Logos: Establishing Brand Proof/Authority
While pathos may appeal to the right side of the brain, logos makes an appeal to the other half of the lateralization. Logos equates to logic or the rationale behind your arguments.
Common appeals to logos commonly found in content feature:
- Market research
- Cross-comparisons of competitor products
All of these tactics provide evidence/ proof of your brand’s utility. Conduct your own research for statistics and case-studies to include in your content. Consider hosting a survey, poll or completing a case-study to provide evidence of your product/ service’s utility.
Be careful to establish your facts or premises to support your CTA. If your website makes the claim that content marketing will help boost your conversion rate and that you’re experts in content marketing, than an audience must accept these premises before hiring you to boost their conversion rate. This is an example of a syllogism.
If your content provides actionable strategies, it’s important that these strategies are backed up with a logical premise or proven research that would validate its effectiveness. Consider enlisting your website on a reputable industry publisher for a business review, which you can showcase on your site.
Here are some examples of effective forms of content that will promote your appeal to logic:
- How-to guides or tutorials
- Surveys and consumer research
- Side-by-side product analysis with a competing brand
- Social proof through user generated content
These examples can also be referenced as sources in additional articles on your website and by other companies- which is the SEO equivalent of having your cake and eating it too.
Back up all of your statistics and quotes with appropriate source information- preferably from credible sources. Focus on facts and provide a deductive reason why your content alleviates a need- following the logic of praxeology.
While all of the messaging and modes of persuasion may be used effectively, it ultimately has to connect with your audience. No amount of brand awareness campaigning and demand generation will create conversions without that initial audience analysis.
Debates are typically won with reason, but persuasion is not always accomplished solely through employing logos. Every audience is different and your modes of persuasion will shift depending on varying boundaries. But simply employing rhetoric to build your conversion rate and increase your brand’s authority is futile without properly optimizing your content for SEO.
The Five Canons of Rhetoric- Optimizing Content
Logicians of Rome later expanded upon Aristotle’s thinking to formulate the design of a persuasive speech. These were codified as the five canons of rhetoric and their application to SEO can greatly help your body copy, as well as the process of producing arguments and topics to include in your content distribution strategy.
Invention serves as central canon of all of rhetoric. Invention concerns itself with the formulation of arguments in discourse.
We’ve touched on some strategies- keyword research, BuzzSumo, Google Autofill- to develop topics for your content marketing strategy. These topics serve as a source of engagement with your target audience.
But what becomes critical in a content marketing strategy is creating the interrelationship between curating your topics and crafting subtle arguments within content to nurture leads through your sales funnels.
This places great emphasis on crafting evergreen topics that can be readily accessible to any person involved in your industry. This creates the need for unique and insightful information that cannot be readily discovered anywhere else.
Accomplish this pull method through a well-crafted headline with a particular keyword focus. Provide the topic of your article in your headline and make sure it’s relevant to your landing page to stave off bounce rates.
Outline your arguments and your unique perspective toward the beginning of your article. It’s important for any business to possess their own secret sauce, but don’t be afraid to share tips and hacks you’ve personally created in fear that the competition will capitalize on them- this only creates authority for your brand.
So a random searcher clicks on your webpage in a SERP, how long do you think you have to capture that reader’s attention? According to the Nielsen Norman Group, web pages should seek to keep a reader interested for approximately one minute and thirty seconds to slow the rate of bounce rates that occur on that page.
Arrangement concerns itself in the order of arguments presented in a discourse. If you’re unfamiliar with AP writing style, we strongly suggest utilizing the inverted pyramid for your content arrangement.
The inverted pyramid typically features the most important information in the first paragraph and follows the nut graph down through less supporting details until there are no more relevant details to discuss.
Journalists write using the inverted pyramid. This writing process involves curating the details you will include as the focus of your article and then deciding the order they will be featured.
Establish your writing style and business voice through your content marketing campaign. Become a recognizable voice in a crowd of endless internet noise by establishing your brand’s authority over the rest.
Some readers fall in love with style, so use it as an opportunity to connect with your readers and show them who you really are.
