Blog Content Appeals to Unconscious and Conscious Awareness

Decades ago, Sigmund Freud argued that there are meanings, highly significant to humans, but which are obscured from immediate awareness. The discovery of those unconscious meanings attached to products and services allows advertisers to design appeals to tap those motivations, the authors of Persuasion in Advertising explain.

The concept of “selling to the unconscious” as Joel Weinberger writes in, is no longer “new news”.  In fact, in purchasing products and services, unconscious processing is as least as important in human decision-making, Weinberger stresses. We blog content writers should find Weinberger’s analysis of the difference between the way consumers choose products compared to the way they choose services to be especially relevant to our work. If a purchase is likely to be a thought-out decision that is not repeated often, he teaches, messaging should focus on conscious values; if a purchase is something that is frequent, or just happens, messaging should focus on unconscious values.

“Conscious thought has but a minority stake in the human decision making process, “ emphasizes. Traditional marketing tends to neglect the sub-conscious, the authors say, but that is not where many decisions are made. Most marketing practices, they add, “polish the pros, muffle the cons, and sometimes inject some emotions.” In the end, they caution, “science-based marketing evolution cannot be avoided”.

Tangible products are often thought to be easier to market, observes, They can be shown, demonstrated, touched, and displayed.  Services, on the other hand, are intangible, and it can be harder to show value. Besides, unlike products, once services have been consumed, they cannot be resold or reused.

Arke disagrees, pointing out that both service and product-based organizations compete on the quality of both products and services in terms of the customer experience. On the other hand, Arke points out, when people are involved, there is room for error and inconsistency.

At Say It For You, where we create content to market both products and services, we know that our main goal is to raise prospects’ awareness of solutions. Since, in practical terms, we are not aiming for an immediate sale, we blog content writers keep on telling the business’ or the practice’s story in its infinite variations over long periods of time, knowing that, to a certain extent, the readers who end up as clients and customers have self-selected rather than having been “sold”.

In fact, when you’re composing business blog content, I teach at Say It For You, imagine readers asking themselves (perhaps on a subconscious level) – “How will I use the product (or service)?” “How will I feel?”

Business Blogging May Not Take a Village, But it Does Take a Team

Even after playing together for more than fifty years (I learned from Steve & Jack’s Home News), the Rolling Stones musicians still understand the value of practicing together, committing to two months of rehearsal before every tour. Why? Practicing together helps them reconnect with each other’s rhythm and understand each member’s distinctive roles.

Running a business blog takes commitment and teamwork as well. In fact, as we Say It For You blog content writers embark on our 13th year, one thing continues to become clear: Whenever things do not work out as planned, it almost always has to do with lack of coordination among the team members:

  • the blog writer
  • the webmaster
  • the business owner or practitioner
  • the staff of the client’s business or practice

As blog content writers, we are interpreters. Effective blog posts must go from information-dispensing to offering the business owner’s (or the professional’s, or the organizational executive’s) unique perspective on issues related to the search topic.

What that means is that owners and professional practitioners have got to be involved in the process of producing content, even after they’ve engaged our services; they can’t “go to sleep” and cede control of the creative process to us. The webmaster has to work together with the blog writer to provide the optimization and analysis that make the content “work”. The front-line employees who deal with the customers daily must be involved.

Hiring professional bloggers is not a “wake me up when it’s over” proposition – just as is true of the Rolling Stones, reconnecting with each other’s knowledge and rhythm is what makes the material come to life. Not only should there be periodic team meetings to discuss content, it is not a good idea for me and my team to take on writing assignments without insisting the business also invest in properly designed landing pages and website optimization. When blog writing is not coordinated with email and social media the results are simply not likely to be what the business owner expects.

Business blogging may not take a village, but it certainly does take a team!


Framing the Facts in Blog Marketing

For us business blog content writers, it’s important to remember that every choice of words we make involves framing. Our goal is positioning our story in a way that our audience can focus on and respect.

Blog readers need to perceive a business owner or professional practitioner as an expert, I teach at Say It For You.  For that to happen, I believe, the blog needs to deliver more than information (facts, statistics, features, and benefits) and even more than instruction and advice. It needs a firm perspective or “frame”.

The term “framing” comes from behavioral science, which teaches that people decide on options based on whether an option is presented with positive or negative connotations. Certain features of a topic can be emphasized more than others through framing. For example, is a choice presented as a loss or as a gain? (“Prospect theory” indicates that people are loss-averse, disliking losses even more than they like gains.)

Even a slight alteration to the way something is presented can result in a completely different response or decision, the authors of the blog explain. There are four main types of frames used in marketing, they add:

  1. Gain: This approach highlights all the potential benefits of using the product or service.
  2. Loss: This approach highlights all the benefits the reader “stands to “lose out on” by choosing not to use the product or service.
  3. Emotion: This approach stresses how using the product or service will make the reader feel.
  4. Statistical: This approach stresses the number of people using and endorsing the product or service.

Framing also means casting a potentially negative fact about your product or service into a positive light, Gerald Hanks teaches in Chron. At Say It For You, we know that “framing” responses to bad publicity is a valuable use for a blog. I call it “controlling your own journalistic slant”. Through putting their own “spin” on reports about their company, business owners can exercise control over the way the public perceives any negative developments. The blog can also correct any inaccurate press statements.

Does framing border on exaggeration and even dishonesty? Certainly it can, and those are effects we blog marketers must work hard to avoid. After all, we’re trying to build trust, and it’s crucial that we be factually correct in describing the extent to which our products and services can be of help.

At the same time, there is an ocean of information sources, and our blog readers are looking to us for a firm perspective or “framework” with which they can filter, understand and use the information for their own benefit.