Everyday we are surrounded by online marketing strategies that subconsciously play a huge role in the actions we take online. Every minute 200 million emails are sent, 220,000 posts are uploaded on Instagram and nearly 2.5 million pieces of content are shared across Facebook.1 So within this swarm of information, how are you going to make sure it is your message that gets read?
There are many psychological marketing tools that are unknowingly thrown at us every time we open our browser. We are inundated with numerous marketing messages per day, from emails to adverts. Users almost become blasé to it all as we are drowned in online marketing everyday. When someone visits your website it is key to try and keep the user there for as long as possible. Many retailers employ psychologists to figure out where to place products within a store in order to create maximum profits and this idea has recently shifted into the online world.
One way of maintaining the user’s interest is by creating a number of “call to actions”. By offering users access to more than one type of media you instantaneously provide them with a reason to explore further. It is important to keep your highest priority call to action at the top of your page. This is because it is subconsciously considered the ‘best’. There are known to be a number of ‘blind spots’ on a website where our eyes avoid looking. The most common ‘blind spot’ is in the top right hand corner. If you wish to implement a promotion it is believed best to avoid this position of the page, as this is the most commonly overlooked area.
One tool online marketers like to utilise is the use of the word ‘you’ within their content. By directly addressing your audience you are able to capture their attention, as if you are engaging conversation. Most people are uncomfortable with overt selling so by trying to be of more a friend or adviser than a direct salesman, the result is often that someone will buy more easily as they feel more comfortable as you appear to know what they want and need.
Another term you may have come across is ‘reciprocity’: the practice of exchanging things with another individual for mutual benefit. For example, a competition, promotion or give-away from a company can bring many users to your website and entice them to look further at other pages. In the long run, this could be greatly beneficial for a company, with customers regularly returning.
It is commonly believed that ‘the scarcity of something, the more valuable it is’. This rule can be applied through to web marketing. Less can be more, which is relevant not only to design but also to the content of a web page. Masses of text can be very off putting for many; often because users feel they have not got the time to read through bulks of text, other times out of pure laziness. People want quick and easy answers, without the hassle of having to sift through meaningless text. However, if you keep a simplistic feel to your website, without appearing too sparse, you could attract more potential customers to read on. With many users spending less than fifteen seconds on your website, they tend to just gather a rough idea of what is on the page and whether it is ample to their needs or not.
You may not realise it, but a company’s online branding can be heavily influenced by psychological techniques. Colours and fonts are carefully scrutinised to match a brand’s personality. Font families are often associated with brand types; for instance, script fonts are often closely linked with elegance and creativity whereas serif fonts represent reliable and traditional brands. However, these fonts should be used consistently across all branded products, not just online. Users like to see uniformity in colours, fonts, image style, tone of voice and more, enabling them to easily identify your brand.
As previously discussed in earlier blogs, including “The power of colour” and our individual colour blogs, colours can each have an influence on our actions and moods. These should be carefully considered when determining which colours to apply to your website and/or branding. Read through our previous blogs (links below) for further reading on how colour is an extremely effective tool.
So, as always, remember to keep in mind your target audience. What is their particular way of thinking? How long do they spend on each page? What pages do they take a particular interest in? This information can usually be found within your web analytics, where you can build your psychological marketing strategies upon these results.
1 Gunelius, S. (2014) The data explosion in 2014 minute by minute – Infographic. Available at: https://aci.info/2014/07/12/the-data-explosion-in-2014-minute-by-minute-infographic/ (Accessed: 22 June 2016).