How to Use Consumer Psychology to Increase ROI

consumer psychology and ROIEver think about how consumer psychology affects buying decisions?

If you think about it at all, you likely think consumers make decisions similar to the ones on the left in this infographic. And, if you’re a marketer, you probably learned consumer psychology that looked something like this (especially for advertising):

Awareness

Interest

Desire

Action

AIDA

Termed AIDA (because marketers love acronyms almost as much as the military), this formula has been taught to marketing students for decades. It’s simple and easy, but also not very insightful. And, in many cases, dead wrong.

AIDA assumes consumers actively seek information about products to make their lives better. And, that may be true in certain situations, but most of the time we’re simply out to have a good time and don’t want to be bombarded with advertising. That’s why we mostly ignore the right hand side of Google search, Facebook’s Newsfeed, and zap through commercials on TV with our TIVOs. We simply don’t want to know about your stuff, so our actual involvement with your brand looks more like the infographic’s right side — we meander aimlessly through our days online and off, not paying much attention to your advertising.

Consumer psychology and social media

That’s why social media, when done right, works so well, especially content marketing. By creating valuable content, you evade consumer defenses against advertising and put your brand right in their newsfeed, search results, and Twitter feed — where consumers are defenseless against your message.

Social media (both owned and earned and some paid) increases consumer exposure to your brand and also creates a great image for your brand, which increases their interest in your products.

Despite increased awareness of your brand through content marketing, slogging through other aspects of consumer psychology, like the consumer decision-making process. create challenges. Overcoming these challenges to consumer psychology potentially explode your ROI.

Consumer psychology challenges

Awareness

Take a look at the infographic’s right side. What you see is a consumer who appears on autopilot and that’s pretty close to the truth. Today’s connected consumer is less focused on your advertising and doesn’t dedicate much effort to processing your message. Instead, they’re using multiple screens — likely watching TV (or their computer monitor via Hulu or Netflix) while checking their Facebook or Flickr feed, chatting with their friends on SnapChat or text message, or checking out their friend’s Pinboards.

Capturing any level of awareness of your brand relies on repeat exposure to your message through an integrated effort combining paid, earned and owned media with traditional advertising.

Elements of successful social media marketing
Elements of successful social media marketing

Look at this integrated marketing infographic embedded within the larger infographic. Not only does it highlight the integration of paid, earned, and owned social media with traditional advertising, it shows how SEO, combines with traditional marketing elements such as market research to understand what consumers want, excellent customer service including product quality, branding, market segmentation and target marketing, as well as using tools of influence, CTA (call to action), and other motivational tools.

Interest

Interest relies heavily on creating valuable content, especially when it generates engagement from networked users connected to the consumer.

Content that’s novel, entertaining, and eye-catching works best to generate interest in your brand. That’s why use of video, infographics, memes, and podcasts dramatically increases interest.

A good example of this comes from Talenti, the premium gelato. They create innovative content, such as their wheel that users can spin to determine which flavor to buy. Combined with guerrilla marketing efforts like delivering samples via bicycle at community events, the company is closing in on big names like Ben and Jerry’s in terms of market share.

Desire

Reaching consumer desire relies heavily on a positive brand image and recommendations from a consumer’s social network. Surprisingly, younger consumers consider the tacit endorsements of mere social media acquaintances more than the recommendations of friends and family according to a study. These younger consumers seek user-generated content and are more likely to follow a brand on social networks than family and friends.

That’s some weird consumer psychology — so brands need to up their game to reach these millenials.

Action

Taking action relies more on logistics than consumer psychology. Factors such as pricing (and financing), availability, and the effort necessary to acquire the product precedence at this stage. Simple improvements across these factors reduce the nearly 68% of abandoned online shopping carts.

Online shopping, especially new Facebook shopping options, make it easier for consumers to take action — buy your brand. Reducing the # of clicks required to make a purchase (ie. Amazon’s one click shopping), reducing registration requirements, using easy payment options like PayPal, and offering in-store pickup and exchange all enhance your close rate.

