15 Minutes With Kat Henry | Podcast Episode #2

What makes an influencer? How is influencing changing? What are the common misconceptions, pitfalls and goals of influencing? On our second episode of 15 Minutes With we speak to Instagram Influencer, Public Figure and current Ms Great Britain Kat Henry on all things Influencer Marketing.

Interested in learning more from Kat? Connect with her on Instagram. And if you're looking for the link to the report by Namogoo, The 2022 Annual Global Ecommerce Leaders Survey, we mentioned in the episode, it can be found right here.

Ways to Listen

You can listen to it right here on the blog using the player below or you can head over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Amazon Music where you can subscribe or follow the podcast too, so that you never miss an episode. You can also check out the podcast website to find the other apps our podcast is published on.

 

 

Want to be featured on the Podcast?

We're always looking for new industry experts to speak to and if you think you've got some great insights that you'd like to share with our audience, reach out to us via our contact page and we'll get back to you to arrange an intro call.

 

Transcript

Graham  00:14

In a recent survey of over 200 global ecommerce leaders, it was found that more than half had highlighted social media influencers as a preferred promotional channel for 2022. So to give us a peek behind the curtain on today's episode of 15 minutes with we've got social media influencer and current Ms Great Britain Kat Henry joining us. Kats experience in the world of influencer marketing gives us a unique insight from the other side of the coin. An established and professional influencer on TikTok and Instagram, Kat has a devoted following of 10s of 1000s of loving fans, being an influencer is not plain sailing. And the realities of COVID have changed the face of social selling in a variety of ways. So how can brands and influencers work together in this new landscape? Kat talks us through the influencer world from her perspective.

 

Shelley  01:01

So Kat what makes an influencer?

 

Kat Henry  01:04

To me, I think that anybody within the social media world has a level of influence, especially people that are using their own personal platforms to influence other people to either purchase something or speak out about a topic or just kind of use their own voice to elevate another person's voice. So I think for me, an influencer is somebody who can use their own personal skills to either upsell a product or who can sell a product or make a positive change within society.

 

Shelley  01:35

And how has COVID changed the influencer space? In your experience?

 

Kat Henry  01:40

I think it's definitely changed the way that influencers create content. I think that forcing us all to be at home put us in a position where we had to be a little bit more intuitive in how we put our content out there and how we actually provide engaging content when we're all stuck in our jammies and not really doing anything. I think it kind of did open the market for loungewear and pyjamas, a lot of home improvements, I think that kind of that kind of market definitely probably thrived throughout the lockdown. So I guess the types of things that are actually being, you know, advertised throughout lockdown was different.

 

Shelley  02:19

Everyone was stuck at home, right? And ecommerce went through the roof because everyone was buying stuff online and getting it delivered to the door. And as a result of that, I think a lot of people seeing other influencers, like you said, being able to wear pyjamas and having the lounge as the backdrop was sort of empowered to give influencer marketing a go themselves. But for established influencers, it was very, very difficult because it was almost like this expectation that you'd always have these amazing settings behind you one week, you're in Tahiti and the next year in Dubai. But how do you how do you do that when you're stuck at home?

 

Kat Henry  02:50

Yeah, I think it definitely did put a lot of pressure on people who are existing influencers, because you know, not everybody has the ability to have a beautiful backdrop we were as influencers, we were really discouraged from doing things, especially in the fashion industry for using like the mirror selfie, because it wasn't really an engaging piece of content, it wasn't high level quality content, that people would look at that picture on the grid and be like, Wow, I want to click it, I want to, you know, like it, share it. But actually, when you're stuck at home, you have no choice but not everybody has a tripod and or somebody who can take their photos for them. So your mirror selfie became your best friend. And that's how the content grew over the last two years, it was literally people taking pictures using the self timer on their phone or standing in front of a mirror and taking the best photo that they can. I also think that you know, it kind of lays pathways to putting a lot of pressure on influencers because not everybody has good surroundings. I mean, you know, I live in a flat. So for me finding spaces within my you know, four walls is very difficult to find, you know, picturesque beautiful images,  you have to be intuitive and you have to think, okay, outside the box, how can I make this look engaging. And I think after about two months of struggling to find various different two places within my home, I got to a point where I've just realised that this is more relatable if I just tell the truth and be honest about it and say like, this is my bedroom, guys, this is what you get. That's all good. And actually I think more people started doing that, because they realised that life is too short to give a monkey's about how the backdrop looks.

 

Graham  04:19

And did you see from an audience point of view, kind of an uptick in engagement during the pandemic? Because presumably, well, the assumption would be that everybody was stuck at home using lots of social media all the time, or was that kind of counterbalanced by the fact that there were just so many other people doing the same thing that actually any increase in engagement activity was kind of dispersed between the existing influencers, and anybody new that came along?

 

Kat Henry  04:43

Definitely the latter. I don't think there was a specific spike in terms of engagement. I think that if I posted about certain topics, or certain levels of creation definitely got more engagement, actually, the more relatable stuff, where you're saying, you know, like I've had COVID or, you know, I actually lost my mom to COVID and that actually was probably my most engaging content because people found it relatable, those sorts of things actually thrived. Whereas the more glam pictures of me looking like a pageant queen or being a high fashion model or anything like that, that wasn't really thriving, because people didn't see that represented in day to day life. So actually, the level of content was different. And also, you know, the the amount of engagement that came from relatable content went up. But in terms of actual overall, I think what you said Graham towards the fact that there was so much going on, I actually felt like I was perhaps muted in various different scenarios, because I wasn't getting the level of exposure that I had been because there were lots more people doing it.

 

Graham  05:37

And one thing that I noticed that was quite interesting, it was probably in the middle of the pandemic, I would say, LGBTQIA community, there are a lot of influencers. I'm a member of the community, so live proud, but also portray a lifestyle of excess and putting the influencer on a pedestal look at my life, I want you to want to replicate it. And people started breaching COVID recommendations to be able to produce content. So there were people that travelled to parts of Greece or Spain to be at these gatherings. And actually, what happened is there was a massive backlash against that by the community, because they were seen as irresponsible. And as a result, posts started disappearing, and people started to kind of hide from what they were doing. And all this activity was kind of downplayed. Yeah, it's just it's interesting that, like you say, the stuff that you saw most positive effects on were the things that everybody was kind of going through or could get in touch with. And as soon as this aspirational content was put in front of people, it wasn't seen as I wish I was doing that it was seen as Why are you being so irresponsible, and it kind of people not listening to what's going on in the world. And the fact that the audience are a lot more savvy than they used to be.

 

Kat Henry  06:45

I think a lot of people, if they saw a picture of like me, personally, if I was to put a picture up of me in a bathing suit, I felt like I had to make a real real point of making it very, very known that this is a throwback, guys like I'm at home in my jammies. And I wish I was on a beach somewhere. And that in itself became relatable, because people were like, Yeah, I also wish I was on a beach somewhere. But we're stuck at home too. And three of my family members have COVID. And therefore, you know, we're in the same boat as you it's finding that balance and being honest and totally transparent with your viewers and your followers. Because actually, authenticity is what is the key here. And there's a level of filtering your life and adding filters to make it look better that actually reality will win all the time. It always will. And honesty is and integrity in this life has to be paramount.

