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03/10/15

4 Strategies From Psychology That Can Be Used In Marketing

Marketing is all about connecting with the people who make up your customer base. Connecting with people is all about psychology. If you believe those two statements to be true —they are— it stands to reason that principles from psychology can be used to market to your customers. The trick is figuring out how to make your marketing message “click” with your customer base.

Thankfully, the field of psychology is filled with principles that help us understand how people operate and think. When you understand those principles and apply them to your marketing campaigns, it’s easier to get your marketing content in front of an audience who identifies with it. When you combine the right audience with the right psychological principles, you convert more readers into leads and more leads into sales.

There are a number of psychological strategies that can be used to enhance your marketing. Today we’re going to look at four principles and how you can use them to bolster your marketing efforts.

1. Scarcity
Just about every business uses scarcity at some point. Most businesses use pricing scarcity in the form of “only 3 tickets left at this price” or some similar notion. In essence, the rarer something is, the more valuable it becomes, and the more people want it.

How you can use it: Scarcity is a great tool when you’re selling physical products. Think about the last thing you purchased on Amazon for a minute. Odd are that they somewhere on the product page there was a note letting you know that there were “only X left in stock.” This is scarcity marketing at its most basic level. By letting a customer know that only a limited number of the product remains, you create urgency in the buyer. That feeling of urgency can help increase your online conversions as it makes the customer more likely to make a quick purchase decision.You can also use scarcity to highlight the benefits of your product or service. Time and money are two things that everyone has limited amounts of. If your product saves people time or money, build content around those benefits. Doing so highlights how your product can help your customers make the most of their limited resources.

2. Reciprocity
The idea behind reciprocity is that by doing something that helps someone else, they will want to return the favor. The principle of reciprocity works best when you are able to be sincere when helping others. If it is obvious that you are only doing something to get something in return, people are less likely to return the favor. However, if your help comes across as sincere, the recipient of your help is more likely to feel obliged to return the favor.

How you can use it: One of the best ways of incorporating reciprocity into your marketing is by giving away something for free. It’s important that your gift is something your customers will find valuable. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Everyone loves a free t-shirt, or pen, or coffee mug. Giving away items such as these has the added benefit of helping you market you brand since the person will be using them in public where your company’s name will be on full display. But your gift doesn’t even need to be a physical item. You could also use your time and expertise to help someone solve a problem.  The key is to make sure that your gift is something your users will find valuable. Your generosity makes them feel good and it helps you build a better relationship with individual customers. In turn, they are more willing to tell others about your company and more likely to continue using your products and services.

3. Authority
Society has conditioned us to obey and respect authority figures. When we perceive someone as an authority figure, we are inclined to take them at their word and trust their opinions in their field of expertise. In short, we believe authority figures to be credible. You only need to look at any number of doctors pushing miracle cures for fat loss to see that being seen as an authority figure is good for business.

How you can use it: In order to be viewed as an authority, you need people to trust you and your credentials. One way of doing that is by highlighting your knowledge, experience and results. If you’re an expert in your topic area, be sure to feature your credentials so that your audience knows that you aren’t simply making something up. Even if you aren’t an expert in the field, you can become an authority by producing valuable content that is based in facts. If you sell marketing services, run case studies to show customers how your marketing wizardry has benefited past clients. If you sell weight loss products, show the science behind the product as well as the results that real customers have achieved. The principle of authority is all about how other people perceive you. Be smart, accurate and helpful, and customers will view you as someone they should trust.

4. Social Proof
Social proof is based on the idea of herd mentality. Herd mentality posits that a person is more likely do something if they see other people doing the same thing. The iPod explosion is a great example of how social proof works. Yes, the iPod was a great product, but it wasn’t the first mp3 player available. Some people would argue that it wasn’t even the best one available at the time, but it certainly was the most popular. Why? Because Apple made a decision to market it to the cool kids and once the cools kids adopted it, everyone else had to have one too. If you wanted to be part of the “in” crowd, you had to have a pair of those white ear buds plugged into your head.

How you can use it: You probably aren’t running a company the size of Apple, and even if you are, it’s unlikely that you have a product that is going to take the world by storm the way that the iPod did. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use social proof. The easiest way to start using social proof today is to have your current customers and readers share your content. It can be as easy as adding social sharing and follow buttons to your blog. Make sure that the buttons list how many followers, fans or shares your content has. You could even add a button that shows how many times a certain post has been read. Making those numbers prominent shows potential readers that other people thought your content was important enough to read and share with others.  That makes new visitors significantly more likely to follow their lead.