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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
Image via Rochi Zalani
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.
Here are some types and examples of anchoring:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then, once you finish the review, they ask you to create an account—without which you can’t post your 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.
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.
Also referred to as the “familiarity principle,” this is the concept that the more you develop familiarity with something, the more you prefer it.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
To ensure that your internal communications plan is well thought-out, consider adding the the following best practices into your strategy.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Try to come up with as many ideas as possible for leveraging different channels to facilitate internal communication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Company** is a safe and simple option for buying or selling your car privately. Some of our sites features include:
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.
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.
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.
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.