 

Shelley  07:34

I find that really, really refreshing to hear. And I'm so glad that you said that Kat and that your experience is actually showing that for you. Reality is doing so much better, even content wise. And message wise, compared to overindulgence, I guess, in the sense of, oh, look where I am. And look what I'm doing, particularly over the past two years, when actually people can relate to struggle. And actually, they want to see other people not necessarily struggling, but they want to see people that they can relate to. They don't want to look at influencers and just go okay, they're just living this this life that isn't even aspirational for me at the moment, while I'm locked down. So with all of that in mind, how do you choose which brands to actually work with?

 

Kat Henry  08:16

For me, I think company ethos is really important, and how that they portrayed themselves on social media, and what sort of level of you know, responsibility and standing they have within the community. I think that those sorts of things play a huge part to me, because I would never take on collaboration that I didn't wholeheartedly believe in, I am not going to sell a product that doesn't align or attune with my own personal ethos. And I wouldn't also sign up to a campaign if I didn't wholeheartedly believe in what he was trying to portray. I think it's really important that businesses and brands are open and transparent about their their own business ethos. And when engaging with collaborators to actually be honest and transparent in what you're trying to portray with your campaign. And actually look for people that attune to that that ethos, rather than just picking the first person that you see, when you open up the Instagram. It's not necessarily about who's trending, it may actually be about who is the most relatable, or who's the best person to sell your product. That's essentially what we should be doing now is looking for the right fit, you wouldn't put somebody into a job role if they weren't the right person for the job role trying to grow or develop your business. So why would you not want the best person to help sell your product, and that best person might not be the person with the highest level of engagement or the most likes on Instagram, they may actually be the person that is a really, really sound background in what you're trying to sell. So yeah, I think research is really really important from a brand perspective to understand who they're looking for. What that influencer delivers, what their own personal ethos is and hope that they both collaborate in the middle on more than just money. It should just be also about how they believe in the product and actually making sure they're the right fit for it.

 

Graham  10:00

So once you've you've picked the brand that you want to work with, or the brand has picked you, I guess. How do you go about building trust between your established audience, the people that you've built over time with this new brand that they're being introduced to, presumably, if you're working with a brand multiple times, it makes it a bit easier? Because it's not the first time they're seeing it. But how do you introduce this promotion to your audience, and build trust between the two, so that you don't, one,  put your audience at jeopardy, I guess, or kind of under deliver for the brand based on potentially what you've told them, you're able to able to do for them?

 

Kat Henry  10:42

Yeah, I pride myself on being able to negotiate from the outset of engagement when you start working with the brand as to what you can actually deliver. And being honest, and you know, sticking by your word, if you can't produce something, don't offer it, I would never want to over promise and under deliver, that's not something that I think anybody should aspire to want to do. But also be realistic with your own personal time, with your ability and your you know, you don't promise that you can produce, you know, high level quality drone effect, you know, footage, if you've got a hand cam, and you know, nobody else to help you produce it, you know, don't do that. Be honest in what you can provide. And actually a lot of brands would would prefer the honesty and the, you know, the ability to turn around and say, Okay, well, if that's all you can produce, then maybe I need to look elsewhere. Because there might be 10 other people that could produce that level of content that I haven't tapped up yet. But because you've got a really high level of engagement, that might be who they pick, when you're asking about how do you maintain that relationship with your with new audiences, I will never lie about product. If it's a rubbish product, I'm going to take that feedback, I'm going to take it back to the brand without posting anything on social media. Because actually, I think it's really, really important that if a product is not sound, that you feed that back to the company, so they have the ability to fix it before you take that negativity and put it out into the into the social sphere. Because actually, that damning review is not going to build trust in either you as a personal brand, or to your audience. Influencers have a huge responsibility to be honest,

 

Shelley  12:23

We've talked about how you've managed these relationships with brands. And we've talked about the changing landscape as a result of COVID as a result of all these new influencers sort of flooding the market, but also in terms of new platforms. So you were a really early adopter of TikTok, and I've personally seen seeing you on TikTok advertising, which is amazing. By the way, it looks it looked incredible. And so I just wanted to ask you, do you have any other sort of tips, insights, advice on this, any part of these topics of influencer marketing that we haven't covered that you think would be interesting, or relevant for people.

 

Kat Henry  13:03

I have probably a couple for each, but I'll go with from the brand perspective, don't just go with the people that you think are the highest level of engagement, do your research, find out who is who is the best person aligned for what you are looking for, and tap up, don't be afraid to tap up other people within the industry, because they may be a very, very valuable tool for you. But also, don't just go down the tokenism thing like you know, just because you are you understand that being woke in today's society is important. Don't just tap up, you know, the high level influencers who are from the BAME community, drill down a little further, do do the research, because I think it is really, really important. And I kind of understand why you just look at engagement, I get it. But it's not always the key. And it's not always the be all and end all and from an influencers perspective, don't be afraid to shoot your shot, you know, go out there, promote yourself in the best way possible. Send those brand emails, you know, I'm not a huge lover of all of the, you know, follow this strategy sort of thing. Like I take tips from the from the YouTubers and stuff as to how I can increase my content engagement and stuff like that. But essentially, find your niche, find what works for you. And don't be afraid to put yourself out there for every 10 no's there's going to be one yes. So keep going and remain resilient. And from the perspective of trolls, because we didn't touch on it really I think that you know, if you're putting I'm very, very grateful that in the seven years that I've been doing social media, I can probably count on my hands, the amount of times that I've had negativity thrown my way on my own personal platform. And that is because my platform is a safe space for me to sell products without asking for people's opinions. And I pride myself very, very highly in the fact that when I promote a product Whether it be an item of clothing or a makeup product or a hair product, you're saying, this is the product that I'm selling. And if you like it, here's how you can buy it. I'm not asking you as the person who scrolling through Instagram to weigh in with an opinion on my products. And the minute you ask people, What does this look like? you're opening up the gateway for people to offer their opinion. From the influencers perspective, stop asking those questions if you are becoming an influencer, because you want validation, or you're becoming an influencer, because you want free clothes, you're in it for the wrong reasons. If you're doing it, because you know, you can use your skills, your life skills to promote a brand, then you're in the right place. But I also think that empowering other people is really key. And you know, if you see somebody in the industry that's doing well elevate them share their content, because essentially sharing each other's content engaging with each other's content is how we grow.

 

Shelley  15:57

Love it. Absolutely. Love it. Thank you so so much your time Kat that was just it was so insightful.

 

Graham  16:04

Yeah, thank you. It's good to have this insight. Because, you know, as that report points out, there's so many people that are wanting to now take a huge part of their marketing budget and put it into into social media influencers, but I suspect the large majority of those people don't actually understand what they're about to do. So the information that you've given them will lead them on the right path to success. So yeah,

 

Shelley  16:25

Steering them in the right direction.

