Are you looking for ways to increase prices and drive higher profits? Believe it or not, the answer might be as simple as enhancing your content strategy. If you’ve never explored this relationship, now’s the perfect time to dig in and do a little discovery.
Pricing, psychology, and authority
“For many business leaders, pricing is something practical. You choose numbers that will pay employee salaries and keep the lights on. You pick numbers that will be extremely competitive with the market — after all, it’s your buyers that will keep your company afloat,” digital marketer Neil Patel explains. “There’s a key dimension to pricing, however, that your business may be missing.”
That key pricing dimension that marketers like Patel focus on is buyer psychology. While pricing might seem like a cut and dry, black and white issue to you, consumer response to pricing is actually very psychological and emotional in nature. There are dozens of psychological techniques, including:
- Choose numbers with fewer syllables
- Remove the comma and list numbers consecutively
- Offer payments in installments
- Display red prices to men
- Position the target price between lower and higher price points to make it stand out
- Bundle products together and offer a discount for the total purchase
All of these tactics have been shown to work in certain situations. And while they each have their own value, these techniques don’t tend to be sustainable. They’re something you try when you need a boost and then optimize or revise later on. There is, however, one psychological pricing strategy that always works: establishing your brand’s authority. This is something leading brands do all the time – if it works for them, it can work for you too.
“I used to do coaching calls for $1 per minute on clarity.fm. It was a lot of fun and people would ask good questions and listen on the call. I’d follow up later on to see if they applied what they learned. They never really did. It was weird,” says Dave Rogenmoser, CEO of Proof, a conversion optimization platform. “Then I wondered what would happen if I raised my price to $6.67 per minute. Instead of people getting on the call and listening, they took notes when I talked. And I followed up later, and they applied what we talked about. Same Dave, same advice, different price.”
When you have some clout attached to your brand, you become like Dave. You get the opportunity to charge more, even though you’re still offering the same value. This makes it one of the most cost-effective pricing strategies you can invest in.
How to build authority via content
How do you build authority, you may ask? While there are numerous ways, one of the most efficient, effective, and sustainable strategies is to utilize content marketing.
When people continually see your brand’s name plastered in bylines and circulating in social media feeds, they’re naturally going to begin trusting you and believing that you are the de facto leader or authority figure. This allows you to charge a premium and fatten profit margins.
But how do you build authority via content? While there’s no exact science, you can follow the lead of those who have gone before you. Here are some of the tips and techniques they leverage:
1. Know your audience
The only way you can truly establish authority is if you know who your audience is and what they want. After all, it doesn’t do you any good if you’re writing about apples and they want to know more about oranges. Researching and building audience personas is one strategy, but there are also plenty of other strategies.
“I’m actually not a big fan of personas,” content marketing strategist Ann Gynn admits. “But, I do love spending a lot of time with real customers, hearing their frustrations, talking to them about the industry and its challenges, seeing what speakers are talking about on stages, watching the blogosphere and social media to see what’s resonating and being discussed, and generally being part of our customers’ world.”
2. Target multiple channels
It’s very hard to establish authority if you’re only pursuing one platform for content dissemination. The more channels you utilize, the more positive exposure your brand will get. In addition to an onsite blog, you should be leveraging social media platforms, guest blogging opportunities, and even non-digital formats like newspapers and local print publications.
3. Prioritize consistency
One piece of content rarely establishes authority in the eyes of a consumer. However, two, three, or four pieces of content may. In order to increase your chances of leaving a positive, authoritative impression in the minds of your readers, focus on consistency. Every piece of content you create needs a consistent voice, style, and message – regardless of the platform.
4. Create niche content
There’s something to be said for niche content. It’s a whole lot easier to establish authority if you’re drilling into a very specific topic or specialty, versus a broad topic that anyone can write a few words about.
5. Engage with readers
Your content will do most of the talking for your brand, but at some point, you have to be willing to move out from behind the safety net of your content and engage readers directly. In terms of blogging, one of the top ways to do this is by encouraging people to comment and then engaging these readers with responses of your own. Small gestures like this increase engagement and bolster your reputation as an authority figure.
Don’t underestimate the value of your content
It’s easy to feel like you’re wasting your time producing content. You put all of this energy and effort into brainstorming content ideas, creating content, and pushing it out via different marketing channels, yet it takes a long time to see a return on investment.
Rest assured you aren’t wasting your time. High quality, authoritative content has an enormously positive impact on your bottom line. Not only does it help you build an SEO presence, but it also allows you to establish authority. This, in turn, lets you justify higher pricing. It’s a beautiful cycle that starts with a commitment to developing quality content.