Social media has taken personal branding to a whole new level.
Previous generations might have been concerned with how they looked and what their neighbours thought of them, but they didn’t have to worry about how they were presented on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other popular social media sites.
Nowadays, your personal online presence can have a significant influence over your chances of finding love, how you spend your free time and how successful you are in your professional life.
Cynics would argue that social media is making us all shallow and self-obsessed, posting updates about the most routine and mundane of activities and sharing content not because we really like it but because of how we think it makes us look.
But this social-media-induced narcissism could be good news for content marketers.
Narcissists spend more money
According to a recent study, consumers will spend more money when they are in a narcissistic state. It seems thinking about ourselves and how we’re perceived makes us more likely to put our hands in our pockets.
Research published in the Journal of Retailing urges marketers to explore ways to allow consumers to customise the products and services they buy. The ability to personalise what we buy taps into our narcissistic tendencies and helps to justify the cost of added extras.
Researchers looked at how consumers behaved when buying a new car and discovered that simply by changing the tagline in a marketing campaign, manufacturers could “put consumers into a narcissistic state of mind”, which in turn led to them spending more on customisable add-ons.
“An increasing number of retailers and manufacturers provide their customers with the opportunity to create individualized, unique products,” the study’s authors said. “Our research suggests that firms should consider customers’ narcissistic tendencies as well as the ability to influence their current states of mind to exploit the largely untapped potential of mass customisation systems.”
Content marketing that’s all about the customer
For content marketers, this study represents a good opportunity to tweak their campaigns and take advantage of what it is a growing trend in consumer behaviour.
By making their content marketing all about their target customer, brands can use narcissism to their advantage. If their website visitors, social media followers and email subscribers feel as though they are at the centre of a campaign they are more likely to be in the mood to convert.
Separate research has shown that state of mind can play a big role in driving up conversions. For example, a study published last year revealed that just having seen a celebrity they like can make a consumer more likely to buy a product even if the celebrity is not endorsing the product.