Cinema adverts are less likely to affect you if you are eating popcorn. You are more likely to underestimate the calories in a cake if it has a strawberry on top. You’re more likely to place a higher bid on eBay if the auction website has a red background.
These are just some of the recent findings from the world of consumer psychology.
Advances in consumer psychology research continuously grow in their contribution to content marketing. As consumer experiences become more and more targeted, companies may be able to use what they have learned from consumer psychology to know what customers want to buy or consume before they are even aware, with choices being coaxed and steered at a subconscious level.
However, a lot of businesses are scared of psychology. They think it’s somehow uber-advanced, highly technical, and inaccessible to most ordinary people. That’s understandable because large academic pieces of research usually include deep analysis or focus on answering questions like in which part of the brain the effect of a price can be located (It’s Insula by the way).
Let’s break the science apart into easily manageable and applicable pieces that could help your business.
First though, what content marketing challenges do businesses have and how could consumer psychology dissolve them? Many organisations are challenged by a need to scale up their content creation efforts — not just dumping more “me-too” content into their social media channels, but creating words and images that reinforce their brand, build customer loyalty, and clearly differentiate it from what their competitors have to offer.
Consumer psychology can be used to locate a “buy button” in the human brain. It helps to find solutions to marketing relevant problems by investigating the different decision-making processes that are responsible for a purchase decision.
These are quick tasks that a user performs, often in a highly distracting and public environment. Mobile content needs to be instantly attention-grabbing, clean, focused, and free from distractions to take the consumer through the path of ‘buying’. That means making sure that your content includes meaningful headlines that are easy for users to scan. Sub-headings can make sure that messaging is short and to-the-point.
For example, push notifications were first introduced by Apple with the advent of the iPhone in 2007. It has helped application owners to communicate directly with their end-users in a simple and effective way. Through this, mobile amendment users are faced with urgency for downloading apps and building the need for further notifications about promotional activities. Clicking on the notification sends the consumer directly to the necessary website, to learn more and perhaps make a purchase.
Your readers are hungry for knowledge. They want more than a 250-word blog post with superficial information. Platforms such as Buffer, Hubspot, and Social Triggers place heavy emphasis on information-packed (yet easy to digest) long-form content.
What they need is content with a personal touch. Quality content requires research and originality. Be thoughtful about what you produce, your audiences will notice and invest in your products.
Also, don’t forget novelty when creating original content. Neurologically, it has been demonstrated that exposure to something new and unfamiliar increases the release of dopamine in the brain. Novelty makes our brains feel like there is a possibility for reward waiting for us just around the corner. That potential for reward motivates us to seek it out. So build a reward system to lead your customer through the purchasing process with focused and innovative content.
Dr Robert Cialdini in his book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ presented the concept of reciprocity which simply means that when somebody does something for you, you quite naturally want to return the favour. So when it comes to your content marketing, this could be that you’re teaching somebody something that they didn’t know, or you’ve pointed them in a direction which means that they can get something for free or improve their life.
Millennials, people currently at the age of 18-34 are a great example of reciprocity. They expect a two-way, mutual relationship with companies and their brands; referred to as the reciprocity principle. Through feedback they express both offline and online, Millennials influence the purchases of other customers and potential customers. They also help define the brand itself. The Internet, social media, and mobile devices greatly amplify Millennials’opinions and accelerate their impact. Companies can expect that a positive brand experience will prompt Millennials to take favourable public action on behalf of their brand.
All human beings essentially have the same mental triggers that drive actions. In order to influence and understand your customers, you need to know what those triggers are and how to utilise them in your marketing message. So how are you planning to take action and use consumer psychology focused content marketing?
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