To be a good inbound marketer, you need to understand a thing or two about psychology. At the very least, you should understand who your audience is, and what keeps them up at night. Ideally, when you leverage this information to work in your favor, you create an easier path to conversions.
Different marketers and different businesses use different approaches to psychology. Fear, for example, is a common tactic used among B2B brands. Van Morris notes that the key in using fear as a psychological tactic is in letting the consumer know that there is a legitimate threat. Let them know what they have to be concerned about, and then let them know how you are the solution to their problem.
That last part is crucial to making the conversion, lest you drive your lead right into a competitor’s arms.
Then there’s visual psychology, as Elizabeth Kraus points out. When designing brand identity elements, many marketers and designers choose colors based on preference with no regard to the subconscious effect those colors can have on their target audience.
Tod Hirsch maintains that reciprocity is a useful tactic when considering marketing psychology. He explains, “When someone receives something of value for free, they feel a powerful inclination to give something back in return. This is human nature.”
There are oodles of ways to put these practices into play, but the key is working them into your content strategy.
And the key to your content strategy is… a blog!
It makes sense to incorporate these principles into your business blog because this space allows for an exchange of ideas between you and your target audience. The blog is where they find out what you’re all about.
So how do you bring it all together?
Consider the psychological strategies mentioned here already. Figure out who your audience is and what conversion tactics will appeal to them (be it fear or anything else). This will help you determine your content. HubSpot shared a great infographic about this.
When compiling content on your site, be sure to take a look at the colors that you use, and consider what message that’s sending to your audience, combined with the blog content itself.
Create compelling content that will answer your readers’ questions, or provide a solution to a problem they may have. Let them know that you care about what troubles them, and are willing to take the time to address it on your blog. Remember here that one of your primary goals as a marketer is to make sure your business is found. Social media has been a real game-changer in this arena, allowing users to share information in real time and across numerous platforms.
Why is this important? From a psychological perspective, you want to understand what kinds of content your audience is going to share, because when they share it, your name gets out there. People are (hopefully) intrigued by what they see and return to the source. If you play your content strategy right, this is your chance to build leads.
How do you make sure that content is shared? At the risk of sounding repetitive, I can’t stress enough how imperative it is for you to know who you want to share that content. If you want an idea of the different kinds of sharers that are out there, Contently did a great summarization of a New York Times study, including the six types of sharers and why they share.
Pick a blog, any blog. Look at what’s gotten the most comments there. Chances are good that it’s something that’s elicited a strong emotional response. When creating your content, make your readers feel something – whether you’re entertaining, elating, or angering, your content is more likely to be shared when it evokes a reaction.
Hirsch suggests that after you’ve created some awesome content, you offer your reader something for free. Who doesn’t love free stuff!? This blog-swag could be a download of a white paper or a killer presentation that you’ve done. The only thing they need to do is enter their name and email address.
The psychology behind this conversion tactic? You’ve hooked potential leads with your ideas and content. Now that you’ve got them interested in what your business is all about, you will hopefully be able to convert them.
~ Blogging is the cornerstone of a good content strategy, and a good content strategy is the cornerstone of inbound marketing, therefore…
~ If you’re new to applying psychological principles to your inbound marketing techniques, your blog is the best place to start.
Do you find psychological conversion tactics to be a useful marketing strategy, or do you find them to be disingenuous? Let us know in the comments!