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Use the Psychological Moment to Capture Conversation Share of Voice

October 10, 2017 - Business Psychology, Share of voice - , , ,
By: Chris Riley

If you are trying to capture conversation share of voice, make your life easy, and target your content marketing for the psychological moment. This is the moment at which something will or would have the greatest psychological effect. At the end of the day, it is what we try to do with all content marketing.


When do psychological moments occur?

The good news is, some psychological moments can be forecast and scheduled. For example, before, during, and after a conference that your customers attend, customers expect to hear about new products, new problems, and new solutions. They are more likely to respond to targeted emails, ads, and content. They are more likely to read industry news. In fact, they are looking for relevant content.

Examples of predictable psychological moments that you can build into your content marketing strategy and schedule include:

  • Conferences, trade shows, scheduled events.
  • End of or beginning of the fiscal year or quarter. No one likes to leave a budget on the table. Getting the budget for your product or service written into the next FY budget, or offering your customers a way to spend unspent budget are both psychological moments you can plan for.
  • Award announcements. Does your industry have regular award announcements? Plan content releases for the same time that connect to the theme of the award.
  • Enactment of new legislation or regulations. New legislation and regulations always have an announced effective date. Plan awareness and education content that helps your customers meet regulatory requirements, and reminds them of critical dates.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

In addition to the psychological moments you can build into your schedule, you have to be poised to take advantage of the ones you can’t. This can be current events in the news, product releases or new applications by competitors, new problems, product failures discovered by customers, or even new companies entering your space.

This requires a budget of both time and money that supports agility. Having the budget to hire a practitioner, for example, can allow you to quickly respond with relevant content to capitalize on a current issue that your customers suddenly care about. By using a practitioner to create the content, your content will have more credibility than content your own company generates.

Building psychological moments

One of the most effective things you can do as a marketer is build your own psychological moment. By using social media, advertising, and other content you can create anticipation for a solution to a problem that only you can solve. Ideally the solution is itself a story—a customer problem that your new product or application solved that is significant enough to be newsworthy. The ensuing PR campaign amplifies the attention to the event, but the preceding campaign whets the appetite of your customers.

The takeaway

Don’t push your content marketing up the hill. Take advantage of scheduled and real-time psychological moments to increase the receptiveness of your market to your message. Then, create a psychological moment of your own via innovation, and pick the most important problems to solve.


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Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo) is a technologist who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling. In addition to being a research analyst, he is an O’Reilly author, regular speaker, and subject matter expert in the areas of DevOps strategy and culture. Chris believes the biggest challenges faced in the tech market are not tools, but rather people and planning.