Most of the decisions we make are driven by our emotions, and this includes purchasing decisions, from putting an offer on a £500k house to choosing a £15 personal organiser. Larry Pincin and Phil Glosserman, authors of Sell The Feeling, say: “Regardless of what you’re selling, whether it’s products, services or advice, people buy based on feelings.”
Bearing this in mind, when you deliver your content, you need to deliberately invoke the right emotions in the viewer, to increase the likelihood of conversion.
Of course, you can’t make someone feel something artificially, but you can tap into their existing emotions and tie them to your product or service. If your customer feels even a slight emotional attachment to your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you than a competitor.
So how do you do it?
- Evoke nostalgia. There are a thousand listicles online offering readers a journey back in time to their childhoods. We all love to reminisce, so find a relevant event, song, item or food to link your product or service to and develop content around that. These kind of articles are very sharable, so you can also expect a lot of click-throughs.
- Tell them a good story. Stories are a great way to build a connection with your prospects. According to Lou Carlozo, good stories and metaphors can release the trust hormone Oxytocin in the reader and can be especially effective, when combined with compelling facts. Many advertisers run with this approach, as is particularly evident at this time of year with the John Lewis Christmas advert and other seasonal ‘stories’ – many of which centre around the emotional themes of community, love and giving.
- Add something fluffy. Nothing has mass appeal like a baby puppy or kitten. You must make it relevant though, a la Andrex – dumping a random fluffy duckling in the middle of a piece of content isn’t going to tie the viewers’ emotions to your product, and may confuse or annoy them.
- Use colour to engage. The colour palette you use can have a real impact on the delivery of your message. For example, blue tones can convey a calm and relaxed feeling, and warmer tones like deep red and orange can convey love, passion and energy.
- Be aware of effective emotional triggers. Before you prepare your content, consider the emotion you want to trigger in your reader. Which emotion will be most likely to drive a buying decision? A common recommendation is to focus on evoking positive emotional reactions, which makes sense: you don’t want to scare your customer off or depress them. Positive emotions you may wish to invoke could include trust, belonging, happiness, control, adventure and so on. On the whole, try to use language that evokes positive emotions – consumers are most likely to buy when in a positive state of mind. However, emotions like fear and guilt can also be effective drivers when used in careful measures. For example, a life or home insurance company ultimately depends on the fear of its customers to drive the purchase – or at least a basic desire for security for their family. Charities often deliberately evoke guilt or sadness in the viewers and readers of their content: “Help Hannah have a Christmas. We can’t bring her family back, but a donation of £10 will get her a bed and a festive dinner.”
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