At Jack in the box, we don’t guess. Sure, sometimes we listen to that little voice – that strong gut feeling – which can help us in the right direction. But trusting that gut instinct comes from years of experience.
No, in today’s digital world with so much data and statistics at one’s disposal it’s a waste of time, energy and budget to just guess. That’s why we’re so clear about strategy; everything we do has rhyme and reason.
That’s particularly true when it comes to Content Marketing.
Psychology is the cornerstone of all marketing – especially the psychology of persuasion. Unfortunately, some marketing has evil potential. Think of the old cigarette ads (the Marlborough man) or any number of Facebook ads where a digital marketing agency is guaranteed #1 on Google (cough bullshit cough).
Although these marketers with evil intentions and practices still exist, the remaining ones (thankfully the bulk of us) have positive intentions. And they’re successful by tapping into the psychology of their target audiences.
At Jack in the box, we create audience personas – short biographies that aim to give clients better understanding of who their typical consumer is or could be. By giving audiences more substance, there’s an opportunity to learn more about what their motivations are to see higher brand engagement.
This, in turn, helps to define a clear Content Strategy – developing a winning formula that strikes a cord with your core business consumers.
Below are some other helpful tips to consider when thinking about your own Content Strategy.
1. Social Proof
“The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.”
The 2018 Sensis social media report of approximately 800 Australians found that around 68% of respondents reported reading online reviews or blogs before making a purchase decision.
That stat quickly displays the power of social proof. The strength of reviews and ratings grow daily and will get stronger as technology improves across the world of digital marketing.
Besides the obvious – reviews, ratings, testimonies, and strong shares across social media channels like Facebook and Twitter – you can also create social proof in other ways:
- Influence an expert within your industry to recommend your brand
Get mentioned by that expert within a speech or blog/article. Authority influences social proof: from being a best-selling author about a subject in your industry or having one of your products positively reviewed by top-rated publication.
- Guest contributions to major publications within your industry
This is a social proof that gets ingrained within a client’s mindset and keeps you ‘Top of Mind.
- Use case studies within your content marketing efforts
Use direct quotes in case studies from real people – and the closer they are to the top of that organisation, the better (think CEOs, CMOs or founders.)
2. Use Your Words
Ever read something – say, a financial report (ew) – and get lost almost immediately? The language is super abstract, making it near impossible to envision what the document is trying to communicate…unless you’re a numbers person and, if so, kudos to you!
This is why simplicity is key when it comes to content marketing. Think ‘fast cars’ or a ‘sizzling pan’ and you can visualize them. But what’s better is they stick around much longer in your brain.
The use of concrete wording goes back to the scientist Allan Paivio, a late professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario. He created dual coding theory, which argues that two cognitive subsystems exist – one that represents and processes nonverbal objects (think imagery) and one that is specialised for the representation of language.
Try it, especially on your main website messages and headlines. Leave the abstract terms to the financial writers and the painters.
3. Kill the Jargon
On the topic of language, if your language is loaded with jargon there’s a fair chance you’ll scare off prospective clients.
The goal of an engaging content marketing campaigns is to get those interested in your services and/or products by educating and guiding them on the Customer Action Journey (remember that?).
The more you educate, the stronger audience loyalty will become. Using jargon only will insert psychological doubt into first-time readers – so KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and talk in their language.
Last, but certainly not least, consistency. It’s the non-negotiable with any marketing strategy – be that campaign, communications or simple brand imagery.
To appeal to current and future clients, you must be consistent in your content marketing efforts. Don’t even think about sporadically posting a video here or a guest post there; try to complete the process as consistently as possible.
These aren’t new tactics – they’re adopted by some of the greatest, such as Apple, Nike and Starbucks. Brands that will undoubtedly continue to stand the test of time. Is it really so bad to take a leaf out of their books?