In the world of content marketing, we are all looking for ways to tweak our sites to create the best user experience possible. We want our audience to not only connect with us but to see us as a subject matter authority.


While there are no magical ways to create this connection, there are insights from the field of psychology that can help. These insights cannot overpower someone’s will and force them to become your customer, but they can aid us in creating a positive experience for your customers.


So how can you leverage psychology to improve your content marketing? Here are three psychological hacks for you to try on your own site.

psychological hack for content marketing


Psychological Hack #1 – Fear of Missing Out

Have you ever tried to order something online and saw the phrase “Only 6 left in stock” beside the product’s title? Or maybe looked at your inbox and saw an email subject line that read “Limited Time! Act Now”?


These sites are using the Fear of Missing Out psychological hack. We all have an ingrained fear of missing out on something. We don’t want to be the one left out or left behind. In understanding this fear, marketers can use this technique to help motivate those on the fence into action. It not only plays on the customer’s fear of missing the offer, it also creates a sense of urgency.


During a regular interaction with your site, a customer may want to take their time and decide later whether they want to buy your product or service. When presented with a limited time offer, that same person may act right now as they realize that they may miss out completely if they wait too long.


This tactic can be quite effective, but its important not to overuse it. If every email you send is labelled “Urgent” or “Act Now”, pretty soon your marketing efforts will be seen as background noise. You need to use this technique in conjunction with other marketing tactics to maximize its potential.


Psychological Hack #2 – Reciprocity

Raghav Haran describes the rule of reciprocity as someone feeling indebted to you if you give them something of value.

The Rule of Reciprocity can help you build a loyal audience and increase your conversions Click To Tweet


In content marketing you can use this technique to build a loyal audience and to increase your conversions. If someone is looking to learn more about a particular subject, they will search the internet looking for a site that provides that information for free. If you are the one to provide that information, they are going to see you as a subject matter authority and will come back to you when they have more questions. This is how you build a loyal audience.


The benefit of having a loyal audience is that they are more likely to purchase things from you. You have already established a relationship with them and you have provided them with free information. When it comes time to offer a product or service for a fee, they are likely going to purchase it as they know you offer value.


There are different ways you can use the reciprocity technique to work for you. You can offer a blog that provides information about your niche. You can extend trial subscriptions or incentives for those that signed up for a trial but did not convert into customers at the end of the trial. All of these techniques foster a sense of indebtedness for the visitor which often results in them converting into customers to relieve that sense of debt.



Psychological Hack #3 – Cognitive fluency

With the increased number of stimuli that bombards us every day, it has resulted in our reduced attention span. We don’t have the time to spend on complicated explanations, and if we encounter sites that offer a lot of technical jargon right off the bat, we are going to move on.


Cognitive fluency describes our need to consume simplistic content all the while avoiding complicated information. Louisa McGrath cites emojis as a great example of cognitive fluency. The simple image of an emoji can communicate a lot of emotion in a simple manner that people can understand immediately.


You can use the principle of cognitive fluency in designing your content. Think about the way you have outlined your material. Have you described everything in simple detail or have you rambled on and on about a topic? If you have made your site easy to understand in a short period of time, then you are already on the right path. If not, its time to rework your content so you don’t scare away any more prospects.



Final Thoughts

While you can’t force the public into becoming your customer or subscriber, you can rework your content to make it more user friendly. By keeping in mind these psychological hacks, you can create content that is both approachable and user friendly.



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