The Psychology of Successful Influencer Marketing
There are conscious and subconscious motivating factors behind every decision. Every purchase made by consumers, be it hamburgers or the latest iPhone, is heavily influenced by the psychology of the related marketing materials. And when established influencers are thrown into the mix, things get taken to a whole new level.
Influencer marketing has become a popularized method to promote brands, products, or services through employing notoriously influential figures in various niches. These power-players possess the ability to make lasting impressions. And there is a deep-rooted psychological aspect to how this is achieved, both in front of, and behind, the curtain.
These practices can help marketers understand and leverage the mental processes associated with this type of marketing and increase the chances of a campaign hitting it big. Below are the core psychological components of a well-executed influencer campaign.
- More Options Lead to Less Actions
Pitching marketing materials to publishers can be tricky business, and for an influencer marketing campaign to be successful, you need the right people. Inboxes are already bursting with offers and angles on the “latest and greatest” new products, services, or what-have-you. Publishers and influencers are genuinely hankering for collaborative moments. In a study on publishers, 70% of respondents claimed to relish the opportunity to join forces with marketers on content materials over receiving finished products.
Giving influencers the space to flex their creative muscles provides an incentive for them to produce content they want to promote. This tactic also provides your pitch the psychological advantage of persuasion. Be sure not to provide an overabundance of options as this can often overwhelm folks and discourage them from engaging.
This point was proven on the consumer side by researchers from Columbia and Stanford University. A study on personal choice revealed that shoppers were 10x more likely to purchase a product when presented with a limited selection of similar items.
Instead of pitching influencers a mile long list of tweaks and spins, provide a small list of options like:
- Offering raw data and a few story options that can be co-developed
- The choice between infographics and static images, or dynamic materials like videos and gifs
- If you have multiple campaigns in the works, send off 2-3 that suit the writer’s interests and views and simply ask which appeals to them most
The psychology of limited choice not only makes the individual (whether it be a shopper or influencer) feel more connected to the decision making process but also helps to pique interest by showing that their input matters to you.
- Develop Connections and Confirm Bias
The immense amount of competition in the digital world means influencers are constantly receiving email pitches for various campaigns. Most of these get deleted due to excessive volume. If you don’t have an existing connection with the influencer you are pitching to, it is critical for your proposition to demonstrate your content’s quality, congruence with their message, and your beliefs align with their own. Researchers at New York University confirmed that when individuals view information that supports their beliefs, participants are increasingly likely to positively review the material.
Even if you do an excellent job of highlighting these points, it can still be brutal to get the attention of a top influencer; especially if email is your sole communication source. A study by researchers at Northwestern Law noted via a review of online communication and negotiation literature that email has a significant distancing effect on persuasive tactics.
The best way to break down these barriers is to connect with influencers on social media before ever attempting to make a pitch. Read the influencer’s posts and publications. Craft thoughtful comments that elevate the conversation. Sift through the influencer’s materials, paying particular attention to the angle supported and tone used, then echo this sentiment when pitching your material. This shows that you are interested in their work and they will be more likely to reciprocate.
- The Influencer’s Power Over the Public
When you analyze societal behavior, people just want to fit in. This is evident in consumer shopping patterns. People become far more interested in products when others have and use them. This is why when celebrities endorse a brand, sales often go through the roof. Influencers have this effect on audiences because authoritative influence is deeply tied to the actions and opinions of those around us. And in the audience’s eyes, when an influencer endorses a brand, it is not advertising; it is a heads up about a great product from a trusted friend.
The way influencers and marketing campaigns capitalize on social pull and persuade people is through the influencer’s authority, fondness of the product, and social proof that this item is beneficial to followers.
Want to learn more about influencing influencers? Shoot us an email and we will teach you the art of persuasion.
By Tina Courtney Brown