Can we really hack into the minds of our buyers and influence their decisions? Some say we can, and they’ve got the evidence to prove it.
Research suggests that there are definite behavioral patterns that most people follow almost automatically, and understanding those patterns gives you an edge in your niche.
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The Power Of NeuroMarketing
It has birthed a field of study commonly known as NeuroMarketing. And its findings will give you deep insight into your buyers' and readers' behavior to understand what works and what doesn't in convincing them to buy from you.
Call it what you like, NeuroMarketing or otherwise, the truth of the matter is everything you do on your site affects the perception of you and your product or service in the mind of your visitor.
So, let's take a look at the NeuroMarketing tactics and strategies that have been tried, tested, and shown to be effective at relaying our message to our buyers in their terms.
Design Your Content To Be Easily Recognized
Design certainly influences your reader and positions your credibility from the get-go. So here are a few design hacks that will help you build your brand and grow your readership.
1. Brand your content to be recognizable anywhere it shows up.
Research suggests that we do indeed process advertising even if we don't consciously consider it.
Big brand marketers know that once they build brand momentum, they need to continue building awareness their message. Think of when you ask yourself, “Where did I see that before?”
How you can use unconscious branding.
First, look into branding for your blog. To make an impact, use your brand logo everywhere. Here are just a few examples of how you can do this:
- Insert your logo in your custom blog post images.
- Use your logo in your email signature.
- Insert your logo in your social media header images.
- Attach a branded image to your tweets and other social media posts.
- Use the same profile image across all platforms on the Internet.
2. Use color that connects with the emotions you want your readers to feel when they interact with your content.
People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with products. About 62‐90% of the assessment is based on colors.
To top that off, certain colors affect people in different ways, depending on our experiences. Generally, it is agreed that certain colors evoke set feelings in most people, and when marketers use these colors, then they can influence people to make the right decisions.
How you can use color in your marketing.
Julie Neidlinger already covered this perfectly in her post about the psychological effects of color on your readers. Check out that robust post for tons of detail on this topic.
3. Use fonts that help your readers focus on the message rather than the design.
The use of font type and style has a direct effect on the number of eyeballs that browse your content.
Certain typefaces are associated and work well with particular professions, so choosing one that communicates your message and matches your brand will help you connect with your readers.
How to use typefaces correctly.
I use Canva quite a lot. I think it's a great tool for building custom images with a good selection of Google fonts to choose from. I tend to use two typefaces in my custom images in order to keep my message consistent.
Consider the following when selecting fonts for your blog and designs:
- Choose a look and feel that communicates your message.
- Stay consistent and use the same typefaces throughout your material.
- Use bold where necessary to increase the impact of one or more words in a sentence.
- Play around with color to contrast your message.
- Play with kerning. Kerning is the space between letters and can impact your message quite a bit.
- Center your text on an image or in the body of an article to increase the impact.
4. Lay out your content so scanners can easily understand everything without reading it.
Make your content as readable and scannable as possible. Bullet point key points or features and break your content up with images and quotes.
How you can format for scanning.
Lists: List posts are one of the most popular and shared post types. Use lists to break out important points that you want your readers to take away from your material. Don't just use boring default bullets, try make your bullets or numbers stand out more by using color or an image icon.
Subheads: Subheads expand on your heading and provide the reader a little more detail about your article or offer while further inviting the reader to move further into your content.
Custom Images: Use Canva to create custom images that you can place strategically within your posts, again, to highlight important points you want your readers to share and take away. The Sumome plugin allows your readers to share these images with a predefined tweet accompanied by your Twitter handle. Great for spreading the word!
Click To Tweet: Use Click To Tweet a couple of times within the body of your posts to highlight or close out on an important point. Click To Tweet also allows your readers to quickly share your content with followers on Twitter.
5. Suggest action with images.
You have only 50 milliseconds to make an impression. The images you create, or get from other sources online and use on your site, will determine who you are and what you represent in the minds of your visitors quicker than a scalded cat off a hot stove.
In Western society, your readers' eyes move top to bottom and left to right. And the reason for this is pretty obvious: It's the same way people read a book.
If you use images of people, then the direction of their gaze can direct your readers' attention to where it's needed. Check out the highest converting landing page on LeadPages:
How you can use images to direct your readers to action.
In the image above, note the direction of the gaze of the pretty girl toward the opt-in box. It directs the visitor to take action and enter their info. You can use images to coax a particular response from your visitors.
Make Your Readers Comfortable To Gain Their Trust
Subliminal intention passes below the normal limits of perception. So there are a few things you can do to help your readers feel comfortable with your brand right from the get-go.
6. Show you’re confident, and your readers will be confident in your content and products.
Research shows that people readily accept the opinions of those they see as confident, even though past record may not be perfect.
You can take advantage of this and give people what they want according to their preferences—you simply need to find out what floats their boat, and be confident in your convictions.
How to display confidence in your writing.
Well there's only one real answer to this, and you certainly can't fake it. Research. Research until you get to the core of the information, and you will have the ability to deliver the required information with certainty.
There's a lot of rehashing of information online with many bloggers simply compiling information from others which results in vacuous content with no real substance whatsoever.
If you want to display confidence in your writing, you must research deeply. Get off the fence, give your own opinion, and be definite about it. Find the research articles and link to them directly where you can.
7. Publish positive content to gain positive readers.
Positive content performs better than negative and is more likely to go viral. Researchers found that although content that is positive achieves greater virality, the content must arouse a high degree of positive emotion.
They also found that negatively centered content can also make the list if it arouses this high degree of emotion.
