We’d like to believe that we’re all special and we stand apart from the crowd. We’d like to believe that we’re individuals and we are unique. Well, we are more than welcome to think this way but it isn’t true. Studies show that most humans have basic biases.
Most people share these biases and they don’t differ all that much from person to person. In fact, the differences are not in terms of kind but degree. For example, when people tell us that we have a great house, we almost feel compelled to tell them what’s wrong about it instead of simply saying ‘Thank you.’
On the other hand, if a particularly tactless person says that our house doesn’t look all that good, we bend over backwards justifying why the house is great. That’s how the human mind works.
There’s a dance between ego and our ability to come up with excuses or justifications. This is not just an interesting psychology tidbit. These biases actually can help you make quite a bit of money through online marketing.
By learning to recognize and exploit these human biases, you can make more money off less traffic. You can squeeze more profits out of every hour of effort you spend on your online properties-whether you make money through sales pages, landing pages, or ad clicks. Here are just some of the more recognizable biases you can appeal to so you can generate more online sales.
Bias #1: People are drawn towards greater entertainment intensities
Entertainment is really just the state of being mentally and emotionally captured for a period of time. This often involves engaging a person’s reasoning faculties, the person’s imagination, or emotions, or all three. Entertainment is all about getting a ‘hold’ over a person. Interestingly enough, stuff that used to capture attention in the 1940s bore us now. There seems to be an increasing level of intensity over the decades to properly entertain people. We’re now at the point where stuff that shocked us five years ago are simply quaint, funny, or even cheesy now.
How can you use this for your marketing initiatives?
Pay attention to what your competition is doing to hold the attention of your target audience. Step up the level of intensity to get a competitive advantage. You need to one-up your competition otherwise, you are simply giving your audience members the intensity they are accustomed to and they might find you generic.
That’s right-when you give them the same entertainment intensity as the rest of your industry or niche, you don’t stand out. If you want to gain an edge and if you want to get noticed, you need to stand out by focusing on the core entertainment value they are looking for from a particular piece of entertainment and intensifying that.
That’s all. If the focus of a particular piece of content is explosions and pyrotechnics, double up on that. If the focus is on tear jerking drama or touching stories, double up on that. Find the core of the entertainment value of a piece of content, purify it, intensify it, and focus is. Don’t make your target audience feel that your content is just like everyone else. Step it up!
Bias #2: People love controversy
Another common trait people have is that they are drawn to controversy. They can take or leave non-controversial stuff but controversial stuff is sure to get your content noticed. Why? People are busybodies. They are curious about what goes on in the lives of others.
They are social creatures. They measure their wealth, their health, their self-worth, their self-validation, based on what is going on with other people. When there is a disagreement or when there is a shocking detail that offends the status quo, people are curious. They want to feel superior because they aren’t embroiled in controversy. They want to feel they are on the ‘winning side’ when it comes to some sort of dispute or drama.
How do you benefit from controversy?
Just as good news almost never sells as well as bad news, presenting the same generic content with the same generic slant as the rest of your niche or industry isn’t going to do much to get your content noticed.
Considering the fact that there are over 2 million pieces of content produced daily, you have to figure out a way to get your content noticed amidst all the background noise. It is too easy to blend with the ‘white noise’ surrounding your content. You can easily do this by using controversy. Controversy draws out the gossip in everyone.
Also people are curious about views that fall out of the mainstream and which elicit shock, judgment, condemnation, or ridicule. Use this to your advantage. Find a controversial angle regarding a topic and play it up. Usually, if you are looking at a blog post regarding the controversial news, there will be people in the comments section raising different perspectives on the controversy. Take the hottest, yet least saturated of these, and play it up on your content.
Bias #3: People trust conversations
If you were to come up to a person and try to sell to that person, you will probably be told to take a hike. However, if the same person enters a pub or bar where people are talking about the product, the person might have his defenses down and might be more likely to buy.
This same dynamic applies to online forums. Threads where one person asks about a product and another user highlight the fine points of the products go a longer way in selling that product than outright spam discussions.
How do you use this bias?
Set up fake conversations between different accounts using questions that deal with the product you are pushing. This sets up the conversation around a problem and positions your product as the solution. People flock to these because they trust conversations better than outright ads. They also see the interplay in terms of questions and answers and this helps them identify the benefits a product brings to the table. They relate their needs to these benefits.
By exploiting the biases outlined above, you can go a long way in selling products more efficiently online. You don’t have to settle for the ineffective methods you’re using. Simply exploit common human biases and be on your way to a healthy online income.