Content marketing

Using psychology in marketing part 1.

Using psychology when writing any marketing material is essential. There are a wide range of tricks marketers use to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do. Otherwise, what’s the point of marketing?

Have you ever bought extra items you didn’t need just to fulfil a 3 for 1 offer? Have you ever seen a reminder on an ecommerce site that said something like “other people who bought X also bought Y?” Or bought something you weren’t looking for just because it was on offer? All those are tricks used by marketers and advertisers every single day.

So how do we use psychology to get you to do what we want?

Use emotional triggers

You will have seen emotional advertising already as it is being used a lot on TV, radio and in magazines. The charities rely on it heavily. They use big eyed children with tears in the corner of each eye or cute animals as a calm narrator tells you they will die horribly if you don’t send them all your money. It is crude and cruel but very effective.

As we become more suspicious of advertising and more able to ignore them, big companies have shifted to emotional messages. They know they are harder to ignore so use them liberally.

To use emotional triggers in our own marketing we need to identify the target market, their likes, hates, fears and loves and use them to evoke the response we want.

Repetition is reinforcement

Often when dealing with new clients, they tend to edit harshly as we repeat certain statements. Then comes the conversation about the difference between repetition and reinforcement. One has a use in marketing, one does not. There may be key phrases repeated within a text which on the surface look simple repetition. Underneath, it is often reinforcement to get a message into the reader’s mind.

When we are exposed to a new company, product or service we are not usually receptive to it right away. Typically, it takes three “exposures” to this brand to make us more receptive. The more we see the name come up, the more receptive we are to it as a viable product or brand.

This is called the “illusory truth effect.” It’s a psychological term that refers to the fact that the more we see or hear something, the more we take it as the truth. A bit like the herd mentality. If everyone is saying or doing something, it must be okay, right?

In marketing, this means we would create an email campaign with a landing page, some guest posts on a blog or some articles to be published somewhere. That gives the audience at least three opportunities to see the brand name and become familiar with its values.

In the context of marketing repetition can also means not only depending on AdWords but other advertising methods across a range of mediums. The more people can see your brand, the more receptive they will be to it.

Join us next time where we continue our journey into the psychology of marketing. It’s more interesting than you thought isn’t it?

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