Winning Content Marketing with Psychology – Persuasion Principles
An understanding of human psychology is what makes the difference between an average marketing strategy and one that stands out.
Do you agree?
If you’re an experienced marketer, you will know what we are talking about. We can almost see you nod your head in agreement.
On the other hand, if you’re a rookie or even an experienced marketer who wants to learn more about using psychology principles to get your message across and reach your goals, you’ve landed on the right page. This guide to winning content marketing with psychology will be your holy grail from now on.
By the time you are done with this blog post, you will know just how to up your content game and conquer the marketing domain!
Are you wondering,
Why do I need to study Psychology to improve my content?
Fancy words are attractive – there’s no denying that. And as a marketer, you may want to stick to the techniques and strategies that have had your back since the start of your career.
What you may not realize, though, is that most of these techniques rely on human psychology to be effective. So you have, unconsciously, used more than one of these principles – you just didn’t know you were doing it.
So now consider this:
Can you imagine how much you could improvise and improve the impact if you actually understood HOW the strategies were working?
The possibilities are endless!
So let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to the point.
Read on and find out how to,
Create a Stellar Content Marketing Strategy using Psychology Principles
In this particular blog post, we are going to talk about six psychology principles, all of which have to do with persuasion.
You guessed it! We’re talking about Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion.
If you’ve never heard about them, don’t worry. Sit back while we tell just what they are and how you can use them as part of your content marketing strategy.
Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion are six instruments that you can use to…wait for it…persuade people to take a certain action. And they are just the thing for you to ace your content marketing strategy and get people to say ‘yes’ to you.
Let’s dive right in!
The world is a two-way street – it functions on the principle of give and take. If you give someone something, they will most likely want to return the favor. And that behavioral trait is what you want to tap into with content.
Reciprocity is used VERY commonly in marketing. A business offers something for free. Because the business was nice to the consumer, they feel positive about it and will likely buy something, refer them to friends and family, and eventually become a loyal returning customer.
That makes perfect sense, right?
But how can you achieve all this with content?
Let us tell you how.
What You Need to Do
You tell consumers that you want to offer them something for free. This could be anything from a weekly informative newsletter to an email thread on a monthly basis with tips and tricks in a certain niche or a little gift with your first order, for example.
But there’s a catch!
You have to make sure that what you are providing your consumers is something of value.
If they can find the same information elsewhere, ALSO free of cost, they won’t think you’ve done them any sort of a favor.
It will be foolish, then, to expect them to buy something from you or obtain a service in the future.
Here’s an example:
You are an e-commerce website that sells shoes. You ask consumers to sign up for your newsletter free of cost. The first week, you send them tips on keeping shoes clean and maintained; tips that work that they’ve never seen before.
The following week, you tell them how to determine your size perfectly for online shoe shopping. You have a hack that works and you share it.
Before you know it, they will have bought a shoe from your website.
Check out some great real-life examples here.
This approach basically cashes in on the fear of missing out.
What does that mean?
Well, there are two angles to this. Let us explain this with an example.
You have had your eyes on a perfume for quite a few days now. Whether you’re short on cash or just plain busy, you haven’t been able to place the order yet.
Then, one day, you open the site and see this:
Only 10 left in stock!
If this same perfume is short everywhere else or you are getting the best deal here, we won’t judge you if you start panicking at this point.
There’s only 10 left. You don’t want to miss out on the deal. What if 10 people order it before you?! One thought leads to another and before you know it, you have added the product to your cart and it’s on the way to you.
The other angle to this is that you don’t want to be left out. If so many people are buying a product or availing a service, there must be something special there. And you want in on that something special!
What You Need to Do
The ‘limited number of items left’ is one of the techniques marketers use.
Here are some of the others you can use when it comes to content marketing and how the consumer sees them:
- ‘X days left to avail this deal!’ – This method binds the consumer with time. If they do not avail a discount on that e-book or sign up to the blog for a free lucky draw within two days, say, they will miss out big! A countdown ticker adds to the drama. This will likely get them to act fast!
- ‘Only Y places available!’ – You must have come across this line when looking to sign up for a seminar or training, for example. This tells the customer that there are a limited number of items/seats and if you want one, you need to book it fast.
- ‘Limited Edition – Pre Order Today!’ – Limited edition items run out quickly. And if the reader is a fan of the franchise, book or whatever is being offered, they will want it at all costs.
- ‘Last chance to sign up!’ – Again, this tells the consumer that they will miss out on the opportunity to get something valuable they want at a low price if they don’t act quickly.
Still confused? These examples will help you understand better.
We tend to try things that our friends recommend to us. If you need to go to a dentist with an aching tooth, you’ll more likely to go to one your mum suggests than a random one whose ad you once came across.
The reason for this is simple:
We believe that we are similar to the people we surround ourselves with. And we’re right about that, more often than not. We surround ourselves with those you have similar interests, likes, and dislikes to ours.
So when they are using certain products or a particular service, you want in on some of that action too.
What You Need to Do
What does all this mean for content marketers?
Well, here is what it means:
If your content is enjoyed by 10 people, they will share it or encourage others to consume it in other ways. The message spreads. The product or service your content was about gets exposure. You win!
Here are four ways in which you can achieve this with content:
- Interactivity – Whether you run a blog, have a YouTube channel that talks about your product or services or just put up videos on Facebook, your content should be such that it encourages people to interact with it.
