4 Psychological Principles That Will Make You Better At Content Marketing
Trying to pitch your content to various editors/publications? Columnist Kelsey Libert explains how you can use psychological principles to achieve greater success.
Every day, buyers make decisions that can be explained — and influenced — by established psychological principles.
When communicating in a lean channel like email, it’s important for you to be able to leverage these principles of psychology to incite people to act. With that in mind, BuzzStream and Fractl came together to analyze the psychology theories that have the biggest impact on your influencer marketing tactics. (See more from the report.)
I. Freedom Of Choice
Research: Giving someone a set of ideas to choose from allows that person to take more ownership over the selected idea. In a study on personal choice, researchers from Columbia and Stanford found that choice among relatively limited alternatives is more beneficial than no choice at all.
In fact, by providing a selection of options to choose from, the researchers were 40-60% more likely to capture someone’s attention.
Takeaway: When pitching, offer editors options rather than pitching a single campaign or asset type. Try offering multiple campaigns or research topics that fit their beat, or a variety of images or data visualizations. Ask questions to find out which topics interest the writer most, and see if there’s an opportunity to collaborate on future research.
II. Paradox Of Choice
Research: While the research above affirms the positive consequences of having personal choice, the study goes further to reveal that more choices isn’t always better. The study found that the psychological benefits of the provision of choice typically occurs between two and six alternatives.
In fact, people were 10x more likely to make a purchase when given a limited array of six choices. However, when the researchers expanded the selection to 24-30 choices, the choice became demotivating.
Takeaway: Highlighting 3-6 interesting statistics can help you earn more interest than focusing on just one point, but you don’t want to overwhelm someone by going over six data points. You may also want to provide an array of campaigns to choose from, but limit your selection to three max.
III. Publication Prejudices: Confirmation Bias
Research: Confirmation bias is the tendency to emphasize and believe experiences that support one’s views and to ignore or discredit those that do not. In fact, people are more receptive to information that supports their theories, regardless of how true they may or may not be.
Takeaway: Give the editor a way to use your content in support of their beliefs, as outlined in their bios and author archives.
Research: Pitching content should follow the traditional sales pitch steps, as you are ultimately trying to “sell” the editor on your content.
Takeaway: AIDA is a handy acronym used to describe the progression of persuasive techniques in sales. Here’s how you can use the AIDA principle to secure more pickups:
- Attention. Earn an editor’s attention by leveraging social networks to cultivate a relationship based on common interests and thoughtful feedback.
- Interest. Secure interest through an intriguing but brief subject line, and make a personal connection within the first few sentences of your pitch.
- Desire. Build desire by offering exclusive data and high-quality content.
- Action. Incite action by ending your pitch in a call-to-action, try to elicit feedback from the editor, or have them commit to publishing the exclusive.
Share some of your favorite principles below!