20 Powerful Psychology Tips That Will Significantly Boost Your Digital Marketing
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By understanding people's motivations a little better, your communications and actions will be more useful and helpful.
The more useful and helpful you are, the better you engage with people…
Let’s start with some definitions:
1. the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
2. the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group.
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
help or encourage (something) to increase or improve.
The more you understand human behaviour and how the mind works, the more you will empathise with your customers.
The more you empathise, the better you can connect, communicate and support their needs.
It builds trust and loyalty.
The brain is a magical machine that functions in many weird and wonderful ways.
We all have the same primitive part called the amygdala. It works with feelings and impressions. It controls our emotions and reactions. It’s virtually automatic.
The amygdala works much faster than the conscious, rational and logical parts of the brain.
It’s often referred to as ‘The Chimp’.
The Chimp reacts to stimulus emotionally. Often in less than 3 seconds.
Emotions are processed up to 5 times faster than rational thought.
Emotions make a much more lasting impression on us.
Keep this in mind with your communications.
People don’t buy products or services.
They buy answers to problems and solutions to needs.
They’re emotional. They need to feel something.
They’re focussed on the benefits, not the features.
They want to know “What’s in it for me?”
Here are 20 powerful psychological tips you can use to engage customers better and significantly increase your conversions…
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Right, back to it…
#1 Have a Purpose
Having a purpose gives our customers and us something bigger to think about than our products alone.
People can get behind a purpose. They feel like they’re part of something bigger.
Brands that seek to make the world a better place gain loyalty, fans and do well.
They do well because when they do, they can do good things.
There’s more to a business than just making money.
A purpose driven strategy is powerful. It connects with people on a deeper level and tells a more compelling story. It produces better results.
People fall in love with brands with a purpose.
#2 Emotions are Powerful
As we know, humans are emotional creatures.
The way we feel about something can be a solid indicator of what actions we’ll take.
Focus on how your customers might be feeling when you communicate with them.
Understand their struggles and victories. Talk to those.
An emotional connection is powerful.
#3 Tell Stories
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller” ~ Steve Jobs
Once up on a time...
A purposeful brand will always have a great story.
Stories create change. They motivate us. They help us connect with each other. They spread knowledge.
We’ve been telling stories for generations. Without stories, we have no compass.
Your brand is a matter of perception. When you tell compelling stories, you create an experience that resonates with people.
Storytelling is a powerful way to breathe life into your brand. People like doing business with brands and people they know. Telling stories is a beautiful way to create affinity and trust.
If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it.
#4 Sell Benefits, Not Features
Features tell. Benefits sell.
Stop listing the features of your product or services, focus on how your products or services make life better in some way.
It's not the steak; it's the sizzle.
It's not the gift; it's the thought behind it.
It's not the cost; it's the overall value.
Showing a benefit is easier than you think.
Ask yourself “Does this improve the life, health, well-being or finances of my target customer?"
If the answer to any of these is “Yes”, then you may have a benefit that you can market.
#5 We Love Images!
90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.
93% of human communication is visual.
The brain can process images 60,000 times faster than written text!
Use photos, videos, infographics, images and animation.
Visual content in your marketing material will gain attention considerably faster than anything else.
#6 We Love Lists Too!
Lists are everywhere. Content and information that’s been sliced and diced into bite-sized chunks.
But why do we find lists so appealing? Here are 7 reasons why (we’re sure there are more):
We know exactly what we’re going to get (10 of this or 30 of that).
They’re less taxing on the brain.
They’re easier and quicker to read.
They’re easier to scan for information.
We know when it’s going to end.
It feels definitive and certain.
Journalists love them too. It helps structure for articles.
So, yeah, create list content and ‘listicles’.
You could even include an option to sign up for your product or service as the last point.
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#7 Show Faces
We’re hardwired from birth to recognise human faces.
Studies have shown that we’re better at recognising faces than names.
People trust other people more than they believe and have faith in companies and brands.
People want to identify with the companies they buy from. When they’re reflected in a brand and the brand’s culture, it’s easier for them to see how the products can fit into their own lives.
A human persona is a great way to convey this.
Using faces in our imagery allows us to form a strong human connection with our audience.
Connecting with our audience on a human level will increase engagement and boost conversions.
Let’s face it. We love faces.
#8 Colour Matters
Over 80% of consumers cite colour as a primary reason why they buy a particular product.
Different colours send different signals to our brains.
However, it is not universal. Different colours mean different things in different countries.
The next few slides detail the colours that affect British and American shoppers…
Associated with danger, power, energy, war, strength, determination.
Increases heart rate.
Evokes strong emotions.
