Why do marketers ask customers to take selfies with their products? The answer you’re looking for is more deep-rooted than you think. Persuasion and the psychology of reasoning play a huge role in trying to win over the loyalty and interest of your target audience. And it’s not always a straight arrow for marketers.
If you’ve ever been at the drawing board of a creative agency, you’ll know that marketers constantly look for a window into the mind of their audience. It’s a tricky business, and it requires unorthodox thinking, a crafty message, and an understanding of personas to create a campaign that either works or disappears in the everchanging, respawning zeitgeist of the internet.
When you eat, drink, sleep and dream marketing – creating something new is easy. Creating something new and persuasive – not so much. Digital marketers have learned that doing something better than the next guy, is often more effective than doing something consistently new.
Take the example of your average coffee drinking, social media addict, and sleep-deprived digital strategist. A huge part of their day (and night) is absorbed in thinking up ways to leverage persuasion. It takes a lot of time to recognize and channel the preexistent thought processes in the mind of the customer.
Mental Maneuvering in Marketing Strategy
These days, disruptive advertising is the ‘in’ thing. But what weekly ad magazines don’t tell you is that marketers don’t always want to be edgy and disruptive. Most of the time, they secretly plot ways to build momentum on the already existing thought processes of customers. By now you can imagine, Mental maneuvering and persuasion gymnastics are the name of the game in digital marketing.
Those who know how to leverage the fundamental laws of persuasion are pretty much able to crank up conversion.
What is Persuasion?
In human psychology, persuasion is a form of negotiation. We apply rules of negotiation in everyday interactions with the people around us. Persuasion is the skill set that allows one person to alter the thoughts and beliefs of another. Safe to say, Persuasion is a tool for communication and propagating ideas. The goal of employing it in advertising is to bring the audience closer to your camp, and away from the competition’s grip.
Want to know what the rules of persuasion are?
In this article, we are going to take a cursory look at the 6 most accepted pillars of persuasion in marketing.
What are Cialdini’s 6 principles of Persuasion?
Robert Beno Cialdini, an American psychologist and academic, published his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” in the year 1984. It is widely hailed as a definitive book in its stream, and considered to be a holy grail for marketers, PR officers, and copywriters.
The book recognizes 6 pillars of persuasion that are used as thumb rules for digital advertising.
How to apply the laws of Persuasion in Digital Marketing?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to how you can leverage the laws of persuasion to increase the effectiveness of your marketing mix.
Each of these principles can be used to varying degrees.
How to use Reciprocity in marketing?
One good deed is often repaid with another. Reciprocity is the act of exchanging one thing for another with the intention of creating a mutually beneficial relationship. The principle of reciprocity is often used in digital marketing and lead generation. Take, for example, marketers many times offer a freebee or a magnet in exchange for their online information.
This freebie could include a white paper for B2B customers, a free sample for B2C customers, or helpful tips for readers. A free gift or discount will often persuade your customers to try your product online. After your customers have once subscribed to your product or service and it meets their expectations, there is a higher chance that they will want to try your product again in the future.
As a thumb rule, Interest is Bought, Not Earned.
Commitment and consistency and their results
Commitment and consistency are two-way doors. It is both an influencing factor from the side of the brand, as well as a factor that increases the stickiness of a customer who chooses your product or service.
It is a known fact in digital marketing that brands should remain consistent with the brand message and design language. The reason for this is that people are likely to choose a brand if it is consistent with their values and promises.
Another reason is that people are consistent with the brand of products they commit to.
Here’s an example of commitment and consistency in digital marketing.
Why do digital marketers ask customers to take pictures with their products? For many reasons, customers who publicly acknowledge their commitment to a product are more likely to continue their consistency in choosing this product over a long period of time.
When a customer makes their first purchase, it influences their decision making in the following purchases, and encourages them to create a bond of loyalty with a product.
Authority; and why it pays to be known as the best
People listen to authority. They want to be associated with it. They want to be advised and they want to take instructions from it more than they would from a lesser-known entity, online.
Being an authority in your domain is one of the most important pillars of the 6 rules of persuasion. Brands often go to great lengths to prove their authority in their domain. In B2B marketing, this is known to be one of the most influential factors to get customers interested and involved in a service.
Simply put, being known as an authority in your domain cuts out the work for you. When you’re known as the best, people are more likely to be interested in your service. You become their first choice.
How can you create authority as a brand?
Publish, publish and publish some more. Get endorsements on your website. Display the logos of your client. Let people know the big names that you work with. It builds up your credentials as a brand that works with the big dogs and gets you noticed by business developers looking for expertise and reach.
You can also build authority by getting endorsements from domain experts and having well-known guest bloggers publish blogs on your website.
Scarcity in the market grows demand
People want what they can’t always have. Scarcity drives the market, and a limited quantity of something creates demand. When time is a factor, people are more likely to commit to a brand’s demand.
This kind of marketing message is often seen in the events industry. People are more likely to make an impulse decision when they know that if they wait, they might not get the chance again. Regret is a powerful human influencer, and people do not like regretting a missed opportunity.
As a brand, you can use scarcity as a tool of persuasion in a number of ways. You may give a discount for a ‘limited period of time’, which promotes the idea of buying now or missing out on the opportunity of purchasing at a lower price.
You can also promote scarcity by saying that your inventory is fast running out and there is just a small quantity left.
Another technique that marketers use on websites is by telling prospects how many people are at present interested in a product. This builds consensus in the mind of the prospect, but also serves as a catalyst – telling them that they must make a decision now or miss out on an opportunity.
Social proof or consensus
As the old adage goes, people do what people see. Peer pressure is a huge factor in decision-making. Prospects want to belong within their social circle. Prospects are more likely to subscribe to a product that their peer group uses.
This is another reason why selfies with products from a prospect’s friend group on social media, act as an endorsement.
How can you use social proof in the digital medium?
Step 1: A common technique that digital marketers use when building a campaign from the ground up, is to first gather positive comments and reactions from a smaller target audience.
Step 2: The same post is then promoted to an audience that has the same interests and behavior as the original audience that initially positively reacted to the post.
Step 3: When the second level of the audience sees that their peers are already interested in the product you offer, it creates an avalanche effect, leading to a snowball of interest from the audience.
Another thing your brand can do to use social proof as a tool for promotion is to prominently display reviews, both on your website and social media page. People often read reviews before they subscribe to a product. If you can get endorsements from the peers of your target audience, you are more likely to get traction from your brand.
From this article, you can see that the principles of persuasion are very much part and parcel of creating a strong brand presence in promoting your campaign. Use it to your advantage or your competitor will.