When person A comments on a post, for example, it will pop up in their friends’ feed. Person A showing interest in your content will lead to their friends and family becoming interested in it too.
- Welcome reviews – Let’s suppose you have a page on Facebook where you upload regular instructional videos about the machinery you sell. Always welcome reviews on that page.
Why? Let’s go back to person A. Person A bought a lawnmower and loved it. Their friend, who needs a lawnmower, will across their review, see they had a good experience with the product, and place an order with less hesitation.
- Community – Building a community is always a good idea. If you are an author, you may have a Facebook group where you hold discussions with the members.
Individuals will add their friends and family to the group and speak highly of it. This may cause them to explore the conversations and eventually buy a book.
- Encourage shares – If you run a blog, for example, give the reader an option to share it on their social profiles. By now, we’re sure, we don’t need to explain how this will work in your favor.
Learn more about the social proof principle here.
Human beings have a desire to be consistent – irregularity is mostly not our cup of tea.
Because of this, when an individual has committed to something, they will likely stick to it unless they have a very strong reason to go against their word.
Let’s look at this with an example:
Let’s suppose you wanted to learn more about SEO and decided to go for a training course. You found a site that was offering a beginner’s course free of cost. Excited, you signed up for it and began almost immediately.
The course was helpful and you learned from it. This has done two things:
- You have now scratched the surface and want to dive into the details – you are committed to the course.
- Even though the course was offered free of cost, you now see yourself as a customer of the company. This will lead you to eventually buy courses from the site.
This is the technique marketers use to keep consumers committed to their content and, eventually, their products and services.
What You Need to Do
Once a consumer has used something you offered them for free, they will be more likely to respond to an offer to buy something. Like in the example we just discussed. So that is the first thing you need to do.
Offer your consumers something of value and open the door to a future sales prospect.
But wait, there’s more:
The second aspect of this is that once the commitment is public, one is more likely to follow through.
Let’s say you are a training website and you allowed a user to share the completion of their first course on their social media profiles.
Once other people become aware of the consumer’s activities, the consumer becomes more dedicated to follow through. They complete all the courses one by one and share each one, sharing the journey with their friends and family.
Use this in your favor – get users to share their commitments publicly by sharing progress and reviews among other things.
Take a look at some examples of the commitment principle being put to the best use.
Authority figures are taken more seriously than others.
There is no question about that.
When you want information on a particular medicine, you will go to a doctor, not a mechanic.
Similarly, when you are trying to decide what to wear to a wedding, you will look to a celebrity or fashion expert for advice because they are authority figures in that particular niche.
A sense of authority can be created using a number of methods. A fancy title such ‘Dr.’ or a white coat both indicate that the individual in an ad knows what they are talking about.
But how can this principle of psychology be leveraged with content?
The answer to this is simple.
What You Need to Do
- Make it evident that you are an expert in your niche. If you sell games, tell your readers about a new cheat every other day – one that no one else knows. If you’re a makeup artist, regularly publish new techniques that you have discovered yourself through practice. People need to know you are one of the best at what you do.
- Involve other authority figures with your content. How can you do this? It’s simple. If you train young entrepreneurs on how to take their startups to success, for example, conduct interviews with individuals who have already done that. All your consumers want insights and tips and tricks – this is a way in which you can give them that!
Whichever way you choose to do it, you have to establish your authority and that of your brand’s through your content.
Because of human nature that compels people to obey and/or respect authority figures, you will get your message across in a better way. And that will, ultimately, give you results!
Here are some great example of authority marketing: Referral Candy Blog
If you like an individual – your dad, for example – you will find it much easier to listen to him and take his advice.
When you like an author, you will endorse any messages they give out.
If you like your friend who has started a business, you will help them spread the word and encourage others to get their products and services.
If you want to run a successful business or reach another similar goal, you need people to like you. You as a brand; as an owner; as a team of individuals who are working hard to satisfy their customers.
If people like you, they are more likely to buy from you. The liking principle makes use of just that fact.
But how do you achieve this with content marketing?
What You Need to Do
A consumer will take action if they like you – we have established that much.
So where do we go from here?
You have to ensure that the content you put out portrays you and the company in a great light. You want consumers to say:
And here is how you can do that:
- Talk about things that people can relate to so they think ‘hey, this guy seems like one of us.’
- Discuss things that consumers care about deeply. For example, talk about how your fashion brand is against animal cruelty and you will instantly make a good impression on those around you.
- Be funny. If you put out blogs or video content, make people fall in love with your personality.
- Introduce yourself and your employees. Your consumers would love to see the human side of you – they are not always concerned with your credentials. If they relate with you or see that your world views are similar to theirs, you are more likely to witness a conversion.
- Look the part. The way you look has an impact on how the potential customer sees you. If they find you presentable and attractive, they will automatically associate other positive traits with you.
So, When Should I Start?
When should you start using psychology to draft your content? You don’t need to start – as you’ve probably realized by this point, you’re already doing it.
What you need to do is to understand the principles thoroughly and CONSCIOUSLY leverage them in your content strategies.
The ROI will leave you shook – we guarantee.
For more principles and theories of psychology that affect your content marketing endeavors, stay tuned to our blog – we’re determined to help you become a content guru!