 

Graham  16:27

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for your time.  That was social media influencer current Ms Great Britain, Kat Henry. Her insights as a social media influencer have been invaluable. And the key to making a success for both brands and influencers is to remain authentic, transparent and genuine with their audiences. We also need to be hyper aware of what's going on in the world, and ensure that we adjust our messaging to match the reality. If you'd like to download a copy of the report, you'll be able to find a link of it on our Insights section of our website. Thank you for joining us for this episode of 15 minutes with and we look forward to having you join us on our next one.


15 Minutes With Alan Gray | Podcast Episode #1

In our first episode of 15 Minutes With we're talking to Research Psychologist from Tailify, Alan Gray. In the episode we talk through his research on laughter and self disclosure and their effect on behaviour as well as how it can be used to develop relationships and be used by influencers and those delivering a marketing message.

You can find out more about Alan and his research over at his website, Gray Area.

Ways to Listen

You can listen to it right here on the blog using the player below or you can head over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Amazon Music where you can subscribe or follow the podcast too, so that you never miss an episode. You can also check out the podcast website to find the other apps our podcast is published on.

 

 

Want to be featured on the Podcast?

We're always looking for new industry experts to speak to and if you think you've got some great insights that you'd like to share with our audience, reach out to us via our contact page and we'll get back to you to arrange an intro call.

 

Transcript

Shelley  00:13

Is the simple act of laughing enough to win others over? Today, research psychologist Alan Gray is joining us on 15 minutes with. Alan's research interests are in the unique fields of laughter and self disclosure and their effects on behaviour. As part of the research team at Tailify, Alan is involved in optimising influencer marketing strategies. And interestingly, some of the work Alan has published would show that the world of laughter and the world of business have quite a bit more overlap than you might expect. It would seem that the simple act of laughing is enough to win others over.  Hi, Alan, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining us.

Alan Gray  00:52

Hey, thanks for having me.

Shelley  00:53

How are you doing today?

Alan Gray  00:54

I'm good. Yeah, it's a nice a nice day.

Shelley  00:56

So why laughter? Why did laughter appeal in terms of your research,

Alan Gray  01:01

So I guess I was interested first, and laughter the University of Oxford, and I guess it was just, if you watch people interact with one another for any period of time, you'll find that they laugh a lot. And what they seem to laugh at is not necessarily jokes, they just seem to laugh because they're around one another. And this was instantly interesting to me as a behaviour that is common and this frequent, you know, must serve a great purpose. And yet social psychologists barely investigated that felt like a field that was wide open.

Shelley  01:29

And so your research in this in this area of laughter? Was it really sort of, like you were talking about the social sciences in terms of behaviour based? Or did you dive deeper and look at what happened, cognitively. And what happens in the brain, when, when people laugh when they're exposed to laughter?

Alan Gray  01:46

Well, there's been a bit of an explosion of research into laughter at this point now, so they have produced various different neuro imaging studies of what happens in the brain when we laugh, and so on. But my interest was in the social psychology side, and it was trying to understand if laughter is so closely related to relationship development, might it be linked to other elements of relationship progression. So I was looking to see if it was associated with self disclosure, the amount of intimate information we reveal to another person. Social psychologists have found this to be strongly linked to liking and relationship development. So I assumed if, if this is integral for relationship, building and bonds, then it might be linked to laughter.

Shelley  02:28

Completely. It's so so interesting. And so what did what did you find? What were your top key findings and your research?

Alan Gray  02:33

Yeah, so I kind of, I mean, discovery is that laughter. People tend to think of it as something very positive and uplifting, and everyone seeks out someone who's a comedian, and so on, and their relationships and romance, but in my research suggests that it might well be something quite dark. So self disclosure is typically an exchange of information between two people, you know, I tell you something personal about me. And you return the favour by sending me personal about you, that's slightly risky, because that whenever I tell you something about me, I'm making myself vulnerable, you could use that information against me, you could exploit me somehow. So if I could get out of this exchange, if I could bypass that deal, and make you tell me everything without having to tell you a thing at all, you know, I'd be one up. So my work looked into how laughter and the act of laughing might increase the likelihood that you will reveal things about yourself without really expecting that in return, and not really feeling like you had said that much. When it comes to how vulnerable you'd you'd spoken about.

Graham  03:32

It puts people at ease really quickly without realising that they're in that situation. Yeah, that is interesting, because I'm just thinking about that myself now, actually. And you'll I laugh at anything. I'm terrible. Like, I find everything funny. And actually, one of the things I was wondering is, you know, is there a noticeable difference between like, genuine laughter like big belly laughs, and like nervous laughter because I feel like sometimes a lot of what I do is nervous laughter because it's, you know, it's the polite thing to do, because society has kind of adapted towards, you should laugh at this point, because someone's kind of said something funny.

Shelley  04:05

Filling the empty space, so yeah,

Graham  04:07

Yeah exactly. I'm not a fan of silence I don't like it. If I could fill the silence with a laugh or giggle or something, I kind of do that. I guess. It must be somewhat critical to humans kind of forming bonds, right? That is, is that way it kind of doesn't help speed the process along?

Alan Gray  04:27

And yes, there's been quite a lot of research into genuine and and fake laughter. Then the literature the call duchenne laughter and non duchenne laughter, voluntary and involuntary laughs and there are different acoustic properties from those laughs. So, when we're laughing involuntarily, we tend to have loud early bursts and we tend to have a repetitive cycle of laughs and that the go on for quite some time, much longer than a feigned laughter does. So there are acoustic differences here, but more interestingly, people can generally generally very easily detect the difference between fake and genuine laughter and in an fMRI scanner, we seem to process genuine and fake laughs differently to so when we hear a genuine laugh, we process that emotionally, emotional regions of the brain are active and make law and so on. When we hear a fake laugh, we might not necessarily know this, but we start trying to understand why that person laughed, we see it as a kind of problem. And the parts of the brain that are active are usually the frontal regions that are involved in problem solving. So it looks like we approach the sound of genuine fit laughter very differently.

Shelley  05:34

If we sort of extrapolate that idea, and what we've what you've just sort of discussed about bonding and the self disclosure element to it, how does that fit in to digital life?

Alan Gray  05:47

Well, you know, texting, lol, and hahaha, and so on, it's not really going to get these effects because you know, doing that it's not going to produce the physiological release of laughter. So I don't expect that kind of laughter to be, in fact, we rarely laugh when we're alone. So if you're receiving a text message that, you know, is a joke, the likelihood that we're laughter that if we're just receiving that alone will be low. So I don't really think that is so linked to this. But when it comes to the world of influencers, you know, we are in a relationship with them, essentially. And we're watching them online, we're sitting, sometimes we might even watch the video together, or we might see influencers that we truly identify with laughing on screen. And when we really identify with someone, if you say someone is hilarious, what you're saying is, I like them, you're not saying that they're funny. That's how we express liking by laughing.

