From videos and blog posts to eBooks and infographics, businesses are savvier than ever when it comes to creating and sharing incredible online content. Unfortunately, as a result, great content is ten a penny, so how can you make sure yours goes the extra mile?
A wide range of people will consume your content. Ultimately, your goal is to focus on decision makers. This is anybody with a choice. Will they buy your product? Will they request a call back? Will they share your podcast? Or will they simply leave?
How can you persuade decision makers to… well… make the right decision?
The answer, quite literally, is emotional…
If your business sells a product or service online, you’re already in the content marketing game. If you’re uploading product images, service descriptions or promotional explainer videos online, it’s happening.
When you’re trying to up the conversion rate for a specific piece of content (the percentage of visitors who take a desired action), every single nudge in the right direction is crucial. This is a game of marginal gains. Small gains add up to remarkable improvements. So, where’s the best place to start?
Rational versus emotional
Firstly, the rational mind plays a huge part for any decision maker. Your content needs to cater for this mindset accordingly. So, what are the facts and statistics? How do your prices and packages compare against the competition? What is your returns policy? How much can people save? These are the types of questions you need to answer.
Catering to rational thinking is easy. Things get a little more complicated – and exciting – when you distort reasoning with the introduction of emotion. According to research by Loewenstein and Lerner, emotion impacts our decision-making abilities in two different ways. Firstly, you can help a decision maker anticipate future emotions. Secondly, you can provoke an immediate emotion from the decision maker. Great content does both!
Try for yourself
Not convinced? Have you ever purchased a new watch and told everybody how much you saved? Have you ever found yourself waiting with excitement for a new purchase to arrive in the post? Have you ever purchased a product for the safety of your loved ones? If yes, your emotions may have got the better of you.
Anticipation: You can help decision makers anticipate the emotion they will feel if they proceed. If they’re going to be healthier, tell them they’ll feel happy. If they’re going to save money, explain how much less stressed they’ll feel with surplus cash. People are extremely responsive to vivid outcomes, so try hard to paint a positive picture.
Focus on the gap: Decision makers focus on the difference, as opposed to the total. For example, you could focus on the amount of money somebody can save, as opposed to the total price.
The alternative: Decision makers will compare a possible result against what could have happened. For example, if you don’t get life insurance, what will happen to your loved ones if the worst happened? If you hang onto your old rusty car instead of purchasing a new one, you’ll find yourself stranded on the motorway in no time.
Tip: Be careful not to trigger too many negative emotions, as this can cause people to freeze. There’s a reason why scary anti-smoking campaigns fail.
Sooner is better: The sooner the impending possible outcome, the more intense the emotional response. So, don’t focus on six month results, talk about how immediate and fast improvements can be made from day one, and back that up with long-term results. For example, if you sign up with a chiropractor, you’ll feel much better after just one visit, with dramatic improvements over time.
Enhance commitment: Typically, decision makers will choose a result based on what’s best for themselves. However, making a decision for others too helps decision makers to commit to a decision. For example, if a stressed business person can work less and spend more time with his family, it’s great for them. However, they should also think about the outcome on his or her loved ones. How happy will they be? How much closer will the family be? Could they take more holidays together?
Use retrieval cues: Happy feelings help trigger a positive decision. Help the decision maker remember a time when they made a similar decision and why it turned out so great for them. For example, everybody remembers that one summer they were extra healthy and active; how much happier and outgoing they were and the impact it had on their relationships with friends and family. Helping somebody retrieve these rooted emotions, for example, could help if you’re trying to sign-up new gym members.
Over to you
Still not convinced by emotion inducing content? Try an A/B test and see for yourself. Just think about how amazing it would be if it did work for your business. What could two extra sales per week do for you? Would it increase profits, boost your Christmas bonus or even fund a well-deserved break for your hardworking team? Give it a go today and you could see results faster than you think…
See what I did there?
Written by Rob Truslove (Guest Blogger)
Rob is the founder of Hello SEO Copywriting, a team of writers in Manchester specialising in web content that search engines and people love.