We all like to think that we’re rational consumers. We like to think we make choices based on an objective look at the values we have and the value we perceive in a product. Well, that just isn’t true. We buy based on emotion. Based on how perceive values make us feel and even how a brand makes us feel. To succeed in marketing, nowadays, you have to learn that emotion is the key to success.
The worst possible response you could get to your marketing isn’t a negative one. It’s apathy. If you’re producing marketing that works with old, irrelevant trends, that’s what you’ll get. You need to know the trends of today. Not just the trends inside the industry. You need to look at the community that uses your product. You need to go into forums and blogs and see what the ‘word on the street’ is. You can even benefit from getting a look at the trends that are irrelevant to your business. To really connect with today’s consumers, you need to ingrain yourself in the zeitgeist of today. Otherwise, you risk being as irrelevant as your marketing.
Get to grips with psychological triggers
Trends aren’t the only thing that dominates a conversation. They’re just the tools used to carry those deeper triggers that lurk in everyone. We get stronger responses from some things than others. One that’s easy to exploit at a launch is a need for novelty. People are naturally curious and want to explore things they’ve never seen before. Anticipation is just as much a part of that. Not all those psychological triggers have to be inherently positive, either. For instance, if your product solves a problem in life, then you can use the anger or hostility towards the problem. Framing it as a shared enemy makes consumers more likely to see your business as an ally.
The power of positivity
Despite the sheer variety of different triggers you can take advantage of, it’s positivity that will win in the end of the day. If you look at some of the most recent trends in advertising, you begin to see some common threads. Signifiers of positive emotions are almost blatantly used to exploit happiness. What’s even more significant is how well they work. For instance, most people have an almost instinctual love of dogs. It’s no surprise that they feature quite heavily in modern advertisements. Despite how cynical we can be, we still form the strongest connections based off of happiness. Positivity leaves a stronger lasting impression than appeals to the fears or risks of missing out on an offer.
Tell the best possible story you can
So, when you look at your product, you need to think about just how it can be tied to those feelings of warmth and happiness. As with all things, it’s easier to digest if you put it into a narrative. Your narrative shouldn’t be about what features you offer over your competitors. It should be about the impact your customers can feel due to purchasing your product. You need to start with a logical look at what the unique value of your product is. Think of those features. Think of how they help people. Then add a liberal dash of hyperbole. Think of the best possible outcome someone could get from the impact of your product. Tell the best story you can with it.
It’s how you tell the story, too
A narrative is only as strong as how it’s told. If you want a bigger emotional impact, you need to appeal to more of the senses. Content marketing is a strong way to build a brand as an expert and demonstrate knowledge. But it’s hard to get emotionally invested in an article. Photography, as a more visual medium, can tell a story. The logical conclusion, however, is to use a format that is perfectly suited to providing a narrative. That is the format of video marketing. Video advertisements prove, by far, to have the most emotional impact. They also have the best chance of keeping a viewer’s attention and becoming viral. But you need to avoid the trap of producing low-quality videos. If you’re serious about video marketing, you need to consider help like video production services.
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Give your content a human spin
There are a lot of marketing opportunities outside of video marketing, however. They don’t have to be used to just tell the story of your product and services. They can also tell the story of your business and the people inside it. Humans are pack animals. We related to people better than anything else (except maybe dogs, as demonstrated). If you want people to start trusting in your business, then give them someone to connect to. Use things like social media and posting photographs to show the human element of the business. If you’re using content, then have the writer inject a bit of personality and emotion to the mix.
Get people on your side
The next step from getting people connected is to get them invested. Your community can become your brand ambassadors. In fact, you want them to. Positivity is the strongest emotional driving force in marketing. Positive social proof is a big part of that. It shows that people are on your side. When in doubt, popularity has a huge effect. So, too, can enthusiasm displayed by genuine fans of your business. Invest some actual time in your fans. Reply to them and talk to them when possible. Reward them by offering participation in giveaways and competitions. Find the influencers amongst them and offer them the chance to produce exclusive content. Invite them to an event or give them a preview of a product.
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Surprise is the key to virality
One of the best things about corporate social media accounts these days is the surprising moments. The humorous responses and offbeat interactions that make them just a bit more human. For instance, take a look at the hilarious (and incredibly juvenile) exploits from Groupon’s Facebook. An innocent product became a risqué joke very quickly. Rather than ignoring it, Groupon skirted the line in comedic fashion whilst playing to the crowd’s reaction. When you’re using social media, you can only dream of opportunities like this. Instead of always playing it safe, take the unexpected turn now and then. The viral exposure to Groupon, in this case, certainly didn’t hurt their brand or business.
Appeal to more than consumerism
A need for a product can be a great emotional appeal to use. But there are some cases where it can only go so far. Sometimes, you need to reach deeper than consumerism. We’re not being too cynical when we say that pairing up with good causes can be great PR. There’s no doubt that companies who get involved in cause marketing have good intentions there. They provide a platform and take some responsibility for the kind of influence they have. But you can’t deny that cause marketing is also very beneficial for a company’s image. People are caring and they like to display it. If they can get that emotional feedback from supporting your business, you should be using it.
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Dealing with negativity
Negative feelings like fear and even anger have been good to some brands. If you fear missing out on a product, a business can use that. However, negativity directed at the business can be a truly corrosive element. So you need to have a strategy on how to deal with it. You need to know when you’re just being trolled or when you’re facing an issue that needs to be addressed. What you need to ensure, however, is that you respond positively. You can be sure everyone is reading negative comments as much as they read positive ones. If you let that negative comment be the last word on the issue, you have no influence on the story it’s telling.
Don’t overwhelm people with choices
A different emotional conundrum you want to avoid is the paradox of choice. We all think that the more choices we have, the better. However, it’s been proven that people are at more risk of making no choice at all if they’re faced with too much. So in your marketing, you need to take it one step at a time. Don’t flood your messaging with a whole slew of different products. Instead, take the time to focus on one and its positive impact. Then use a different method or advertisement for another. You need to treat each product and service you market like it is the exact answer your consumer needs. You need to get rid of doubt.
Learning the psychology of your consumers is going to help you grow a much more effective marketing campaign. You’ll be able to identify that subconscious need that could make your offer irresistible and choose the very best mediums to convey it. Once you have your customers by the emotions, you’ll start to see a real difference in your sales figures.