Shelley  06:40

And so what you're saying is actually in the world of influencer marketing, laughter is a crucial element to who you actually choose to follow and continue to follow.

Alan Gray  06:51

It's a it's a part of expressing your identifying with someone and liking that person. And it's also because of the way that laughter affects us physiologically through endorphin release, it can kind of lull us into a sense of credulity. So we can be more inclined to believe what we're being told is true and less inclined to question that we're not in a defensive mode, when we laugh, we're suddenly very relaxed, and we're very accepting. So it can increase the likelihood that the promoters message is truly heard.

Shelley  07:21

Ah, so it's a sales tool, in a sense, you can actually break down barriers, communicate to build an audience more easily communicate to that audience more easily, and actively open the lines to sales a bit more.

Alan Gray  07:34

Yeah, I think it will increase the likelihood that you'll go ahead with the purchasing decision since the main reason and influence marketing. It's not just like, it's not just like a traditional billboard of grabbing people's attention. It's about gaining people's trust, and having them identify with you. That is what drives the purchasing decision. So laughter if we know that it's linked to self disclosure, we know that it's linked to trust and relationship formation, it's going to be a part of what drives the purchasing decision in influencer marketing.

Shelley  08:01

Definitely. So it's part of that overall experience. And so if we tie that in with the self disclosure element of say, influencers, social influencers, who we're trying to sell, represent something in particular, how does the self disclosure element tie in with the laughter side of things?

Alan Gray  08:23

So if we laugh, because we might be more likely, after laughing, we're more likely to reveal information about ourselves? Well, we can imagine the following might be more likely to comment on the video. And comments have been shown to be associated with purchasing decisions, because we feel like we've invested somehow in this video with the influencers themselves, since we know that we tend to like those who disclose to us. If the influencers laughing and therefore are more likely to disclose, they'll tell us more things about themselves. And we like people who reveal themselves to us. There are many reasons for this. One is that people who we've just encountered are somewhat threatening, we don't know, we don't know them, so we can't predict them. We like people to be somewhat familiar, we'd like to know things about them, so we can understand them and judge their actions. So the more someone tells us about themselves, the easier they are to be around because we kind of have an implicit model of how they might behave. So self disclosure can help us like a person.

Shelley  09:21

Definitely. And I think, you know, when you look at sort of earlier influencers before it really blew up online and on social media, like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, you know, traditionally on television, you know, you can actually start to feel like, you know, these people, when actually, you know, is a very one directional relationship in that sense, but you're right, when you look at sort of the comments of these kinds of influencers, the people that follow them, follow them actually feel like they're part of their lives to a degree. And I mean, how that feeds into the whole sales model, I guess at the end is imagine the insights that these that these influencers have on their own following, they must know so much about them because they are themselves self disclosing so much so much of their own lives and their own likes and dislikes. And I just find it super interesting.

Alan Gray  10:13

Also, you know, one of the reasons why we choose not to stop disclosures because of cultural norms around disclosure. So men and women disclose differently because stereotypes around, you know, women are expected to disclose more and sooner relationship than men. That's a stereotype. But it's one of the kind of rules that people follow. In the influencer world, there seems to be a new norm emerging of excessive disclosure. Disclosure is a thing that people do a lot. And it's more acceptable for an influencer to reveal very intimate things very quickly than what it is, you know, anyone else in day to day life. So it seems to be a new culture emerging in influencer marketing that promotes this.

Shelley  10:58

And you think that is to build, you know, such a tight relationship with the following with their followers, because obviously, they don't know them in person. So you have to feel connected in another way. And it has to you have to to build that level of intimate intimacy, I guess. And that's, that's a good way to, instead of a one to one relationship, have the same thing or the same depth, but on a one to many basis.

Alan Gray 11:21

Yeah, I think it's speeding up the process of relationship development, there's always the risk with self disclosure, that you might disclose what was taken to be too much too soon, and therefore come across as maladjusted and somewhere and therefore less likeable. So you've got to kind of judge what is the what is the appropriate amount of disclosure in this particular moment in this particular context. And changing those norms in the way that influencers have done might be a way of bypassing that and increasing the likelihood that they can reveal a lot more intimate information a lot sooner in the relationship.

Graham  11:50

And presumably, from a brand's point of view, they have to do a whole level of research, right to be able to make sure that because it might seem like the easiest thing to do is go for the influencer that has the most perceived power, either through the largest following or, you know, through their ability to attract numbers of people, if they're not brand aligned in terms of sentiment, or you know, they live to the same values, I guess potentially there's a detrimental effect that the brand can have on itself without even realising it's doing that.

Alan Gray  12:19

A lot of people when they're trying to understand what makes a good influencer, have looked to the available metrics of, you know, the number of likes you've got, how many followers you have, what's your audience size, and, you know, what's your Google search optimization and so on. But we're starting to discover that those things aren't necessarily good at predicting your return on investment for the brand. And what Tailify are doing now is to venture into psychometrics to try and understand if the various psychological predictors of relationship development can shed some light into why some influencers perform better than others. Self disclosure is one of them, laughter is another.

Graham  12:54

Can a brand build the same level of trust with an individual as an as an individual can I guess, is that why influencers are as important as they are to this process? Because a brand just can't do the same thing?

Alan Gray  13:07

Yeah, I think the real breakthrough with influencer marketing is an influencer can stand in for a brand, they can embody a brand and make that brand, truly a human being, in a way.

Shelley  13:18

In your role at Tailify and with respect to influencer marketing, which is the space that you operate in, do you have from what we've just talked about everything from, you know, the laughter piece, the self disclosure piece, any tips for people listening that is relevant to them, whether it's selecting an influencer, or whether it's being an influencer, or even deciding whether they go down that route, anything that you think could be helpful for people to know or to be able to apply? Or insights that could be actionable, I guess.

Alan Gray  13:54

So I think a lot of the time, when people are selecting influences, they tend to shy away from having the influencer use comedy when discussing the product or the brand, they're totally fine with the influencer joking about everything else. But when it comes to the product, the brand, you know, just deliver the lines and the influencers themselves, are also quite nervous about this. They want to be paid and they want to do the job that they've been assigned. I would advise the brand, permit that more and give them permission to joke even when discussing the brand or the product, because we know that humour draws our attention. And we remember that kind of content more. So if we have a bias and memory and an attention for humorous content. And then the brand and product comes along and it's stone cold and bland. What are we going to remember, what are we going to pay attention to? It's exactly it's also going to defeat the purpose for the influencer because they want to come across as authentic and sincere. And if all of a sudden the moment they start talking about the product, they lose all of that that isn't going to do them any favours and their followers will fall over.