Passion and intensity.
It is often used in clearance sales.
Attracts attention more than any other colour.
Associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.
Cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity.
When overused, may have a disturbing effect.
Babies cry more in yellow rooms.
Indicates honour and loyalty.
Grabs the attention of window shoppers.
Associated with femininity, love, sexuality, tranquillity, nurture, warmth.
Soothing and stimulating.
Pink is a powerful colour, psychologically.
Too much pink can be draining and can be considered emasculating.
Used to market products to women and young girls.
Easiest colour for the eye to process.
Colour of nature.
Associated with growth, harmony, freshness, stability, endurance and fertility.
Strong emotional correspondence with safety.
Dark green is commonly associated with money.
Symbolises trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Considered beneficial to the mind and body.
Soothing and calming. Purple combines the energy of red and the stability of blue.
Associated with royalty, wisdom, success, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
Symbolises luxury, extravagance, power, nobility, and ambition.
Often seen in beauty or anti-ageing products.
Black is all colours, totally absorbed.
Associated with sophistication, glamour, security, death, evil and mystery.
Formal and elegant. Powerful and sleek. A prestigious colour.
Creates a perception of seriousness and weight.
Often used to market luxury products.
Stimulating and our reaction is a combination of the physical and the emotional.
Happiness, creativity, enthusiasm, attraction, success and determination
Associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics.
It focuses our minds on physical comfort and sensuality.
Combines the energy of red and the joy of yellow. Fun.
Often used in call to actions (buy, click etc.)
Attracts impulsive shoppers.
Research suggests that blue is the world's favourite colour.
Creates a sense of trust and security.
Associated with intelligence, communication, efficiency, coolness, calm.
It is used to denote clear communication.
Blue objects don’t appear to be as close to us as red ones.
May be perceived as unemotional, cold and unfriendly.
Often associated with banks and businesses.
Ok, that’s enough with the colours. It’s interesting though, isn’t it?
Back to the tips…
#9 Use Social Proof
Social proof is a very effective way of increasing conversions.
People are more likely to choose a crowded restaurant than an empty one.
People like us, like what people like us, like.
Often, we trust the opinions of others more than the messaging from a brand.
People like and share online posts more readily if others have also done it in the past.
Include quotes from happy customers in your content. Endorsements from larger names or companies can help too.
To supercharge this effect, include customer case studies in your content marketing. This is a can pre-empt objections, tell your story, and increase conversions.
#10 Happiness is Contagious
In his brilliant book The Happiness Hypothesis, Jon Haidt notes the five fundamentals of human happiness are:
Connection with others
Making a difference
Associating with and experiencing “good”
Fairness and justice
These are things we all seek in our lives, consciously or unconsciously; regardless of our nationality, culture or ethnicity. According to research, these elements of happiness affect our purchasing decisions too. We find happiness most when we find a purpose and engage with it.
We often seek purpose outside of the traditional methods of religion and volunteering and look to further it in the choices we make shopping online, at the grocery store and so on…
Happy people are more likely to share their happiness with others. They’re enthusiastic.
Have a purpose. Make people happy, and they’ll engage with you now and for the long term.
#11 Use a Human Voice
Be honest. Be authentic.
The most influential voice is the one that connects with people. It’s the one they actually listen to.
It demands our attention. It makes use feel like we’re being spoken to directly.
Corporate jargon and business speak doesn’t do that.
“Circle back”. “Blue sky thinking”. “Move the needle”. “Scalable”. “Think outside the box”. “Ducks in a row”.
Sheesh. Stop it. Please.
Your voice can be casual, formal, light-hearted or serious.
Just make sure it sounds like a real-life person.
#12 Long Form Content
Google loves long-form content. Studies show the top ranking pages have over 2,400 words. This post has nearly 3,000.
It ranks better. It’s trusted more. It’s shared more. It’s more compelling.
It presents an authoritative voice to your readers.
It can generate up to 9 times more leads than short-form content (below 1,000 words).
So, don’t just do short blog posts and 30-second videos, start creating long-form content.
It’s a fantastic way to start driving more conversions from the great content you make!
One of the most powerful psychological biases people have is called “the rule of reciprocity.”
It states that when you give value to someone, they feel indebted to you.
This is part of the reason why content marketing is so effective. You provide valuable information for free, and your readers should be more likely to reciprocate by providing their e-mail address and becoming more engaged in your brand.
However, you have to make sure you actually tell your customers that this is what you’re doing.
Most marketers assume that people will somehow notice the time and effort put into the content production. The blood, sweat and tears. But… most readers won’t get it on their own. So, tell them.
