Most of the time, keeping it simple is the rule of thumb in successful marketing. However, sometimes a business may need to use a more extreme marketing style in order to reach audience in a global scale. Enter an idea called the conspiracy theory marketing.
Who amongst us haven’t been caught up discussing about some forms of conspiracy theory? From the faked moon landing and someone seeing Elvis alive to wild claims about coronavirus being invented in the lab. It’s clear than we love exciting ideas and controversies. But did you know that some of the world’s biggest brands have used conspiracy theories as a marketing tactic?
Well, maybe not exactly the way you think. However, there are a lot of similarities that lie behind the science of marketing and conspiracy theories, mostly in the way they affect us. The best marketing experts are able to draw on these principles and apply it on their strategies.
Combining conspiracy theory and marketing
To understand how it is linked with marketing, you must first understand why people believe in conspiracy theories. A lot of research has come down to three main factors: epistemic, existential and social.
Epistemic reason is when people look for explanations and connections for things that they can’t understand. In terms of business, it is hard to attract customers when they don’t have a clear and satisfying understanding of your brand. This is why it is important to engage with them and share the story behind your business. Use media features, press release and content creation so customers know how you fit in the bigger picture.
The next is existential. It is shown that people often believe in conspiracy theories as a coping mechanism for their anxiety and fear.
Study says that people who are feeling emotionally insecure are more likely to believe in such theories, as it helps them feel in control and safe.
This means that you can tailor your marketing content to target people who need to express their feelings by making it relatable. It is important to draw a line between giving value and exploiting their emotional vulnerability.
Conspiracy theory believers are often given a bad rep for believing in ‘made-up’ and absurd stuff. But in the end of the day, we are all humans driven by the same desire of connecting with others. This is the social reason. Some people turn to conspiracy theories to satisfy their need to belong and feel as part of a bigger community.
This is good news for your marketing strategy! Keep in mind that we love the sense of belonging to a group. So, you can use social media to build a community around your brand. Not only is this great for increasing brand awareness, your customers can now feel that they are part of an exclusive and meaningful community. In turn, this will foster their trust and loyalty in your brand, as well as the products and services that you offer.
To a certain extent somehow, people find that conspiracy theories appeal to them through an emotional trigger. Likewise, people are more likely to be interested in your brand when they feel an emotional connection with it.
How you can use conspiracy theory for brand marketing
Now that we have understood the principles of conspiracy theories, how can we use them as a marketing tactic?
First, you have to identify who your target audience is. This time do not stop after merely identifying the age, gender and location demographics. You should explore deeper to figure out what their interests are and what kind of content appeals to them the most. This is important so you know the best way to trigger strong emotions in your audience.
When your brand evokes strong emotion in customers, they become more likely to act on impulsive and emotional decisions. This is sometimes known as ‘emotional pulling’, which is an effective marketing strategy to influence customer decisions. They can connect more deeply with your business, associating pleasant and desirable feelings with the message you’re sharing.
Furthermore, you can also employ a technique called perception management.
This is sometimes used by government and military, in which they selectively arrange and interpret certain information in a way that portrays the desired and pre-prepared meaning. However, it is also a powerful marketing tool.
In practice, what you need to do is to make your audience assume a state of mind that is most receptible to accept your product as an ideal solution. For example, think about insurance companies who often produce sad video ads.
They are usually putting as in a state of regret and emotional pain, which is an excellent time to tell us how their insurance can help us avoid this feeling.
When the ad introduces the product (insurance plan), we are consumed by a desire to never experience that pain in real life. Thus, buying the product becomes the most obvious and clever action, even though it may not be what we practically need.
Of course, we are not advocating dishonest methods and using ‘cheat tricks’ to deceive your customers. It is important to grow a business according to your values and morals, but we can testify that trust is often the strongest foundation in building a loyal following of customers and audience. This is the best long-term strategy for business in any industries.
To illustrate, Michael Ginarto is prominently known as a serial entrepreneur who has, throughout his career, started several businesses from scratch. He uses genuine tactics and upholds a lauded company culture, which is a big reason why they are all successful now. Michael Ginarto also offers consulting services and you can book an appointment with him. He is able to provide professional advice and guidance, all according to his personal real-life experience.
We hope this has been an insightful article that can give you some inspirations for your newest marketing strategies. Best of luck in your business ventures!