Tug on their heartstrings
Buying decisions are based on 20% logic and 80% emotion. This means connecting with customers on an emotional level is a powerful way to drive engagement and motivate people to take action.
The human brain is less rational than we might like to think when it comes to buying decisions, with research showing that the ‘likeability’ of an ad has a much greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy than the information in the ad about the product. In addition, the more positive the content, the more likely it is to to go viral: Google’s Abigail Posner describes this as an ‘energy exchange’ and that “the gift of sharing amplifies our own pleasure – and is something we’re hardwired to do”.
Budweiser’s and 84 Lumber’s pro-immigration ads that aired during 2017’s Super Bowl certainly provoked reactions from viewers by tapping into the emotionally-charged political debate on immigration, inspiring conversation and generating a huge amount of publicity (although not all of it positive; the ads polarised viewers, many of whom took to social media to vent their criticism).
Align your values
Belonging to a group with shared characteristics appeals to our primitive needs to feel safe and establish social identity. From supporters of a particular football team, to One Direction fans, to those who can afford to demonstrate their status by owning a Lamborghini, we’re all pack animals at heart.
- Focus on shared values and characteristics
- Utilise social media groups or create your own exclusive groups for customers and potential customers to be part of
- Encourage visitors to sign up to your database to receive special content, limited offers and sneak previews
Focus on their feelings
No one likes feeling taken for granted. Whether it’s sales assistants who are too busy chatting to one another to help, a B2B account manager who appears to be fobbing you off, or a brand not responding to your query on social media, the perception that a business doesn’t care about you as an individual is deeply off-putting.
This is because, whether we’re conscious of it or not, feelings are what drive our purchasing decisions, brand preference and customer loyalty. When we don’t feel like we’re important to a business or, even worse, are offended by them, we’re likely to avoid them in future.
The key is to develop a customer-first culture among customer and client-facing employees. Communicate your business’ goals so that workers can connect what they’re doing to why they’re doing it. Allowing employees to see the bigger picture, and how their contribution fits into it, encourages buy-in. Involved employees are more likely to understand and uphold your company’s mission and values.
Wear your heart on your sleeve
A brand must be perceived as reliable, respectful and real. These 3 R’s of Authenticity provide a clear, data-based formula for achieving a higher level of authenticity for a brand, which will in turn, generate benefits for the brand and its business
Lynn Fisher, Cohn & Wolfe (publishers of the Authentic 100 list)
Authenticity is about being perceived as open and honest – is what will differentiate your brand and make your messages memorable. Sincerity is a powerful quality that creates trust amongst today’s cynical consumers.
In terms of search marketing, your focus should be on offering high quality content in a relevant context to create a rich, personalised experience for your target audience. And, in terms of search engine rankings, good quality content has always performed well because it achieves Google’s main aim – returning information which answers the queries of the searcher, in way that’s relevant, useful and provides a great customer experience.
Content doesn’t need to be overtly branded or feel like advertising. The aim is to strike a balance between showcasing your brand and offering engaging, helpful content that encourages people to take action.
Make up or break up
What happens when you get it wrong? The way you respond to a complaint can have a huge influence on how a customer views your business – and whether you win their loyalty. You need to send the message that you’re taking their complaint seriously and will act promptly – then concentrate on what steps you can take to put things right. Avoid making excuses and use the feedback as an opportunity to improve your customer service going forward.
It’s important for you to have a policy in place for responding to complaints or difficult queries via social media, in addition to your strategy for using it as a marketing channel.
In particular, Twitter is increasingly used as a very public customer service platform, especially as tweets are indexed by Google.
Make your customer complaints procedure transparent, by clearly displaying your contact details, including phone number, email address and social media buttons, and ensure you respond promptly to queries. You might also consider adding live chat to your online store: 31% of online shoppers from both the US and UK say they’d be more likely to purchase after a live chat.
Respect one anothers’ friends
The popularity of social media, along with an increasing trend for consumers to conduct online research before purchasing something, speaks volumes about the importance of social proof (when people trust and copy the actions or behaviour of others, a psychological phenomenon that has been employed by marketers long before the internet or social media).
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, while 92% will call, visit in person or go to a company’s website after reading a positive review.
Consumers pay most attention to overall star rating and 88% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before they form an opinion about a business.
Make them feel special
With the wealth of customer information and data collection methods available to us, there’s really no excuse for spamming customers or potential customers with irrelevant marketing messages.
Remarketing ads are a powerful way to reach people who have previously visited your site or used your app by tracking items in which they’ve shown interest, then targeting them with highly relevant ads across third party sites they subsequently visit. Remarketing ads could include an added incentive to reengage your prospect, such as a discount or special offer. Learn more about remarketing with this Remarketing cheat sheet.
Sharing is caring
Social media has revolutionised the way individuals and brands engage, persuade and influence. But what makes something shareable?
People share things that reinforce how they want to be perceived (helpful, insightful, edgy or funny, for example), reflects their values and beliefs, and, ultimately, helps to strengthen their own relationships.
As with everything in marketing, you need to understand what’s important to your audience and tailor your approach to tap into it, but here are some top tips:
This is a great way to spark interaction if you can tap into a topic or interest that’s important to your audience. Encourage people to get involved by voting, submitting their own ideas and suggestions, or posting photos, for example.
Show your human side
Put some personality into your posts. Share a video of your staff happily doing daft things for charity. Throw in some humour if it’s appropriate. Authenticity is what differentiates your brand and creates trust.
Impart nuggets of wisdom
Post tips and advice that will help make your audience’s life easier. If you can demonstrate them using photos, video or infographics, all the better. People love to share this type of post as it allows them to bask in reflected glory.
Always respond promptly to comments and questions, whether on social or in your blog’s comments section. Meaningful, personalised interaction – the building of rapport and trust – is the holy grail of social media marketing.
Paid search (PPC) ad capabilities have now evolved beyond the focus and relevancy of your keyword strategy, and into the realm of true personalisation using location customisation.
As an advertiser, this gives you the opportunity to truly personalise ads dynamically, including:
- Adjusting your ad copy based on a visitor’s location
- Including a user’s location, local info and distance to business in ad copy
- Restricting targeting to people physically within your business’ vicinity
Our Head of Paid Search Dave Karellen explores this topic further in this vlog post:
Need us to show you how to inject some love into your search marketing? Get in touch with us today.