In all walks of marketing, reaching your audience is often about playing to their emotions. There’s plenty to be said about simply offering product information accompanied by rational advice, but becoming a trusted advisor doesn’t happen without first establishing a connection. Particularly in content creation, your audience will be much more likely to trust you – and, by extension, buy from you – if they feel an emotional connection to the product, brand, or content that you’re presenting to them.
Emotions play a huge role in perception. They help to determine how customers will react to your messaging and whether or not they’ll act on your suggestions. Emotions drive decision-making and dictate actions. And they can change a person’s mindset, reinforce a person’s beliefs, or cultivate a customer’s loyalty.
Using content marketing to draw emotional connections to your solution or brand means developing content that derives at least as much psychological as a logical value from your offerings.
Sell the Problem
Your solutions may provide intrinsic value to your audience, but your marketing or advertising may fail to connect your audience’s problem with your solution. That’s the beauty of content creation and marketing. Rather than pushing your products or services, you can use a story to “sell the problem.”
Put yourself into the customer’s shoes. Ask yourself:
- What kinds of stress or doubts are they experiencing?
- What is it that they need?
- What is it that they want?
- What problem do they have where something is missing from helping them to solve it more easily or efficiently – isn’t that what your solution can help them do?
Don’t just tell them that; show them. Content marketing isn’t always about the direct sale of products. Instead, content marketing is a powerful tool for driving the sales process forward through case studies, industry education, and crafting your own brand perception.
Sell the Brand Image
Many times, it’s not about selling your products so much as selling your brand image. When a company utilizes a model or a celebrity endorser in its ad campaign, what is that company really selling you?
Many brands will attempt to project an image of what their end-user looks like. Is this person considered beautiful, smart, athletic, or sophisticated? Wouldn’t you like to be thought of in this manner?
Put it this way: if a stylish model or celebrity wears a certain brand of clothing, will wearing that same brand of clothing mean that you have a good sense of style?
Again, does it sound like you’re really buying the product in this scenario, or are you buying into the persona associated with the brand? Savvy marketing – content creation or otherwise – can help to align brands with the positive or aspirational images that the audience wishes to portray personally.
Marketing to an audience’s emotions begins with having a thorough understanding of what makes that audience tick. What are they interested in? Where do they go for information? Who do they consult before making decisions? What problems give them pain? What really pulls at their heartstrings?
The longest-lasting, most-powerful advertisements you’ve ever seen have probably drawn on emotion. Think of some of the most memorable Super Bowl ads of yesteryear – maybe not the Nationwide kid, but perhaps the infamous 1979 Coca-Cola commercial featuring Pittsburgh Steelers legend “Mean Joe” Greene. The effectiveness of that commercial – as well as its enduring legacy – lies in its ability to reach a broad audience on a highly-emotional plane.
Have your company’s products or services helped to alleviate pain points, reach individuals, or connect people with each other on a human level? Understand how your audience feels, then understand how to harness this emotion and present it to your audience in the form of a story.
In order to really shape your brand perception, present the emotion of solving the problem over the specs of the solution. Sell to your audience by marketing to their emotion.