Consumer psychology and analytics

Making improvements in your marketing and communication based on knowing how consumer psychology affects ROI can have a huge impact on your success.

But, what get’s measured, get’s improved. To make the right improvements requires collecting metrics on the right factors.

Consumer psychology tells us there are a wide number of factors impacting conversion (not to mention repeat purchases and average order size) that affect ROI. That means your analytics must focus on the process — the entire consumer journey, not just the end game (conversion). Enhancing metrics related to sentiment, share of voice, and audience growth, as well as your success in reaching influencers and your target market all contribute to your ROI.

Need Help?

Whether you need a complete content marketing strategy or a complete metrics-driven social media strategy, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

As always, leave your questions or comments below and I’m happy to provide more details on how consumer psychology impacts ROI.

consumer psychology

 

 

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Content May Be King, But Marketing is Queen

content marketing dillemma
Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo

To be clear, I didn’t coin this phrase, but I certainly agree wholeheartedly that content may be king, but marketing is queen.

And, I’ve written about this before … the notion that content marketing, at its core, IS marketing.

Why marketing is queen

In a slightly dated study by AOL and Nielsen, 27 MILLION pieces of content are shared every DAY! In fact, we create as much content in 2 days as we did from the invention of writing to 2003! And, this metric is dated 2010. By now, we likely create as much content in a single day as we did from the dawn of time until 2003.

That’s a LOT of content and your little piece will go unnoticed unless you incorporate marketing into your content strategy. I mean, there’s a reason they call it content marketing.

Now, many firms hire journalists to implement their content marketing. And, journalists have many fine qualities and qualifications for writing content — they know how to research, how to write, how to interview, they’re relatively cheap ….

What journalists lack, however, is marketing backgrounds to aid with determining WHAT to write about, how to incorporate subtle influence and build calls to action (CTA), an understanding of the consumer decision-making process and how attitudes, beliefs, norms, social interactions, and other aspects of consumer behavior impact consumers, how to include customer support and build word of mouth, and other aspects of marketing. Don’t forget, content marketing ISN’T journalism, you’re creating content with the idea of stimulating some action — sharing, signing up, buying — that supports your market performance. You’re not creating content just to get read.

Unfortunately, many marketing folks lack skills necessary to effectively manage DIGITAL marketing tasks — they aren’t trained in SEO (keyword strategy), creating social media engagement, digital analytics, online consumer behavior, graphic design, rudimentary web design, … Of course, journalists lack these same skills.

Because content marketing, in fact ALL digital marketing, increasingly requires cross-functional skills, there isn’t a single functional area with the skills set required for effective content marketing implementation.

How to bring marketing into your content marketing

Whether you hire marketing folks or non-marketing folks to manage your content marketing efforts, here are some marketing tasks they’ll need:

Business intelligence

Content marketing isn’t just putting something up and hoping it has an impact. Monitoring performance of each piece of content in terms of intermediate results, such as view, sharing, etc. and market performance goals, such as lead generation, sales, subscribing, etc.

Content marketers need to understand metrics, be able to access and interpret reports from Google Analytics, etc, conduct A/B testing, and basically decide what’s working and what isn’t.

A critical aspect of business intelligence, as it applies to content marketing, is knowing WHAT to measure. Instead of focusing on vanity metrics, like Fans, Followers, metrics that impact the success of your content marketing strategy are necessary. That means evaluating both the success of your content — # readers, # shares — and its ability to drive market performance — drive visitors down the funnel toward achieving marketing goals.

Influence

While social media marketing ISN’T advertising, you still have market oriented goals — or should have. Every piece of content produced should work toward building your brand and influence prospective buyers to consider your brand.

Your content marketing goals should include being a thought leader in your product area, the place users turn to learn what’s going on in your industry. Or, you should be the source of interesting, helpful, fun information and stories.

