Marketing and emotion go hand in hand.
Marketing is essentially persuasion in a variety of different formats. You market your services to persuade someone to use them, you market your products to persuade someone to buy them.
But where does emotion come into the equation?
People make buying decisions based on their emotions, often relying on emotions over information to make decisions. And that's why companies and brands can tap into emotions to sell. Why do you think as soon as you go online you see videos and pictures of cute animals posted by brands? Fashion brand BooHoo post a puppy video every day on their social media channels, which is so popular now that they even sell a puppy range of clothing. It’s designed to make you go ‘awww’ and thus you associate the emotion of happiness with the brand.
Think about adverts you have seen on tv or online recently. Which are the ones that stand out to you? Which are the ones you can remember vividly?
I know for myself it has to be the John Lewis Christmas adverts. They are unique in a sense that they make you feel a range of different emotions all in one go. You have what normally starts as a sad situation which then turns into a happy situation at the end. The advert itself takes you on an emotional journey. Amazon’s recent adverts have taken a similar tact. Who doesn’t love the ‘lion dog’?!
Some brands will go for a different angle and will try and evoke anger or annoyance. Take the Go Compare adverts for example… how sick are you of that opera singer singing the Go Compare song? It might be annoying but I reckon the vast majority of people (who are from the UK) reading this now can recall the song. Yes that’s you singing a brand name over and over again. It works!
It’s all well and good that huge brands can deliver these huge ad campaigns, but how can SMEs tap into emotional marketing?
Your brand, your story
It’s sometimes difficult for smaller companies to really get behind their brand. Some won’t even have a brand or will think a logo and a colour scheme is all that they need. A brand is what makes your company stand out; it’s your company’s personality and it’s what you should be using as a starting point to market your business.
Build a story around your brand. There is nothing more average than landing on a company’s website and seeing the same messaging and structure as all of the other websites out there. But add a story or something that is unique and it changes the way people perceive your company: that’s your brand.
People want to know the story behind the companies they use. They want to feel assured that they have made the right decision. If you make someone care about your own story by making them invest their emotions, then you make them care about your services and products.
Using client and customer stories
Nothing sparks positivity and trust more than positive customer or client testimonials, reviews and more importantly stories.
You will have a wealth of stories and experiences to tap into with your own customers and you can use these stories (if you ask permission) to associate emotion with your own brand.
This could be anything from displaying client stories on your website, to creating a video or content around these stories.
Brands have used their own customers for marketing for generations; it’s a surefire way to evoke emotion and generate social proof.
Long gone are days of advertising where you would have to fork out for a TV advert to make an impact.
Now you can advertise your business across a variety of different platforms online; from social media to Adwords and native website advertising, for relatively little spend.
This opens the door for SMEs and smaller businesses.
Where does emotion come into play?
Well just like any sort of content, emotional advertising works in the same way. It’s all about putting the right emotional messaging in front of the right audience.
You could use any sort of emotional concept as long as it brings people back to your own brand. Luckily with online advertising the main objective is often to get people to click through to your website.
You could create a video or image or use emotional messaging to entice someone to click through. Remember that the actual emotional response to the advert has a much greater influence on the user than the ad itself.
Appeal to the human side
It’s important to remember that emotional connections are made because that’s what humans are wired to do.
That’s why emotional marketing is always going to be more effective than any other type of marketing.
You can always tell if an advert is great because you don’t feel like you are being marketed to; instead you’re just part of a story. And if you take that forward with all of your future marketing campaigns you can’t lose.
It’s worth changing your mindset on how you approach future campaigns. Learn to question yourself before implementing a new content or advertising campaign. Ask yourself ‘Does this connect with the human side of my audience? Will this create an emotional response?’.