The traffic your competitors get which you’re missing out on

So that got your attention. And therein lies the rub. Oftentimes brand managers and marketers spend a lot of time polishing their brands to make them as shiny and sophisticated as possible, missing what is so evidently the point of marketing – to influence behaviour. And influencing behaviour it turns out boils down to a simple collection of primal motivators; much like dangling a treat in front of a puppy. That’s right, whether we like it or not, we’re actually simple creatures when it comes to innate motivation.

Take a simple headline like the one above. It includes an implicit threat. If you don’t read this article you’re going to continue to miss out on something which your competitors know about. It’s like being in the playground when teams are being picked. That deeply unsettling feeling as names are called and yours isn’t. Exclusion is difficult to process for social (pack) animals as survival is intrinsically linked to being part of the group. But that’s just the beginning.

Surprised Lady

Increasing click thru and conversion for your social ads, PPC and content marketing can be as simple as putting a little more time into how you create your titles, headlines, subjects and captions. Writing for the web is not the same as writing a book or a report. Your audience is fickle, time short and suspicious of your agenda. You need to be snappy and to the point but most of all you need to short circuit their conscious, rationale human brain and go straight for the salivating animal brain.

We saw above how an implied threat can achieve this well. We can also leverage the social power of pack mentality. Consider the following headline – ‘Why Londoners are getting fitter than the rest of us.’ It turns out that we are highly motivated by what others are doing, and particularly if it’s a segment that we admire or look up to. Ever watched when an alpha animal stands up and goes to investigate something. The other animals follow and start sniffing around as well. We can’t help ourselves.

We’re all familiar with the most common hook which is to incentivise e.g. 25% off your next purchase. Consequently, and unfortunately for marketers, we have also tuned out of a lot of promotional noise. So the trick is to leverage a few more social drivers into our language. One of these is time. In any assessment of an offer it turns out that the amount of effort we are willing to expend is linked to how likely we are to engage with the offer. So remembering that PPC ads and social content shares are primarily trying to pull traffic into a landing page we want to be a little more forthcoming with what effort is involved, e.g. Give us five minutes and we’ll give you 25% off’.

And of course you can mix and match for example;

  • 5 things your competitors know that you don’t
  • 10 things Londoners are doing to dramatically improve their health
  • Why your friends earn more money than you?
  • The sport you haven’t heard off that everyone is playing.

This style of language might not be the tone you adopt for your corporate communications but it is the tone you should adopt for your social strategy. Your content marketing may be more conservative but the hooks to pull traffic to your landing pages needs to leverage the techniques that others are using. Websites like Daily Mail and Buzzfeed are not necessarily burgeoning with A-grade content (depending on your taste). In spite of this their traffic measures are staggering. Much of this is to do with how they position and reference their own content.

Don’t miss out. Next time you want to say ‘Check out our new advanced vacuum cleaner’ consider ‘Why our customers love our sucky vacuum cleaners’.


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