11 Proven Headlines that work like crazy

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January 4, 2022
Typewriter Mechanical Retro  - Free-Photos / Pixabay
Free-Photos / Pixabay

The best sales headlines can be written in an infinite number of ways.

But, how do you write a sales headline in the first place?

Certain types of titles have repeatedly proven themselves for many years, and these headline formulas can give you an edge when you’re serious about persuading someone to read and respond to your copy.

Why is the headline that important?

Still not quite sure why the headline is that important, and why you should spend a good amount of time figuring out the right one for your audience?

Think of it this way:

If your headline doesn’t hold a reader’s interest, they won’t ever see the rest of your writing.

If you wrote something great, it deserves an equally great headline that persuades someone to check it out.

How do you write the best sales headlines?

The following 11 headline formulas are some of the easiest to write and the most powerful.

When it comes time to write headlines that sell, try one of these first. At the very least, you’ll get a creative jumping off point to craft a winning headline.

1. Say it simply and directly

The direct headline should be used far more often than it is. No cleverness, jokes, or wordplay. The direct headline gets right to the point.

It works particularly well with strong offers, recognized brand names, and product or service types with which the reader is familiar.

2. State the big benefit

One of the first techniques to write the best sales headlines is transforming your major benefit into a headline. After all, your number one selling point should be up front.

You stand the best chance of selecting the right audience and preparing them to respond. Plus, if they read nothing else, they’ve at least seen the best selling point of your copywriting offer.

If you have trouble writing this kind of headline, it’s a sure sign you need to think a bit more about your product or service.

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3. Announce exciting news

People read newspapers and magazines online because they love news. It’s just basic human nature. We’re curious. We not only want to know, we need to know.

Casting your headline in a way that suggests news, rather than advertising, can have the same powerful appeal of a feature story.

And the product or service doesn’t necessarily have to be newly created to qualify as news. It merely has to be news to your reader.

  • At Last, American Scientists Have Created the Perfect Alternative to a Mined Diamond
  • Introducing the Newest Idea in Cross-Training, from NordicTrack
  • This Breakthrough in Driverless Cars Is Going to Change Everything

4. Appeal to the “how-to” instinct

The how-to headline appeals to the need most of us have to improve ourselves or our lives in some way. The secret here is to focus on a need or want and promise to fulfill that need or want.

Be careful, though. The how-to must highlight the benefit or final result, not the process itself. Look at this example:

  • How to Make Money Working from Home with Your PC

Suppose instead it read, “How to start a full-time computer business in your home.” This misses the point, doesn’t it? It sounds like a lot of work. It says nothing about the real motivator, which is using a computer you already own to make money easily.

To write a how-to headline, begin with the words “How to” or “How” then immediately fill in the benefit.

How to …

  • Stop Smoking in 30 days … or Your Money Back
  • Profit From the 3 Greatest Service Businesses of the Decade
  • Travel Central America on $17 a day

5. Pose a provocative question

Some of the best sales headlines ask a question that directly involve the reader.

However, your question cannot be random or clever. It must relate directly and clearly to the major benefit of the product. It must also prod the reader to answer “yes” or at least “I’m not sure, but I want to know more.”

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6. Bark a command

Ready to learn how to write a sales headline that packs a punch?

Sales copy often falls flat because it fails to tell the reader what to do. This headline type allows you to be direct, provide a benefit, and take a commanding posture simultaneously.

It’s not conversational; it’s dictatorial — but in an acceptable way that readers have come to expect in clear writing.

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7. Offer useful information

Let me clue you in on a little secret. Most people don’t want information. I know you’ve always been taught otherwise, but it’s true. People are drowning in facts.

What people really want is a sense of order and predictability in their lives. We want to feel a sense of power over our world. Therefore, we seek out the secrets, tips, hints, laws, rules, and systems that promise to help us gain control and make sense of things.

Notice how these headlines promise information that does just that.

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  • The Best Kept Secrets in America [FREE]
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8. Relay an honest, enthusiastic testimonial

A testimonial headline can do two things for you. First, it presents your reader with a third-party endorsement of your product or service. Second, it capitalizes on the fact that people like to know what other people say.

Take a look at these testimonial examples:

  • “Quite simply, the finest design software ever released”
  • “This diet program worked for me. It can work for you, too”
  • “It’s the first book on personal finance that really made sense to me”

A variation of this strategy is to write a headline in the first person and put quotation marks around it. This “virtual testimonial” gives you a more interesting headline and improves readership.

9. Authenticate your proposition with a little something extra

People distrust sales copy. And for good reason. A lot of copywriting proves inaccurate or downright dishonest.

To cut through this distrust, you can add a little something extra to your headline that seems out of place, yet rings true.

Look at the following headlines and notice how the words “Ohio Man,” “Obsolete,” and “Frustrated Bartender” stand out. Their specificity or quirkiness adds a truthful aura that traditional copy could never achieve.

  • Ohio Man Has 21-year Tested Formula to Create Multimillion-Dollar Business from Scratch, without Bank Loans, Venture Capitalists, or Selling Stock
  • Small Company’s New Golf Ball Flies Too Far, Could Obsolete Many Golf Courses
  • Frustrated Bartender Develops Incredible Device to Clean and Disinfect Your Entire Home

10. Get relevant from the start

People want to immediately know they’re in the right place. So, the better you know your ideal prospect, the better you can craft the most specific headline for them.

Imagine you’re speaking to someone in person. What would you say to capture and hold their attention?

These examples show how you can engage someone and guide them into the rest of your copy:

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11. Add emotionally stirring and action words to your headline

We know trigger words and persuasive words can make all the difference in your content and copy, so don’t forget to add them to your headlines to connect with your reader.

Showing your reader empathy lets them know that you understand their problems — and that you can help them.

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There are many other ways to write headlines that sell. Whatever strategy you choose, don’t make a decision too quickly. Take time to brainstorm. Write dozens or even hundreds of headlines.

You never know exactly what you want to say before you say it, so giving yourself plenty of choices is the surest way to arrive at the best sales headlines.

Contact a Killer or a Poet today !

