4 Weird Psychological Lessons Marketers Should Use

You have to understand your audience in order to run an effective social media campaign. With a few basic psychological principles, you can get inside their heads and understand why they engage with content the way they do.

  1. People share content to enhance their relationships with other people.

Social media isn’t a vacuum– it exists to connect people with each other. There are five key reasons people share content online, according to a New York Times study.

  • To improve the lives of others.
  • To define themselves.
  • To grow relationships.
  • Self-fulfillment.
  • To advance causes they believe in.

Users are harnessing the power of people. They want the content they share to work for them and perform a function, whether it is to brighten their friends’ days or to share a fundraising call for a favorite charity. Keep this in mind when you’re marketing- provide content that will increase the social value of the people who share it and engage with it.

  1. Color can change people’s behavior.

According to the study Impact of Color on Marketing, “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62 to 90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” But it’s not so much about the color itself- it’s more about whether the color supports your service, product, or brand.

To make strategic color decisions about your brand, think about common associations you’ll want to have– green for environmentally friendly, yellow for slow, etc.

  1. Make yourself trustworthy.

Social proof is likely to influence consumers’ behavior. A power company’s study showed that homeowners were likely to mirror their neighbor’s energy consumption habits, whether that was less or more energy. When someone sees that their tribe is engaging in a certain behavior, they’re more likely to trust the group and engage in that behavior.

So what does this mean for marketers? Create shareable content. When people see their friends sharing your content and saying how much they love your product, they will be much more likely to purchase. You could also publicize testimonials and good reviews as social proof of your product’s integrity.

  1. Emotions are contagious.

According to Psychological Science, when people are psychologically aroused by heightened emotions, they are more likely to share, boosting social transmission.

In addition, the more positive the content, the more often it was shared, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania. To use positivity as a part of a social media strategy:

  • Share feel-good stories from your customers or industry.
  • Use humor in your content (but make sure it’s appropriate!).
  • Ask your audience to share positive stories about your brand.
  • Share an inspirational video.
  • Add happy emojis to your content where appropriate.

Emotional contagion will help get your message shared by your own users, just by putting a smile on their face!

 

We hope these psychological strategies will help you create content that will be more shareable. It’s pretty cool what psychology can do.

Media Relations Matter

If you are anything like me, you work hard to move the needle. And I’m always looking for ways to layer on different communications tools that can effectively work within existing campaigns.  

Too many organizations and businesses keep their story inside their four walls, totally missing opportunities to expand their reach through earned media.

Why do media relations matter in the first place? Like it or hate it, media is influential in shaping public opinion. Whether you are trying to persuade elected officials or you want to tell your story to a broad audience, media can help influence on your behalf. And for the most part, media is trusted. As a trusted ally, media can help legitimize your message.

Earned media matters. Now let’s talk about the best strategy for engaging local media.

When determining the type of media you’d like to pitch, think first about whom you are trying to reach. At Targeted Persuasion, we’ve found that we get older and politically engaged segments when articles run in the daily newspaper, and we can hit a large portion of the population through the right local television station. We usually aim for the station that has the largest viewership first.

When we need to reach a younger group, we’ll seek out local influential social media stars. Based on the content and target, we will often reach out to independent print and digital news outlets. However, don’t discount the ability of your local paper and broadcast affiliates to reach younger audiences. Many of them have beefed up their social and digital presences. If you can craft a message that resonates, readers will often share with their friends further expanding your reach.

This is a very brief overview, and obviously the devil of any media outreach strategy is going to be in the details. Next week, we’ll take a more in depth look at earned media strategy and how to craft your message.

In the meantime, if you have a story that you want to tell, it’s never to soon to start the discussion. Email us today and find out how Targeted Persuasion can help.

Your campaign checklist

Whether you’re an advocacy organization working on a grassroots campaign or a business launching a new product, it’s important to have a toolbox ready to go to effectively launch your campaign. These tools working together can take your campaign to the next level. Here are just some of the items you’ll need.

1. A robust email list.

Have you been keeping a list of partners, influencers, customers, and supporters? How can you supplement your list to make sure you’re reaching everyone that cares about your product, service, or cause?

2. A well-designed website or landing page.

When people click on that email or social media link, where does it take them? You need a sleek and easy to read website where customers and supporters can quickly ascertain the benefits of your product or cause and how to purchase or contribute.

3. A follow-up plan.

Once someone had donated, purchased or participated, your communication doesn’t end there. That person needs to become a life-long customer or advocate. Do you have a follow-up plan for keeping these people engaged?

These are just some of the tools you’ll need to make your next advocacy or advertising campaign a success. To see how the complete toolbox works together, check out this case study from a real-life (and extremely successful) campaign that Targeted Persuasion ran earlier this year.