Shelley  14:55

And I think we've all been familiar in seeing those those exact kind of messages. The sponsored content and it stands out like a sore thumb. And you're right, it comes down to I guess, brands being so particular over what they want that message to be because they've paid for that slot, so they want to make the most of it, that actually they've completely micromanage the process and defeated the whole point of tapping into this audience that really, really trust this influencer. And so I think that's really interesting. Thank you for that insight. If people have brands can actually take that on board and go, if we're, if we're working alongside this influencer, to deliver a message, let's relax a little bit and see what their take on it is, and how they can deliver that message to the audience in a way that the audience is already comfortable and familiar with.

Alan Gray  15:39

And I think I would also recommend that the influencers themselves try to collaborate a little bit more on their videos, try to get their friends and family and you know, interact with other influencers. Because we know that when you're in company, you'll probably laugh more, you'll probably feel more relaxed, you'll do all the things naturally, that we know are good indicators of success, and people will like you for it.

Graham  16:03

Thank you for your time. You know, it's been super, super interesting. And I'm sure we will definitely be having you back. Because there's bound to be a whole bunch of questions that come from people who listened to this. And as much as Shelley and I can attempt to answer them, we're by no means the experts. So probably best send the questions back to Alan and he can come back on and answer them for us, which would be awesome.

Shelley  16:25

Alan, thank you so so much for your time. It was so interesting to speak with you. And like Graham said I know that there are going to be so many questions off the back of this that I'm sure we will have you again soon just to to be able to dive even deeper into this whole conversation.

Alan Gray  16:40

Thanks a lot. I'm really glad that you guys had me on it was great.

Shelley  16:43

That was Alan Gray research psychologist with Tailify explaining how laughter and self disclosure impact relationship building within both in person and digital exchanges. If you want to find out more you can contact Alan at Tailify to find out how this evolution in behavioural science is being applied to digital experiences and strategy. Thank you, Alan, we cannot wait until our next chat and to everybody listening, see you next time.


Brand Trust Biggest Customer Experience Indicator

The X Index - A Trust Indicator

As a barometer for brand trust, the X Index measures customer experience across globally recognised brands. This assessment considers how trust is built, maintained, and broken in relationships with consumers. This includes brand image, customer service, relationships, purchase histories and product & service experiences.

In their research, it was found that only 40% of customers globally feel that the brands they interact with truly have their interests and needs at heart. To assess and deliver on customer needs, actions, perceptions, and narratives must align to provide the ultimate experience for the end customer.

Key Findings:

  • Commit to Trust
  • Build an Exclusive Experience
  • Always be of Service
  • Provide for the age of extra

Actions relating to these elements in turn help to produce or refine customer experiences that are just that - experiential - not simply mechanical. They help brands to narrow their efforts towards goals and the avoidance of common pitfalls, maximise their X Index rankings, and ultimately their measure for brand trust.

 

Brand Trust

According to action-perception theory, people perceive environments in terms of their ability to act within them. In other words, customer accounts of brands rely on their experiences with them, and these experiences stand the best chance of success when they are immersive and productive.

Primacy and recency effects also dictate that brands that people encounter early in their search for a product or service, and similarly, late in their search, will naturally outperform those brands that are stuck in the middle.

Psychologically speaking, these brands are innately mediocre compared to the first and the last in a search. So how do all these techniques help pave the way to a better level of brand trust? How can techniques such as advertising ensure that your brand is the first or last (or in a perfect world - both) that a potential new customer might see?

How can experiences be recreated to ensure they are more immersive, inclusive, and satisfying?

 

Goals and Pitfalls

Combined with other elements, action-perception (positive immersive experiences) and primacy & recency (early or late search advantage) can be combined with strong ethical stances, a ‘customer is always right attitude’, and the balance of well-struck humour.

Externally controlled elements such as reviews, or user-generated content also tie into the overarching category that is brand trust. But brands need to start with the internal elements with which they can exert some control. This also aids in limiting the potential for damage to be caused to any established level of brand trust. Cyber security, system hacks and data breaches are becoming increasingly common and paint brands in a negative light.

Poor internal or staff culture eventually makes its way to the public eye through disgruntled past employees on platforms such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Poor taste in humour, public sympathy or even collaborations with the wrong influencer has been known to backfire on brands and impact trust.

 

Summary

Brand trust is gaining increasing levels of coverage and exposure in mainstream marketing as a feature that is central to business and customers. No longer is it a complete dark art, lacking any sort of definition or measure. Thanks to the X Index barometer of brand trust, a measure of perceptions is available globally for businesses and brands to leverage.

As supported in both research and theory, actions and perceptions are intricately linked. Customer perceptions of brands are linked to the actions that they have experienced with those brands. These experiences can refer to a plethora of potential actions - Google searches, advertising exposure, website purchases, return of goods, etc etc.

The aim of building brand trust is to ensure that these actions produce positive perceptions of the brand. A tool for achieving this is providing interactions that create a sense of inclusion and investment for the customer.

Where a brand features in a search journey for a potential customer is also important in the initial impression of a brand. Those that feature first or last in a search are psychologically considered to be more trustworthy and preferred than those in the middle.

Tools for benefiting from this effect heavily rely on paid advertising. Finally, ethical, customer-centric and brand personality goals can aid in improving an X Index score, as can a focus on the avoidance of damage-causing elements. These include, but are not limited to poor internal brand culture, data and system breaches, and poor choice in collaborations, personality, and public sentiment.


Person shopping on phone

Understanding the Buyers Journey and Why It Is Important

We’re all individuals. We have our own wants and likes, dislikes and fears but as much as that is the case there is no denying that we’re creatures of habit. There are plenty of cases where we as people all take the same winding road to a single endpoint.

One of those is what is referred to as the Buying or Buyers Journey. It’s a set of milestones we pass on the way to making a purchase and then the steps we take after the purchase is made. If you understand this process, it allows you to tailor the experience and the information you put out to help people through the journey. It is a powerful piece of information that allows you to talk to your customers in the right way, at the right time, making yourself incredibly useful to them.

The buyer's journey is so important that Google made adjustments to the way their search was delivered to people and became intent focused. They understand from your previous search history and your activity on the internet where you might be when you’re looking to make a purchase and provide you with information that is best suited to that phase.

From a high level, they defined habits into 3 moments. I want to do; I want to buy, and I want to go. They deliver information to the searcher in a way that will best suit their question and they have created specific elements in the search results page that will do this without sending them on a trip into a wormhole.

But before we get too carried away, it is probably best to get to grips with what the buyer's journey is. We see it as 7 steps.

 

  • Unaware: Your target audience has not encountered the problem (or desire).
  • Awareness: Also known as the problem identification stage, your buyer would have identified the issue that they are seeking to solve.
  • Consideration: Your buyer would do general research (usually online) and consider different options out there.
  • Evaluation: Your buyer is carefully selecting a potential purchase, evaluating it based on quality, value, brand reputation, and other variables.
  • Purchase: Congratulations may be in order. You’ve managed to persuade your prospect to make a purchase, but sometimes it isn’t a given.
  • Post-Purchase: Also known as the consumption phase, your customer’s experience may determine longevity and satisfaction.
  • Retention & Advocacy: If you’ve managed to delight and excite your customer, they may come back and become your online advocate.

