How to use emotional marketing in your content

Importance of Emotional Marketing

From mispronounced campaign names like MailShrimp, and KaleLimp to subtly sending out the message to be yourself to connect with people, MailChimp’s marketing often focuses on evoking all sorts of positive emotions – funny, motivating, and empowering.

Certainly, the CMO over at the email marketing platform knows how patting the right emotions through content is key to winning customers. Stats favor the role that emotions play in content marketing too – 95% of our cognition happens in our emotional brain, not our conscious brain.

That being said, let’s dive deeper into the relationship between content and emotional marketing in this post. We’ll cover what these two are, how they’re so effective together, and how you can leverage emotional marketing in your content. Here goes:

How emotional and content marketing come together

As you might have guessed already, emotional marketing taps into emotions – anger, fear, guilt, encouragement, happiness to promote a campaign. Think what Dove does to appeal to women; it lifts them up.

Content marketing, on the flip side, helps you connect with your audience and spread awareness. Not only does content include blog posts, but it also covers social media posters, video content on channels like YouTube, and now TikTok, and more.

The question now is: how do these two collaborate to make something better? You see, when you use emotional hooks in your content is when these two come together. In other words, emotional content marketing is when you evoke feelings through content.

The thing is all brands leverage emotions since the start. Emotions aren’t injected later on. When a company is getting its branding done, it uses color psychology, doesn’t it?

This means it decides which colors would invoke the right kind of feelings in potential customers. You’d have heard, yellow is for creativity, red ignites passion or fieriness, blue induces trust, and green promotes peace.

Even on social media, marketers use emotional triggers in their content to connect with customers. Take, for instance, at this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Brands that are not addressing the emotional impact of the ongoing situation are being tone-deaf.

On the other hand, those that are providing support and talking about the pandemic are delivering the right content and being appreciated for it.

For example, Netflix is using IG stories and bringing celebs forward with experts to address mental health issues and self-care in quarantine.

Netflix Instagram marketing
Netflix Instagram marketing – Lana Condor

Emotions make content more actionable

You probably get by now how emotions work in content marketing. But why should they be together?

Simple – emotional and content marketing are a powerful duo. When you weave in emotions in your content, it becomes more actionable.

For instance, anger or anxiety-inducing content is something people share, making it go viral. On the other hand, sadness and happiness in content earn likes by instilling positive or empathetic feelings. Moreover, motivation makes folks want to be around your brand.

Emotions make people react (take an action in response), which is why using them in content is a successful strategy. Fractl found the same and reported that more successful campaigns had an emotional hook. What’s more, campaigns that got over 20,000 social shares were 8x more likely to have an emotional trigger.

So, which emotions can you use in content marketing?

You’d probably be aware of the late psychologist Robert Plutchik’s emotion wheel. This wheel shows that there are eight basic emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anticipation, awe, trust, and anger. In your content, you can use one of these to connect with people.

But these aren’t the only emotions in the wheel, as emotions can be combined to create one or more of them as well. Let’s take a quick look at how four of these emotions can be used in content for garnering more audience attention:

1. Happiness

What comes to your mind when you think of puppies? You guessed it right – happiness! Buzzfeed Celeb’s YouTube channel gives a good dose of delight to its viewers by creating videos in which popular celebs answer questions while playing with a litter of puppies.

Take a look at yourself. You wouldn’t be able to resist smiling from ear to ear as you watch this video featuring Tom Holland playing with pups:

Tom Holland Plays With Puppies While Answering Fan Questions

2. Sadness

One of my all-time favorite social media pages is The Artidote, which shares art pieces often with melancholic captions that go with them. The page defines itself as a “space where to story-tell, empathize, bond, and heal through art.”

Jovanny Varela Ferreyra, the man behind this page, created it back in 2014 and within a few years, The Artidote accumulated millions of followers! How did he do that? By sharing posts that pack a punch of raw emotion.

The Artidote Instagram Marketing Strategy
The Artidote Instagram Marketing Strategy

3. Surprise

In her blog post over at Managing Editor, Liz Murphy starts with humor and then instills surprise in her audience as she describes just how powerful email marketing can be. Anyone who is interested in email marketing, but is not yet a believer in how impactful it can be would be mildly surprised to learn statistics she has shared.

Here’s a glimpse of how Liz leverages humor and induces awe in her piece How IMPACT’s Personal Email Newsletter Generated $1.4 Million+ in 1 Year.

IMPACT's personal email newsletter
IMPACT’s personal email newsletter – emotional email marketing strategy.

4. Anger

Whether you should wear a face mask is a discussion for another day (and another post). So, the point here? The Foundation for Economic Education or FEE website did a great job of writing this anger/fear-inducing headline.

The title can trigger anger among those who wear facemasks, whereas fear in others who aren’t sure whether they’re doing the right thing by wearing one. Most people are likely to click on this headline to see what the author has to say against facemasks by acting on what subtly makes them feel so the goal is accomplished.

Stop Forcing People to Wear Masks -
Stop Forcing People to Wear Masks – Foundation for Economic Education

Quick tips for using emotions in content marketing

By now, you must have a good enough idea of how emotional and content marketing can be laced together and why they should be. That being said, below are some tips on how you can go about blending the two. Here goes:

Be authentic

Don’t capitalize on every trend, only those that are associated with your brand. If your audience notices you are only jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of making money, you won’t hit the bullseye.

Take, for instance, Coca-Cola’s breast cancer awareness campaigns. While the brand’s “pink can” campaign supported a charity in 2018, it is a well-known fact that cola increases mortality risk from breast cancer. This makes the campaign fall right into the category of “pinkwashing,” a marketing tactic many people can see through.

Focus on your audience

This is the number 1 rule of any sort of marketing – study your audience. What sort of emotional hooks would resonate with your customers the most? What would connect with their pain points or their desires? Tap into that feeling.

Another brand that went wrong once is Jimmy Choo, which showed men catcalling Cara Delevingne in its 2017 ad. Considering how sexual harassment is a grave issue and the brand primarily makes women’s shoes, this advertisement missed the target in so many ways.

Choose a suitable medium

Should you write a blog post with an emotional trigger, share visual content, or create something else? Do what would work best for you and get you the most visibility. If you are a writer, a blog post is where you can best tap into emotions.

If you’re a business, then consider which social channels does your audience uses the most, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok?

Tell a story or back up with facts

Depending on your message, medium, and emotional hook, you should either deliver a story or back up your content piece with a statistic or fact. Take inspiration from Red Bull if you’re doing videos and Enchanting Marketing if you’re doing blog posts.

Both employ storytelling to deliver emotions. Then there’s CDC, which often gives you stats regarding how a bad habit (such as smoking) can worsen health to induce fear or guilt.

Wrapping up – mixing emotions in your content is profitable

Adding emotions to your content is a great way to gain your audience’s attention and approval. Emotions in content marketing make people take action, which can be profitable for your business. How? It can increase brand awareness, traffic, and even revenue. That’s how powerful emotions can be when used correctly.

However, always remember to approach this duo by first studying your audience, deciding on the correct medium, coming up with the perfect bit of storytelling or facts, and ensuring authenticity.

Emotional Content Marketing
Tips to use Emotional Marketing in your Content Marketing Strategy.

Image source: Freepik Premium

Guest author: Alafiya Memon is a freelance content writer and an ardent lover of fries. She creates value-packed, data-backed blog posts that converse with the audience. When she’s not working, you’ll find her doodling or reading her way through life.

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