Last week, I wrote about the role of emotions in content marketing. If you missed that post, read it here. There was a lot of interest in that article and many readers told me they wanted more. You wanted more examples and ideas of how you can apply these strategies to your internet business. Let’s start with a reminder of the definition.

“Emotional branding is a term used within marketing communication that refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a consumer’s emotional state, needs and aspirations.” (Source)

At its core, emotional marketing is not logical. It is storytelling that creates an emotional and physical response. This includes:

  • Laughing
  • Crying
  • Smiling
  • Sharing
  • Retweeting
  • Liking

A study in Psychology Today shows that ‘people rely on emotions to make brand decisions. An ad that elicits an emotional response is more influential on a person’s buying than the content of the ad.’ You, as a marketer need to address the emotional needs of your readers. Some of these could be ego, self-expression or obligation. You really need to know your target audience to use emotional marketing effectively because you only have about 2 seconds to get their attention then you have to move quickly to appeal to their emotions and encourage engagement.

As brands come to recognize the popularity of emotional content, more and more companies have focused on creating inspirational and moving ads. This is an older commercial for the ASPCA but it is a perfect example of quickly getting your attention and tapping your emotions:

No doubt you’ve seen this commercial. It affected many people so strongly they couldn’t watch it all. And the song, Sarah McLachlan’s The Eyes of an Angel, is such a powerful soundtrack that many people now associate the song with the ASPCA – even without the video! So how did this video make you feel? Compassion….Angry….Disgusted? These are all very powerful emotions that lead to action by the listener.

Many entrepreneurs think that it is best to avoid anger in their marketing campaigns. They think associating this negative emotion with their brand will cause negative associations. However, anger is a powerful motivator to get people’s attention and spur action. You become angry when you see a pet (or person) suffer harm. This causes you to reconsider an opinion and ask how you can make a difference.

How can you use these emotions in your marketing? Brainstorm how you can weave this into your marketing campaigns. Here are some quick and very broad ideas (tailor to your niche and audience).

  • Fitness Coach – Someone being left out or bullied because of their size.
  • Relationship Coach – Person growing old alone. (Yes I do know that doesn’t have to be a bad thing!)
  • Business Coach – Person getting passed over for a well-deserved promotion.

Let’s lighten thinks up a little. A New York Times article found that emotional articles were shared more often, and positive posts were shared more than negative ones. Watch this clip and think about what emotions you feel watching it.

The driver in this video definitely looks happy! (BTW, it had 5900 views on YouTube.) This could elicit a number of different emotions depending on who is watching it. For me, it is happiness, exhilaration, and an adrenaline rush. Others might feel fear or anxiety. It all depends on who is watching it.

This is why you need to really know your target market. Learn what emotions motivate them to action. Are they thrill seekers or a little more sedate? For a thrill seeker, a good day would be driving this aquatic beast. Others may be happiest swinging on a porch swing. Find out what needs your audience is seeking to fulfill then show them how your product can ease their pain.

Again, here are some broad, general ideas:

  • Content Marketer – Person getting content published in a national publication.
  • Interior Design – Designer being recognized for excellence in design by professional organization.
  • Life Coach – Rags to Riches story

I want to know what emotions motivate you to act and which ones motivate your target audience. Are there any great marketing campaigns you’ve seen that use emotional marketing effectively? Leave me a comment below or on my Facebook page.