Think of the last time you made a purchasing decision. What was driving you — your logic or your emotions? More likely than not, you made your choice based on your emotions — or, more importantly, the emotions stirred up by marketing.
Emotional marketing doesn’t just get people to buy. It can also make them into more loyal customers. The Harvard Business Review conducted a study that found that people who are “emotionally connected” to a business are twice as valuable over their lifetime than people who feel “satisfied” with a business or company.
So what can you do to connect with your audience’s emotions? Give these emotional marketing strategies a try.
1.) Inspire your audience.
One way to use emotional marketing is by inspiring your audience. Inspirational marketing can take several forms. Your brand can tell the story of a person who overcame a challenge or adversity, or you can showcase a person (such as an influencer or celebrity) who’s “made it” despite coming from humble beginnings.
Looking at or reading inspirational stories can boost the release and production of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is the hormone that’s responsible for feelings of empathy, and for that feeling of connectedness people often have with each other. Inspiring your audience can make them feel connected to your brand.
2.) Tap into your audience’s nostalgia.
People love nostalgia, or looking back on the past with feelings of goodwill and happiness. Whether it’s Pepsi reintroducing its original logo and formula or film franchises like “Star Wars” celebrating a 40th birthday, nostalgia works in marketing as well.
Using nostalgia as an emotional marketing strategy works best if your brand has a longish history. You can tell stories based on people’s remembrance of your company or product from “back in the day,” or invite people to share their history with your company.
3.) Focus on what your brand can do (and the emotions it stirs up).
One of the first rules of content marketing is to focus on creating content that’s useful and that serves the needs of your audience.
You can do that with emotional marketing as well. Think of the problems your audience has or the things they are encountering in their lives (both positive and negative). For example, a parent might be looking for the perfect graduation gift for their child who’s about to finish high school or college. Your brand can share a story about a parent who’s found just the right thing to express their pride in and love for their child.
4.) Stir up local pride.
Another way to tap into people’s emotions with your marketing is to take a local approach. Whether you’re addressing people in a big city (like New York) or a small town (like Springfield), taking a local approach can help people feel more connected to their communities and give them a sense of pride in the places where they live.
Additionally, going local allows you to better target your marketing. For example, if you know that you’re addressing people in Philadelphia, you can incorporate things that are “exclusive” to the Philly area into your campaign, such as the word “jawn” or the ever-popular cheesesteak.
5.) Scare your audience (with caution).
Scaring your audience can compel them to take action. For example, advertisements from organizations such as MADD that highlighted the dangers of drinking and driving were effective when it came to changing attitudes.
Use this last emotional marketing strategy with care. Sure, fear can get people to act, but you don’t want to scare your audience so much that they become frozen. You also don’t want to scare people so much that they are turned off of your brand or your message.
Tapping into people’s emotions doesn’t just make them more likely to buy what you’re selling. It also helps to establish feelings of goodwill and trust between consumer and brand. These days, the more trust and goodwill there is in the world, the better it is for everyone.