Pay-per-click advertising, a business model whereby a company places an ad on a website pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on it, can be a boon to a small business. But to create PPC ads that entices people to click, you must understand consumer psychology. Most online shoppers are prompted to purchase, or take other conversion actions, because they believe they need it or must have it before they lose the opportunity.
Creating Urgency to Buy
The psychological effects of perceived scarcity creates a sense of urgency, according to research. Fear of scarceness motivates people to buy by creating an “‘urgency to buy’ in their minds … a desire of the consumer to buy the product right away, thus limiting [a] consumers’ freedom to delay buying
Simply put, consumers respond to a product shortage by placing a higher value on the goods or services to reclaim their feelings of loss or FOMO ‘fear of missing out.’ When a PPC ad is viewed and corresponds with their need, time is of the essence as far as many buyers are concerned. It all goes back to a doctrine known as “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,” which can be a powerful tool when used online.
Five Basic Needs
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs he outlined a hierarchy of needs whereby people are motivated to reach the highest level, called self-actualization. Abraham Maslow suggested that people are motivated to achieve self-actualization, but only after other needs on the hierarchy are fulfilled first. Starting from the bottom of the hierarchy and working our way up, the needs are outlined as follows:
- Physiological – the basic needs that need to be met for survival
- Security – the needs that need to be met that makes one feel safe and secure
- Belonging and Love – those needs that make someone feel socially accepted and loved
- Self-esteem – the needs that heightens one’s self-confidence and esteem
- Self-actualization – the needs that cause a person to realize their potential
Successful marketing is contingent on convincing customers your products and services meet one of the above needs. If new sales leads and customers have been convinced that your business can help them successfully realize them, you will find it much easier to derive value from PPC campaigns and marketing efforts in general.
Therefore, a good search engine marketing (SEM) and PPC campaign should concentrate on at least one of the five basic human needs. For instance, a man that is deeply concerned about his family’s security is more likely to buy homeowner’s insurance when you provide him with discounts for securing his home with the latest security upgrades.
In fact, clever marketing “can flip the fear message upside-down and sell the opposite — peace-if-mind. In this case, the emotion of fear can be used with the emotion of security to satisfy [his] psychological desires.”
When you look closely at what your customer actually wants or needs, creating successful marketing messages within your PPC campaigns becomes significantly easier. However, entrepreneur Yaro Starak offers a word of caution “Whatever you do, don’t mess with your audience. You know what your people expect and you know what your style is. Make sure your […] offers are congruent with your brand and the expectations you have set.”
Discovering Customer Needs
Ultimately, your next PPC campaign will only be effective when it aligns with a customer’s specific wants or needs. Look at what drives purchases, by talking with customers, emailing post-purchase surveys to buyers, and conducting research online through forums and competitive product reviews. Then ask yourself, “How is my company addressing one of the above-mentioned needs?”
Perform periodic evaluations of your content marketing and marketing messages to ensure you’re continuing to meet your target audience’s requirements.
If you know what customers want and why, you can adapt those requirements to create relevant and dynamic content. Doing so will enable you to craft a PPC campaign that can substantially increase your bottom line and customer base.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jacob Baadsgaard is the CEO of Disruptive Advertising. He is a passionate digital marketer and entrepreneur with 7 years of enterprise digital marketing experience. He personally managed over 40 million dollars in annual marketing budget and consulted many of the Inc. 100 companies while at Adobe, including groups like: GE, John Deere, Citibank and Home Depot. Connect with @DisruptiveAds on Twitter.
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