As people transverse the length and breadth of the internet, one important task before a digital marketer, is how to capture their attention, hold their attention, and eventually persuade them to make rational buying decisions.
There are key things that aptly influence people to make decisions and these include impression, visuals, and emotional effects. Human online behaviors are driven by some psychological principles. When a digital marketer understands these principles he/she can create campaigns/ design that captures the prospective client’s attention and hence induces the desired attention. Human psychology is a complex subject and a lot has been put into its study. The complex nature of humans can be studied and such learnings can be used to convert these clients during their online activities.
Someone might wonder how relevant the study of these psychological principles & human behavior is to digital marketing. It is noteworthy to state that though there is a rapid change in digital marketing tools/channels, the human behavior that drives buying pattern remains the same and is not changing. One major relevance of knowing the principles of psychology is to utilize it to induce your desired action which might be to generate leads or to get sales.
We will be evaluating these principles as proposed by a major authority in marketing, business, and psychology Robert Cialdini and the application pattern insight provided by ConversionXL institute. Robert identified the 6 principles of persuasion in his work “influence”, which he now expanded to 7 principles. These principles have been utilized by expert digital marketers around the globe to generate billions of dollars in revenue. There are tons of research on many other principles but these are like fundamental principles.
“I think the power of persuasion will be the greatest superpower of all time”
The 7 principles are:
3. Commitment and Consistency.
4. Social Proof
Let us now review these principles:
1. RECIPROCITY: Give a little something to get a little something in return.
This Caldini’s 1st principle illustrates that if you are nice to me I will be nice to you. If you show favor to me I will, in turn, do the same. He identified that human beings are wired to return the favor and pay back debts – to treat others as they’ve been treated.
Psychology shows that people naturally don’t want to feel indebted to others. So when you run a blog that offers free useful advice, topic, and content to people, blogs that add much value to the people, they will be more inclined to favorably respond when you ask them to make a purchase or generally patronize your business.
Products that are expensive can leverage on this principle. When people visit your site, it is better to avoid asking for sales but rather offer value, maybe free training, relevant download materials/content. Such a person can be nurtured until they are persuaded to make a buying decision. In the context of social obligation, people are more likely to say yes to those they owe. In this principle, you should be the first to give and possibly personalize the gift. Such gifts should be unexpected as the value of reciprocity will drastically increase.
2. SCARCITY: People value what is more scarce.
This is a psychological principle enshrined in the law of demand and supply. The more things are scarce the more people value them. Using this principle in your digital marketing journey It is not enough to tell them what they stand to gain when they use your product. When communicating be clear on what they will lose out if they don’t patronize your product. This makes your message more persuasive as no one wants to lose out on things that are scarce and valuable.
You can also use the exclusivity concept as everyone wants to be part of something exclusive and special. When your offer is scarce, exclusive, and urgent, people forget to evaluate the reliance of the product to them or if they need it at all.
• We have an exclusive course for 10 persons,
• Promo offer expires in 2hours,
• We have 1hour to the close of this sale,
• Only 2 hotel rooms left at this price.
Words like on-time offers, limited offers, limited space, and limited time can have a persuasive effect on people. These kinds of sales message works very well. When using this principle, we have been cautious to prevent it from backfiring so don’t use unreasonable scarcity claims.
3. COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY: People like to be committed to what they have previously said or done.
People want to be seen as reliable and dependable. They want their belief to be consistent with their values. When a commitment is made on a public platform, people would fight to ensure that they don’t go back on their words. Once these commitments are voluntary, it becomes difficult for such persons to pull back. They want to preserve their self-image by following through.
These commitments can be activated by looking or asking for small commitments or actions that can be made or taken. People are more likely to comply with small requests then you can increase the level of commitments more and more. In your digital marketing selling, look for voluntary actions and public commitment. So as soon as you have persuaded someone to take action, get them to take these actions voluntarily, ensure they are not forced.
Actively let them write or speak their commitment to others publicly, let them make it public to increase the level of engagement. E.g When you need to use a Webform to get details – you split the large form into multiple smaller steps, once they fill that first and see more pages they are more likely to continue filling it as compared to when all the spaces to be filled are on one page
4. SOCIAL PROOF: No one wants to stand alone and be like the fool.
People want to feel validated by the actions others are taking. So they look out for social cues to justify their action or inaction. People usually do what they observe others doing. One habit that runs in human beings is to look at others when they want to do a thing. This behavioral pattern is enshrined in the core of the human brain and is activated in childhood.
The actions of other persons have a compelling effect on others as people tend to see it as a safe base when taking action. It Is a common occurrence that when people are running away from a particular spot, one is more likely to run in that same direction even if he/she does not have sufficient information to justify that decision. A good way to apply this principle in your digital marketing is to do the following: Show a great number of satisfied clients or a fantastic pool of clients. If the Forbes 500 companies are your clients, or your clients got impressive results with your products or services, show it.
I suggest that you employ this principle to increase the conversion rate of your website. There are different ways to incorporate and utilize the so-called “wisdom of the crowd”. Social proof is an important way to utilize this principle especially when it comes from an influencer or a familiar face. The higher the societal ladder of the one from whom the social proof comes from the more persuasive and compelling it will be. So dear digital marketer if you have impressive followership or likes also utilize it. Anything showing that a significant number of people in society like you or likes what you will positively affect your business in the digital space.
In summary engage the following compelling tools- Testimonials from individuals and corporations, countries you cover, product feedbacks, big corporations in your business portfolio, etc.
You can use things as simple as We have served 10000 happy customers.