 

If we look back at what Google has been doing and map it to the journey, it fits squarely in the awareness, consideration and evaluation phases but for them to do that, you need to be giving them the information to put in front of people.

This information can take a bunch of forms, the most important thing is that it exists. That is however just a tiny bit of what you should be doing to make sure that you’re able to engage with potential customers going through the buyer's journey.

We’ve got a few tips for each of the stages to get you forming ideas and solutions but as always we’re here to help and you can reach out to us at any time and our teams of experts can work with you to maximise the opportunity at every stage.

 

Unaware: Your target audience has not encountered the problem (or desire).

This is an incredibly hard stage to have a deliberate effect on but by having a solid social media presence and a great content strategy there is a possibility that people will stumble across the information and as a result you move them into the next phase, very, very quickly. It is also what drives people to head toward impulse purchasing. They had no idea they wanted what you’ve just put in front of them, but it was so convincing that they’re ready for you to just take their money.

If you compare this to the Adoption Life Cycle, you’re looking at the innovators and possibly the early adopters here.

The Adoption Cycle | Design for "Crossing the Chasm" | Prototypr.io

 

Awareness: Also known as the problem identification stage, your buyer would have identified the issue that they are seeking to solve.

Here, some customers will find your brand as part of their intentional research when they are looking for a solution to their problem. Some will hear about you from your existing customers and word of mouth. Some traffic will be a result of your marketing efforts be that on social or via a search engine. They could also come from the stage above, stopping here for just a second on their way to making the purchase.

If people are coming into this stage fresh, it’s important to avoid selling. You need to focus on educating customers, sharing your knowledge, and building brand awareness. Your goal should be to get people’s attention, and then make them interested in what you have to offer. Even if they don’t have the intention to buy just yet, they’ll convert in the future if your content and webs experience is convincing and trustworthy enough.

 

Consideration: Your buyer would do general research (usually online) and consider different options out there.

The consideration stage is the moment customers see you as an option. Your products are a potential solution to their problems, while they're also considering other options. To lift your chances of entering the evaluation phase you can drive people to comparisons you've made to your competitors, making it clearly transparent why you might be the better option. This is an opportunity to keep yourself in the running.

 

Evaluation: Your buyer is carefully selecting a potential purchase, evaluating it based on quality, value, brand reputation, and other variables.

It’s important to understand that at this point your competitors… are your biggest competition. Your products or solutions on offer have already gained your potential customers’ attention, yet you may still lose the race. It’s the win-or-lose moment.

Your goal here is to convince those potential customers that you’re the absolute best solution for them. Make sure you stand out from your competitors. Not only with price or quality, but also with your values, approach, and, obviously, the experience you provide.

 

Purchase: Congratulations may be in order. You’ve managed to persuade your prospect to make a purchase, but sometimes it isn’t a given.

The purchase stage is your moment of truth. It’ll prove how well you prepared your website and customer service for ever-rising customer needs.

Offer superb customer experience no matter how big the order is. Some customers will start smaller just to test your store. Make sure they come back for more.

It’s time for your support team to show off their skills. It’s a test for your UX designer and web developers. It’s also the moment you grow as a business and build lasting connections with your customers.

If these experiences aren’t up to scratch, you could lose the person right at the very end of the process. We’ve all been there, right at the checkout and for some reason, the payment won’t go through, the address search is broken, or the overall experience is just terrible and keeps breaking.

You’ll end up sending them back up the funnel and kissing them goodbye for good. It doesn’t matter how well suited your product was to their problem. If it is difficult, you turn them off.

 

Post-Purchase: Also known as the consumption phase, your customer’s experience may determine longevity and satisfaction.

Just as important as making it easy for the purchase to happen, you’ve got to make sure the post-purchase experience is ace.

Shipping updates, return policies, contact details, warranty information, support and guidance, onboarding…the list is endless when it comes to this stuff but the thing to remember is that just getting the sale and then saying ciao is not an option.

The irreparable damage that can be done by taking your eye off the ball with this stuff is huge and at Eclipse, we’re not advocates of mastering the mystics art of tempting fate.

 

Retention & Advocacy: If you’ve managed to delight and excite your customer, they may come back and become your online advocate.

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.

Do what you can to keep your customers happy and they’ll keep coming back, keep doing it and they’ll tell others. Remember the unaware phase and the mention of word of mouth, this is where it came from.

 

We’ve got more to come

This break down of the buyer's journey should give you some things to think about and get you looking at what you have on offer a little differently. It should be something that you keep front of mind when you’re looking to create content or are making design changes or updates to your website.

We’re going to continue looking at the buyer's journey in more detail, stage by stage in the future, offering up more insight and tips on how to get the most out of each of them, but in the meantime, you can always reach out to us with any questions you might have and we’ll be happy to answer them and help you work to enhance your offering for each of the stages.


Group of people looking at view

How To Create A User Persona

User personas are a great tool to improve designs and communicate design decisions. Let’s take a look at what user personas are, why they are useful, and how to create your own. 

 

The user persona

User personas are profiles that capture the most important data from a user base. This data is then used to outline the archetypes of your common users. These are usually one-page documents. They are used as a reference point to remind you who your users are and give you a way to communicate this to others. They help you to understand who you're designing for. Giving you an insight into what the behaviour and thought process of that user is. Explaining why users take certain actions in your product, and what they're hoping to do when they use it. 

People across the business in different roles should use user personas. Stakeholders, senior managers, and product owners can all use personas. They can use them when analyzing the software for new features or prioritizing bug fixes. Designers, copywriters, and developers can all use user personas too. They use them to find the best approach and solution that fits the needs of the user.

 

Why user personas are useful

User personas are beneficial because they are a way of empathising with the people who use the software. They put the user at the centre of the design process. If you are always looking through the eyes of the user you’re more likely to create a solution that works for them. 

They are specific and this gives you clarity about who to design for and who to prioritise. You are thus able to meet the needs of groups of users with similar characteristics. As opposed to creating generalised solutions that don’t fit exactly with any users’ needs.

Designers often fall into the trap of designing for themselves. Having a user persona holds you accountable for your design decisions. If they aren’t in the best interest of your user persona then they may not be the best solution. You can also use them to communicate and justify those decisions to stakeholders and clients.

Another benefit of creating personas is that they anthropomorphise data. Adding human characteristics and behaviour to data it makes it easier to understand and remember. It’s great having a ton of useful data but if no one ever references or uses it then it’s worthless. A concise digestible format that doesn’t include unnecessary information, will help you get the most out of your personas.

 

Creating a user persona

Begin by segmenting and creating hypotheses about the different types of users. You must separate your users by the different roles they have. Let's take the example of project management software. This would have users with two different roles. One user is the admin that would be creating tasks and reporting on the project. The other user is the employee who would be using the tool as a reference and to track time. These two roles need separating as they have big differences. Within these roles, you can begin to create more nuanced profiles. Through a combination of analytics and research, you can validate these hypotheses or disprove them. Both are equally illuminating.