What to expect from a Ransomware Attack

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January 4, 2022

Lessons Learned from Those Who’ve Been There – (for INFINIT a K&P client)

It’s an understatement to say ransomware attacks have increased over the past two years. In fact, they’ve skyrocketed to an all-time high, and the need for proper security and prevention has never been greater. Unfortunately, they’re not entirely preventable, no matter how much a business prepares, and many companies don’t know what to do when ransomware occurs.

NFINIT has worked with several companies that experienced this very issue over the last year, so we’d like to present an aggregated view of what a ransomware attack looks like, from the typical timeline to hidden costs. Plus, we’ve outlined a few actionable tips.

First, here are the facts.

  • The number of ransomware attacks jumped 150% in 2020, and ransom amounts doubled.
  • Cases have continued to climb in 2021, with a 148% increase and nearly 3 million attacks so far this year.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity was swift and stark; the FBI announced in April 2020 that it had already seen a 300% jump in cybercrimes since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • At least half of the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and CIOs PwC recently surveyed said they haven’t entirely mitigated risks related to remote work, cloud adoption, or digitization – and we know that cyber criminals are taking advantage of those trends.

Never Too Safe

Nearly every company we’ve worked with through a ransomware incident felt they had taken the proper precautions by having adequate equipment, data backups, and virus scans. But being behind by even a single update can provide enough of an opening for hackers.

In one case, our client’s firewalls were one patch level behind, and that new patch level had just launched. The hackers took advantage of that vulnerability. In another instance, our customer brought in a third-party consultant that happened to have a PC that was infected, and the customer didn’t run virus-scan on that computer before syncing it with the company network. Yet another client administrator logged into an infected computer at a store, opening up the network to attack.

Even multi-million-dollar enterprises that house critical infrastructure and surely employ impressive in-house cybersecurity teams, such as Colonial Pipeline, have fallen victim recently. (Our CEO addresses this topic in an alert we issued regarding ransomware attacks in May 2021.)

Shock and Awe

Interactive timeline of ransomware events

In each case we’ve worked with directly, though the specific causes varied, the initial IT shock was the same. By the time an attack is identified, hackers have had a chance to pull data over to their devices and start searching for important information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or anything else of value, sending IT personnel into panic mode.

After that initial shock, personnel are tasked with identifying how widespread the attack is and which departments are affected. Machines are checked and the IT department starts to identify not only how far the attack has reached, but also how to start the recovery. View our day-by-day interactive Timeline of Events. 

Establish New Methods of Communications

Happening simultaneously is the new communication path. Email communication is often lost and with that typically being the primary method of communicating between team members, a new method has to be established, which most often includes phone calls and texting. Any physical locations also have to be made aware of the attack and informed that they cannot conduct business until recovery has started.


One of the first calls to make during these attacks is to the cybersecurity insurance company, which we strongly advise you to retain. It’s important to have a designated company representative who is tasked with reaching out to the company insurance rep, who then begins the process of communicating and negotiating with the attackers. (It’s typical for both insurance companies and attackers to have professional negotiators for these situations. Both are well versed in dealing with the other side and working together to arrive at a more reasonable outcome.)

While the insurance company handles the negotiation, the data center / IT partner (such as NFINIT) often manages the data backup and recovery process. NFINIT is able to bring machines online on a separate network, allowing access for a third party to do security posture checking.

Prepare for the Hidden Costs of Ransomware

There is often an added layer of surprise baked into the attacks in the form of unexpected costs. While most focus on the lump sum for the ransom, a hefty checklist of additional costs soon arises, both in the form of payouts and productivity. In fact, in all of the cases we’ve seen lately, the ransom itself ended up being relatively small when compared to the additional fees, opportunity costs, and other budget hits.

In general, ransoms are requesting funds for three major components

  1. to get your data back
  2. to keep hackers silent about the attack
  3. to find out how you were breached.

Beyond the initial attack, the additional hard-line costs bubble up during the insurance process and requirements. The negotiator works with a pre-set deductible outlined in each contract to use as the ransom payout. From there, each company is given a checklist of third-party services and vendors for the rebuild and recovery.

Regardless of the specific situation, a company under attack is faced with the loss of productivity from their IT teams while they work on recovery. The data recovery and backup process pulls team members from other projects they might be working on for anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. During this time, CFOs are also tied up working with the insurance company (if the company has one), which means a loss in productivity from the C-suite as well.

In addition, we can’t forget the actual interruption in business while networks and systems are locked down, and while it typically only lasts for a few days, it results in an almost invaluable loss in terms of overall profit. Not to mention costs that are more difficult to quantify but have a major lasting impact, such as loss of trust from customers.

Recovery and Results

NFINIT is able to make a difference in the outcome of these attacks within several key areas of focus. First is aiding in micro-segmentation, which helps with prevention and limiting an attack footprint. NFINIT works with clients to segment their networks in a way that provides each employee access where necessary while mitigating the fallout of future attacks. NFINIT works with clients in a consultative way to determine which machines should be segmented, which users should have access to what, and which cybersecurity rules you should establish company-wide.

Second, NFINIT plays a major role in backup and recovery. As full-time network engineers and data center technicians, the NFINIT team uses and manages the equipment every day and knows the ins and outs of customer IT environments.  Having a cloud provider not only adds resources in high-stress, all-hands-on-deck – but highly trained, expert resources. Oftentimes, IT teams managing data on-premise haven’t used certain equipment and software in months and struggle to pull the right levers on game day.

Last but most important: NFINIT leverages the team’s roots as previous software vendors, retailers, and manufacturers – the end consumers of technology – to evolve into being a trusted advisor rather than a simple vendor.

The good news is, in all recent ransomware cases we’ve helped with, our clients paid either zero ransom or a negligible amount compared to the original ask – plus, their strategically managed IT infrastructure helped to mitigate what could have been catastrophic events for those companies. Clearly, having the right players on your team can make all the difference should your company suffer from an attack.

