One of the books that I’ve been reading off and on over the last 12 months (it’s a good one for dipping into a little at a time) is Hot Button Marketing (by Barry Feig).
It’s an interesting read that caught my attention in the book shop because it puts words to some theories that I’ve had for a while now.
The sub title of the book is:
‘push the emotional buttons that get people to buy’
Sounds quite manipulative doesn’t it? In some senses it could be argued that it is (as is much of marketing) but it is a book that really taps into human psychology and that we as bloggers could probably learn a little from as we think about how to call our readers to action of different kinds (whether it be with affiliate marketing, getting people to subscribe to our blogs or an other action).
The basis of the book is that it identifies 16 ‘buttons’ that marketers can ‘push’ to get people to buy. A lot of the ‘buttons’ are things that we do (or could do) with our blog posts.
I’m still pondering it (and I’ll probably write something on ProBlogger about it at some point) but wanted to share the buttons here quickly as something to think about. The 16 buttons won’t all apply to all of our blogs (and some of them won’t apply to any of us) but they might help some of us put words to what we see our readers responding to.
Here they are (the headings are the authors – I’ve included a few thoughts on the first few to show how they might apply. I’ll let you check out the book if you’re interested for unpacking of the rest):
- The Desire for Control - a lot of what people do, buy, put energy into is about getting more control for different areas of their lives. One of the things that we can do as bloggers is provide people with content that helps them find this control. I’m not talking about manipulating them into thinking they have it – but some of the posts we can write can actually help a person make good decisions, be empowered to live better lives and live to their potential. Give someone the tools to take control (or be better) in their work, relationships, health etc and you give them something powerful that they’ll thank you for, pass on to others and keep coming back for more of.
- I’m Better than You - this is largely about self esteem and the desire of people to feel noticed and important. We’ve all seen it at its worst (egotistical and arrogant behavior) but it’s also something that isn’t all bad (I think people should have a healthy self esteem and have some level of confidence in their own abilities). As bloggers we operate in a medium where there is a lot of ego stroking and while I try not to get into it too much to acknowledge others and ‘make them famous’ is a way to grow your blog. Acknowledge your readers, promote other bloggers and give your readers a sense of worth and you’ll create a space that people want to belong to.
- The Excitement of Discovery – how many times have you had emails from friends or families saying ‘look what I found’? We all like to think we discovered things or were in on them at their beginnings and blogs are a real tool for this. Look at the popularity of the big tech/gadget blogs and gossip celebrity blogs – people who want to know within minutes of an announcement about the new phone or who was seen kissing who. Give your readers a sense of being among the first to know and they’ll lap it up.
- Family Values
- The Desire to Belong
- Fun is its own Reward
- Poverty of Time
- The Desire to Get the Best
- Self Achievement
- Sex, Love and Romance
- The Nurturing Response
- Reinventing Oneself
- Make Me Smarter
- Power, Dominance and Influence
- Wish Fulfillment
All in all Hot Button Marketing a thought provoking book. As I say, some of the ‘buttons’ will be more relevant for blogging (and different blogs depending upon their topic) than others but it’s a good way to challenge you to get into the minds of your readers and see how they make decisions.