Psychology in digital marketing is a growing interest in the industry; it gives us the opportunity to better understand our audience, not just through demographics but also their emotions, behaviours, and motivations.

We had the opportunity to talk to Katy Leeson, the CEO of Relentless Media, about how to tap into your customer psyche to create incredible campaigns that cut through the noise. We discussed how social media is key to building a community, how important emojis can be in your marketing, the power of colour psychology and how being authentic to yourself and your brand values is key to success. 

Now, let’s dive into the emotional connections consumers have to certain brands and how psychology plays a part. 

Why social media is key

Social media is at the heart of your audience if you can build it right. One key aspect of gaining a loyal customer base is social proofing. Social proofing isn't just a fancy term; it's the secret that turns sceptical shoppers into loyal customers. When you see others raving about a brand or product, your brain releases a dose of oxytocin - the warm and fuzzy chemical that makes you feel like you're part of a community.

Why is creating a community for your brand so important? Feeling like you belong is a powerful motivator. It's that comforting notion of, "Hey, if all these people are into it, there must be something special here!" This sense of belonging also makes people more open to changing their minds, especially if the end result promises something.

This then leads to user-generated content (UGC) with your audience through sharing pictures, videos, comments, which gives your brand ultimate exposure in the digital world without having to promote yourself! Whether it's a heartwarming testimonial or a snapshot of your product in action, UGC is the key to winning over potential customers. 

Emojis are your secret weapon…

We go through day-to-day using the little emoticons to finish off a text or comment and think that’s all to it. Well, you’d be wrong; it’s been shown that emojis, in fact, activate the same part of your brain as if you were face-to-face with a real person.

We're wired to respond to emotions and emojis. They're the digital champions of emotional expression. It's like having a virtual conversation where words alone might fall short. Emojis step in, bringing that extra dramatic effect.

To prove this, Katy and Holland & Barrett decided to conduct a social experiment. Same product, same promo, but here's the twist. One post uses the natural 🍃 emoji, and the other post is showing a more emotional - 🤫. The result? Engagement skyrockets by a third on the second emoji. So, plotting the correct emojis in the right content or product can drive your engagement up by a considerable amount.

Colour Psychology

When potential customers see your brand, the first thing they’ll see is the colour scheme you use. After that, you only have 90 seconds to convince them to stay, and 90% of their decision will be based on the colours they see. Some of the biggest brands in the world you can’t see without their colour; for example, Coca-Cola’s world-famous red isn't just a colour for them; it's the heartbeat, passion, and happiness. That's the colour psychology at play. It's not just about what your brand looks like; it's about how it makes people feel in those 90 seconds.

How to get to know your customers inside out

To start with, you need to spend time with your data team or get in touch with your inner data side by trying to truly understand what drives your audience. Publishing a page with a survey can help you find out their motivations, feelings, and understanding of brands, which can give you a solid base before you start building your strategy.

Our Master Strategy Programme takes you through the three fundamental pillars of building a marketing strategy, starting with data and insight at its core. Find out more here. 

How to cut through the noise in the digital world

Be authentic. In the age of social media, people are able to quickly become aware that a brand is not being true to their values and will quickly lose interest. Understanding what makes your audience tick, isn't just a nicety. What are their desires, their aspirations, and their daily struggles? It's not just about what you offer; it's about aligning with what your community craves.

You should also treat your community management strategy as an essential asset. Start thinking about your tone of voice in your community, as it can be your make or break in gaining or losing followers. Don’t treat it as a customer service add-on, as it’s your voice to the world, and it can build a huge and amazing community for your customers who want to buy, follow, share, and engage with your content.

Becoming a master in marketing psychology 

Thanks to Katy, we now know that features such as emojis, user-generated content, and even colour can be crucial assets to gaining or losing an audience. Furthermore, spending time with a data team and trying to deeply understand your audience's key motivations, feelings, and understandings provides you with a solid base to create your strategy. Lastly, if you’re wanting to cut through the noise, the fastest way is to be authentic. Your audience will quickly catch on to whether you’re not being truthful about your brand values and unfollow quickly after that.

What next?

If you are interested in hearing more from Katy make sure to check out our full webinar here, where the CEO of Relentless Media, goes into more detail on the psychology behind marketing and how she balanced lifestyle and work during the pandemic, which still relates to the current day.