social media makes people show great interests, like and share with their friends. Once a piece of content starts getting viral on social media, it spreads pretty quickly. This is the magic of social media, and as a content marketer you need to study how to make people engage with your content.


People love to be authorities in their own social circles. They use your content for getting the information or probably the perfect solution to their queries. Once they get it, they are satisfied. They, however, would not take interest in sharing the particular piece of content unless they are offered the authorship. Therefore, they love sharing and marketing anything they’ve taken the authorship of on social media platforms. As an example, Peter Shankman’s Help a Reporter campaign empowered all his subscribers to become authorities in their respective companies and allowed marketing professionals to get free access to journalism inquiries, which were not even possible for those professionals by any other process.


We all tend to be influenced by the people we like or we are like. Same applies to all your audience. You would have to find out how your audiences are influenced. Facebook’s Graph API, in particular, is a useful tool that helps you identify the people, who are like you. You can also take the imagery and language of your target audience of customer-base into consideration in order to find the ways for your content marketing.


People act faster since they have got a feel that the particular products or services you offer are scarce and the offer period is going to expire soon. You need to take benefit from this kind of notion of your audience. Try to bring the scarcity factor to your offers and put your influence on.

Try integrating these 6 simple yet effective principles in your content marketing strategies and see how you are inching toward the desired results.

About Susanta Sahoo

I'm the founder and content marketing head at Top League. Our team can help you build great content that helps you rank high on Google and generate high-quality leads. Get in touch with us and let's discuss your project. I'm on LinkedIn & Twitter, just so you know.