How to use positive affirmation.
Well, it's simple really. Focus on delivering your chosen message in a positive light. You may need to show your readers the potential negative effect of them doing the opposite, or taking some other choice, but you do want to finish on a positive note giving the benefits.
Including a story of some personal experience can often deliver that x factor that makes the difference. Once you demonstrate that you understand them, offer them the solution to their problem. Your solution.
8. Help your readers easily understand what they don’t know.
People avoid the unknown like the plague. If a product has little information or appears to be unfamiliar, then a buyer won't choose it.
In other words, people are more likely to choose something they know the results of, preferring a known probability over an unknown probability.
How to use the ambiguity effect.
Offer Metaphors: When offering someone an option, try to deliver it with the addition of a metaphor. Metaphors help bring comfort, meaning, and familiarity to making choices.
Make It Easy: Keep the option you'd like your reader to select simple and to the point, clear and concise.
Use Stats: People trust statistics and rarely do their own research. Be the resource to use this to your advantage.
9. Make your content so easy to understand that it’s a no-brainer to check out your stuff.
Familiarity brings cognitive fluency and reinforces the idea that repetition is the mother and father of all learning. Fluency is the ease or difficulty in completing a mental task and can really influence your visitors' decision making.
How you can use cognitive fluency.
Make it easy for your readers to digest your information and make decisions.
- Publish consistent content that is easy to read and requires little effort to understand.
- Help your readers complete simple mental tasks to influence their decision making.
- Use subheads, images, and bullet points to break up the content.
- Write sentences no longer than 25 words, and paragraphs no more than 3 sentences long.
- Use white space to your advantage—use a less is more approach.
- Offer a clear call-to-action on every page and think about including it several times on the page.
Write Your Blog Posts To Captivate And Maintain Readership
Keeping and maintaining readership is super important, and you can use the psychology of marketing to keep folks interested.
10. Write awesome headlines that inspire action.
Benefit + Time + Outcome is a headline formula that has been proven to be very effective. You obviously need to be selective about the number of words you use and how you put them together, but the formula works.
The elements of the formula don't always need to be included, but it seems to be very effective when they are all together. The elements break down like this:
Benefit: Outline the benefit to the reader in their terms and as simply as you can.
Time: Include a time frame when they can expect to reap the rewards of using the system.
Outcome: Show what the outcome will be if the reader uses your system.
11. Draw on emotion to make a lasting impression.
Emotion sells. I was at a business network meeting, and one of the fundraising members showed us a YouTube video of a group of children who were the casualties of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the 1980s.
Well, I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the house! Needless to say he filled his contribution bucket that night.
The point is: Emotion sells. When you rock emotional energy in your writing, you're well along the way to capturing the attention of your readers.
But how do you achieve that?
How you can use emotion in your articles.
Include your own emotional connection with the content you are producing, and choose words to convey emotion.
Try this list of power, emotional, common, and uncommon words to add greater impact to your articles. Also use the CoSchedule headline analyzer to measure the effectiveness of your headlines and subheads.
12. Build awareness with lots of touch points.
Attention bias is where consumers are influenced overwhelmingly by their recurring or established thought patterns. An example of this is where you might have a love of hats. This love of hats leads to a tendency to notice hats above all other clothing.
Marketers take advantage of this behavior pattern all the time. They want to become established in your thought patterns. And they start young, understanding that the earlier they get hold of you, the better is it for their brand recognition later.
How you can use attention bias.
Keep at it. Whatever methods you are using to get your brand out there, keep doing it.
You must stay in the minds of your readers. Publishing and sharing something is better than nothing, and the more you get your stuff under the eyeballs of readers, the better.
- Post on social media every day.
- Blog consistently.
- Share your stuff again and again.
- Repost your articles on sites that are happy to accept them
- Guest post original articles.
13. Use social influence to inspire engagement.
People appear more attractive in a group than in isolation—that's the cheerleader effect.
No one likes to be isolated. Group mentality has great momentum and influence in the decisions of your buyers. People naturally want to stay in the crowd where it's safe, so you can find ways to appeal to that bias.
How you can use the cheerleader effect.
- Use a bunch of testimonials together, rather than only one or two.
- Use reviews as a means of showing other people's engagement with you or your product.
14. Confirm what your readers want to hear.
Confirmation bias is the human tendency to search for and interpret information in a way that confirms our preconceptions.
Well, give 'em what they want and don't try to change their mind. If someone is already predisposed to your solution, then they will likely buy.
How you can use confirmation bias.
Find out what your readers need by asking. If you're spending your time trying to convince those who don't want what you've got, it's wasted energy.
Draft an email to your list and ask them what you can specifically help them with. It goes back to the long established maxim in sales: Give them what they want. It really is that simple.
15. Be excellent by association.
OK, I invented this term...but it's totally relevant.
If you're new on the block and people are not familiar with what you do, align yourself with established brands. Otherwise, it's going to be a long road to brand recognition.
Established brands do this, too. They place icons on their site of well established and complementary brands to boost their relevance and legitimacy with their visitors.
How you can use this to your benefit.
From a bloggers' perspective, align yourself with those who've already gone where you want to go. In the process, you become associated with the same degree of excellence.
Start mixing with blogs and bloggers who you aspire to be like, who represent what you want to represent and make it obvious for your readers that you are in this group.
What's Your Next Move With NeuroMarketing?
Science and imagination work wonders when used together. Your creativity coupled with the scientific data can give you an enormous edge once you get the mix right.
Go serve your customers as best you can, and hey, make money while you're at it.