Harnessing Psychology in Creative Strategy: Sarah Levinger’s Insights on Consumer Behavior

Harnessing Psychology in Creative Strategy: Sarah Levinger’s Insights on Consumer Behavior

Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of consumer psychology through the lens of direct response advertising with Sarah, a renowned consumer behavior analyst and founder of HG Performance Creative. In her recent webinar, Sarah shared her expertise on leveraging psychological principles to enhance advertising effectiveness. Here's a breakdown of how you can use a psychology lens as a creative strategist.

phychology in advertising
30 sec summary icon
30 Second Summary

1. The Power of Subconscious Influence in Advertising

Sarah highlights the dominant role of the subconscious in decision-making. Understanding this can revolutionize how we approach ad creation, focusing on elements that appeal directly to these subconscious processes.

Subconscious processing power in advertising

In Facebook advertising, tapping into the subconscious is about creating ads that feel intuitively right. This involves using colors, imagery, and language that align with the subconscious associations of your target audience. For instance, using blue hues in your ad for a financial service can invoke feelings of trust and stability.

“95% of our processing power comes from the subconscious mind…This is where 95% of our decisions are being made on a daily basis." - Sarah Levinger

How make your next ad tap into your customer’s subconscious

  • Design ads that speak to the subconscious, using visuals and messages that resonate on an emotional level.
  • Simplify complex ideas to make them more digestible for the subconscious mind.

2. Anchoring Effect: Setting the Perception Stage

The anchoring effect is a psychological strategy where initial information provided sets the stage for subsequent judgments and decisions. Sarah explains how this can be used in pricing strategies and more. The anchoring effect can be used to set the stage for your value proposition. For example, presenting a high original price next to a discounted price can make the deal seem more attractive. This strategy can be particularly effective in flash sales or limited-time offers, creating a sense of urgency and value.

Tactical ways to implement anchoring

  • Introduce a price or concept early in your ad to set expectations.
  • Use comparative pricing or features to make your offer more appealing.
"We're taking a piece of information and presenting it as the foundational piece…They found that when you presented a lower price to a consumer, the consumers expected the product to have a low price." - Sarah Levinger

3. Framing Effect: It's Not Just What You Say, But How You Say It

Sarah emphasizes the importance of framing in advertising. The way a message is presented can significantly impact its reception and effectiveness. Where users are bombarded with content, the way you frame your message can make or break your ad's effectiveness.

Positive framing can be used to highlight the benefits of your product or service, rather than focusing on what's lacking. For example, instead of saying "Don't suffer from poor sleep," say "Enjoy a better night's sleep with our product.”

How to frame your next Facebook Ad

  • Frame your messages positively to elicit better responses.
  • Align your imagery with your messaging for cohesive communication.

4. Loss Aversion: Playing on the Fear of Missing Out

screenshot of webinar showing a loss-aversion ad
Loss aversion advertising example

Sarah discusses how the fear of loss can be a powerful motivator in consumer behavior. This can be leveraged in ads by highlighting what consumers might miss out on if they don't act. When consucting creative strategy, playing on the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a powerful tactic. Highlighting what your audience stands to lose by not taking action can be more compelling than what they gain. This could be as simple as emphasizing the limited availability of a product or the closing window of a special offer.

How to create FOMO in your ads

  • Highlight the risks or losses associated with not using your product or service.
  • Offer trials or guarantees to reduce perceived risk.
"Loss aversion is one of those things where they just feel nervous all the time about the risk level … If you can make your claim clear and like risk-free, that is like the sweet spot for you guys." - Sarah Levinger

5. Priming Effect: Setting the Stage for Future Actions

Priming involves exposing consumers to certain stimuli that influence their subsequent actions. Sarah explains how this subtle yet powerful effect can be used in advertising. Priming in Facebook ads involves preparing your audience to receive your message before they even see it. This can be achieved through consistent branding and messaging across all channels. For instance, if your brand consistently posts about sustainability, a Facebook ad highlighting your eco-friendly practices will resonate more strongly.

Using your ads to prime customers

  • Use specific words, images, or scenarios to prime consumers for certain behaviors or decisions.
  • Ensure your ad elements work together to create a coherent narrative.

6. Herd Mentality: Following the Crowd

Sarah touches on how people often follow trends or the actions of others. This can be utilized in marketing to create a sense of belonging or fear of missing out. Leveraging social proof in Facebook ads can significantly boost your campaign's effectiveness.

Showcasing customer testimonials, influencer endorsements, or user-generated content can tap into the herd mentality, encouraging users to follow suit. This strategy is particularly effective for products or services that benefit from visible popularity.

Manufacturing a purchasing mob

  • Showcase popular trends, testimonials, or endorsements in your ads.
  • Create content that taps into current social or cultural trends.
"Herd mentality is so integral for any sort of trending content, especially on TikTok." - Sarah Levinger

Conclusion: The Intersection of Psychology and Advertising

When building your next ad campaign understanding the human psyche isn't just beneficial; it's essential. Sarah's deep dive into consumer behavior and psychology offers a strategic map for anyone looking to elevate their advertising strategies, especially on platforms like Facebook.

9 Emotional Triggers to use in advertising

By harnessing the power of subconscious influences, anchoring effects, positive framing, loss aversion, priming, and herd mentality, advertisers can craft campaigns that resonate on a deeper level with their audience.

The beauty of integrating psychological principles into advertising lies in its ability to connect with consumers on an emotional and subconscious level. It's not just about selling a product or service; it's about understanding and aligning with the consumer's needs, desires, and motivations. This approach leads to more engaging, effective, and impactful advertising that not only captures attention but also fosters a deeper connection with the audience.

To gain a fuller understanding and to see these principles brought to life with real-world examples, we highly encourage watching Sarah's entire talk. It's an enlightening journey through the intricacies of consumer psychology and its application in today's advertising world.

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Foreplay Team

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