Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Communication, MA

Committee Chair

Della, Lindsay

Committee Member

Smith-Jones, Siobhan

Committee Member

Barnes, Aaron

Author's Keywords

communication; instagram reels; likes; comments; brand communication; marketing


Video is the second-richest form of media, conveying both verbal and nonverbal cues to viewers (Hasim et al., 2020). When coupled with the accessibility of social media, videos can spark consumer interest and convert neutral parties to brand-supporters (Alamäki et al., 2019; Tseng & Wei, 2020). This study aimed to investigate the effects of using Aristotle’s persuasive appeals, Berger’s STEPPS, and Monroe’s Motivated Sequence on the success of nonprofit organizations’ social media videos, measured in engagement metrics (likes and comments). Through a content analysis of 50 videos posted to Instagram by randomly selected nonprofit organizations, this study found that pathos was the most used of Aristotle’s persuasive appeal and that triggers were the most common element of Berger’s STEPPS used in the videos. The study also determined that most of the videos used elements of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.