Take a look at our example of an admin persona for a project management tool:

Do your research

User research is critical to understanding the experience of users. There are many different ways in which you can collect and present feedback. Likely, you're already getting a lot of feedback if you have a product that's up and running. 

Interviews and observation are the most common research methods. Both of these research methods are qualitative. They need analysis that looks for patterns and commonalities between users.

At this stage, it is critical to learn about the motivation of your users—what problems are they looking to solve when they come to your site? Different personas will have different reasons to use your site. You can start by developing hypotheses about what drives each user to engage. 

 

Your research should focus on the following aspects of the user experience: 

Bio: What does this person do? Are they always rushing around with lots of things on their mind? Are they worried? Planning an adventure? 

Motivation: What drives your user to interact with your product? What are they hoping to get out of it? Why are they using your product instead of a competitor’s - or nothing at all? 

Pain points: What are the challenges users are facing? Is your product helping them solve these or aggravating them? Are there any obstacles they have to face when using your product? 

Mental models: How does your user conceive the problem that your product addresses? What concepts and connections come naturally to them, and what do they need teaching? 

Personality traits: Is this user more of an introvert or extrovert? Are they an influencer or a follower? Are they loyal to brands or are they more fickle and drawn towards other features or lowest cost? 

Internet usage: Internet usage is an indication of online behaviour. Are they a regular online shopper? Do they mainly browse at home or during lunch breaks? Are they particularly active on social media? 

Brands: Are these users used to dealing with high-end premium brands or value brands? Or is it a mixture of both? Be specific to the actual brands this user buys from to understand their brand relationship. 

 

What to look out for

There are some risks associated with user personas. They are usually from not following the user research process correctly or thoroughly enough. One of the main areas where people tend to go wrong is by using too much second-hand information. This could be from stakeholders within the business or stereotyping. In these cases, research and data are not informing the personas.  This type of information runs the risk of missing out on actually user insights. You may be attributing characteristics to your users that aren’t accurate. Using these inaccurate personas when developing the product will mean you won’t meet the needs of your actual users. 

 

Conclusion

User personas are a great tool to guide your design decisions. They can be used to inform other models such as user journey maps, usability reviews and user stories. The entire business should make use of the personas. This will help to create the best possible experience for your users. The key to successful user personas is good quality research. There are risks to creating personas. You can mitigate these risks by following the correct research processes. 

There’s also no such thing as ‘done’ when it comes to the personas. You should revisit, review and update them regularly as economic and social climate changes users' online behaviours.

Hopefully, you’ve found this useful and feel inspired to create your own, but drop us a line if you’d like a little help – we’d love to talk to you.


Biometrics Space Between

An Introduction to Biometric User Testing

What is Biometric Testing?

Biometric User Testing is relatively new on the digital marketing scene. Don’t panic - it’s really not as scary as it sounds. Essentially, it applies the principles of psychological testingtechniques to the context of digital marketing. That translated? It is used to test and record the responses of users when interacting with retailers’ websites and apps. Both emotional arousal and stress reaction measures are used in order to achieve this and data is then collated to provide insights on the findings.

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Subject Connected to Galvanic Skin Response Kit while conducting Website User Session. (Source: Space Between Ltd).

How does Testing Work?

Testing a sample using qualitative and quantitative data, opportunities for these refinements quickly becomes apparent in the data reports. Subjects are selected to match the demographic profile of the website being tested. They are set up in a Biometric Laboratory, which guarantees consistency in the testing environment. The testing itself involves the application of various measures, including: Galvanic Skin Response (similar to polygraph testing in measuring palm sweat levels), Eye Tracking (what the subjects are looking at on screen), Mouse Tracking (what the subjects mouse is doing on screen), Facial Expression Analysis and Attention Analysis (captured with various user cameras during the testing session). Subjects also provide direct feedback on their experience using the website, usually in a series of questionnaires and surveys. Subjects are given several tasks to complete on the website, such as searching for a specific item, and proceeding to cart checkout. This testing process usually takes around one hour per subject and is highly valuable to highlighting key issues with eCommerce and functionality and overall usability. A deeper level of analysis can be achieved by repeating this testing process again with the same subjects, but this time performing the same test on competitor websites. This highlights the areas of success and improvement for an eCommerce site in the context of competitor presence.

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Subject Facial Analysis recording and data feed during User Session (Source: Space Between Ltd).

How is it Applied?

Unsurprisingly, Biometric Testing has seen its early adopters in the mega eCommerce Retailing Market (think the big online supermarkets like WholeFoods, travel booking sites like Skyscanner, and marketplaces like Amazon). The reason being that they all have huge traffic volumes and huge online sales in common. When it comes to refinement, or optimization of their eCommerce site, a small tweak can mean the difference of millions of dollars in sales. So their common interest is in complete eCommerce refinement for the ultimate User Experience. But the benefits of Biometrics are now being recognised by smaller businesses too, and rightfully so. In a culture where a smooth online experience is so vital to successful business, particularly when financial transactions are involved, public expectation is constantly growing. This isn’t just isolated to big business - consumers have come to expect this now of all eCommerce interaction.

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Biometrics User Testing - Applied  by the Big eCommerce Retailers (Source: Christian Wiediger, Unsplash)

Now What?

If you are in the business of eCommerce, it’s time to consider if Biometric Testing  is a marketing method you should be applying. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the site traffic, the greater the potential for achieving big results. So, if you are only just starting up, it may not be the right time for you. If you are a bigger business, with a robust online presence and marketing team, this could be your big opportunity for untapped growth in 2019. With User Experience and Conversion Optimization being high on the agenda for most digital teams, it’s time to consider if Biometrics Testing should become part of your ongoing digital strategy. Remember, when it comes to website traffic, users expect a seamless journey. The only way to truly test how your users interact with your site, and to identify any common pain points they may have, is to apply Biometric Testing.


Colour Psychology Space Between

Colour Psychology: Increase Sales With One Simple Change

The colours you choose lay the foundation for your online image so it's important to choose carefully.

Web design sounds fancy. Yet, like all elements of conversion rate optimisation, building a website is more about construction than design. The colours you choose lay the foundation for your online image so it's important to choose carefully. Using colour psychology not only helps you look good, it can help attract the right kind of customer to your website and increase conversions.

What is colour psychology?

Colour psychology is the study of how people are affected by colour. You can test how powerful colours are just by thinking of some of the biggest brands in the world. What colour do they use? You'll recall it instantly for Coca-Cola, FedEx, Nike, and Facebook. You also know Coca-Cola is pillar-box red, not burgundy. FedEx is a rich purple, not lilac. And Facebook is a muted blue, not sky blue or sapphire.

Now think about how those brands make you feel. It's common knowledge that red represents a 'bold' attitude and pink points to products for women. But do you know that purple divides people by gender? Women are drawn to it and men are not. These findings reveal how people might react to your website.

What do colours mean?