Cialdini recently updated his seminal book on influence and uses the principles very effectively to subtly motivate markets toward action, including the Obama campaign. Knowing how to use these tools effectively is critical for effective content marketing.

Consumer behavior

Understanding how consumers behave, the steps they traverse in their product journeys, how they think and feel, how they behave in groups and are influenced by group members, what they recall and how they learn — all these aspects of consumer behavior help determine your content marketing strategies.

Knowing principles of consumer behavior is only the start, however, and having market research skills provides the ability to query your target audience and direct actions toward the most profitable actions.

While consumer behavior isn’t linear and predictions may not be entirely accurate, understanding consumer behavior suggests the most likely actions driving market performance.

Need help?

Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

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5 Tips for Creating Landing Pages That CONVERT

For most of you, creating a landing page that converts is critical for success. Whether you’re doing lead generation, building a subscription list, or closing a sale, the quality of your landing page determines your success.

I found this easy infographic from QuickSprout that explains the various elements critical for creating landing pages that convert.

Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments. But, don’t stop there, at the bottom of the infographic I’ve added recommendations on creating landing pages that convert!

increase conversion

 Added recommendations for landing pages that convert

1. Generating images

Unless you have an in-house graphic designer, getting high-resolution images for your landing pages is challenging. I recommend 2 sources: Hubspot and Premise.

Hubspot offers 50 Call to Action button templates free. They’re easily customizable with your own color scheme and fit whatever size you’re looking for. You can even change the text on each template. I find them very easy to use and flexible.

Premise is a landing page creator from the folks who also bring you Genesis — StudioPress. Not only does Premise offer a host of images in various colors, it offers advice on copy. I use Premise on my website.

2. Design/ layout

Design has to do with the layout of the page. My recommendation is to make it chunkable so readers can easily get the information they seek. Include lots of white space, too, as this invites reading. Take a look at my landing page for digital marketing to see and example of what I mean about layout.

This landing page is actually a single page with internal tabs that make it easier to information you need to make a sound decision — courtesy of Premise. I prefer this layout to pages that just seem to go on and on.

3. Influence

QuickSprout’s recommendations include 2 tool of influence — social proof  and authority –, but there are others that help with converting from your landing page.

  • Scarcity — imply something’s limited and more folks want to buy it and they’re likely to buy now rather than waiting until later when they might forget about your product
  • Reciprocity — or tit-for-tat. Give someone something and they feel obligated to give you something back.
  • Likability

4. Benefits not features

Consumers (business or end users) buy products because they solve problems. That means they’re looking for benefits from you and could care less about features. Tell them how your product helps them.

5. TEST

Creating landing pages that convert doesn’t happen by accident — it’s a function of experience and that comes with monitoring analytics and testing. I’ve done this a long time and I still test every major element — headline, image, call to action … Tools exist to make your testing easier, but that’s a post for another time.

Need help?

Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

 

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Content Marketing in 1 Easy Image

I want to thank Chris Lake at eConsultancy for creating this incredible infographic on content marketing — select the image to make it bigger.

Why content marketing?

Content marketing is the new SEO — for the most part. That means, getting found online, even getting your ads to show up on the first page, relies heavily on content marketing. Content marketing also develops your reputation and gives buyers a reason for choosing YOU over your competitors.

Content marketing, when effectively tied to a sound Social Media Marketing strategy (SMM), develops a buzz about your brand, gains recommendations that REALLY influence buyers (buyers increasingly ignore brand messaging in favor of even strangers’ brand recommendations), and develops your brand’s personality.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing

Lessons from the content marketing periodic table

Setting priorities

Just like advice for shopping your local grocery store to buy the healthiest foods, cruise the perimeter of the periodic table and get that right before you jump into the center containing less healthy, but really tasty prepared foods.

That means spending a LOT of time developing your content marketing strategy and setting goals for your content marketing. I know. It’s more fun to start hangin’ with your peeps on Facebook or Tweeting out stuff. But, without an overarching strategy, you’re wasting your time and MONEY.

