3 Cognitive Biases Every Content Marketer Should Know and Use
As humans, we love to think of ourselves as conscious, self-determined beings. We tend to believe that our actions and decisions are solely driven by our will and reasoning. But as research continues to reveal, we may not be fully in control of our decisions. That’s because most of our decisions are influenced —to varying degrees — by our subconscious mind, sometimes causing us to make less-than-rational choices. This tendency to deviate from rationality is called cognitive bias. And as content marketers, you can leverage these biases through your content strategy and practices to shift your audience’s perception in your favour. And the best part is that it works for all industries, businesses, and demographics. So, regardless of whether you work for a content writing agency in Mumbai or in Madrid, make sure your communications and strategies are designed to use these cognitive biases:
Mere exposure effect
There are very few practices that influence change in behaviour as effectively as mere repetition. Continuously and repeatedly being exposed to a certain idea or a person can make people think more favorably about an idea or a person. Thus, if you consistently present, through social media and other channels, your brand to your audience, even when they do not need your product, they will develop an unconscious affinity towards your brand. And, eventually, when they actually need what you’re selling, they will be more likely to prefer your brand over that of your competitors’ by virtue of, well, mere exposure. This is probably the reason why businesses see brand awareness as a key marketing objective and spend millions to display their brand logo at every opportunity. If you want to promote your brand through content, be it through blogs or social media, the consistency and frequency of posting content should make up a major part of your content strategy.
People generally tend to reinforce their existing beliefs by exclusively seeking evidence that supports them while shutting out contradictions, no matter how valid. The confirmation bias can be used by marketers in two ways. You can craft your communications to reaffirm the predominant sentiment of your target demographic to penetrate their ingroup and become trustworthy and more likable to them. You can also trigger this cognitive bias to positively confirm your customers’ decision to purchase your product by touting its features and asking for reviews and testimonials after a sale. This reassures customers that they’ve made the right decision by buying your product and are more likely to become repeat customers and loyal patrons.
The safest answer to the question “Why should I buy from you?” is always “Because everybody else is!” As inherently communal beings, we humans prefer fitting into social groups by doing what the majority is doing. In fact, that is the essence of fashion. While traditionally, people never paid for and bought a torn piece of clothing, ripped jeans have become a trend in the past couple of decades, and it’s now fashionable to buy new clothes that are already torn — because (almost) everyone does it! Such is the influence of social proof. And as content marketers, you should use social proof and the bandwagon effect to demonstrate how your products are being purchased and trusted by a lot of people. This can be done through reviews (organic ones, not made-up ones), testimonials, and creating content that implies social proof.
Understanding human behaviour is a key requirement for effective marketing — content or otherwise. And the aforementioned biases are just three of a host of tools and techniques, not to mention the trends that change with time, that marketers must be aware of. But learning all this takes time and effort, which you may not have if you are running a business. In such cases, it’s better to leave it to professionals like us at Spacebar, a content writing agency in Mumbai. We’ll make sure we use every trick, trend, and strategy we can to ensure that your brand stands out and keeps gaining customers, just like all our other clients.