How many times have you heard this? Emotion sells. It’s true. People make buying decisions with their emotions, then justify their buying decisions with rationalizations afterward. Heart precedes head, and until you have a heart appeal, your sales are going to be limited.

What’s a heart appeal? It’s an appeal that goes to the emotions like greed, fear, altruism, envy, pride, or shame. Those are the big six for marketing, although in Robert Plutchick’s famous work, he identifies 8 basic emotions. Whether you use marketing’s big six or Pultchick’s 8, the words you use will either tap into them, or leave your audience cold.

What is emotional marketing?

I like the definition that Allie Decker offers:

” Emotional marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make your audience notice, remember, share, and buy. Emotional marketing typically taps into a singular emotion, like happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, to elicit a consumer response.”

Why it works

Whether it’s making a great first impression or closing a sale, emotions connect us to a product, service, or person. Neuroscience Marketing analyzed 1,400 successful advertising campaigns and found that the campaigns with purely emotional content outperformed those with only rational content by 31% to 16% margin.

Decker says, “happiness makes us share… sadness makes us empathize and connect… surprise and fear make us cling to what is comfortable…anger and passion make us stubborn.” That’s a simplification, but it is basically true.

Your content can be the right length with all the right kinds of helpful information, but if it lacks emotional content, it isn’t going to have a huge impact on your readers. If it’s a sales page, without emotional content, it’ll be a dud. If it’s a blog post, it’s not going to engage your audience, as well as something with emotion, will do.

So, how do you use emotion to create a connection with your audience and sales for your business.

5 Ways to Raise the Emotional Bar of Your Marketing

  1. Identify the challenges and problems that your customers face. What are their pain points or obstacles to their objectives that you can help them remedy? Their pain points could be financial, issues with productivity, problems with systems and processes, lack of a business plan, customer service, or a host of other problems. Pain points are felt needs – identify their pain points and show them your solution.
  2. Use color. Color psychology is important to marketing, and particularly emotional marketing, since color evokes emotions. Consider how to use color based on the following graphic.

3. Use stories. Stories have emotional content that stimulates engagement, imagination, and passion. Here’s a helpful graphic from Referral Candy:

4. Create a community around your brand. Belonging is a strong emotion for many people; it sits right in the middle of Maslow’s hierachy of needs.

Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs

How can you create a community around your brand? First, recognize that emotion plays a strong role in creating communities. Whether it’s Coke, Harley-Davidson, Target, Apple, brands are build around loyalty, and loyalty comes from emotional ties.

What emotions might bond your customers to you and your business? To create a loyal following, it’s important to begin with trust, but beyond that there’s security, prestige, competition (us versus them), and self-esteem.

For some, cognitive needs are important (meaning, knowledge, and self-awareness. For others, aesthetic values hold sway (art, beauty, form, balance, and good taste). Still others crave self-actualization (personal growth and development). A fourth group prioritizes spiritual values (truth, righteousness, peace, love, etc.).

Find the values of your brand, and build a community around your brand based on those values.

5. Inspire your audience. Inspiration is a powerful positive force that will deliver emotion in a way that connects people to your message. Inspiration generally comes from stories, so, what inspirational story can you tell about your business or your products and services? For some people, pictures on Instagram are inspiring. For others, stories of hope and overcoming do the trick. What are ways that you can inspire your audience?

So, how can you put more emotion into your marketing? Try it, it works!

Add your comment or question, and your likes and shares!


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