As an example, I recently took on a new client who’d spent a lot of money on Facebook advertising. I forced him to take a step back to focus on goals and strategies to achieve those goals and STOPPED his Facebook advertising. He was really unhappy because he’d developed a strong group of Facebook fans and felt scared about changing.

Changing your social media strategy isn’t fun and it isn’t fast. It’s like changing the course of a ship in the middle of the ocean and we know how well that worked when the Titanic encountered an unexpected iceberg. But, the client eventually realized their expensive efforts on Facebook weren’t getting them any closer to their overarching goals.

Now, a couple of months into the strategy reset, we’re focusing on corporate goals with our content marketing strategy. We’re now curating content as well as creating more content designed to reach goals. The biggest change has been in the advertising strategy on Facebook where we’re now focusing advertising dollars on activities that reach our goals. Rather than just creating ads, we’re targeting them to folks our analytics tell us are engaging in behaviors that reach our goals — like becoming members — rather than simply expanding the fan base.

In fact, analytics showed us the majority of existing fans DIDN’T help us reach our goals. That’s required an overhaul in our strategies for gaining new followers. There’s lots more to do, but the clients now sees the value of prioritizing efforts to focus on strategy and goals first.

Creating great content

Across the bottom, you’ll find critical elements about creating great content.

Ask yourself, what interests you when see content online?

You want something representing value — something entertaining, informative, interesting, or something that solves your problem. Creating content that’s boring, poorly written, superficial, lacks research and insights, ugly … doesn’t help your brand image. So, spend some time crafting your content marketing to give readers something they’ll value.

And, don’t talk about your brand. No one wants to hear how wonderful you are.

But, great content doesn’t just serve up value to your community. It has to think about on page SEO, research and crediting other sources of information, formatting to make the post appealing (adding images and chunking text to make it more scanable), headline optimization (and calls to action, if used), and finally thinking about device optimization — will your content look good when visitors use a mobile device, tablet, and desktop computer.

If you’re an ecommerce site, visitors likely use multiple devices before consummating a sale. You’ll need to ensure the experience is not only optimized for each individual device, but that the devices work well together — creating a seamless experience for connected consumers.

Measure, analyze, decide

Wow, what a good title for a book — in fact, I have a book with that title and you can grab the introduction and 1st chapter here.

Continuing our trip around the perimeter of the periodic table of content marketing — let’s look at metrics.

A few words about what you measure — tie it to your goals!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled message —

How do you measure? Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Pinterest Insights, Twitter Analytics, …

I monitor clients’ analytics EVERY DAY. More importantly, when I see an anomaly or when we’ve tried something new, I investigate the metrics to understand WHY we achieved a certain value and what the value means for our future plans.

Thus, we complete the chain of measuring results, analyzing the whys, and finally deciding how results impact our future plans.

What to write about?

Anyone who’s stared at a blank piece of paper — today a blank screen — knows how hard it is to create content on a consistent basis. Creating a content marketing calendar helps a lot.

You can create content on how-tos, surveys, lists, demonstrations, expert advice, and lots of other options exist for creating great content. In my own unscientific observation, demonstrations, how-tos, and lists tend to have legs — meaning they get picked up by other websites more frequently. So do infographics, obviously.

Reading widely really helps. I spend hours a day reading both posts and news related to social media and marketing in general and trending topics so I keep up with what the rest of the world is up to. I set up a Feedly feed containing feeds from some really great colleagues.

Headlines are critical, as they’re what shows up in search and when you share on social networks. So, is using subtle forms of influence.

One thing to think about is repurposing your existing content. This really helps with being consistent. If you do a webinar, repurpose it on your blog. If you do a presentation, share on Slideshare and on your blog. Sometimes I’ll take a blog and create a video using the same information. Another good option is to package a bunch of related blog posts together to create an ebook on the topic — check out my content marketing ebook did just that.

