Social Media Marketing Class: What is Persuasion and how does it fit within marketing?

What is Persuasion?

When one thinks of persuasion many times, they think about it as a negative. One of the main reasons this is the case is because the idea behind it is that someone is influencing or manipulating you into deciding something. While this may be your thought on the topic, in reality, “‘the traditional view of rhetoric as persuasion to include virtually any means of inducing cooperation and building communities,’” which is not a negative (Dillard, pg. 8). We see here that persuasion is not and should not be something that one only benefits one party, but something that helps all involved.

What is Marketing Persuasion?

Market Persuasion has taken this understanding and is seen almost anywhere that you look. An important thing to remember in marketing persuasion is not just to get people to buy your product, but to make sure “they are happy about the product” (Barker, 2018). Is persuasion and getting consumers to buy your product essential initially? Yes! Of course, it is. But it is not the only thing necessary. In the long run, your company will not succeed solely in getting first-timers to buy your product but getting consumers to come back because they liked your product.

While focusing on persuasion in marketing, it is crucial to understand who your consumers are and what makes them do the things they do. Once you can understand this, you can be creative in your persuasion techniques, whether offering deals, getting testimony from your existing customers, etc. Persuading a consumer is not easy. They mustn’t feel like they are being sold to, so “Persuasion involves influencing people’s attitude in such a way that they feel they are deciding on their own” (Barker, 2018). This goes back to individuals’ hostile looks on persuasion. Consumers do not want to feel pressured or influenced to make a purchase, but if you know your target audience and understand why they have a specific attitude towards products, you can use this to your advantage, which will be seen below.

How is Marketing Persuasion Used Today?

As previously stated, marketing persuasion is seen almost anywhere you look, whether it is a billboard, the signs hanging up in a subway station, ads, product placements, etc. Some companies that instantly come to mind when it comes to persuasion are Coca-Cola, Lyft, Nike, Always, and Old Spice. Although these brands always seem to stick out to most, some of the most persuasive ads are from smaller companies trying to make a name for themselves. Although there are endless amounts of brilliant persuasion marketing from the largest to the smallest of businesses, I will be focusing on, Revolve, Heinz, and HP. These companies created ads that stood out and brilliantly inspired their consumers through their campaigns and ads.

Our first company,, is an app that contains “Intelligent audio for busy people” ( Although this app does not stand out right away to most, they created a promotional campaign specifically to draw in intellectual consumers who are ‘busy’. The way they were able to do this and entice people to their app was that this campaign used copy such as “Become the most interesting person in the room” (Lister, 2020). This ad worked as well as it did because Curio understood their target market and what is important to them. They used that insight and brought it to life for consumers to see and persuade them into using their product to get this specific outcome. It is a genius way of informing the companies target audience of their app and what it can do for them.

Revolve is an online clothing brand that prides itself on having “top designer clothing brands” (revolve). Revolve plays around a lot on social media with ads and posts, but what sets them apart is their wording. In most ads for clothes or products, they use specific language such as “if you love it, buy it ❤ (before someone else does)” (Berg, 2019). Part of the reason this copy is so persuasive is that it shows the consumer’s desire for the product and a sense of urgency. This is important because consumers are more likely to buy a fashion product if they do it in the moment rather than if they sit on it and think. This is a creative way of enticing their consumers to buy the product right there and then without making it feel like they are trying to force a sale.

Many of you probably know of Heinz, but have you seen their new ad with Ed Sheeran? This ad is funny, creative, and relatable, which draws in consumers, especially when they have a friendly face that most recognize. This ad played around with the idea that no matter how fancy or proper the food and place is, Heinz is still a good fit within it. This campaign was a way of bringing Heinz into the UK, so they are using Ed Sheeren and emphasizing that this brand can work there too (Lister, 2020). This was a creative way of targeting their UK audience and giving them a ‘taste’ of what Heinz can bring them.

Last but not least, is HP’s ‘Nobody’s Watching’ Campaign. This campaign played around with the idea of turning your camera off and being the ‘real’ you again. Especially with many individuals being remote and always on zoom, this is more relatable than ever. HP targeted “Gen-Z” in this content and did a phenomenal job understanding their target audience and creatively coming up with a campaign to fit their needs and wants (Lister, 2020).

Through these four companies, we see what persuasion marketing truly is, understanding your target audience when it comes to what motivates them, their needs, and their attitude towards products, people, and items. While creating your persuasive marketing strategy, these are some companies that would be so beneficial to study. They show that you do not need to be a huge company to succeed with these campaigns, but you do need to understand your target market.


Lister, M. (2020, March 5) 13 of the most persuasive ads we’ve ever seen. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Berg, J. (2019, August 22). 5 lessons you can learn from the most Persuasive marketing campaigns on Instagram. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Barker, S. (2018, June 08). Council post: Three ways to use the power of persuasion in marketing. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Dillard, J. P. (2013). SAGE handbook of persuasion: Developments in theory and practice.

Go unlimited. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Shop top designer clothing brands online at REVOLVE. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from



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