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?”

Guest Post: Security Basic for Bloggers


Today’s post was contributed by friend Cody Lents, partner and change manager at Covi, a professional services information technology agency in Indianapolis, IN.


  1. Start by securing your admin portal. Here are 14 tips for doing this with WordPress.
  2. Make sure your blog is being automatically backed up with alerts for successful and failed backups. Then, occasionally double-check to make sure the alerts are accurate. Here are some plugins to help.
  3. Some of us want others to share our content as much as possible. But, in some cases protecting our authorship is a priority. Try using something like 33 Across’ Site Ctrl to protect from cut & paste plagiarism, and no matter your philosophy on ‘borrowed’ content you should set up your Google Authorship to maximize SEO.
  4. Implement hotlinking protection. I recommend CloudFlare or a WordPress plugin for this.
  5. Only install ‘Trusted Plugins’
  6. Ensure security plugins are installed. Here are 8 recommendations from one of my favorite cybersecurity organizations. – Make sure you choose one with built-in firewall security or get a separate firewall plugin.
  7. If you’re uncomfortable managing your sites security, pay a professional to do it. Typically, a simple blog site can be maintained for $100 – $200 per month.

Bonus:  If you really want to deter content theft you could dabble in this plugin. – Prevent Content Theft


Design Thinking for Blog Content Writers

Design thinking is a process that helps companies and organizations solve problems, address challenges, and develop products,” a fascinating article in a recent issue of the Indianapolis Business Journal begins. Eureka!  At Say It For You, our blog marketing efforts are designed to demonstrate that our client companies and organizations can do those very same three things, I thought…

There are several different steps in design thinking, IBJ authors explain, and it’s best to move among the steps as needed. Meanwhile, I asked myself, how can we as content writers, use the first design-thinking step (Empathize) as a guide?

“See the problem you’re trying to solve through the eyes of the people facing it,” the authors suggest, exploring what the potential users of your product or service are saying, thinking, and feeling about the problem. 
I’ve written before about the concept of framing, meaning positioning a story in such a way that readers will focus on it and respect our blogging client’s expertise. In the course of delivering information (facts, statistics, features, and benefits, instruction and advice), we must create a perspective or “frame”.

Framing, a term that comes from behavioral science, is all about the Empathize step in design thinking. It’s about understanding in as much detail as possible what the target audience of readers is thinking, doing, and feeling about the problem our client is proposing to help solve.

While design thinking involves understanding what prospects are saying, thinking, and feeling about a problem, as content writers we need follow the advice client communications consultant Victor Ricciardi offers to financial planners: “Link your discussion to what clients will be able to DO or BUY with that (investment) income.”

When you’re composing business blog content, I teach at Say It For You, imagine readers asking themselves – “How will I use the product (or service)?” “How will it work?” “How will I feel?”  In other words, besides empathizing with prospects (where they are now), our job as content writers is to move them forward by helping them envision a good result. Readers found your blog in the first place, I remind writers, not because they were in search of your brand, but because of their own need. Needless to say, the blog must convey the fact that you can fulfill that need and that they have come to the right place. You must give online searchers a “feel” for the desired outcomes of using your products and services.
Blog by design – design thinking!

The Remarkable Growth of Blogging for Business

“If you were to read 10 different blogs per day, it would take you over 41,600 years to work your way through the blogs that are currently online,” observes
The statistics backing up that remarkable 99firms statement are, well…remarkable:
  • A new blog post is published every half second.
  • One quarter of all websites on the internet are blogs.
  • WordPress posts are viewed more than 20 billion times each month.
  • 55% of marketers say blogging is their top inbound marketing tactic.
  • 70% of consumers would rather learn about a company from a blog post rather than from an ad.
Understanding the reason blogs beat traditional website pages hands-down when it comes to winning search engine rankings is a matter of simple addition, I explain to new clients of Say It For You. The typical website has only a finite amount of space for text, making it nearly impossible to have a large volume of content including all the key words that relate to that business. Blogging doesn’t have those constraints, because blog content stays around forever.  As new content is added, all the formerly posted content moves “down” a spot to make room, but remains on the site, adding to the cumulative number of repetitions of key words and phrases.

Meanwhile, the traditional selling sequence of appointment, probing, presenting, overcoming objections, and “closing: is totally dead, as Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, asserts. What’s new, Gitomer says, is a step-by-step risk elimination, a process for which blogs are well-suited. Business blogs, I’m fond of saying in corporate blogging training classes, are nothing more than extended interviews, and blog posts are an ideal vehicle for demonstrating support and concern while being persuasive in a low-key manner

“We’ve sprinted, not walked, into a do-it-now-or-be-lost-forever internet-driven business world,” observes social media maven Ryan Cox in a guest post on this Say it For You blog.
Consumerism can be described in one word: NOW!  If I think about something, I turn to Google and search for it. If you do not show up to give me information, I’ll have already given third party authority and my interest to someone else.”

“The marketing budget for a business owner has been turned upside down by the emergence of social media, blogging and real-time communications,” Cox continues.. “No one has perfected the dissemination of messaging from business to consumer, but the answer is you need to have a blog.”


Business Blogging to Help Maintain Control Yourself

take control
In this time of Coronavirus anxiety, I suggested in my latest Say It For You blog post, our focus as blog content writers should be firmly on showing readers how our business owner and professional practitioner clients can help their readers maintain control. As the TIME piece by Hallie Levine emphasizes, anxiety in short bursts and in the right amounts can actually help people fulfill tasks and achieve results. The secret for hitting the anxiety “sweet spot” (not too much nor too little), Levine says, is maintaining control over as many aspects of the situation as possible.
Now, let’s examine how we can use that same advice for our own benefit.
Get real.
In The Art of Social Media book by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick, there’s a little section called Be a Mensch, with “mensch” being defined as a “kind and honorable person who does the right thing in the right way”.  One thing for sure is that a mensch is real. You can’t give a reader a sense of control without showing that you’re dealing with the very same issues facing them. Emotional intelligence, closely related to mensch quality, is the capacity to express and then manage emotions. So first of all, allow your content to “get real’.

Be organized.
Even while letting readers see your own “humanity”, keep your blog content well-organized and well-written to convey a feeling of being in control. Maintaining a consistent schedule of posting sends a reassuring message to readers.

Share, don’t “give” advice.
As content marketers, we want to present the business or practice in a very personal, rather than a transactional way. Still, since the business owner or practitioner is, after all, the SME (subject matter expert), practical advice on how to best use the product or service is very much in order.  The tone, however, should be one of “sharing” a useful insight or tip, rather than “handing down” advice.

It’s interesting that Kristin van Ogtrop in that same TIME issue on anxiety, realized that “there is a fine line between setting boundaries and controlling, between guiding choices and telling your kids what to do.”  The message for marketing content writers, I believe, is to acknowledge that the reader is the one in control.  We’re the ones sharing some valuable mechanisms to arrive at a state of “anxiety contol”.