NFINIT’s Top Quick Tips

  1. Get cybersecurity insurance, today. Cybersecurity insurance is a relatively new concept, so we understand if you might question its worth. But in our experience, our clients who’ve had it have seriously minimized costs and stress levels; in the moment after you first see a ransom message on company computers, cybersecurity insurance is worth its weight in gold.
  2. Work with a third-party technology partner to evaluate your data practices, today. All data should not be treated equally. In order to keep your most critical business data safe while meeting cost-savings requirements, data tiering is often necessary, and it’s a step that many enterprises are missing. Hire a third-party partner who can evaluate your data storage and practices with a fresh set of eyes, compile a best practices system in case of an attack, and be there for you should every IT director’s worst nightmare come true. We like to remind our clients that cyber-attacks are not entirely preventable. Ensuring that you can quickly and efficiently recover data, applications, and critical systems is the best way to hedge against a crippling breach.
  3. Don’t assume you’re protected. We can’t emphasize this enough: every company we’ve assisted during a cyber-attack felt confident in their security practices. For this reason, our second tip, above, is critical! Check your patches. Make sure third-party consultants have passed your cybersecurity clearance before tapping into your network. And above all, bring in someone outside of the company – a fresh set of eyes – to go through your network security checklist. It might not prevent an attack altogether, but with the right partner, it will go a long way toward minimizing the effects.

To learn more about how NFINIT can help, contact us today.

10 ways to master your own Copy Writing

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January 4, 2022

Writing copy is both an art and a science. It’s an art because it requires creativity, a sense of beauty and style — a certain aptitude, mastery, and special knowledge. Artistic advertising allows you to create content marketing that’s not just practical and persuasive, but awe-inspiring and breathtaking.

Writing copy is also a science, because it exists in the world of tests, trial and failure, improvement, breakthroughs, education, and predictability. Scientific advertising allows you to develop an idea, and then test that idea. It’s how you know if your content marketing is working.

In bad copy, one (or both) of these elements are missing. In good copy, they are both abundant.

Read on, because in the next few minutes we’ll explore 10 examples of good copywriting out in the wild.

Our Killers

1. Plain copy

The most basic approach to write copy is to introduce the product without gimmick or style. It’s a simple presentation of the facts and benefits.

There’s no story, no conversation, no “sizzle,” and no superlative claims.

Think Google Marketing Platform.

It’s the type of copy that isn’t going to win any literary awards, but if you’ve studied how to write a good sentence, you’ll be able to get the job done. You’ll give a prospect the information she needs to make an informed decision about the product.

2. Storytelling copy

Everyone loves a good story.

We like hearing about people — especially interesting people. People who’ve suffered challenges we can relate to, and can tell us how they overcame those challenges.

And the moral of the story, coincidentally, is that your product was the catalyst to overcoming those odds.

You might find this storytelling technique in an email series, a landing page, or a short video. Whatever the format, you’ll get four basic traits in the story:

  1. Opening: Introduce the pain. Show how the character of the story had a normal life, then how that life was shattered by a change of events.
  2. Conflict: How is the life of the main character threatened if he or she does not respond to the problem? What does her journey look like as she tackles this challenge?
  3. Dialogue: People are drawn to conversations in a story. It’s human interest at its root: two people talking to each other. We are also drawn to dialogue because it’s easy to read. “Our eyes flow over dialogue like butter on the hood of a hot car,” says novelist Chuck Wendig.
  4. Solution: Finally, your product is introduced as the cure for your character’s problem. You increase the credibility of your product by sharing specific results (347% increase in conversion, for example).

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic. It just has to be interesting to your target audience. And this is where good research comes in.

3. Conversational copy

John Caples calls conversational copy “You and Me.”

In this style of copy, you write as if there is a conversation between two people: the copywriter and the prospect.

The language here would be no different than a salesman sitting down for lunch with a customer and talking through a sales presentation. It’s a straightforward approach that tries to identify with the reader:

“I know how you feel. I felt the same way. That all changed when I found x, y and z.”

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a polished copywriter to create effective conversational copy. Often the sheer passion for what you’re trying to promote breathes off the page.

In fact, you can record a conversation about the product, transcribe that conversation, and use it as a rough draft.

4. John Lennon copy

When John Lennon asked us to imagine there was no heaven or hell, no countries, religion or war, he was using an effective tool of persuasion: imaginative copy.

As an advertiser who’s learning how to write copy, you can ask your target audience to imagine a painless way to lose weight, or what it would feel like to be a successful travel writer.

Imaginative copy typically begins with words like “imagine,” “close your eyes,” “pretend for a moment,” “discover,” or “picture this” in the first paragraph of the text.

You’re often asked to imagine your life in a certain way — to pretend what it would be like to live your dream, whatever that dream might be.

Then the copywriter paints a picture of achieving that ideal life through a certain product.

5. Long copy

The fundamental premise behind long copy is “The more you tell, the more you sell.” Ads that are long on facts and benefits will convert well.


Unlike a face-to-face conversation with a salesperson, a written ad has only one chance to convert a reader. If you get in front of the reader, you’ve got to lay it all out on the table.

When you’re tackling long copy, it pays to learn how to write bullet points. They help ensure your most important details stand out.

And when you’re following the basic rules of content marketing that works, remember that you don’t have to present all of the facts and benefits up front.

You can leak the presentation over a period of weeks through an email autoresponder or a registration-based content library.

In this way, you’re turning long copy into short, easily-digestible snippets.

6. Killer-poet copy

Here at Killers & Poets, we love writers like David Sedaris.

But we aren’t so enamored by their writing abilities that we try to imitate their styles at the expense of teaching and selling.

Our goal isn’t to convince our audience that we’re smart — it’s educating and selling with our copy.

As David Ogilvy once said, “We sell, or else.” But we try to sell with style. We try to balance the killer with the poet.

Killer-poet copy sees writing as a means to an end (making a sale), and the ad as an end in itself (beautiful design and moving story).

In other words, the killer-poet combines style with selling. Creativity with marketing. Story with solution.

7. Direct-from-CEO copy

It’s a known fact: third-party endorsements can help you sell products.

But it’s equally effective to position your sales argument as a direct communication between the company founder and his or her customer.

This down-to-earth approach levels the playing field. It telegraphs to the customer, “See, the CEO isn’t some cold and remote figurehead interested in profit only. He’s approachable and friendly. He cares about us.”

8. Frank copy

Some copy will explain the ugly truth about the product.

This approach doesn’t start with the jewels of your goods — it’s going to start with the warts.

When selling a car, you might point out the endless repairs that need to be done — thin brake pads, leaky transmission, busted sway bar, and inoperable dashboard — before you introduce the leather seats, Monsoon stereo system, sun roof, brand-new tires and supercharged engine.

