At the core of much of our marketing activity is one simple desire: to influence and persuade our audience.

How does it actually work, though? Are we just throwing things out into the universe and hoping that someone, somewhere will find our content influential and persuasive?

UK-based virtual phone service Everreach took a deep dive into the science behind these oft-used but little understood terms, based on the teachings of Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. They were able to identify six universal factors that guide decision making.

Customers are heavily influenced by authority, for example. We're hardwired to follow the lead of people who demonstrate credibility and a depth and breadth of knowledge. Simply possessing these qualities does not an authority make; we have to be able to convey authority to the people we want to influence.

Employing the consistency principle is another fantastic tactic for building persuasion. If we ask a customer to take one big leap of faith and complete an action, they are far less likely to be persuaded than if we'd started small. Asking customers to show their support in a series of smaller actions increases the likelihood they will be consistent in showing support as the requested action increases in size and/or scope.

Learn more about the science of influence and persuasion and how you can use this knowledge to build your business in the infographic below: