How to Take Advantage of Human Instinct in Your Digital Marketing Strategies

I was talking to a wise man on my lunch break and we got into a conversation about human instinct and marketing. He pointed out that when you are walking down a street at night and someone makes eye contact with you, what is your automatic response? You look down at your phone or the floor in order to avoid confrontation or engagement. The same goes for when you’re at a cash point or paying for something at a cash machine, people often look at the floor as a reaction to their feeling of unease or fear. Physical marketers utilise this and place adverts on the ground at tills. So how can we apply this to our digital marketing campaigns to improve our SEO?

So how can we apply human instinct to our digital marketing campaigns?


Being Heard


“It’s a natural human instinct to want to be heard when you interact with someone. If you go to the tower of London you can see people’s names and passages scratched into the prison walls, this is kind of a morose example of people wanting their experience to be heard.”

In the digital age, this has taken on the form of blogging and social media. If someone has a bad experience in a restaurant or has discovered something amazing online they will take to the web to rant and rave about their experiences.

This has its ups and downs in terms of your digital marketing, at the same time it puts your brand out there in front of a massive audience of people, which is great if the review is good…




Take Tesco (and my favourite twitter exchange of all time). A customer took to Twitter to complain to the supermarket giant about a faulty product. Tesco replied to the customer promptly in order to try and iron out the customer’s dismay. This is a good thing to do when receiving a bad review because it shows the customer base that has seen the review that the brand cares about its services and is concerned about the happiness of their customers. However, due to the humorous nature of the reply from the customer, the post ended up engaging with thousands of users (which for a solid brand, I suppose, was good for exposure).



* If you do ever receive negative reviews via social media, my best advice to you would be to engage with the criticism positively and quickly, accept the feedback and admit the problem, explain why the issue has occurred, thank them for pointing it out, and offer a solution to the problem. Do all of this over social media so that the world can see that you listened to your customers and that you care, and you could even turn a negative comment into a positive thing.


People Like to Be Talked to and Valued


In relation to my previous point, if people remember you or engage with you, it gives you the feeling that your relationship is stronger. The internet has made this so easy now thanks to social media. Brands can use this to their advantage and talk directly to their customers at the click of a button. As a ripple effect of this, the customer they have replied to may share the interaction with their followers and push your brand out in front of a whole different audience. Great marketing without costing you a penny.

Take this into account when you are creating copy for your ads too. Someone is more likely to click a banner if it offers them some form of engagement. Whether it’s a question directed at them or a cool little animation, people like being talked to, not at.

Once someone has filled out your form or succumbed to your every want and downloaded your guide or bought your gorilla mask, thank them. Use a pop up that simply says thank you, or send them an email offering them some form of niceties in return. Politeness gets you everywhere, people will feel valued and appreciated and they will be more likely to use your services again.




All human relationships are built upon trust. People will go back to a restaurant because they have been there before, the service they got was great, and the food was amazing. If someone has seen your advert online but hasn’t used your services before, they will do so with caution.

In the digital age, this is resolved through someone stalking your brand online to see if you have an active social media or an up-to-date website with credible links or reviews. This shows that your business is the real deal and will be the deciding factor as to whether they use you over your competitor.

To find out how you can make the most of your social media profiles check out our post here.


People Like to Feel Comfortable


When you are having an awful day at work (which we never do here) all you can think about is getting back to your cosy sofa and enjoying a nice cup of steaming tea. This is down to the fact that people simply like to feel comfortable. If you visit a shop regularly and a store attendant remembers your name, you are likely to go back and use their services over and over again. The same applies to your website.

Making sure that your website’s UX is on point will make your site easy for the user to navigate (comfortable for them to use) and adding features such as login fields will allow you to customise your website specifically to the user, making them feel remembered and connected with your site.


Cultural Needs


People tend to get bored easily, but now, thanks to smartphones, we live in a culture where we have the power to access anything we want when we want. It has made us lazy. This should be taken into account when designing any form of online marketing.

If a user is accessing your site on their phone, they won’t wait much longer than 1 second for it to load. If they have to fill out a form, they are going to want it to be as short as possible. If they are browsing a site on their phone, they want buttons and navigation to be as easy to click as possible with one hand.

Even the content of your site should take this into account. People tend to skim read, so if your important information isn’t up-front and doesn’t jump out at the user, they aren’t going to see it.


And after all this waffling we’ll leave you with our best SEO tip, which is that you should start marketing your brand as if it was you on the pull on a Saturday night. Think of your brand as a person; it should interact with your customers as a person would.



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