What you’re saying is, this car will need a lot of TLC. You might even go so far as to say, “Make no mistake — there’s much work to be done here.”

And here’s a curious thing: When you are honest and transparent about product weaknesses, the customer trusts you.

When the reader trusts you, they will be considerably more likely to believe you when you point out the good qualities of your product.

9. Superlative copy

There are also times when you can make outlandish claims.

Claims like (these are actual ads):

  • “A revolutionary material from this Nevada mine could make investors a fortune”
  • “Stores across Australia selling out of what some call a new ‘miracle’ diet formula”
  • “Obey this one weird loophole to get car insurance as low as $9”

But you can only make extraordinary claims when you have the proof to back it up. The evidence can be in statistics, testimonials, or research — or preferably all three.

The problem with superlative copy is that it’s often hard to make outlandish claims and not sound like you are hyping it up — so use this type of copy sparingly.

Generally, it’s good to follow the “Remove All Hype” policy.

10. Rejection copy

Rejection copy turns conventional wisdom on its head and tries to discourage people from being interested in your product.

This type of copy is a direct challenge to the reader that leverages the idea that only an exclusive set of people are invited to use a product.

The American Express Black Card is a good example — this card is reserved for the world’s wealthiest and most elite. The only way you can get your hands on one is if you are invited.

Similarly, consider the dating site Beautiful People. If you want to be part of this exclusive dating club made up of “beautiful” people, then you have to be voted in by existing members.

Potential rejection startles readers — they don’t expect to be turned down, especially not from an advertiser.

This approach also keys into our sense of wanting to belong. It generates curiosity and activates our pride. We think, “How dare they say I might not be good enough to get into their club? I’ll show them.”

Write copy that works

In the end, writing copy often combines several of these techniques into one ad.

The CEO of a company writes a conversational sales letter built around a story about his passion for his product (whether it is peaches or water pumps).

A copywriter writes a long rejection ad that explains why certain people are excluded from receiving an invitation to dine at an exclusive restaurant.

Or a Savile Row tailor writes a plain but elegant sales letter about his suits, which have been worn by kings and presidents.

That’s the art and science of effective copywriting.

Have a chat with one of our Killers or Poets HERE

2021 Kitchen and Bathroom remodeling trends (By a 3-STAR K&P writer)

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January 4, 2022

With more people staying home in the COVID era, bathroom and kitchen remodeling trends are becoming an increasingly common area of research. Styles that increase efficiency and ease of use while improving the home’s esthetics are increasingly important to homeowners. A few of the best bath and kitchen plumbing trends are presented to help customers make informed decisions when planning kitchen or bath plumbing improvements.

A delightful addition to a bath is the stand-alone tub, bowl tub, and claw-footed tubs, which are highly popular with those in the market for bathroom plumbing remodeling. The 51” long and the 41” round tubs are now trending. Bathroom innovations also offer self-cleaning toilets, heated panels, and special lighting for customer selection.

In the kitchen, the use of technology presents one of the newest trends, which seem to be increasing. Automated smart taps with voice activation, along with appliances and lighting, are taking hold in bathroom and kitchen water system remodeling trends. Likewise, plumbing trends for the bath are inspired by the Victorian era, with heated floors and heated towel racks keeping the bath nice and comfy.

Clean is always a significant concern in the kitchen, but now homeowners are adding materials that help keep surfaces clean longer; laminate, solid surfaces, and stainless-steel countertops lead the list of easy-to-clean surfaces.

If you wish to make stylish but small changes to the bathroom or kitchen fixtures, keep in mind faucets and sink bowls can change the look of a room. These water receptors are designed in multiple shapes and are sold in a variety of colors to suit a range of decorum.

Customers might also consider a personal spa for the bath while adding elegantly designed faucets and showerheads. In addition, water filtration features, touchless faucets, and other water-saving plumbing features add value to a home.

Leak detection is a feature that saves customers thousands of dollars. Undetected leaks in kitchen or bathroom plumbing can damage walls, floors, and basement areas long before they are noticed by the human eye, causing mold and mildew, which cause health problems.

Dual showerheads provide a wider reach for the water, better flow, and easier cleaning for the general area. Multiple settings let you control the amount of pressure you want to use for cleaning, and a hand-held device lets you control the direction of the water.

Using the newest innovations to operate home plumbing fixtures in the bath or kitchen makes cooking and cleaning so much easier. In addition, homeowners find bathroom and kitchen remodeling trends leading towards health monitoring mirrors and smart scales. Also, customers want steam and walk-in showers.

Ease and relaxation seem to be the goal with today’s bathroom and kitchen plumbing remodeling trends. Customers are making use of his and her features for the bath, saunas, and bidets. For the kitchen, pot fillers and hot water dispensers are pretty handy in any home.

Staying abreast of the newest kitchen and bathroom plumbing remodeling options helps homeowners keep their property aligned with the latest building trends. Therefore, if they decide to sell, the home is ready for the market with a high sales value.

7.5 ways to influence buyer behavior with Marketing Phycology

by , on
November 8, 2021

Guest Author :Poet #12 Last updated: October 2nd, 2021

The brain. It is the control center for every process in your body, every feeling you have, every movement. It’s fascinating to think about how many commands and signals it sends and receives every day. But with so much to do, and at such a fast pace, your brain is always looking for ways to get its jobs done faster.

This is particularly true when it comes to cognitive functions, such as remembering, problem-solving, and, what we’re talking about today—decision making. When it comes time to make a judgment or act, the brain largely relies on past information it has stored in order to quickly reach a verdict—even at the expense of the quality of the decision. 

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—brain taking mental shortcuts

Image source

So in terms of consumers making purchasing decisions, being aware of these shortcuts can help you to understand, predict, and leverage their behaviors in your favor. No, you’re not looking to maliciously manipulate your prospects and customers. But yes, there are ways to influence their actions—actions they will be glad they took.

In this article, you’ll learn six psychological principles you can leverage in your marketing and influence the buying decisions of your prospects.

  1. Social proof
  2. Anchoring
  3. Reciprocity
  4. Commitment and consistency
  5. Mere exposure effect
  6. Paradox of choice
  7. Pygmalion effect

Let’s begin.

