It can get tough out there for a marketer. Did you know that only 1 in 5 CEOs trust their CMO? They see marketing as a waste, and they see marketing as money going down the drain. So as marketers, we need to think creatively and achieve results without growing the “marketing waste”—but how? Use the tools that are available today (SEO, SEM, social) and change the way that you are communicating with consumers. Despite constant technology developments, social media rise, and mobile marketing, one thing remains constant: the human brain. When you consider that about 5% of decision making is conscious, you see how important it is to market towards the nonconscious brain as well as the conscious brain.
While no single theory explains all brain behavior, there are some things that we can use to our advantage and effectively reach customers. So what really goes into a conversion? Think of it as “The Persuasion Slide” – a cycle that is made up of three parts: nudge, angle, and friction.
The nudge – Getting customers’ attention. E-mails, search ads, pop-ups, and banner ads are all ways that you can implement the nudge. The nudge must be seen and must start the process. The angle of the slide – Motivation to buy. Conscious motivators such as sales, discounts, and other incentive-based elements encourage consumers to convert. Sales are very powerful motivators. No discounts equal no motivation, and if you can give something away for free, then you should do it. Show attributes you share with your customers to create a liking effect and appeal to the consumer’s emotive responses, and don’t bury liking cues in your site. Social proof and scarcity are also tactics you can employ to help motivate.
The friction—Obstacles to completing the conversion. These are the barriers that are standing in your way—problems that cause would-be customers to abandon shopping carts and bounce off of your site. What is preventing people from going down your sales slide? Forms with a lot of fields, long checkout processes, instructions—these are maddening for consumers. Visitors bail out of a site when they are frustrated and overwhelmed. Minimize friction & increase motivation. Opt-ins, forms, account creation and other lengthy steps are detrimental to the user experience.
So how do you begin tapping into the nonconscious buying brain? Build your slide! Align with gravity, give the nudge, maximize motivation, and utilize nonconscious motivators. Easy is good. Simple fonts, short forms, easy to read design, simple text. Minimizing friction almost always costs less than increasing motivation, and marketing with brain cues in mind is less expensive than amping up ad spend and trying to pump traffic—especially if you consider the amount of visitors who will not even convert. And at the end of the day, if it is not motivating the customer, it is getting in the way!
Erika Thomas is an SEO copywriter and link building specialist at Tandem Interactive. Thomas also operates fashion blog Blah Blah Blonde and is a freelance writer. Her Twitter handle is @itsmeerikat.
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