Have you ever stopped to analyze why you like certain content? Maybe it’s because of the presentation. Maybe it’s because of how it personally relates to you. It could be hundreds of different things that made you think “yes, this is good content”.
I believe the answer to this question could be summarized in just one sentence: it made you feel something. This makes it important to understand emotional marketing.
Although it seems obvious, there are actually more contents out there that make us feel nothing than those that make us feel anything at all. We scroll past those kinds on the internet on a daily basis.
A lot of content marketers usually focus on things like presentation (“am I using the right color scheme? Is this the right font for the copy?”) and while those things do matter, it doesn’t mean anything if your audience can’t emotionally connect with your content in the first place.
Think about it. How does a charity able to get people’s support and donate to their cause? They make them empathize.
How does a war general get their troops to believe in their fight to the very end? They make them angry.
Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert in psychology to be able to use emotion in your content. All you need to know is these 7 emotions that have been proven to resonate with people the most:
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Will you listen to someone who you don’t trust? Will you care about what somebody told you if you don’t know their credibility? Nope.
Trust creates comfort, and everybody loves comfort.
The way to provide this is by letting your audience knows who you are (nobody trusts a stranger) and why they can put their faith in you.
Take a look at this example by the US-based air suspension manufacturer, Arnott:
Experience is one of the biggest factors that can create trust, and Arnott capitalized on this.
That being said, experience doesn’t always mean how long your business has been in operation. The number of clients and/or projects you’ve handled, awards, and expertise can also have the same effect.
Another thing that can create trust is, of course, guarantees:
Words like “proven”, “guarantee”, “risk-free”, and “dependable” can give that sense of security that will appeal to your audience. When this result is achieved, they will pay more attention to what you’re telling them. Remember, everyone loves comfort.
Let’s face it, we are all inherently lazy. If there is a simpler & quicker method that we can do in order to achieve something, we’ll most definitely do it.
We can use this fact to our content’s advantage by telling the audience how easy it is to use your offer:
This especially rings true if your offer is an industry-specific product that requires a certain level of expertise to fully understand. The use of “easy-to-use” in the example above makes the word “CRM” sounds much less intimidating, isn’t it?
“Simple”, “plug & play”, and “effortless” are some other words that can also appeal to the audience’s laziness.
There’s a reason why UI/UX designers always aim to make the user’s experience as simple as possible: nobody likes doing something that requires extra effort. Whether you realize it or not, even just looking at your content demands an effort from the audience (especially in these days and age). That’s why when you let the audience knows the simplicity of your offer, they will be more interested to check it out.
Tell a treasure hunter not to look at the inside of their newly found valuable chest, and the first thing they’ll do is grab a crowbar to pry it open.
Curiosity is a very strong emotion because we all want closure. This is why cliffhangers in TV shows are so effective to make the audience tune in to the next episode. We always want an answer to all of our questions.
This approach is exactly why clickbait titles are widely used by writers & content creators. They’ve been proven again and again to be able to attract the audience.
Click baits are generally seen in a negative light, but if your content & offer actually delivers on the promise then, of course, you should do something like it.
If it works, it works.
Some words that can create intrigue are “secret”, “super effective”, “little known”, and “new”. Plant a question in your audience’s mind, give them a proper answer, and they will be guaranteed to flock to your content.
No matter how much we have, we always crave more. This statement applies to a lot of different things, but it especially has a stronger connection if we’re talking about money.
When your content tells the audience about something that can help them get some kind of financial advantage, they will for sure pay attention.
It’s even better if you give an exact number of your proposition, like “10% cheaper”, or “save $50”. This will paint a clearer picture to your audience, and speak “louder” to their greedy side.
The interesting thing is, that this method actually works both ways. What I mean is that it works both if you propose the idea as having a positive impact (save money, discount, sale, etc) AND also if you propose it as having a negative impact (losing or wasting money).
This method addresses your audience’s greed from a perspective that has a different (maybe even bigger) impact than the previous one: giving them fear.
Either way, give them a reason why and how your content could affect the contents of their wallet and bank account. People are always interested in that.
When someone’s having a struggle, sometimes all they need – and want – is encouragement. They just want someone that understands.
When your offer is a solution to a problem that your audience may have, words of encouragement like “win”, “go”, “change”, or “discover” could actually make your content more appealing.
This method is especially effective because it evokes positivity. Other than the impact that it can have on your content, at the same time it will also create a positive association when the audience thinks about your brand, which is always a good thing.
On the topic of someone’s having a struggle, it could also have a strong impact when you reiterate the pain that that person may feel. When presented as a question, it will automatically evoke a “yes” answer in their mind, which will make them pay attention to your content.
You don’t have to present the issue as a question, though (you also don’t have to make it about physical pain, in case that wasn’t clear).
Everybody has a problem, and they are always interested in looking for a solution. Your content should provide that.
There’s a reason why limited products tend to sell easily: fear of missing out (FOMO).
Scarcity has been proven to be one of the most effective strategies in sales and marketing, which is why it also works wonderfully for content. People don’t want to regret things, and sometimes they rush to take an action to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Content that has a strong sense of urgency doesn’t just ask for attention, they demand it.
There you have it, 7 emotions to get the audience’s eyes – and undivided attention – to your content.
As I mentioned before, the presentation of the content of course matters (we all like looking at pretty things), but there’s a reason why sometimes a simple, minimalistic design works just as well: because the emotional impact is more important.
We want to make our audience feel, ask questions, and pay attention. We want our audience to see the human side of our content. When this goal is achieved, the audience will do something more than just look at your content, they will care.
Try implementing what you’ve learned in this article to your content, and best of luck!
About the writer:
Raski Santika is a Content Marketer for Indonesia’s Sribu & Writer for Sribu Blog. Through his writing, he wishes to help aspiring entrepreneurs grow their businesses in creative and unique ways.