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Influencers and Behaviour Change – The Psychology of Changing Minds

Influencers and Behaviour Change – The Psychology of Changing Minds

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All of us, at some point or another in our lives, have been influenced into doing things by someone else. It is no wonder that influencer marketing has become one of the largest phenomenons in recent years. Influencer marketing runs on the method of using highly influential individuals to promote a service or product to their target audience. With more customers now looking towards influencers than ever before, it is no surprise that many companies are utilising influencer based digital advertising to promote their products and services. In this article, we look at exactly why influencer marketing is so effective, so read on to find out more!

1. Influencers Raise Credibility Levels

One of the most important factors that appeal to customers and consumers is credibility. Is the item or service they’re interested in credible? Are others using it, and if so, are they satisfied with what they have purchased? Credibility is one of the main reasons influencer marketing is so successful. Content creators and influencers have a large following that trusts them, and when an influencer takes the time and effort to promote a product or service, chances are their audience is going to trust their opinion on it. Followers trust that their favourite content creators do not have ulterior motives in promoting a specific product, thus increasing its level of credibility.

     2. The Psychology of Social Proofing

It’s no surprise, many people value social proof in today’s modern world. Social proof comes in many forms – the number of followers one has, the number of likes one receives on photos and posts and so on. The desire to belong and be relevant is one that is ingrained in human nature, and we have an innate desire to form groups and appoint leaders that we look up to. Many people tend to follow influencers who promote similar values and interests as they do. Thus, when an influencer promotes a product or service, chances are their audience is already interested in it.

Furthermore, with the innate desire to belong, consumers tend to purchase services or products that people they look up to use. Social proofing, or the tendency to see certain actions and behaviours as acceptable when a large group of people are doing it, also plays into this. If an influencer and a large amount of their following utilise a service or product, there is a higher chance of more people jumping on the bandwagon due to social proofing.

     3. Frequency of Exposure

Extended amounts of exposure to certain types of content creates a subconscious investment in our attention to a particular topic, post or individual. The more time one spends looking at a specific content creators post, the higher the likelihood of them actually putting their money into a product or service that is being advertised. There is no better way to garner more visibility of your product than to utilise the power of influencer marketing.

      4. All That Glitters  

Now, this one is a little controversial – we hate to admit it, but in a society that highly values attractiveness, we naturally assume that those whom we consider attractive are personable, successful and trustworthy. With this train of thought, it makes perfect marketing sense to utilise popular influencers to promote products and services. If a successful and attractive person is working with a particular brand, the logic is the brand must also be attractive. This has been a strategy that marketers have made use of for decades – think supermodels promoting clothing brands and attractive people promoting makeup or skincare products. All this can amount to our subconscious priming of whereby exposure to one thing triggers a response to a subsequent object.

     5. Relatability to a Social Influencer

Many people follow certain influencers because of relatability – we relate to their lifestyles, their struggles, and see them as people who are “just like us”. It is no wonder then, that when a relatable influencer promotes a product or service that they love, that we naturally assume we would benefit from making that purchase too. Consumers look up to relatable influencers to shape their own behaviour because, unlike celebrities, their lives seem a lot more akin to our own.  Close social distance is a key factor when it comes to relating to someone, and the fact that influencers often seem like your next door neighbour, albeit their large following, is an essential psychological tool when it comes to utilising influencer marketing.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the psychology of changing minds, and exactly why influencer marketing is the way of the future.

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