You may have a loyal fan base. People who absolutely love your brand. But most of the people who follow what you do are stragglers. People who may have bought something once or just joined your mailing list at some point. The problem is that these people just don't convert into sales.
The good news is that there is a way. And that's by utilizing facts about human psychology.
Most people who create content miss the mark. They don't ask themselves one simple question: Would I share that with my friends?
Understanding these 3 psychological principles will help you avoid annoying your customers and increase your brand engagement:
1. Talking About Yourself Gets You High
It may come as no surprise, but people like talking about themselves. But is there a reason for that? A scientific study shows that humans get a biochemical buzz from self-disclosure.
But why does that matter?
When you understand this concept, you can figure out how to ask your target market questions and get people to talk about themselves. My company, along with many others, does this through a quiz.
For example, if you sell beauty products, you can create a quiz about the the "Celebrity Personality Of Your Hair" or "What Your Nail Polish Color Says About Your Music Preference." Still not sure of what kind of quiz to do? Look at what interests already engage your audience as inspiration. If you're a University, consider taking a play from Harry Potter and creating a "Which Major Is Right For You?" questionnaire.
2. We're Competitive
You see competition everywhere. From how excited Chicago became when the Cubs won the World Series to how hard Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fought for the title of President.
This concept hardly needs scientific evidence to back it up, as sports and games wouldn't exist today if it weren't true.
On top of that, there's a reason you are reading this article. It's because hardly anyone is ever content with where they are. People want to grow, learn more and earn more, for themselves and their companies.
When you understand that people like to compete, you can implement this into your marketing strategy. If you do it right, you can even get your users to compete to create great content for you. That's a sign of making it to the big leagues.
A great example of this is the Gerber Baby contest, which is an annual event that is approaching it's 100th birthday and is a major aspect of the brand's marketing.
When explained for what it is, it sounds almost cruel. Ask parents to send in pictures of their children, share the content with as many people as possible and you can have a chance to have the world confirm if your child is the cutest in the world.
But people do it because they are competitive and many people are motivated by the fact that they could potentially have the cutest baby in the world. The entire experience is incredibly emotional and effective because their entire network is prompted to engage with the brand. Talk about a global free marketing campaign.
3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) Is Real
The fear of missing out is that feeling in the back of our minds that constantly tells you that you are somehow not living our life to the fullest. Social media helps amplify this because you get to see your friends play their highlight reels and it seems like you are the only one who isn't doing anything fun. Plus, you can follow a stranger traveling the world or see some kid with exotic cars, which helps add more salt to the wound. And because of all this, there is an increase in the so called quarter life crisis.
But how can you use this common anxiety to engage more users?
By implying that viewers are going to miss out on an experience if they do not engage with your brand. This is most commonly seen in article headlines and it's why companies like Buzzfeed and Unworthy became so successful.
Try writing headlines that hint at a secret within the article or use a phrase like [x] will change the way you [y]. You can even take it a step further and when you share the article on social media, say #3 on the list will scare or amaze you.
An older example of this in the branding world is when a product goes on sale for a limited time offer, even though no end date is planned. I'm running a campaign like this that has been generating over $100,000 a month in sales from Facebook ads and there is no end date set. Test it out for yourself.
Now, there's no reason to use petty tactics like clickbait or contests with nonexistent prizes. Use these insights wisely, respect your customers and engage them with valuable content and you'll be impressed with your brand's growth.