Six Psychology Hacks To Make Your Content More Effective

Understanding how to influence potential buyers is always going to give you the edge when it comes to selling your product or service.

However, many companies don’t use some basic principles of psychology in their content strategy despite competition for online attention being so fierce. So, here are six psychology hacks you can easily apply to your content campaigns to help boost your results.

1. Social Identity

One powerful strategy is to take advantage of social identity. Many retailers use beautiful models to sell their clothes or famous athletes to sell athletic gear. The idea is that if you buy these products, you will be part of this desirable social group. And when you identify with a particular group, messages tailored for that group instantly become more powerful.

This is closely linked to the idea of social proof — if other people are buying something, especially if people we trust, we feel more compelled and comfortable buying it ourselves. Using social proof through customer reviews and testimonials is a very powerful motivator to potential customers. So, if you’re not already, use images of people that your target audience can relate to and have social sharing buttons that show the number of shares a piece of content has.

2. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

This phenomenon — also called “the frequency illusion” — happens when you encounter something for the first time and then you start noticing it everywhere. Basically, you’re unconsciously looking for this new word, thing or idea, and you gain the impression that this thing has suddenly entered the public sphere.

For marketers, this phenomenon is incredibly useful for boosting brand credibility and awareness and it’s why lead nurturing is key to boosting conversions. When people regularly experience your brand’s content, they instinctively trust you more. This is why email campaigns, social media messages and ads should play a key role in your online marketing efforts.

3. Clustering

Clustering involves organizing information in your memory into related groups, making it easier to memorize information. You can take advantage of people’s natural desire to organize information by giving them a helping hand.

When you create content, think about how you can improve the format to help your audience retain the information. For example, group similar topics together, use bullet points and use different header sizes. As well as making your content more memorable, it also makes it easier to scan.

4. Create Reciprocity

According to the theory of reciprocity, we feel compelled to take action when we think others have given us something for free. Even if we think it was given freely without further commitment, we still want to give back in some way.

This feeling can be harnessed in your content marketing. Giving away free content can help compel people to take an action you want when you give them the opportunity. But in order for this to work, the value of the content has to be seen to be great enough to inspire action. For example, try giving away free ebooks or whitepapers to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter.

5. The Curiosity Gap

Also known as the “information gap,” this theory — developed by George Loewensteinin the early 1990s — suggests that when there is a gap in knowledge, humans are compelled to take action to find out what they want to know. We have an innate drive to figure things out.

How can you create more curiosity in your content? The easiest way is by creating curiosity-based headlines or intriguing introductory first sentences. For example, “This One Simple Technique Will Increase Your Blog Visitors Overnight.” Just be sure you can deliver on your promise!

6. Encourage Dopamine Release

According to researchers at the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, experiencing novelty might, in itself, have an impact on our dopamine levels. Put simply, when we see something new, our brains anticipate the potential for reward with a rush of the feel-good hormone dopamine. Perhaps this explains why Apple fans get so excited by a new product release!

Use this technique by releasing new content regularly and in multiple formats. For example, first release a blog post that speaks directly to your audience’s pain points. Then, a few weeks later, publish an infographic on the same topic with some new information. Even those who read your original piece will be excited by the novelty of the new format and added information.


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