7 marketing psychology tactics to influence purchasing decisions

For each of the seven tactics in this post, we’ll explain what each one is, offer some simple examples, and then provide specific ways you can leverage them in your marketing strategies—whether for your website, product pages, landing pages, and more. 

1. Social proof

This term was coined by the author Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. It’s the idea that people tend to follow others in novel situations where “appropriate” behavior is unknown to them. Such conformity is practiced by people so that they are liked and accepted.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—social proof—line of people following a person

Here are a few ways you can use social proof to influence buyer behavior.

Add testimonials to your website and landing pages

The most common example of social proof is the testimonials you often see on a product’s landing page. And Visitors feel more confident in conforming to existing customers’ behaviors, and this is a great place to set that in motion.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—testimonials on landing page

Produce a dedicated testimonial page

Even better, you could create a dedicated testimonial page so prospective clients can see consumers or companies just like them, benefiting from your solution. For example, below is the testimonial page on the LOCALiQ website. Notice that you can filter by industry or service provided—which is ideal.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—example of dedicated testimonial page

Highlight endorsements from popular brands

You may also want to include the logos, or in the example below, the faces, of any big names or brands that use your product (with their permission, of course).

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—picture of influencer giving testimonial

Another similar option would be to list major media outlets that have featured your product.

Seeing these familiar faces and names endorsing your offering helps potential customers to feel confident and secure that you deliver results.

Include stamps of approval

If you have partnerships, awards, or other “trust seals” that speak to your credibility, add those too!

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—credibility badges on website

Use the numbers to get more subscribers

You don’t always need a prominent name to build trust and get signups for your offers. There’s also the “wisdom of the crowd” approach, where you can boast that a large group of people is using your products or resources.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—website copy boasting 5000 members

Image via Rochi Zalani

2. Anchoring

The anchoring bias is the tendency of an individual to use the first piece of information presented to them as a benchmark (or anchor) for making their decision. As you can imagine, this tactic is particularly useful for pricing.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—cartoon illustrating anchoring effect

Image source

Here are some types and examples of anchoring:

Indicate mark-downs

Here’s a simple example that Amazon uses all of the time. The visitor sees that the original price is higher than the discounted price. Not only does the buyer see this as a bargain, but also, a higher starting price tends to send the message that the item is of higher value.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—example of markdown

But every business has a unique audience with unique perceptions on price. Make sure you understand how pricing changes affect the perceived quality of your products in the eyes of consumers.

Show the amount saved

Many SaaS and subscription companies offer a cheaper annual plan over their monthly subscriptions, as with Zoom in the example below. Another way to display this would be to show the monthly rate for the month-to-month plan, and then the reduced monthly rate for the yearly plan. However, if the difference is not all that significant, it may be more worth your while to show the total savings from the year. 

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—zoom savings comparison with annual plan

3. Reciprocity

When someone is kind to you, do you feel compelled to act in the same manner? This is reciprocity—the human tendency to want to respond to a kind gesture with one of their own.

Sociologist Phillip Kunz conducted an experiment in 1974, whereby he sent 600 Christmas cards to complete strangers (selected at random). In response to his kind gesture, approximately 200 strangers replied back. That’s reciprocity at work. Here’s what reciprocity might look like in your marketing:

Provide free (valuable) information and education

In your marketing strategy, you can leverage this psychological phenomenon by offering free value-adds to your customers. A classic example is offering free education or downloadables to your audience. For example, LOCALiQ has their Marketing Lab, a free learning hub for local business owners and marketers.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—reciprocity—localiq free learning hub

They also offer free templates in their blog posts. Now, your readers can’t reciprocate by providing free education back to you, but let’s say they’re deciding between your company and a competitor, and you both have great reviews. Which company do you think they’ll feel more inclined to choose? The one that has been generously providing resource all along or the one with only social proof?

Offer free tools and trials

In the B2B SaaS industry, a great example of reciprocity would be offering a free trial of your software or a free tool. Again, if it comes down to deciding between one agency and another, the buyer may be more inclined to reciprocate your free and valuable offerings with their business.

4. The commitment and consistency bias

The commitment and consistency bias is one where, once we heed a small request, we are more likely to comply with a larger one later. This comes from our inclination to exhibit behaviors consistent with preceding ones. The foot-in-the-door technique makes use of this bias, and here are some ways it is used in marketing.

Encourage movement down your marketing funnel

The marketing funnel is structured around this type of behavior. At the top of the funnel are small requests (aka calls to action), and then they gradually get bigger as the prospect moves downward to the bottom.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—content marketing funnel

For example, you ask readers to read your content, then you ask them to give their email in exchange for a free guide, then you ask them to attend an event or webinar, and then you invite them to a free trial or consult.

Since the consumer is inclined to keep their behaviors consistent, they are more likely to continue pursuing and engaging with the content and offers from the business they first started with. Plus, compared to the first action (reading a blog post), a free trial is a big jump, but compared to the previous action (attending a webinar), it’s not as drastic.

Get more account signups

Yelp uses the commitment and consistency bias to gain more signups.

The platform lets you draft reviews without creating an account. When you begin writing, Yelp uses motivational microcontent such as “Don’t leave us hanging – what else you got?” to encourage you to complete the review.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—yelp review process

Then, once you finish the review, they ask you to create an account—without which you can’t post your review.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—yelp encouraging signup to publish review

Now you don’t have to create an account and post the review, but more likely than not, you’ve put in the effort to write it, so you want to make the time you spent worth it. You’re not going to abandon the process midway, are you?

Increase engagement with long-form content

You can also leverage the commitment and consistency bias to increase engagement with your content—particularly long-form content over 5,000 words. Instead of just asking your audience to commit to reading an article that they don’t yet know is worth their time, present it in bite-snack-meal form.

  • Bite: Small piece of information without details.
  • Snack: Combination of bites. Audience wants more information but not detail.
  • Meal: Large piece of information, filled with details and thorough explanations.

For instance, I have an extensive review of Grammarly on my site, Elite Content Marketer. Instead of asking readers to commit to reading the whole piece, I start with the bite and the snack upfront. The bite is the overall verdict. The snack is visual of the pros and cons of the product. And then the meal is the detailed review.

