Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge within the limits of critical bounding assumptions. In this article you find practical guidelines that make executing online marketing easy as you pick the behaviors of online users which work for you.

There is a consumer psychology that feeds the cycle of consumption of online content that returns desired outcomes. Fear, attention, reciprocation, commitment, scarcity, and patterns are the thing we are going to look at in this blog.

> The Fear Element: Where everyone is motivated by fear of losing social stature, a job, comfort, health, aging, relationships, and others. Fear is known to drive most of us to do thing we would have never done in first place like buying herbal medicine on a vendor because they mentioned a deadly effect that looks like what you have. In content writing it is the alarmist words that are used, photos the dark colors and videos the grey and dim light effect. Fear needs one to build a buyer profile that is more effective while identifying their preferred platforms then deliver to them the content.

> Verbatim Effect: Do you know that in 2000 the attention span on a social media was 12 seconds? And now, 15 years later, it’s shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds. In fact, scientists reckon we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, who can focus on a task or object for 9 seconds. So, skimming and headline scanning have become the new type of reading. This is what the Verbatim Effect is about; psychologically, people are more likely to recall a fuzzy and general idea of your content than the original piece created. As a result, marketers really should spend more time on the content headline rather than the content itself. It is that short, precise, and to-the-point text that would be better remembered and associated to your brand.

> Reciprocity: This is when one does something nice for other online and they also want to do the same for them. So, if I read your tweet and enjoy it, you are going to do the same for me. Or if a customer orders something from you, reciprocate by sending over a small thank you gift which could be as simple as a tweet, inbox message or even an e-gift (this works well with TikTok gift features for content creators). Are you into goods that are ordered online and delivered to clients without you ever seeing them? Then you send the goods with thank you notes and samples of new products to encourage future purchases. This is all to build customer relationships that are long lasting that lead to brand ambassadors.

> The Gestalt Principle: Do you know that us humans are hard-wired to look for patterns, particularly patterns they are familiar with?  In marketing, giving consumers a pattern, they are familiar with and then slowly nudging them in your direction is the best way to motivate them to take the learning curve to understand your product and services. In other words, this is about keeping things simple (to begin with). The Gestalt Principle is very important for especially the design branch of online marketing. This means, design a website by placing the menu where everyone else is placing it; just because your consumers are used to seeing it there. From there, if you absolutely must, only then slowly branch off into your own unique UX/UI design. If the shopping cart icon tends to be in red color, then you might as well stick to the same color scheme per se.

> Commitments: Facts are the humans are wired to feel guilty over broken promises hence the overwhelming desire to keep them. This is rewarding for online businesses as they look at the pricing structures that allow customer sign up for the entire year. This is the one way one can execute the psychology of commitment to build your long-term customer base.

> Scarcity: Using the scarcity concept in your content about a product or service has been found to create demand among consumers. Whether it’s real scarcity or an illusion, it tends to have the same effect.  Wording like “only 3 seats left at this price”, “last room, 2 other people looking”, “5 slots left on the sign up for this deal” etc. Scarcity however has two sides to it, and you’d want to be careful to word your taglines, so the readers feel that your service or product is scare because there is high demand. Worded wrong, it might sound like there is not much supply to begin with.

> Action Paralysis: As humans we are doubtful by nature hence always second guessing ourselves. While the Gestalt Principle above is important for designers, Action Paralysis is important for copywriters. If you’re writing a copy to trigger conversions and sales, state it in action form, short and precise. Do not give them the chance to think. For instance, if your copy reads, “Download Today at Only 30 USD And Find out How to Land Your Dream Job”, your audience would probably be going, “what if I download and what I found out, won’t help me?”, “Is it worth it, 30 USD to land a job?” A more effective copy should allow minimum doubting to occur and probably read, “How to Land Your Dream Job – Click Here”.

If this blog has lit a bulb in you, let’s have a deeper conversation on this.

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur founder of the 8 years old Digital Marketing agency, Kahill Insights Company Limited that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on return on investment. Patricia is currently the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership, and alumni of the YELP class of 2017. She is driven by passion and curiosity with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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