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The psychology of successful marketing (part three).

Let’s blow away the smoke and mirrors, and reveal how we use psychology in B2B content marketing to influence decisions in your favour.

Now you really see how it’s done…

When you see a street magician make a twenty-pound note appear out of your nose, you know some skilful sleight of hand has taken place. You don’t know how it was done, but you’re pretty confident you haven’t been walking around with a twenty-pound note up your shnozzle.

Effective B2B content marketing works in much the same way — significant skill has gone into creating the communication piece, you’re just not exactly sure how or why it works.

In this series, we’re taking the lid off some of the psychologically-based tools we use in B2B content marketing, showing you why the content we create for you is so effective.

Robert Cialdini identified six principles of persuasion, and we’ve been using our magic wheel of chance to determine the order in which we explore what they have to offer.

In our first instalment, the golden clicker tick-tick-ticked to a stop on reciprocity and authority. And, on our second lucky spin, it landed on social proof, and commitment and consistency. In this, our final instalment, a bit of careful nudging made sure it landed on the principles of liking and of scarcity.

You seem just my type: liking.

This principle isn’t a complicated one by any means. It’s based on the idea that the more you like someone, the greater the chances of you doing what they suggest. So how do we decide whether we like someone?

The first stage is almost instantaneous: we make a rapid assessment of what we have in common with the other person, based on external characteristics like age, sex, race and socioeconomic status. And that initial decision to like can be reinforced if the people we’re assessing pay us compliments and cooperate with us.

In short, liking is all bound up with our perceptions of safety. Feeling safe encourages us to interact and communicate. This, in turn, increases our chances of finding things in common. And identifying joint interests builds rapport, reinforcing our decisions to agree with what’s suggested. Job done.

So, in a B2B context, seize every opportunity to establish common ground with your target audience. Research your target audience and work to bring out your similarities: choose your language carefully to make it clear that you have a shared operating environment and, in your personal dealings, seek out opportunities to find emotional and attitudinal connections.

Don’t miss out: scarcity.

Scarcity plays on another fundamental of human nature: we attribute more value to something that we believe is limited. Basically, we want what we can’t have. To put a more academic spin on it, opportunities seem more valuable when they are harder to obtain.

We don’t want to miss out, and this motivates us to take action. So all those ‘last few remaining’ type offers do really work and, in a B2B environment, you can clearly see how this is applicable to sales.

Make psychology work for you.

Fancy knowing more about how we employ behavioural economics to maximise the effectiveness of your B2B content marketing? Just get in touch, or catch up with part one and part two in this series.

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