If the reader has engaged with the smaller, more digestible pieces of information at the beginning, they will be more likely to perform the larger request: to read the full piece. Should they choose not to read it, they can at least get the key takeaways at the top and obtain value from the content.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—blog post with bite, snack, meal approach

5. The mere exposure effect

Also referred to as the “familiarity principle,” this is the concept that the more you develop familiarity with something, the more you prefer it.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—mere exposure effect cartoon

Run display ads for brand awareness

Display ads are known to have lower click-through rates than Search ads (where there is a higher intent match), but they are useful for generating brand awareness. The more times a consumer is exposed to your brand—even if just for a split second—the more familiar it becomes in their brain.

Use retargeting ads to increase CTR

The number one way you might have leveraged this effect is through retargeting your prospects. Indeed, retargeting ads are 76% more likely to be clicked than a regular display ad. Here are the differences in CTR for remarketing ads vs. regular display ads:


But watch your frequency because if your ad keeps aggressively following a prospect on the internet, you can quickly become that annoying brand that doesn’t care about privacy. An appropriate delay between exposures gives them time to settle in so the repetitions are more effective.

Send the same message across all channels

You can also repeat your messaging and unique value proposition (USP) across your brand assets, including your website, blog posts, newsletters, ads, and other touchpoints. As a prospect becomes more and more familiar with your USP, the more appealing it becomes. And this is why including an array of channels and mediums in your content marketing strategy is so important.

Ahrefs CMO Tim Soulo recently mentioned how their blog, receiving close to 400k monthly visitors (as per their own tool), facilitates the mere exposure effect.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—tim soulo tweet about mere exposure effect

Promote your content

The mere exposure effect also makes a strong case for promoting your content on social media (and encouraging others to promote it too), especially your guides and blog posts. You can share the same content more than once—just make sure you allow enough time in between postings. You can use the approximate timeline below as a guide. 

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—coschedule social sharing timeline

Image source

6. Paradox of choice

Let’s say you’re at the supermarket and you just want to buy some tea. As you approach this part of the aisle, all the different kinds of tea looks great. But as you start browsing, you start feeling not-so-great. There’s white, green or red. There’s regular, decaf, and caffeine-free. And then there’s all of the different flavors. And that’s just for one brand!

With too many options to choose from, you start feeling stressed in choosing the one that best fits your needs. That’s the paradox of choice!

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—paradox of choice cartoon

Psychologist Barry Schwartz (who also authored a book on this subject) gave a popular TED Talk sharing this idea of choices leading to anxiety in shoppers. As the number of options to choose from increases, a buyer becomes paralyzed in their decision-making, and sometimes choose nothing at all. Further, it can lead to post-purchase regret with the possibility that the other choices were better.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—graph showing more options correlates to less happiness

Here are some ways to remove analysis paralysis for your audience.

Limit the number of items in your main navigation menu

While a big part of marketing is to go against the norm so you can stand out, there are still many areas where this could work against you. For example, you might see that a competitor has just five items in their website’s navigation bar. So maybe you think to have 10 in yours so prospects can see that you have more to offer. The truth is, websites should only have 3-6 items in their navigation bar.

Too many options to choose from, and the visitor becomes confused on what to do or where to go. By narrowing down those menu options (and even the other click options on the home page), you spare them from these unnecessary decisions so they have the mental energy to make the more important ones as they get deeper into your site. 

Have only CTA per landing page

You’ve heard this a thousand times, but it’s worth repeating. You should have one unique landing page for each product or offering, with one clear call to action per landing page. Multiple options will distract your prospects from the desired action you want them to take, can make for a less cohesive user experience, and can lead to a loss of conversions. And when you’re running paid ads, you can’t afford to waste your ad spend. 

Remove social sharing buttons

So maybe you’ve removed the email signup button from the page where you want users to buy now. But are there other options to click on the page that are less prominent? Is there a link-heavy footer on the bottom? What about social media icons that link to your profiles or allow the visitor to share? In a case study by VWO, they were able to increase the conversion rate of their product page by 12%, simply by eliminating social share buttons.

Here’s another before-and-after that demonstrates this best practice:

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—before and after landing page with too many CTAs

Image source

7. The Pygmalion effect

This last psychological tactic can be used both on your customers and your own team.

The Pygmalion effect, also known as the Rosenthal effect, says that if you, or others, believe something to be true of yourself, it will eventually become so. So if a teacher holds his or her students to high standards with the belief that they are capable of meeting them, the students are highly likely to perform better. Similarly, setting high standards for your employees with enthusiasm can have the same effect.

how to use marketing psychology to influence purchasing decisions—pygmalion effect diagram

Image source

Unify your team and improve the customer experience

This is why identifying the core values for your brand—and keeping those top-of-mind with your team—is so important. This gives individuals a clear set of expectations and qualities to strive for and incorporate into everything they do. The more positive feedback they receive, the more and more they will truly exemplify those values. This not only makes for a unified team, but also makes for a consistent and extraordinary customer experience.

Indeed, expectations can shape reality.

Create a positive feedback loop with your customers

You can also apply this tactic directly to your audience. By conveying that a higher level of performance is attainable, a better version of themselves is on the horizon, or that they can become the best in their field, you encourage them to act in a way that aligns with those beliefs.

These actions might start out by downloading your content or following you on social media. The more confidence they have that they can achieve their goal with your help, and that they’re already on the way to doing it, the more likely they are to be a customer. Even better, as they achieve their goals over time, they can become loyal customers.  

Hold your team to high standards and show your customers that they are capable of achieving their goals, and success will flow from there.

Use psychology responsibly in your marketing

I don’t want to spoil the party here, but given that we’ve discussed some cognitive biases —which are essentially “errors in thinking”— I want to remind you to use them responsibly.

Yes, you can use them to win over more customers, but remember these points:

  • Make sure that their decision to choose you is truly the best one for them. Don’t employ these tactics to consumers for whom your product or service is not a good fit. Don’t use these tactics to make promises you can’t keep or to represent more capabilities than you have.
  • A customer who feels “cheated” may feel inclined to get back at you (remember the principle of reciprocity?). They might spread negative word of mouth about your brand to others, in person or online.
  • When using these tactics, align your business goals with those of your prospective buyers to make it a win-win.
  • Stay patient. Allow enough time to see results in your data. 

