In the last blog, The Influence Principle of Reciprocity, I talked how you could use the powers of influence to sway the judgments of people to say “Yes”! Just to recap, we all have very busy lives and our brains create these mental shortcuts that allow us to make quicker decisions without essentially trying to use time to think.
In this blog I’m going to be going over the principle of scarcity and how to use it in your content marketing strategy to get more out of it.
What Is the Influence Principle of Scarcity?
We as people don’t like limitations. We enjoy abundance and we like the option to have things when we want them, and how we want them. The issue comes when we can’t have something or potentially will miss out on something. Our minds go into this massive fear or loss and we will buy whatever it is that is put in front of us. Why? We don’t like to miss out on things, especially if it is something that we wanted or even more so needed. What is the scarcity influence principle? To put this simply,
People want more of things that there are less of.
Example 1 of the Scarcity Influence Principle: British Airways
In 2003, British Airways announced that they would no longer be offering the twice daily London to New York Concorde flights. British Airways declared the flights to be uneconomical and ticket sales soared through the roof the very next day!
One thing to take note of is that nothing had changed. The concord plane didn’t fly any faster, the ticket prices go down, and their service didn’t get any better. The tickets had just become this scarce resource and as a result people wanted it much more.
Example 2 of the Scarcity Influence Principle: QVC
When I was a kid, we had a good handful of channels to pick from. When there was nothing to watch, there would always be something on QVC. Even though I had no money, I always wanted whatever they were selling and I couldn’t even figure out why! I didn’t need the product, I was a kid! But I still wanted it!
Now when I look back, QVC is the master of using the influence principles to its advantage to sell products.
Let’s take a look at how they use scarcity!
Take a look at the bottom right of the image. This is the “ONLY DAY” at that price and if you miss out, you may never see this again! I’m not saying never to buy from QVC, they have some pretty amazing things. I’m simply pointing out that they know how to really use the Principles of Influence amazingly well and maybe keep your kids away from the channel.
How to Use Scarcity in Your Content Marketing?
There are a few ways that I like to sue this strategy. Most of the times that I use this, I’m either trying to do one of the following:
- Webinars: When I want to book webinars I usually drop people on a nice landing page that will give them a limited time or limited seats to get in on the webinar.
- Offers for Product or Services: When it comes to content marketing you can offer exclusive eBooks and exclusive and limited products and/or services to those that sign up to your email newsletter.
The overall thing that I always do try to do is have a visitor go to a landing page, this really solidifies the scarcity principle.
The Scarcity Principle in Landing Pages
When it comes to your products and services you will not only have to tell people about the benefits, but also what’s unique about them, and what they actually stand to lose if they fail to take the offer.
We see this principle most commonly in landing pages. That’s right, every product and service that you see that has a landing page almost always utilizes this principle. Here are some popular ways that the scarcity principle is used for online marketing
1. Scarcity of Time (Count Down Timer): When you want to get someone to act because of a limited time offer, then using a countdown timer is a great way to go. Once the deal is gone, then it is gone! The biggest mistake that I see businesses use is that they will do the whole fear of loss and scarcity principle then they will reopen the doors. The thing here is that it might work a few times, but if you want to continue to sell your products and services, then you really have to stick to your guns here and not try to go over using it twice.
2. Limited Seats or availability: If you plan on reopening registration and don’t think you’re going to get the full attendance you really need, then you should really use the limitation by seats. This works great just to make sure that you fully book all the seats or spaces you want.
Tell me about the ways you see that you could use this principle of influence in your content marketing. If you found this information helpful, insightful or even entertaining than please share this blog with your social media channels, friends, family, colleagues, boss and competitors (okay, not your competitors).