Marketing and sales professionals lean on psychological tactics every day, whether we know it or not. Convincing prospects to click on an article, download an eBook, open an email or engage with a social post requires a bit of tactical authenticity involving various psychological theories.
“Reciprocity means that people reward kind actions and punish unkind ones. The theory takes into account that people evaluate the kindness of an action not only by its consequences but also by the intention underlying this action. The theory explains the relevant stylized facts of a wide range of experimental games.”
- Usage In Content Marketing – If you read and engage with a prospect’s social media post, there’s a likelihood they will do the same for you. When this happens, you’ve opened the door for them to learn about your products. The key is to be authentic in your approach, as prospects will get a sense of your intentions.
Fear Of Missing Out
“Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a social anxiety stemming from the belief that others might be having fun while the person experiencing the anxiety is not present. It is characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.”
- Usage In Content Marketing – This is a tactic that is frequently used in content that is aimed at promoting an event. Advertising that highlights past events and promotes the fact that thousands will be attending can be particularly persuasive. Videos that show people having fun and learning at a prior event will kickstart the FOMO in many people.
“Loss aversion is a tendency in behavioral finance where investors are so fearful of losses that they focus on trying to avoid a loss more so than on making gains. The more one experiences losses, the more likely they are to become prone to loss aversion. Research on loss aversion shows that investors feel the pain of a loss more than twice as strongly as they feel the enjoyment of making a profit.”
- Usage In Content Marketing – This plays a major role in promoting features like security, business continuity and warranties. The idea that a product could help them avoid losing something valuable or otherwise protect them in some way can have a significant influence on those with a tendency toward loss aversion.
“Social proof is the result of a deeply rooted psychological bias. It implies trust in other people. The forms of this trust include the belief that the majority knows better and that the best way to make a decision is to look at the decisions other people have made.”
- Usage In Content Marketing – This is the underlying reason for creating case studies, engaging with influencers and setting up referral programs. It is also why there is such value in developing a large social media following and not overlooking so-called vanity metrics such as likes and shares.
Us Vs. Them
“The human mind has a tendency to categorize people into social groups. And often these social groups can create an “Us vs. Them” mentality toward people who may be different than us in some way, whether it's because of race, gender, age, nationality, culture, religion, or socioeconomic status.”
- Usage In Content Marketing – This is one of the most common psychological tactics used in marketing. You’ll often see this in email and blog articles where writers paint a picture of a product only appealing to a particular demographic. This is also part of the reason segmenting your audience and personalizing messaging is so important.
Studying your buyer personas and getting to know your prospects enough to understand what makes them tick is a vital component of orchestrating an effective marketing strategy. While none of this is meant to “trick” a prospect into buying, it is important to know how to appeal to their senses.