According to the Small Business Association, “All humans feel four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.” Of course, no business wants to spur feelings of disgust or anger with their customers, but as the SBA adds, “creating strong emotions—either positive or negative—can help build a bond between your customers and your business,” which is definitely a goal all businesses share.
If you’re looking for a stronger connection with your target audience, here are tips on emotional marketing that might resonate with your target audience:
Identify their pain points.
Many businesses offer products or services that address problems or challenges their customers face or, in more simple terms, cause them pain. Your marketing efforts can identify these pain points, without coming across in unduly negative terms, and emphasising the solutions your business provides.
Describe how their lives will improve.
Similar to pain points, but with a somewhat more positive slant, your marketing can speak to how your offerings will make your customers’ lives (or businesses) significantly better. The end result is a greater feeling of happiness, fulfilment and gratification—immensely positive emotions that can lead to greater customer loyalty.
Offer a feeling of belonging.
Just about everyone, consumers and otherwise, wants to feel part of a larger group. That’s why “social proof” is a powerful component of any emotional marketing campaign. Social proof is a term for “people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right and what is wrong in a given situation,” notes Hootsuite. In our era of social media, the significance of social proof is greater than ever “because feedback from real people is more easily accessible than ever before.”
Here’s where customers’ first-hand experiences come into play. Look for opportunities to highlight upbeat customer testimonials, case studies and videos in your marketing efforts. Prospective customers are more likely to be swayed by watching or listening to people “just like them” who enthusiastically endorse your product or service.
The views of customers on social media platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor and others play into the social proof phenomenon. As part of your marketing efforts, encourage loyal customers to post favourable online reviews of your company on these and other sites. Such reviews give your brand a kind of independent legitimacy paid advertising simply can’t achieve.
Tell a story about your business.
Storytelling evokes emotions, particularly because this activity is “hardwired” into almost everyone’s childhood experience. How can you tell a compelling story about your business—its origins, its challenges and how they were overcome—that illustrate how your product or service has helped changed a customer’s life?
Using storytelling elements has the potential of connecting with people on an emotional level—something far more effective than just telling people you have the “best product around.” Look for loyal customers who are open to talk about your business in a short video, where they describe how your product or service transformed a nagging issue into a beneficial outcome. Their “emotional journey” may be the best way to connect with prospective customers.
Perhaps most importantly, don’t dismiss the idea of emotional marketing just because your product or service doesn’t appear to lend itself to the process. Marketing strategies for everything from microchips to air filters for a car have the potential to forge an emotional connection with prospects. It’s all in how you approach the topic and imaginatively frame your ultimate message.