It’s important that the tone of your blog posts, videos, etc. match the emotional characteristics of the subject matter. Failing to do so will destroy your brand’s ethos. According to one survey, 42% of people don’t trust brands as much as they did 20 years ago.
The same survey found that 48% of respondents felt that a brand should have a clear role and a unique identity. Define your role by taking an active voice in all of your content and creating content that is truly authoritative.
Classical orators and writers typically conformed to the rule of correctness as a tenant of maintaining a certain level of elocutio. Essentially, this means avoiding jargon in favor of simpler language and also maintaining proper editorial standards.
In ancient Greece, spoken oratory was the primary means that most political assembly and legal proceedings were conducted. This created the need for orators to memorize speeches or simply produce mnemonic devices to assist in the process.
While content marketing doesn’t require memorizing your body copy beforehand, it can be applied to the unique information you bring to each article. As you execute a personal content marketing campaign or contract a freelance writer, be sure to provide your own unique industry perspective to each piece.
Even more important, this canon requires content marketers to remember to cover every aspect of a topic as possible. Leverage semantic SEO to rank for multiple keywords and potentially earn a featured snippet.
Most rhetoricians will not deny the importance of making your content memorable in the listener’s/ reader’s mind. Keep your brand top-of-mind through expert, authoritative content that provides real utility to the ordinary customer.
With the rise of literacy rates since Ancient Greece and Rome, delivery has vastly diminished in its importance to written rhetoric.
It now becomes more important for the written text to utilize imagery and various other devices to visually communicate the main points of your text. This process could obviously be accomplished through the use of images, whitespace and videos to visually outline your central arguments.
Delivery also requires the correct use of grammar and punctuation to make your point clear. Consider purchasing Hemingway Editor, which provides tools to limit the use of the author’s passive voice and also suggests when simpler phrases can be substituted for a confusing one.
Kairos: Multi-Level Marketing
The ancient greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos referred to the chronological procession of time, while, in rhetoric, kairos referred to the ideal moment where circumstances have aligned themselves to provide the ideal moment to drive a point home.
Promotion should remain a primary focus of your content marketing campaign. How would anyone find your content otherwise?
Again, this stresses the importance of understanding your audience. Discover the channels and even the times of day that individuals will interact the most with your content.
According to Fast Company, the best time to post content on Facebook for a high CTR is between 1-3pm weekdays, with the highest volume on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, organic reach on social platforms has rapidly declined due to clickbait articles. Social signals are important to ranking your web pages so it doesn’t hurt to promote your content over your own social channels.
Your business may also execute paid promotion to throw your content directly in front of your target audience’s eyes. Just remember, overselling your content over social media will not connect you with your customers. Social media is primarily a channel for consumer engagement, not sales.
Consider leveraging email marketing to help your business retain customers. For every dollar spent on email marketing, there lies an average return of $38. Most marketers use MailChimp, which provides advanced tracking feature to discover email open rates and A/B testing for different headlines.
Consider the benefits of an e-newsletter campaign to promote your content.
It’s critical for your website to be mobile optimized. Not only should this be a major focus of your multi-marketing campaign, but nearly 68% of businesses have already included mobile into their existing digital marketing strategy.
Conduct your research and analyze the environment in your industry. Discover underserved and less discussed needs that will provide the opportune moment to deliver your content.
Kairos may arrive at a time where you have the first scoop of a topical post or it may lie in an underserved keyword that your competition hasn’t ranked for yet.
Remember, not all content should be argumentative nor even persuasive. Most of your content will most likely be informative. No content marketer directly sells their products through their content, but quite the opposite.
Still, content marketers and small businesses can leverage these tips to provide evidence and proof for your brand’s effectiveness to meet a demand. Make an appeal to ethos, logos or pathos to build your brand’s credibility, authority and trust. Finally, utilize the five canons of rhetoric to optimize content and promote content to maximize your ROI.
Always remember that your business always has a unique perspective and a story to tell people. For brick and mortar stores, the advantage of having a physical location lies in understanding your audience more intimately.