Focus on building great products and earning the trust of your audience through responsible marketing strategies. It’s a combination proven to work better in the long term.

About the author

Would you like to meet our Poet Ciaran? Contact Killers & Poet Team HERE and see if he can work with your brand.

Poet #12 Ciaran, specializes in writing for SAAS businesses.

5 Communication Strategies to better engage with Employees

by , on
November 8, 2021

Author: Poet #32 Annabelle

Good internal communication is critical for a successful business. If your employees have problems communicating effectively, it can be difficult to have a high-functioning and committed workforce. Strong communication also fosters a better working community and helps boost the strength of your company culture. The best way to promote healthy communication amongst your team members is by creating an effective internal communication strategy.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is an Internal Communication Strategy?
  2. Internal Communication Best Practices
  3. How Kutcha Kings (*replaced Company name) Can Help

What Is an Internal Communication Strategy?

An internal communication strategy is at the core of creating an outstanding customer and employee experience. It is a plan for how employees will share information, engage with each other, establish roles, and create a productive environment within your company. An effective internal communication strategy is achieved by aligning all the different elements of your organization working together to create successful internal communications between company departments, managers, and employees.

A good strategy serves as a guide for consistently communicating amongst employees, so they feel informed about goals and initiatives within your organization. It also outlines the individual part each person should play in carrying out those goals. An internal communication strategy helps outline important conversations with key leaders and partners to allow them what they need to optimize business opportunities.

Ideally, you should think about your employees the same way you do as your customers. You want to attract, engage, and delight them, creating exceptional experiences every chance you have to communicate with them (or when they communicate with one another). This helps attract new talent and keeps your employees satisfied, which in turn enhances the customer experience as well.

Internal Communication Best Practices

To ensure that your internal communications plan is well thought-out, consider adding the the following best practices into your strategy.

1) Establish a Budget

Before you start writing your internal communication plan, you must determine what your budget will be. Determining a budget helps you avoid random attempts at communication. It streamlines your efforts into a succinct business strategy and investment in the success of your company. Projects that begin without a firm budget tend to fizzle out because companies can’t justify the resources necessary to get the project up and running. Try to offer your internal communication strategy the best chance of success by allocating the necessary funds from the start.

2) Take a Collaborative Approach

Assemble a team to put the strategy in place. Creating a cross-functional group of 8-10 key players in your organization will help your strategy reflect a diverse variety of perspectives. Make sure to involve key stakeholders in the plan so that you gain approval from the most influential people in your organization. Appoint someone as the leader of the team and have them organize the initiative so the project doesn’t just die out.

3) Do An Internal Communications Audit

A good way to gauge what you need to do to improve internal communications is to look at what is currently helping (or hindering) your efforts. Conducting a communications audit helps refine haphazard attempts into a structured and effective strategy. When you conduct an audit, look at all areas of communication within your organization. And be sure to get feedback from all levels of the organization.

Part of measuring your efforts includes assessing the channels you’re using to reach your audience. You want to focus on the channels that drive the most engagement. For instance, you may prefer sending out communications via email, but your employees prefer checking your Twitter account or using a different software platform for updates.

4) Set Objectives

A good plan starts by clearly defining the goals and objectives you want to achieve. Brainstorm all your possible objectives. Here are some items it might include:

  • Establish a baseline for internal communication and employee engagement.
  • Empower managers to have crucial conversations with their teams
  • Recognize employees who uphold brand values and fortify company culture.

Try to come up with as many ideas as possible for leveraging different channels to facilitate internal communication.

5) Avoid Communication Overload

Technology is a blessing and a curse. It allows us to communicate more quickly and with greater ease than ever before, but it can also create communication pollution and overwhelm recipients with too much info. People remember things best when they are clear and simple. Try to keep communication short and concise, and use visuals whenever possible. Only send necessary information to specific parties and avoid cluttering up people’s inboxes with excess.

How Kultcha Kings Can Help

The goal of internal communication is not just to impart information. It should also seek to engage, motivate, and inspire. If you’re considering ramping up your internal communications plan, contact our Team at Kultcha Kings to learn more about how Kultcha Kings professional video hosting platform can help improve your business communications today.

Buying a New car versus Second Hand

by , on
November 8, 2021

You can find private sellers online, through a used car ad in your local newspaper, or through various apps. *Company X is a great place to look for a vehicle from a private seller, and the benefits of buying a car privately are many. US auto analysts Manheim found the size of our Aussie second-hand car market to be around three million units per annum meaning a private seller might just have that car you want.

So, what are the greatest benefits of buying a car privately versus at a dealership?

1) Lower Price

Why do cars at the dealership cost more than a private sale? Dealerships often factor overhead costs into the price of their cars, such as sales salaries and marketing costs. At a dealership, you’re much more likely to pay more than the car is worth – and more than you’ll pay from a used car ad. Buying a car from a private seller means you’ll likely pay much less. Private car sales eliminate the need for a middleman and offer steep savings over dealership purchases.

Many private sellers look to Red Book to value their vehicles. Red Book tracks pricing and offers a fair valuation tool that sellers use as their base asking price.

2) No more upsells

In most cases, the dealership is going to try their best to upsell you on anything and everything possible. Whether it be gap insurance, extended warranty packages, or pre-paid maintenance plans. You will be bombarded with a multitude of upsells so you better be prepared, OR you can buy from a private seller and get in and out without even a hint of haggling.  

3) Better Bargaining Power

You don’t have much room for haggling when you buy a car from a dealership. When you purchase from a private seller, you have a lot more room to come to a mutual pricing agreement. As mentioned above, dealerships pad prices to cover their overhead, whereas a private seller doesn’t have those costs. That said, if a seller has invested a lot of cash into repairs or updates to the vehicle, you can expect a little bit higher price than the baseline. When you show the seller you’re serious, negotiations are often easier. You can reach a quick agreement on the terms and complete the transaction.

4) Less Hassle and Better Control

One of the best benefits of purchasing a car from a private individual is the control you have in the transaction. You can schedule a time to meet on your own terms, ask questions, or negotiate price. Shopping at a dealership is often a much more stressful experience. With a private seller, you won’t have to deal with hard sales tactics.