By the way, this free guide took us a week to write… thank you for signing up to receive it. We hope you’re enjoying it so far!
#14 Address Pain Points
To really appeal to people, you need to address their pain points.
You need to find out exactly what their challenges, worries and struggles are.
Then, you need to provide considered analysis and recommendations that provide solutions to those pain points.
This demonstrates empathy. It shows caring. It’s useful. It’s engaging. It’s human, and it will bond you together.
When you help people, you can gradually build up a case for your service or product without ever making a direct call to action.
It’s good to help people.
#15 Follow Current Trends
People are always interested in what’s popular now, the in-thing and the next thing.
Create content around trends and encourage people to engage with things outside of your brand.
Join in the conversation. Have an opinion. Find information on the trend that’s new and interesting.
A word of caution - find topics that aren’t too controversial or complicated.
Including references to pop culture can make your content stand out.
It will make your brand feel more relevant, and this will drive more loyalty, sign-ups, conversions and purchases.
#16 Create Urgency
Urgency is one of the most powerful aspects of human psychology.
Creating urgency can improve sales by as much as 332%.
Urgency makes people act quickly. Remember The Chimp? The Chimp loves urgency.
Many of the problems that affect conversions are caused by cognitive friction: overthinking, procrastinating, or simply not responding to our calls-to-action.
Raising the urgency level cuts through a lot of this delay.
Behavioural psychologists say that urgent situations cause us to suspend deliberate thought and to act quickly.
Make references to low-stock, limited-time deals, and countdowns… Hurry! Act now! Only a few items left!
Do It Now!
#17 And Anticipation
Ready? Sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…
Anticipation is about mentally preparing for and expecting a certain outcome or result.
It draws people in. They want to know what’s coming next.
If your content starts with a cliff-hanger that only you can really solve, you’ve set yourself up nicely for a massive spike in conversions.
Generally, most people anticipate happy experiences. It doesn’t matter if you’re an optimist or a pessimist; the brain is wired to expect positive experiences.
Writing copy that makes people agree with you embeds this positivity more deeply. For example, “digital strategy is hard. You need help” or “You want to bring more people to your website. Together, we can make that happen”.
Understanding anticipation makes you a smarter marketer.
#18 Be Unusual
We all know content marketing is key to gaining an increase in traffic.
And… an increase in traffic should lead to more conversions, right?
There’s a technique that will both increase your traffic and improve your conversion rate.
Be unusual. Be weird. Be quirky!
Create something unexpected and original. Something out of the ordinary.
If it’s good, it will be shared and talked about more.
It drives traffic, you’ll engage your readers more effectively, and they’ll convert better.
Unusual is stupendous…
#19 Focus on the First and Last Points
Research has shown that humans pay careful attention to what comes first in content and what comes last.
They largely ignore everything in the middle.
In one study, ‘Simply Psychology’ state that recall percentage for concluding information is 75%.
The first piece has recall over 50%.
We can use these indicators to improve what people remember from our content.
Include the most important details at the beginning, and a call to action at the end.
#20 Leverage the P.S. Line
People will always read your postscript to see what else you have to say.
Those two little letters carry a lot of weight.
In fact, research shows that almost 80% of people will open a letter, scan the return address to see who sent it, then skip straight down to the postscript. This works with digital copy too.
Don’t use the P.S. to provide extra information or other non-converting copy. Use it to drive your most important actions.
There are a million and one ways to write a compelling postscript.
Here are 3 for starters: make them short, make them benefit-oriented, and make them compelling.
If you know what you’re doing and how psychology drives human behaviour, you’ll be able to create content and communications that resonate more deeply with your audiences. You’ll convert readers into loyal fans.
By using these 20 tips, you will make your brand more useful and engaging, while driving more people to do business with you.
To get started, we recommend you choose a couple of favourites to experiment with and see how it goes. As you learn and continue to create content, you can gradually add more.
As you continue to experiment, test, analyse and adapt you should start to see your conversion rates improve and your conversions go up.
By using psychology to your advantage, you’ll find it easier to make sure your marketing is effective. Now that you have these Jedi skills at your disposal make sure to use your powers for good!
You knew we’d do this, didn’t you? See point 20!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our “20 Ways to Boost Your Marketing” guide. We’ve loved creating it for you! The more we understand how people think, feel and act, the better placed we are to help them. We’re all about helping!
Our mission is to help purposeful brands achieve their purpose. When you’re successful, we’re successful. Together we can do great things.
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If we work together, we can help you fulfil your purpose, and in doing that, we fulfil our purpose - to help others realise theirs. It’s a beautiful, virtuous cycle!
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