Not long ago, I was doing some research on a company who I was considering doing some work for. They were an early stage startup with a SaaS offering, and it was clear they were still doing a lot of bootstrapping. (Don’t get me wrong here. There is nothing wrong with bootstrapping, and frankly, in most cases, it’s much smarter than getting a bunch of funding you have no idea how to manage anyway.)
The product itself was excellent. They had clearly invested in making sure they had a smart, elegant solution to a real problem. The issue came up when you Googled them.
Sure enough, they came up when they were listed – but what was showing up was disappointing. There was no consistency. If you cruised their social media profiles, every bio was different which made it difficult for someone new to them to get a firm grasp on what it is they did (plus it’s bad for SEO). Their coverage in the news was almost nonexistent. There wasn’t much in the way of content on review sites, one of the major ways businesses vet SaaS companies and their products.
If I didn’t work in the tech scene, there is no way I would have trusted these guys for two main reasons:
- Inconsistency made them appear unprofessional
- A lack of media attention made them appear too inexperienced to be serious
You might think that the above reasons shouldn’t matter if a product is good, but you’d be wrong. Why? Because these reasons are based in a deeply-seated psychological principle that subconsciously get tapped into every time someone interacts with your company.
Luckily for you, because this principles are so fundamental to marketing, there is a massive body of evidence to support how you can make sure you’re sending the right message to a potential customer every single time someone runs a search for you and what your company does.
The Only Psychological Principle You Need To Look Pro
The most powerful marketing strategy you have at your disposal is no secret at all. These are some of the most used ways that advertising companies get into the minds and – if they are truly excellent at what they do – the hearts of the people they are selling to for good reason. And you can use it to your advantage, too. The best part is that this method is one of the most simple and cost-effective marketing tactics in your arsenal.
We’re going to discuss the principle, and then I’ll lead you through the research supporting them so you get quick, actionable tips to start implementing in your marketing right now.
So what is the principle?
You might get irritated by seeing an ad for what feels like the 100th time, but the fact is big companies use this method because it works (and they have the budget to be seen by all people in all places). It’s common sense.
But it’s not just common sense. Good marketers are much sneakier than that, and I’ll show you why.
Why Repetition Works
Are you familiar with The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? No? Well, you might recognize it more readily as the frequency illusion. If you have ever felt like you just keep seeing the same ads for the same product everywhere, that’s the frequency illusion. After seeing an ad a certain number of times, the subconscious takes over, repeating the messages internally.
In case that isn’t enough evidence for you to start employing consistency in your branding, consider the mere exposure theory. It states that the more familiar we are with something, the more likely we are to see it as a preferred option.
Hopefully, this makes it clear why showing up everywhere with the same message matters. Additionally, it reiterates why you need to show up everywhere, including across tech, news, and review outlets. Since humans want consistency, and you’re trying to sell to humans, keeping everything clear across multiple channels just makes sense.
There’s just one problem.
How do you make your brand repetitive without making it boring?
If you’re running a startup, being boring is a major fear and for good reason. Regardless of what your product is or does, your company can still be interesting. But this fear is the main reason so many companies end up with such inconsistent branding. They forget other people aren’t living and breathing their product the way they are, and this leads to poor decision-making around their marketing efforts. So what can you do to stand out?
Using the same language and links across all of your social media platforms should be an obvious move here, but so many companies don’t do this, it makes it a bigger deal when you do. (And if you change one, change them all.) But there is one thing that can completely shift how your company is seen.
Find the human interest story inherent in your product and your pitch.
You want your brand everywhere, and that means your company must be interesting, newsworthy. And if your product is in some way relevant to a current event, you can absolutely capitalize on it.
Today’s top startups are solving problems worth talking about, from helping parents decide what video games are appropriate for their kids to making it easier on teachers to report on exams. These are startups worth talking about. (And if you want to make sure people are talking about yours, you need Startuplister.)
You can talk about your company in a consistent way that continually adds value to both you and the people you want using your product. Remember, repetition is key to your success. Besides, wouldn’t it be great to have psychological impulses on your side?