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Content Marketing: 8 Proven Techniques That Drive Sales

Content Marketing: 8 Proven Techniques That Drive Sales

Are you struggling with driving more customers through your sales funnel? Whether you’re a retailer or a restaurateur, competing for that traffic can be hard, and sometimes the best thing to do is find some help.

Funny enough, in this case, science can be of huge help. There are dozens of books about the concepts and proven scientific motives behind purchasing decisions, all of which are also backed by generations of businesses.

Here’s an outline of the 8 best-performing psychology tactics with practical examples of content marketing.

1. Influence emotion

Experts say consumers rarely decide to buy something with formal logic. Sure, if you were on the market for a new car or house, you’d probably want to mull that over for quite some time, but deciding what t-shirt to buy is typically a snap decision.

In fact, many purchases are either spontaneous or mostly driven by emotions. Appealing to people’s feelings rather than to their logic may help you get more customers engaging with your brand. Craft your messaging in a way that would make your customers feel a certain emotion.

Intuitively, you might think that causing negative emotions with your messaging is a big no-no—your intuition is wrong. The media practically invented using fear as a tactic. They’ve been using it to get more eyeballs for decades. Think of ways you can incorporate a little bit of “Fear of missing out” (FOMO) in your content. Trust us, it works when used strategically.

Example: This doesn’t have to be quite as big as CNN talking about a tsunami. Add articles like “Don’ts when buying a Christmas present for your significant other” or “If you see this at a restaurant, you’re getting conned.” People are afraid of making mistakes and will read these posts.

Aesthetically pleasing visuals can also evoke a strong feeling in your customers. Many people tend to leave websites if they’re ugly or poorly structured, even if they sell good products. So, make sure your visuals are also communicating that same emotion reflected in your content.

Example: Whatever you sell, make sure to hire a quality, experienced photographer, because the difference between OK or excellent photos may make or break many sales. Good lighting is crucial!

8 proven psychology tactics to drive sales with content marketing | Lightspeed POS


2. Use storytelling

Stating facts isn’t really much of a hook for customers, but telling a compelling story is. Just take a look at what Martin Luther King did. It’s no wonder his words are still prevalent today.

No matter what you sell, there is always a story you can spin around it.

It’s like saying “Turn heads in the Walk On By Navy Blue Ruffled Sleeveless Mini Dress!”, instead of, “Blue mini dress”. See the difference?


“Most successful business’ today have a brand narrative. Through images and content, they’re able to tell a story that aligns their brand with their audience’s interests and desires”.

— Geoffrey Brown, Local Outreach Representative, GoDaddy Social

Example: If you own a restaurant, try treating your Instagram captions as a piece of literature. Spark your followers’ imagination.
If you own a retail shop, try giving your next lookbook a backstory. Give context and meaning to each image. This will multiply engagement and encourage shoppers to look through till the end.

3. Imply scarcity

The Apple stores are infamous for their long lineups on release days. Consumers are well aware that stock might run out before they get inside, so they gather at the door hours before the store even opens. Similar to evoking a negative emotion (like FOMO – see #1), scarcity can definitely attract many people.

Our brains are wired to desire things that are not widely available – exclusive even. Once in a while, promote the idea of scarcity when releasing a new product, and evaluate the difference.

Example: Your email marketing campaigns should include all the latest discounts and urge customers to buy with the use of countdowns. This is an old-school method, but it still works well.
For restaurants, make a seasonal menu and market it. Make sure everybody knows it’s available for a limited time only.

4. Create unique deals

On top of scarcity, people love feeling lucky and having something unique or personalized that no one else can get their hands on. It’s a selfish feeling, sure, but it can be rather useful for marketers.

A loyalty program for retailers or for restaurateurs is the best way to make customers feel appreciated and valued. If you don’t already have one in place, you should think about implementing one now. It’s one of those things your business absolutely needs if you want to keep growing.

Example: Start tracking your customers’ birthdays and implement a birthday discount automated email. For retailers, create pop-up discount codes for online shoppers who’ve been perusing for a minimum of 5 minutes. It’s a fun surprise that will surely seal the deal.

8 proven psychology tactics to drive sales with content marketing | Lightspeed POS


5. Your business must be easy to find

Do you plan your visits to restaurants months in advance? Probably not, and neither do your customers. Sometimes people are just hungry or suddenly want a pet goldfish. Sometimes they just google “Mexican food near me” or “Pet shop open till 9” and go to the nearest place they can find.

Tip: Make sure your ranking on all major search engines is optimized so you’re one of the first ones to pop up on Google Maps.

Can your product be a great Christmas present? Then it has to make it onto the “X best Christmas gifts” list of at least a couple of reputable websites.


6. Pictures for discounts

Mastering community building on social media is the key to success for many companies. But getting started is the tricky part. How do you grow your social media audience when no one knows about you?

Example: Ask your in-store customers to snap a selfie or a food pic and post it on their Instagram tagging your business. Offer a free snack or discount for doing that.

For retailers, unpacking videos are surprisingly popular. Find reputable influencers in your niche to create these videos for you in exchange for payment or a percentage of every sale generated by their unique discount code.


7. Evaluate your words

Your choice of words is crucial to your effort in convincing first-time buyers that your products will be of value to them. The personality of your brand needs to resonate, and your customers need to identify to it if you want to nurture their loyalty.

On top of all that, you also need to be concise and persuasive. You can’t spend dozens of paragraphs explaining every feature because no one will sit there and read through all that, and you’ll never get your point across. 

Grammar and spelling mistakes are also a big no-no. If writing has never been your strong suit, don’t hesitate to look for some external help

Tip: Create multiple copies of a single page with different styles and wordings of your offer. Test them on real traffic to see which performs best. Stick with the style that converts more shoppers.

8 proven psychology tactics to drive sales with content marketing | Lightspeed POS


8. Remember their name

People love feeling special. The easiest way of doing that is by remembering their name. As humans, we are very attached to our names and naturally respond positively when strangers remember it.

Not good with names? That’s ok, that’s what your POS is for.

Example: Refer to your customers by name, at checkout, in emails and on your website, where possible. During staff training, make sure you ask your employees to call as many customers as possible by their names and show them how to find that information your POS. A simple “Good to see you again, Robert”, makes a big difference, you’ll see!

One thing is for sure, basic human interaction has a lot to do with how we do business. Whether you run a restaurant or you own a retail shop, a consumers’ need for intellectual stimulation remains relatively the same. We want to relate to and identify with what we’re purchasing. And feeling special in the process is just a nice bonus.

These techniques were described by dozens of authors and proven to work by hundreds of scientists and businesses. Do some digging, learn from them, and your business will surely be one step closer to success.

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