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People are surrounded by ads every day. We each see thousands of advertisements no matter where we live, work, and spend time. We often try to tune them out, but there’s no doubt they have an influence on us.
Businesses count on the impact of advertising to build their brands and promote products and services. Have you ever wondered how advertising influences us? Understanding the psychology behind advertising can help your marketing efforts be more effective.
Let’s take a look at the ways that ads impact consumers.
Great ads are relatable and create an immediate connection with the audience. How do they do this? Primarily through sharing a message that resonates with what the target consumer is already thinking and feeling.
If you’re a lawn care business, you can connect with people who fear neighbours are judging their lawns by creating an ad talking about the shame of being “the ugly yard.” Because you’re connecting with a feeling that already exists, you’ll draw in the right customers and they will be ready to listen to your solution.
To create effective advertising, you need to understand how your target audience feels and connect with those feelings right away in the ad.
Another powerful way to connect with your audience’s psychology is by tapping into their innate desire to be a better version of themselves. For example, every mom wants to be a good mom. Every homeowner wants to be a responsible homeowner. Every professional wants to be successful.
An ad that inspires action is one that convinces the consumer that if they only had your product or service, they could become who they aspire to be. Showcasing that you can help the customer transform their lives is one of the most powerful forms of persuasion.
Using the example above, a great lawn care advertisement might show someone who is ashamed of having the ugly yard, and then your lawn services turn them into the envy of the neighbourhood, and they feel they are finally a successful and responsible homeowner.
By tapping into who your audience aspires to be, and showcasing how your product or service can get them there, you can create very effective advertising.
The reciprocity principle is a psychological finding that when people receive something they deem valuable, they then feel obligated to the giver. Businesses take advantage of this principle when they provide a valuable free service or trial offer, knowing that most people will then have a tendency to return the favour by making a bigger purchase.
In order to work, the reciprocity principle has to be executed correctly. The free product or service must be something that the customer values and perceives to have required effort from the giver. However, it can’t be too much either, because you don’t want to make things awkward or uncomfortable.
Think about what you can give that would delight your ideal customer and help them decide to make a purchase from your company. It’s a great way to build loyalty and trust.
Our final note about how advertising influences us is about values. Making people feel that you care about the same things they care about can bring a sense of belonging and shared mission. This can make consumers more likely to choose you for products and services instead of a competitor.
Many people, especially young people, don’t want to shop with just anyone. They want to connect with a business that cares about them, the planet, and other important social issues. When you share your mission and sense of service in advertisements, it helps your ideal customers want to shop with you. It gives them a sense that you and they are on the same team.
Consumers want to make a difference and they know that how they spend their money is one way to have a voice. Share your mission and values with your customers so they understand that you care about the things that matter to them.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to miss out on the psychology behind advertising. When you understand these principles, you can put them to work in your ads, making them more effective and helping you grow. You’ll also become more aware of how advertising affects you!
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