Site visitors take just 50 milliseconds to make a judgement about your brand and colour plays a key part in this. No doubt you're already familiar with some of the basic assumptions of colour psychology:

  • Blue and green are universally popular. Blue is steady and reliable; green is fresh and calm. An edgy brand wouldn't go for these colours, but a corporate or more reserved company might.
  • If black, white, and grey are flat, unemotional colours (frequently used by tech and engineering companies), red, yellow, and orange are stimulants. These warm colours grab attention, generate excitement, and can create a sense of urgency.
  • Where pink is mostly associated with girls, purple is the grandmother of the colour chart. Pink is energetic and youthful, but purple oozes calm and wisdom.
  • Poor brown is typically unloved. Yet nobody can pooh-pooh the success of UPS – it's still going, since 1907. Brown is a rich part of the company's history and the colour of the original uniform.

The thing that makes colour psychology so interesting is that, despite the trends, everybody is different. People can become obsessive over a particular colour. Just the sight of it can stoke an old memory — good or bad. It's this reaction to a colour trigger that you can test in conversion rate optimisation:

  • What does your audience respond to?
  • Which colours work best in your niche?

How to use colour psychology in web design

Number 1

Use harmonious colours to keep people on the site

The last time you read about complementary colours might have been in school.

If you remember, these are the colours opposite one another on the colour wheel: red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. The colour wheel has been around since 1666. It was invented by Sir Isaac Newton and used by Claude Monet. Ever since then we've trusted that these pairings are pleasing on the eye.

Image source - http://crobbesart.blogspot.com/2015/03/warm-and-cool-colours.html

More modern depictions of the colour wheel show twelve colours, which make up the RYB (Red-Yellow-Blue) colour chart. For web design, you can pick three colours that sit next to each other on the wheel because they'll always hang nicely together. Or draw the corners of a triangle, rectangle, or square shape evenly within the wheel; the corners pinpoint the selection of colours. These will always work well together because they're part of the same tried-and-tested RYB chart.

Number 2

Keep colours consistent for a dramatic increase in conversions.

Research by the University of Loyola in Maryland suggests that sticking to the same palette of colours on your website can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.

If you don't want to mix colours, add black, white or grey to just one colour to create a different hue:

  • Make a colour lighter by adding white (tint)
  • Make it darker by adding black (shade)
  • Change the intensity by adding grey (tone)

A selection of different tints, shades, and tones of your chosen colour can form a colour palette too.

Number 3

Add accents of colour to prompt people to click.

Think about the conversion elements on your website. All the thought that goes into the headline, the description, the navigation, the images, and the button placement.

Do you give the same amount of thought to the colour of these key areas? Is it clear to your viewer what they should click on next?

In the EE example below, they highlight the headline and the button with a flash of yellow.

To keep colours balanced, not garish, use this design tactic:

  • Establish your brand colour by using it across most of your site (60%)
  • Make the brand colour stand out more by using a contrasting colour in places (30%)
  • Highlight areas key to conversion by using an accent colour sparingly (10%)

Think about the colour you use to showcase headings, navigation, buttons, and hyperlinks.

Tip! Background colour affects conversion.

Most websites have a plain background and lots of white space because it makes the text easier to read. Breaking convention with yellow text on a grey background may feel rebellious, but is it a smart move if nobody can read it? If your message is lost, your sale is lost too.

Conversion experts don't guess

Get to know what each colour means and it could give you an advantage in your optimisation strategy. Your next test could reveal something unexpected that turns a poorly performing page around.

  • Colour specialist, Carlton Wagner, once claimed yellow "activates the anxiety centre of the brain". If you're a gentle brand with a peaceful product, you should test yellow against green.
  • The University of Rochester suggests red makes people nervous when taking a test. If you're in the education sector, you might want to avoid red buttons on your website.
  • Orange is said to be a polarising colour; people can hate it as much as they love it. It's worth testing orange with your audience before you launch.

What works for one website won't work for another. Not all women like pinks and purples and some people love brown. Test it in your niche to avoid a flop—like Heinz, who famously tried and failed to launch a green version of their tomato ketchup. Parents didn't respond well to the conflict of colour. Kids didn't like it either because they associate green with vegetables and food they don't favour.

Putting colour psychology to the test (and winning)

When VegasSlotsOnline.com changed a "Sign up here!" button from green to yellow, they saw a 175% increase in conversions. Conversion optimisation is all about human behaviour and this brand knows their customer well. Because of that they were able to test what they thought might be most successful:

"Psychological effects of colour do matter. In our case, we chose two colours, both of which produced convincing arguments for their use. Our test likely would not have been fruitful if we had used white or black buttons. Our niche’s characteristics were paramount to our colour selection."

Try out colour psychology on your own site design

Will colour psychology testing work for you? If you work in conversion, you know there's only one way to find out: Test it. Find out if choosing one colour over another changes the way people behave on your website. It might just result in more click-throughs and more sales.

Here are some tools to help get you started...

Choosing a colour

Selecting colour palettes

W3C compliance

Let us know how you get on in comments. How do you use colour psychology in conversion rate optimisation?


Customer Feedback, Relationships and Reviews

Reviews Matter: How to Build a Better Relationship with Your Customers

Some easy tips and tricks on how to make the most of reviews on your website and increase credibility

Having a good relationship with your customers is arguably the most important part of running a business. After all, happy customers, happy conversion rate.

And one quick, uncostly way to do that is through reviews.

According to statistics, ‘92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer & 70% will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t know’. And with more than one in ten customers reading online reviews, your customers will be your best form of marketing.

Having a product reviews section on your website will mean your products have the backing from your consumers. Those that have bought, tried and tested, your products will be able to review them for other potential consumers that may be browsing the site (and hopefully they will be vouching for you).

Equally, it is important to never remove any negative reviews. This would be dishonest, and that isn’t the message you want to be sending out where your business is concerned. Instead, E.g. if a review says "My product arrived late" replying and saying "We're sorry for the confusion, please get in touch and we're happy to refund your delivery". Customers understand that things go wrong and more interested in the solution.

This approach will appear more professional and suggest that you care about your customers and about improving not only your product but your business. Make the most of these comments. It’s a good way to see things from the other side too!

And it’s not just written reviews. Thanks to social media, your customers can now give you social testimonials.

So for instance, let’s say your business is fashion related. A customer may post a photo of her new dress on social media. She just can’t wait to wear it out this Saturday and tags you in the caption or mentions your brand when one of her friends asks “where’s it from?”. Now, all of her friends and followers that saw her post are aware of who you are. They may even visit your site. And one great tool you could use to help with this would be Yotpo. They allow you to “combine reviews and photos with customizable display options that enhance your brand”.

Whether you’re in the fashion industry, tech, sports, whatever it may be, ultimately the principle works the same. People buy from people.

So not only can reviews potentially make your products more credible but if used in ways like social testimonials, it can generate advertising and reach extra audiences you may not have otherwise.

Is your business making the most of reviews?