Marketing psychology: 4 tactics to increase your small business sales

By Emma Miller

Inexperienced marketers might think that marketing is about getting the right content in front of the right audience, and while that’s not untrue, every experienced marketer will tell you that marketing serves the purpose of changing peoples’ mindsets, shaping their core beliefs, and inspiring positive action. That is the foundation of good marketing, and it should be at the very core of your every campaign, and every new marketing strategy.

Shaping the mindset of your target demographic is broadly known as marketing psychology, or the principle of using psychological tricks and tactics to build social proof around your brand, inspire people to regard you as more worthy than your competitors, and empower them to make a purchase. With that in mind, let’s go over the most important marketing tactics that will allow you to use psychology to boost sales and take your small business forward.

Make your brand more visible online

The first psychological method you can use is to simply make your brand and your company more visible in the online world. The premise behind this tactic is simple: you will be able to build a positive brand perception and make your company seem more trustworthy by appearing in front of the right audience on a regular basis. It’s important that you appear in their search results, that your ads reach them on search engines and on social media, and that your brand’s name appears in guest posts and on other prominent online channels, forums, portals, and more.

The more exposure you can get, the better, because people need to see that the rest of the online world thinks you have something relevant to say and offer. What’s more, if Google puts you on the first page of the search results, then you must be trustworthy and relevant to your audience.

Build social proof around your brand

Nowadays, it’s not enough to have a beautiful website, or an amazing brand, or quality products – you also have to pass social proof if you are to convert leads and keep the existing customers coming back to your site to make new purchases. Building social proof has become one of the most powerful marketing tactics in the modern business world because it effectively inspires and empowers website visitors to repeat the actions of your previous customers.

You can build social proof on your website by integrating an innovative tool like Cue that displays real-time notifications to visitors whenever someone else buys a product on your site or signs up for your email list, or even downloads one of your free digital products. People will notice that others have already interacted with your company and that they have had a positive experience, and they will feel more inclined to follow in their footsteps.

Capitalize on the FOMO principle

The fear of missing out is a powerful marketing tactic that has been in use way before the digital revolution and the web, and nowadays it has become an integral part of every sales strategy, especially in the realm of B2C and B2B Ecommerce. The main idea behind this marketing and sales tactic is to incentivize people to put items in their carts faster and snag your products before they’re sold out, but more importantly, to actually finish the purchase.

Online stores are struggling with cart abandonment simply because a customer is always able to find a better deal somewhere else, which is why there needs to be a sense of urgency that will influence their decision-making process. Be sure to run limited-time and limited product availability offers, and notify your customers of fast-selling products on your site so that they can make a purchase before you run out of stock.

Inspire a purchase through reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity in marketing psychology states that you can elicit a positive reaction from your potential and existing customers by first giving something away for free, without necessarily expecting anything in return. The truth is that people love freebies, and that promotional items that you can give away for free can be an amazing way to market your brand, establish a connection with your audience, and inspire loyalty and trust.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can give to your customers free of charge. Consider making free digital products like eBooks and guides that the customer can get their hands on quickly, but be sure to send out sample products as well. While you’re at it, consider how you’re going to get these products over to your customers. You can host quizzes and contests, but you can also send them out until your inventory is depleted. As a result of your generosity, you can expect your website traffic to increase and you can definitely expect your sales to rise.

Wrapping up

Marketing psychology should be the foundation of every modern marketing strategy, especially if you’re operating in a highly competitive field. When you combine these tactics with your other marketing methods, you will have no problem elevating your brand’s reputation while boosting conversions over the long term.


Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an executive editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.

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