Hypnotherapy offers clients the opportunity to take control of their personal relationships, addictions and negative thought patterns. As such, hypnotherapy has quite a few life applications. Who would have thought one of those applications would be in marketing lessons? It might sound odd, but with proper application, many of the concepts from hypnotherapy can be leveraged to create effective social media marketing that increases engagement and fosters a positive image for your business.
Hypnosis is a topic which has suffused pop culture since it first was used in the 18th century by Franz Mesmer. Whether you’ve attended a show or seen it in movies, chances are you’ve had some exposure to hypnosis throughout your life. Unfortunately, almost all of those depictions are wildly inaccurate.
Hypnosis, is defined by Very Well Mind as a “trance-like mental state in which people experience increased attention, concentration, and suggestibility.” You might have experienced this when you’ve been driving down the road and realize you can’t remember the last 10 minutes, or when you’ve been deeply immersed in your work only to look up and notice that your coworkers are already packing up for the end of the day. Hypnotherapy uses this state to create positive change for the client.
We can also find ourselves in a state of trance as we scroll through social media. After all, how often have you told yourself you were only going to watch one more TikTok or YouTube video and ended up staying awake for another hour? This state of trance we often find ourselves in creates an opportunity for advertisements and social media marketing to have more subliminal effects on us. It’s for this reason that having a presence on social media is so important. Businesses need to be in the places where audiences are more receptive to building familiarity and positive connections.
Follow these lessons from hypnotherapy to increase social media engagement and conversions for your business.
Social Media Marketing Lesson One: Create A Narrative
No matter how good your product or service is, it won’t work to simply tell your client to come and buy what you’re offering. You need to give them a reason to care.
Best-selling author and marketing professional Seth Godin puts it best, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”
In a hypnotherapy session, a client follows events through to their completion, describing either what they would like to happen next or recounting the events as they unfold in the theater of their mind. While not all sessions will have a discreet beginning, middle and end, they all share this progressive action which often takes the form of a story.
Creating quality marketing content means getting your audience’s investment. Whether you’re addressing them directly or giving them a viewpoint character, the audience will only engage if they can imagine themselves in the position that’s being described.
Think back to the last time you viewed an advertisement and ask yourself these questions:
- Did the ad address you?
- Did it have a main character or characters?
- Did something happen or was there a problem that needed solving?
Mindful engagement will reveal the vast majority of marketing content from businesses is constructed in this way, so apply that to your next bit of content. If, for example, you sell teacups, you might describe how or where customers might use it or what sorts of things they might brew in that cup. By suggesting a scene or use, you invite your audience to imagine using your product or service. Now they can envision themselves as the sort of person who could use what you are offering.
It’s important to know that your audience will also weave a story about your brand. Whether it’s as a professional authority, a mom-and-pop store or an advocate of social justice, people create narratives about the brands to which they contribute.
Consider a few of these questions as you craft the narrative you want your audience to weave:
- What about your business is unique?
- Who are the “characters” that make up your business?
- What do you care about that your competition doesn’t?
- What sort of experience will your customer have if they come to you?
Your use of social media marketing can help craft a brand that your audience wants to support.
In the same vein, it’s important to note that not all the marketing content you create should be about your company. In fact, your audience is more likely to have a positive reaction to your content when most of it is not promotional. The most common advice is to follow the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of your marketing content is not about sales and 20 percent is.
Part of crafting the narrative of your brand means not appearing too “salesy.” If you have an audience that is following your company’s social media marketing efforts, they haven’t come to be sold to all the time. Sharing articles and resources, for example, places you in the position as an expert on your subject, which will encourage them to come to you again in the future. After all, who are you more likely to trust, someone who tells you their product is the best or someone who seems like an expert in their field?
Social Media Marketing Lesson Two: Engage With Emotions
Beyond having a viewpoint character, good marketing will make you feel something. Whether a brand makes you hopeful, sad or happy, you are more likely to remember them if your emotions are involved, and as we mentioned before, one of the major goals of marketing is to increase familiarity, or brand recognition.
One of the main precepts on which hypnotherapy hinges is the theory that conflicts between your conscious and subconscious minds will always swing in the favor of the subconscious. The theory is that your mind is like a glacier, with most of its mass beneath the surface. Think back to a time when you’ve been looking to quit a habit or change your diet. Consciously, you knew that you wanted to make a shift, perhaps you already knew that those patterns weren’t healthy for you. And yet, in many cases, those patterns persisted. This is because your subconscious mind, which speaks in the language of emotions, was receiving something from the negative habit that had formed.
So, how do you want your audience to feel about you and your business? Here are three possible emotions to consider evoking and some suggestions for how to do so:
- Excitement: Create a countdown using a temporary social media marketing tool like Instagram’s Stories.
- Satisfaction: If your product is something that takes time to assemble, show your audience the process.
- Hope: Share some of the ways your audience can apply your product or services to become a better person. This could also be accomplished by showing a success story that is adjacent to your business.
Generally, you will receive a better response from your audience if you evoke positive emotions. While it can be helpful to dip into sadness or even righteous anger, you want your audience’s immediate association with you to be a positive one. Judy Ward, a practicing hypnotherapist and owner of the Hypnotherapy Institute offered this advice, “Make sure to direct marketing toward the consumer’s desired outcome versus what the consumer is wanting to eliminate from their lives.”
In other words, marketing content that focuses on what a customer doesn’t want increases the likelihood that they will begin, subconsciously, to associate you with the problem rather than whatever product or solution you are offering.
Social Media Marketing Lesson Three: Call To Action
Broadly speaking, there are three acts to a hypnotherapy session: the induction or relaxation, the regression (the meat of the session) and the anchor. During this last section, the therapist reviews the positive moments from the session and whatever lessons or insights the client has gained. The anchor bridges the connection between the session and the rest of their life, answering the question, “Now that you know this, what do you want to do with it?”
The structure of engaging marketing content is similar: first you hook the audience, then you share something they either need or want and last you point them toward your product or service.
Whether it’s sharing the post, calling for a reservation or prompting them to try a tip themselves, your marketing content needs a reason to stick with your audience. It is also a great way to convert your audience into clients or customers.
Interestingly, a call to action isn’t just important for businesses, it’s also important for customers. If you’ve created an engaging narrative in your copy and infused it with emotions, foregoing this last step can leave your audience with nowhere to direct their momentum.
The call to action is a lot like the epilogue to a story, one that your potential clients or customers get to have a hand in writing. They get to choose whether to make that last step, and your job is to make it as easy as possible to do so.
Here are a few tips for completing this critical step in the marketing process:
- Use Active Voice: Strong verbs insight action much better than passive language.
- Be Specific: Your audience needs to know what to do in order to do it. Make sure your copy is concise and clear about where they need to go next. The fewer obstacles to your call to action, the better.
- Be Creative: The most important thing to do when it comes to social media marketing and marketing in general is to have fun. Your audience will respond much better to novelty.
While there are some notable differences between hypnotherapy and social media marketing, some of the central tenants can have helpful applications in the marketing content creation field. So, next time you go to set up your own social media post, consider what messages you are sending, both consciously and subconsciously.
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