5) Less Time Invested

Potential buyers and private sellers both want to complete the sale and resume their other daily activities. If you’re a serious buyer and have cash in hand, you’ll most likely get a great deal.

On the other hand, dealership sales personnel are on the car lot throughout the day. They’re in no rush to make a sale, as buyers come and go throughout the day. It’s a lot easier for a salesperson to turn down low offers than it is for private sellers who just want to get the car sold and get back to their life. This makes private sales favorable for potential buyers.

6) Common Ground

A private seller, just like you, has probably only bought and sold a handful of cars in their lifetime. Professional car salespeople may have sold hundreds of vehicles in their career. As individuals, you and a private seller have much more in common and the playing field is level.

7) Cleaner, Better Maintained Vehicles

Now, this doesn’t mean that every private vehicle for sale is going to be pristine – far from it. In fact, some private sales are of salvaged cars and good only for parts. Overall, though, private sellers have a more thorough knowledge of the history of the vehicle they’re selling. If it’s a one-owner car, they’re likely to have all the maintenance records and not have to hunt for the vehicle title. Plus, dealerships have their used inventory detailed to look better than it might actually be. A private seller is more apt to clean the interior of the vehicle, but you can get a good idea of maintenance by looking under the hood.

In other words, through a private sale, you have a much better chance at getting a great deal that no dealer could possibly match.

8) All the Little Details

Remember that one car you used to have and how the windshield wipers only worked on a certain setting, or the passenger side window didn’t work? It’s those little details that a private seller knows and is more likely to disclose. If the issues with the car are minor, such as a window that doesn’t work, that may not be a huge deal. However, if you have to hold the driver’s side door closed while driving because the latch is broken, you might want to keep looking.

If you’re serious about finding a used car from a private seller, PrivateAuto can benefit your budget and your expectations.

Final Thoughts

Our Company** is a safe and simple option for buying or selling your car privately. Some of our sites features include:

  • Advertising until your car is sold with no expiration date
  • Communication with buyers and sellers without sharing personal details
  • Test drive scheduling
  • Electronic signature capture
  • Tips and ideas for selling or buying privately where you live

If you’re ready to list that car you don’t need anymore or want to find a new-to-you vehicle, browse our listings on Company X.

You are so worth it and so is your Boss- How to convince them that Content Marketing is Key to their success

by , on
November 8, 2021

Poet #4 Lee A.

One of the biggest challenges that content marketers face is idea generation. Content marketing depends on both quality and quantity and you can’t sacrifice one for the other if you want to maximize your marketing efforts. Generating quality ideas is, of course, at the core of content marketing but you also need a steady stream of said ideas flowing through the pipeline to ensure that material is fresh and that you are consistently providing your customers with the kind of stuff that resonates with them.

But, the fact is, you are working hard and could benefit from help with content ideation! Most companies rely on content creators to churn out a massive amount of high-quality content but don’t understand how much time, research, blood, sweat and tears actually go into that process. Kapost research showed that 80% of C-level staff think writers have enough ideas to fuel marketing efforts, but those in the weeds disagreed. There is a huge discrepancy between what bosses think content creators need and what they actually need.

You need more from your company and it’s time to prove to your boss that you’re worth it. Does Your Boss Know How Much Work You Do? This amount of thinking, planning, researching, writing and polishing is both highly cerebral and time-consuming. And, chances are, your boss has no idea how much work you put into avoiding a content deficit at your workplace. C-Level Execs are typically quite removed from the ins and outs of content marketing and how far it goes in overcoming customer pain points, keeping current customers on-board and establishing the authority of your brand.

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C-suite need to know about Content Marketing

It’s ironic that sometimes the biggest hurdle in getting effective content marketing strategies into place is the C-suite themselves. So how can you, as a content marketer, get past this hurdle and get the help you need to bolster your content ideation? Using Your Time Wisely Writing is hard work. Because you’re a whiz at creating awesome content, your bosses might not realize what the ideation process actually entails, and how much you could benefit from a little help with coming up with things to write about.

For most content creators, the process goes a little something like this: Brainstorming Ideas Making an Outline Researching the Topic Drafting Writing Editing What percentage of time do you devote to each stage? Most writers spend an inordinate amount of time brainstorming ideas. Kapost found that marketers estimate needing 67 ideas per quarter to be successful – and that’s just the ones that stick. Calculating ROI What all of this leads up to is the fact that in order to get the support you need as a content marketer, you need to prove your worth to C-level execs.

The value of content marketing efforts is measured in both hard value (i.e. how much monetary worth it provides) and soft value (i.e. how much long-term significance and relevance it provides). 63% of B2B marketers consistently cite increased website traffic year-over-year as the metric they look to most often. A study by Kapost and Eloqua found that content marketing ROI outweighed the ROI of paid search by more than three times. A study by TMG Custom Media found that 78 percent of consumers believe that organizations that offer custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. This blend of soft values and hard values is of key importance in getting anyone to appreciate the need for quality content marketing. Increase Your Budget and Put it to Better Use 55% of B2B companies are planning an increase to their content marketing budget for exactly these reasons.

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And this is just a start

This is a wonderful statistic to read considering that most executives are decidedly old school when it comes to business content. In fact, The Economist Group found that only 7% reported using a smartphone for content consumption and only 5% claim that videos are helpful in making decisions. It’s important to make it clear to C-level execs that most marketers need stronger processes for leveraging resources for content development and how effective it can be to use outside resources.

Helping your higher-ups understand the difficulties you face as a content creator will help pave the way for you to introduce new ways of creating content. Millennials are glued to their phones and hunting for and absorbing information in ways unlike ever before and your company needs to be in a position to be noticed at all times. Creating quality content that has longevity and is transferable between networks and platforms will bring value to your brand for years to come – long after short attention spans have moved on to new apps and other platforms that traditional marketing efforts might have latched onto.

It’s no wonder that 62 percent of companies are outsourcing some or all of their content marketing needs to third party providers and services. There is a real lack of awareness out there in terms of how difficult the ideation process is and, as a content marketer, it makes sense that you would benefit from outside help in creating quality content. It’s time to convince your boss that you’re worth it.

Hey ! and that’s us here @ Killers & Poets. Lets talk about your Project needs and goals. Contact us here.

Lee A.

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