Let’s get the first question out of the way: What does psychology have to do with content marketing? Well, it’s no simple task to understand your customer’s mindset and influence behaviour for a desired outcome. After all, every person is unique and reacts differently to branded content. However, by understanding a little bit about psychology and putting such learnings into play, marketers have been successful in creating content that impacts and engages their target audience.
Understanding cognitive psychology helps you create content that converts prospects into sales. It helps boost engagement with your content and reach the right audience. This aids business growth and results in increased revenue.
There are many psychological hacks that you can use to power your content marketing efforts. Keeping in mind the following psychological factors can help you create content, both written and visual, that converts! Read on.
1. Cognitive fluency
Humans prefer to consume content that is easy to understand and unconsciously avoid complicated information. This is essentially the core premise of cognitive fluency. Simpler information is better received, related to, and acted upon. A study conducted in 2012 showed that visitors judge content in just 0.05 seconds. So, first impressions matter, and by a great deal at that!
A 2013 study by Microsoft, and another in 2015, revealed that the average human attention span has now dropped to 8 seconds from 12 seconds – one whole second lower than the humble goldfish! As such, content marketing goals should now be focused on both impressing and retaining visitors, all within the first few seconds. Enter, principles of cognitive fluency.
Here, content, be it a tweet or a blog post, must be easy for the audience to perceive and interpret. This will keep the audience engaged, especially when there are strategic hooks embedded within. Write shorter posts, explain complex concepts simply, create concise CTAs, and employ a focused approach.
Eye-catching graphics, infographics, emojis, and hashtags can also work favourably to increase engagement. Do tread carefully though as overused dynamic graphics can steal the spotlight from static, yet crucial, marketing text.
2. Social proof
People often rely on recommendations from friends and family to make a purchase decision. This is underpinned by informational social influence, which is when people assume the actions or experiences of others to be correct, true, and so, more trustworthy. In fact, according to Mintel’s American Lifestyles research, more than two-thirds of consumers trust reviews from friends, families, and even strangers over any sort of marketing content put out by a brand.
Social proof influences consumer decision-making significantly. This is why it is key to prioritize trust-building as a brand.
Case studies, thought leadership content, reviews, and testimonials are all effective tools that work to this effect. You can also collaborate with influencers to promote your work or encourage user-generated content. If you achieve success in your content marketing, share the views and engagement your content draws. This too builds loyalty and trust through credibility.
3. Serial position effect
There are several studies indicating that people easily recall a set of words in the beginning and the end out of a list of 20. However, the rate of recalling words in the middle was quite low. Thus, the serial position effect is the idea that people can easily remember the words from the first and the last part of a list or any given content.
This psychological nugget can be used to gain a marketing advantage.
When creating content, outline key elements at the beginning and summarise important information and CTAs at the end. Based on serial positioning, this increases chances of retention and may even incite action!
4. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The fear of missing out is a powerful tool that undergirds many content marketing strategies. This is because it is effective and encourages impulse actions. It creates a sense of want or need in the audience’s subconscious. In fact, a study showed that 69% of millennials experience FOMO, so much so that some classify it as an epidemic for the demographic.
Marketers often take advantage of FOMO in content marketing. For example, companies show scarcity in their offers. With smart content marketing, this is a deadly combination that can boost interactions, whether you’re announcing deadlines, limited bonuses, or discounts. Common language associated with such a tactic includes words like ‘only # left in stock’, or ‘offer ends in x hours’. The sense of urgency created in the minds of buyers even deters procrastination, thus pushing for the desired action.
5. The psychology of colours
Studies have found that colours bring more engagement and participation to your content. They increase memory, attract attention, and promote brand identity. Recent studies revealed that people judge a new product within 90 seconds based on its colour.
Naturally, this means that colour is an important factor to consider while designing web pages, creating stories, selecting banner images, or putting out any form of content. Since it helps influence customers’ mindsets, failing to leverage it to its maximum would be akin to leaving money on the table.
However, proper usage is tricky to achieve. Each colour evokes a specific reaction and offers a unique visual experience. For example, the colour blue incites trust and loyalty among viewers whereas red is known to express passion and energy. Yellow, on the other hand, communicates optimism but can be also interpreted as cautionary. Each colour has such traits and knowing which ones to pair with your content marketing efforts is sure to help in your endeavours.
Adapting the above cognitive psychological principles may take some time but will improve your content marketing strategy. Apply these insights the next time you create marketing content. In a competitive market, these psychological hacks will help you move your prospects quickly through the sales funnel before it’s too late.
If content marketing is the key to reaching new customers and growing your business, take the right step forward and hire a professional content agency. This way, you enjoy the advantage that experienced and tactful storytelling brings to the fore.
At Edisol, our team of content writers and SEO experts are equipped to deliver exactly what your business needs. We create tailored marketing strategies, content and design, all while ensuring your brand voice comes through clearly. With our content marketing and other digital marketing solutions such as corporate communications and email marketing, we have boosted brand reach and leads. To get started, contact us and take your business marketing to the next level!