The inside

Inside the content marketing periodic table we find all the tactical elements of content marketing — using platforms and actually writing/creating content. Here you need very specific skills — writing, graphic design, video editing, photography … A good agency or content marketing department contains individuals with these skills who work closely in teams.

Community Managers, who create and curate content using a content marketing calendar developed between the Account Executive (who also monitor analytics), Community Manager and the client, manage content marketing. Community Managers coordinate other assets, such as videos, podcasts, infographics and graphics with the creative department; detailing needs and setting deadlines to ensure the content is complete based on the content marketing calendar. Community Managers research and write content, curate content, share content, and manage engagement on various social platforms. For more sophisticated clients, content goes through an editor.

Critical elements involve knowing how various social platforms work and knowing which types of posts work best on each platform. Inside the periodic table of content marketing also involves developing insights about your target market (personas), especially understanding how your target market responds to influence efforts.

An alternative

Now, I really like the look and interpretation of the periodic table of content marketing, but I created my own infographic a few years ago containing many of the same elements.

Here it is: (I’d love to hear your feedback)

Elements of successful social media marketing
Elements of successful social media marketing

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Weapons of Influence: Motivate for Money

influenceInfluence is the grease that makes your marketing work. Using the weapons of influence to market your brand is critical —  it motivates your network to share your message; it motivates folks to buy your products; it even impacts how people FEEL about your product.  As I was writing my book, Social Media Marketing: The Art and Science of Building a Brand, I discovered I’d posted about Cialdini’s weapons of influence and expanded on the first 3 influence tools, but never went back and published the other 3 tools.  So, I’m rectifying that today by giving your details on how you can use the other 3 influence factors to capture and convert from your marketing efforts.

First 3 weapons of influence

Just to remind you, the first 2 weapons of influence are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Consistency
  3. Social Proof

And, if you need a refresher on these tools of influence, I suggest you visit the link to the entire post — which I’ve included above.

Next 3 weapons of influence

4. Liking

Now, we’re getting at the heart of what makes social media work.  When you like someone, you want to be like them; you want to make them happy; you acquiesce to their requests.  When you “Like” a brand, you’re more likely to buy the brand.  There’s also an element of consistency in here because “Likes” are public – in fact, go to many successful webpages and you’ll see pictures of your Facebook friends who’ve liked the brand.  Being consistent means you’ll follow up that like by buying the brand, especially if the brand is something others see you use.

Your goal, as a social media manager or other public face of the firm on social media, is to be likable.  How do you do that? The same way you become likable in the real world – be a good friend, provide assistance and support to your network, be real, own your mistakes, recognize the accomplishments of others, etc.

 5. Authority

It’s good to be the King – or anyone else who’s in charge of things.  As humans, we seem predisposed to follow instructions.  Think about the Milgram experiments where otherwise normal people continued to shock distressed “subjects” simply because they were told to by someone wearing a white lab coat.

Much like social proof, you can convey authority in social networks.  Using a title or listing credentials conveys authority.  Your ranking on Alexa or other respected rating sites gives you authority if it’s high.  Who shares your posts or comments on them conveys authority when that person is a recognized leader.  Also, guest posts on respected websites suggests you’re an authority.

There are lots of ways to build authority.  For instance, answering questions on Quora, especially when those answers get votes from readers, helps build authority.  Building your social network conveys authority, so you might list your social networks on your site along with counts of followers.  Counts for shares on each post similarly convey authority.

6. Scarcity

People want what they can’t have and the less there is of it, the more they want it.  Experiments show that when you limit purchases, people buy more, for instance.  Put a sign on a display of canned beans stating $.75 limit 4 and you’ll sell more cans of beans than without the limit.  You’ll even find some consumers trying to game the system by getting a friend to buy 4 cans for them, so they’ll have 8.

You can use this by limiting the time allowed for buying your product, limit the number of products available, or create content only available to specific users, such as those who’ve joined your subscription list or membership site.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to comment on it below.  Thanks for reading.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

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