What emotions do your brand messages evoke in the viewer, if any? How does an individual feel when they see your brand, read your marketing messages or visit your website?
According to research, emotion is really what drives purchasing behaviors and decision making in general. If your brand messages are able to reach this subconscious, human element of decision making, your campaigns have a much higher likelihood of converting viewers into contacts and customers. So how do you incorporate the right emotional triggers into your marketing?
As logical as we humans like to think we are, we make a lot of decisions based on how we feel. While you should incorporate features within your messaging, you shouldn't lead with that (or overdo it). Instead, your messaging should focus on helping the reader connect your solution to the lifestyle and feelings they would achieve if they purchased from you. Tell a story that shows them how your solution can help them achieve their desired state of being.
Think about when you've heard a marketing message that really struck a chord with you. Maybe it touched on self-worth, acceptance or connection. Or perhaps it inspired a feeling of love or adventure? Ultimately, these emotional responses will affect your buying decisions and impressions of the brand - possibly without you even realizing it at the time.
Studies continue to show that people's emotional response to a brand's communication influences their decision more than the actual content of the communication. In fact, out of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with only rational content.
Once you identify the target audience for your brand, consider which emotional triggers you can leverage within your messages to connect with this audience.
5 Effective Emotional Triggers for Marketing
Here are five emotional triggers to tie into your marketing messages to increase brand engagement, affinity and sales:
Fear or Surprise
Everyone is afraid of something. Fear and surprise makes us cling to what's comfortable and desire a quick solution. Take the approach of pointing out a fear that exists, empathize with that fear and then remove the threat with your solution. This encourages people to see your brand as the only "good thing" in a dark world, which in turn encourages action and reinforces brand loyalty.
Sadness and Empathy
Sadness is a powerful emotion that can come in many forms. Marketers can use sadness or empathy in their strategies by turning it into a positive outcome. Nonprofit organizations use this tactic frequently: would you rather spend your money on a Starbucks coffee or use it to save a starving child? Are you going to just toss that water bottle in the garbage instead of helping the Earth by recycling it? If using this emotional appeal, always be sure to tie into a positive solution or opportunity. Avoid turning it into a preachy lecture.
Trust and Comfort
Trust is one of the most common and powerful emotions tapped by marketers to sell their services or products. Trust is the foundation of any relationship and key to building brand loyalty. If there isn't any trust, or it’s lost, there isn't a relationship. Make sure that your marketing campaigns elicit feelings of trust and comfort, and once earned that your brand keeps it!
Connection or Belonging
Human nature gives us the desire to belong to something or feel a part of a group. Make your audience feel as though you are part of the family or part of your team and develop messages that connects you with the beliefs or values of your audience.
Competitiveness or Passion
You've heard of ‘keeping up with the Jones’—it’s an old adage for a reason. Humans are affected by a competitive desire to feel equal to or better than their peers, to achieve a certain level of status in the world. Use a marketing message that elicits feelings of competition and glory to get a viral response!
Building upon human emotions in your marketing messaging is a highly effective way to stick in the minds of potential patients and consumers. And remember, playing into emotions is not a way to manipulate the viewer but rather a way to show them how it's possible for them to achieve their goals, dreams or desired state of being.
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This blog post was originally published on April 15, 2019.