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Perception is Everything: 5 Powerful Ways to Increase the Perceived Value of Your Content and Drive More Action

Jawad Khan

As a business owner, you’re not selling products or services, you’re selling perceptions.

It’s the perception of your product that allows you to charge 10 times more, or less, than your competitors.

The same applies to content marketing.

Influential marketers who create content with a higher perceived value usually see higher ROI on their content marketing efforts.

They drive more action from their visitors, attract more leads and generate more revenue.

Related Article: Create Better Content With These Content Marketing Rules to Live By

The power of influencers chart

This doesn’t happen by accident.

There are certain triggers that smart marketers and bloggers use in their content to make it look more valuable and trustworthy.

Here’s how you can apply them to your content marketing strategy to take advantage.

1. Back Your Opinions With Data Evidence

A Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy mentions in her book “Presence” that people tend to judge others primarily on two criteria

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person?

Our attitudes toward other people and our perceptions are heavily based on these two questions. At its core, trust comes from consistency and respect comes from competence.

The same rules apply to your content as well.

When someone reads your content, they’re asking these two questions at the back of their minds.

To win their trust and to earn their respect, you need to create content that is authentic and useful. To achieve that, try to back every one of your opinions using solid data references.

Opinion based content has its place.

But citing credible research findings in your content can add a lot of weight to your arguments and increase your credibility.

This, of course, has a direct impact on how people perceive your content.

2. Brand Your Strategies Using Catchy Titles

Titles and names have a strong connection with branding and perception building. By naming your content intelligently, you associate certain values with it. People start looking at your content differently.

A great example of this is how Seth Godin, renowned marketer and author, coined the term permission marketing. Another good example is the term Skyscraper Technique that was first used by Brian Dean (Backlinko).

If you look at it, the Skyscraper Technique is nothing but taking inspiration from existing content and creating an improved version. But just using this term increases the perceived value of the content.

Skyscraper technique Chart

Many smart marketers simply use their own names to brand their strategies and advice. A good example of this approach is the way George Otte, Miami entrepreneur and technology consultant, shares advice on his blog.

He names many of his tips and techniques using his brand name.

The benefit of this strategy is quite clear.

Related Article: The Write Stuff: The What, Why and How of Content Marketing

Every time someone mentions your tips or strategy, they’d simply use the term you’ve coined, giving you exposure and increasing your brand value.

3. Create Explainer Videos to Boost Social Engagement

Over the last two years, thousands of businesses around the word have increased their spending on content marketing. But most companies have limited their content marketing efforts to plain text blogging.

Very few have used video content as a part of a broader content strategy. This is where you can differentiate yourself and quickly grow the perceived value of your content.

Research shows that human mind processes video content almost 60,000 times faster than text.

Fact: The Human Brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text. Pic of a brain.

By making video content a part of your broader content marketing strategy (blogging, social media, email marketing etc.) you can get your message across much more effectively and add credibility to your content.

Explainer videos, in particular, are very effective in this regard and many leading brands have started using them on Facebook, Twitter and their blogs.

Even financial industry blogs and websites like Banc De Binary are using small explainer videos to great effect in their social media and blog content.

Embedding such videos in your blog posts also helps increase the average time a visitor spends on your blog. This directly benefits your site’s SEO.

4. Use Snapshots and Custom Images to Enrich Your Content

Just like video content, images and snap shots can also play a vital role in enhancing the perceived value of your content.

Research shows that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by almost 80 percent.

By using snapshots to explain your points, or by simply adding related images, you can drastically improve the quality and usefulness of your content.

People following directions with text & pics, 323% better than without pics.

Similarly, studies show that using custom images in your blog posts not only makes you look more professional but also generates more social shares.

Custom images are different from stock images. They are unique photographs or images that you create for a particular piece of content. They are closely related to the topic of your post and complement the text content.

Custom images are particularly important for E-commerce blogs since most of their readers are potential buyers who prefer seeing related images with text content.

For example, FashionBuzzer, an E-commerce portal, uses a combination of product photographs and custom designed images on its blog.

The E-commerce blog by Shopify is another great example. They regularly create high-quality content with lots of snapshots, product images and unique images designed particularly for their blog.

Ad for starting a t-shirt selling business online with pic of shirts and business owner and pug dog.

You can create such images by hiring affordable freelance designers on Fiverr or by using free tools like Canva.

5. Quote Experts To Appear Credible

One of the easiest ways to improve the perceived value of your content is by frequently mentioning and quoting established industry experts.

In simple words, this is called borrowing credibility.

This is the same formula that many celebrity news anchors and hosts use to build their own following. For example, people like Oprah or Larry King became celebrities and influencers by interviewing other celebrities.

Oprah Winfrey quote about energy is the essence of life.

You can do the same.

Just identify the top influencers in your industry and mention them in your content regularly. If you already know a few influencers, great.

Otherwise, a simple way to find influencers is to go to Amazon Kindle store and look for the top selling authors in your industry.

You can also search for the most popular blog posts in your industry using BuzzSumo. This would lead you to popular bloggers in your niche.

Related Article: Outside the Box: Unique Ways to Get Noticed With Content Marketing

Wrapping Up

The success of your content marketing efforts depends heavily on how your reads perceive your content. If they find it credible and useful, they’re likely to approach you when they need help.

That is why it’s important that you evaluate your existing content and identify improvement areas so that you can take advantage of the techniques I’ve discussed in this post.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Jawad Khan Member
Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny.