Aristotle conceptualized a way of appealing to people with different styles of writing — ethos (the appeal to ethics and character), logos (the appeal to reason) and pathos (the appeal to emotion).
Appealing to emotion has always been a highly effective way of connecting to an audience, simply due to the nature of the human mind. Most decisions are driven by emotion rather than logic. When people process information and make decisions, they initially rely on their intuitive emotional response before breaking down the facts and arriving at a logical conclusion based on reason. When you appeal to emotion, you can influence that early decision-making, helping to set yourself up for success before you present your facts.
For instance, when shopping for clothes, is your first thought “Do I need this? Can I afford this? Is there enough space in my closet?” Or, are your initial thoughts more like, “I’d love to see myself in this dress,” or “This T-shirt is hilarious,” or maybe, “I’d feel bold in this pair of jeans.” Emotions are a complex part of human nature. You can strategically use that emotional response in your writing and marketing.
By leveraging the nature of human cognition and our intuitive approach to emotions and decision-making, you can drive more sales by producing more compelling advertisements. Aspirational content and inspirational and personal blogs can target and use that initial emotional response in decision-making, boosting the success and engagement generated by your content.
3 Simple Steps to Adding Emotion to Your Content Marketing
With all marketing, you have to analyze your audience.
That includes using your audience insight to create an emotional strategy for your content. Determine the appropriate format and medium, then identify the best emotions that will guide people toward purchasing your product.
This may not come as a surprise, but people like to feel happy! By far, happiness has been noted as the most popular and valued emotion for marketing. Additionally, as a brand you want to be associated with happiness. You want satisfied and happy customers. You want positive emotional reactions when prospects and customers view your content or use your products. Happiness drives people to share content with others.
Here are a few easy-to-follow steps to successful emotional marketing:
1. Dive into Your Audience:
It’s always important to know who you are targeting, to understand their lifestyle, inspirations, motivations, basic needs, wants and desires. Research your target audience with buyer personas, VALS Consumer Types and other behavioral marketing tools. It’s important to understand your audience. Once you have a good idea of the audience, then you can build an emotional strategy that will appeal to them. Not only will your content be more effective, you’ll add authenticity that gains trust.
2. Boost Your Brand with Emotion and Creative Tools
Colors, logos, visuals and other branding imagery attract and elevate the emotional connection a consumer has to a brand or to a story. For instance, when seeing the red and white logo of the BuzzFeed media outlet, what are you expecting? Fun quizzes and bits of U.S news from social media? Can you compare this to seeing the same red and white colors for a CNN article? Do you associate different emotions and expectations in content, reliability and writing style when seeing the logos from either media group? These associations show that logos and colors can distinguish brands before even consuming the content, so it’s important that these key tools aren't being neglected in the process. Make sure your brand synergistically aligns with your logo and design to increase the positive impact of your content.
3. Tell an Authentic Story
Authenticity is the best way to gain trust with an audience. By doing your target market research, you'll get a good idea of who your consumer is. Take it a step further with more qualitative and personal research. Read blogs and stories and consume other content about your target market to capture the right voice and tone for your audience. Target markets range between varying demographics — culture, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, interests and more. For instance, if your target market is likely to watch sports, it’s important to read sports blogs and articles so you know the writing style that resonates with them and you’ll have a better understanding of that particular industry. Remember, your content is one part of an industry-wide conversation happening with your audience. Make sure you know how your next blog or social post fits in the conversation.
The Hearts and Soul of Your Content Strategy
When you’re connecting with your audience emotionally as well as logically, your content becomes more powerful and more remarkable. The emotional aspect can leave a memorable first impression and a lasting impact on your audience. Depending on your goals, readers feel good working with you, and get excited reading and sharing your content. Your brand becomes one that people seek out and want to work with!
If you have questions or need help, contact GO2 Partners. Ask about our writing services, and let’s see how we can help you reach your business goals.