In our last installment, Big Red SEO’s team of search engine optimization and content development strategists talked about the principles of reciprocity and commitment, two ideas from Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” that you can harness to take your marketing strategy to the next level. Giving a little to get a lot in return and tying your brand to your customer’s self-identity are great methods to achieving increased online traffic and sales, but they’re far from the end of the story! Today we’ll go a bit further into the weeds with Cialdini’s persuasion principles and tell you how you can use them to your benefit!
Principle #3 – Social Proof…Hopping on the Bandwagon
If there’s one law of social psychology that’s proven to be as true as gravity is to physics, it’s that people tend to do what the group is doing, and like the things the group likes. You can see this principle in action everywhere if you’re looking for it—if your co-workers are working late, chances are you’ll do the same, and if you notice that a certain restaurant or bar seems to be packed much of the time, you’re more likely to try (and like) it yourself.
It even works in stranger ways! Try this sometime: on a busy sidewalk, look up and focus on any spot—it doesn’t matter what’s there. The chances are good that after a few minutes you’ll have drawn a crowd, all peering up at the same thing you’re looking at.
This principle is easy to play with, but you can also make it work to pump up your conversions! One good way you can use social pressure to influence customers’ buying decisions, according to our SEO and content development team at Big Red SEO, is by empowering them with a vote for their favorite product.
The online clothing market Modcloth is a good example of this method in action. Modcloth lets shoppers vote on which items they should stock in the future, and based on the results gives certain styles a “Be the Buyer” badge, which sell at double the rate of badgeless ones. By presenting certain products you sell as popular, you can persuade new customers to try them as well.
Principle #4 – Authority…I Will Do Whatever You Say!
How many times on TV have you seen some kind of medicine or supplement ad narrated by a doctor? Or an ad for legal services with a lawyer as its spokesman? The answer is many, many times, and for good reason—we as human beings tend to believe what someone says regarding an aspect of their field if that person is a recognized expert or authority in it. This may seem like a “no duh” statement, but it’s a very powerful tool to keep in mind.
What does this look like in practice? ShoeDazzle provides a good example. Specializing in women’s shoes and accessories, ShoeDazzle was founded in part by Robert Shapiro, an attorney famous for his defense of O.J. Simpson. While Shapiro is an excellent example of authority in the legal field (incidentally he was brought on as co-founder and spokesman of LegalZoom in 2001), he’s no authority in women’s shoes, which is why he and co-founder Brian S. Lee decided to bring in their third co-founder and spokeswoman, Kim Kardashian. While she may not have authority in other areas, she definitely does in the realm of women’s fashion, as she can always be found and is often photographed wearing the latest shoe styles, so her endorsement of ShoeDazzle is great for business.
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As you can see, certain social factors can have a great impact on the persuasiveness of your content and marketing strategy. Taking advantage of your customers’ tendencies to follow popular trends and authority figures, and in turn becoming a part of their social consciousness, can lead to big returns for you and your business!
Our SEO and content development specialists at Big Red SEO in Omaha constantly research both time-tested and trending strategies to bring our clients the best proven methods of improving their rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. When it comes to web design, search engine optimization and content development, we love coming up with creative solutions to get you noticed by your ideal customers, so give Big Red SEO a call today at (402) 522-6468 to get started!