Feeling your way to success
In a world constantly inundated with advertising and marketing messages, it may be hard to catch an audience’s attention against other competing campaigns. Yet, some seem to rise above the rest to become viral sensations that gain staying power in the consciousness of consumers. Campaigns like Dove’s inspirational ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, or the hilarious ‘Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, have gone on to achieve widespread visibility and recognition. These projects go beyond promoting a product or brand to creating cultural commentaries and even play a part in shaping societal standards.
These wildly successful campaigns have one thing in common: an emotional connection with the audience.
This relationship makes them feel personally involved, which leads to greater empathy, retention and a desire to understand the advertised brand. Here are three ways you can increase emotional engagement in your content marketing campaign
1.View your audience as an individual, not a group
Creating a ‘voice’ for the brand is important in order to speak out to your target audience, but do not lose sight of the individual. When crafting your content message, make it personal and direct. One way to accomplish this is to phrase the message as a conversation, which will pull the reader in.
On the other hand, it is equally important for campaigns to seek active participation from the audience, by getting them to speak out or provide feedback. With the proliferation of social media with a participative element, people are no longer passive receivers of marketing messages. Having Q&A sessions, random polls or voting contests helps to bring consumers closer and emotionally connected to the brand, enabling them to make a change.
2. Target the key emotions of surprise and anger
Of course, another way to enhance emotional connectivity is through inducing a particular emotion. According to a study conducted by Wharton Business School in 2010, there is a strong correlation between emotions and the virality of content, and that specifically emotions such as surprise and (surprise!) anger are more likely to draw attention.
Unconventional content is useful in creating that surprise factor. By challenging common beliefs with reliable information, asking thought provoking questions, or even sharing a shocking fact, messages are more likely to engage audience members.
Although it sounds like a bad idea to arouse anger in your target audience, ‘anger’ here merely means stirring up controversy about a particular opinion. Framing messages in a challenging manner is one way to spark heated conversations, as matters of contention often compel people to speak up and debate their stance.
3. Create stories that are relatable.
Everyone loves a good tale. Stories can be used to showcase emotional depth and capture the audience’s attention in an easy-to-remember format. In other words, a solid storyline can help brands to subtly accomplish their advertising objectives by keeping audiences entertained and educated.
In addition, creating characters that are relatable encourages people to empathise with them. Audiences are more likely to sustain interest in marketing initiatives as a result of the emotional connection they have for a story and its characters; similar to how some of us might chase or binge watch TV dramas.
Here is an example of a well executed campaign that ticks all the right boxes in the emotional connection department.
A tug at the heartstrings is often more effective than sales talk. With these three tips, you will be on your way to improving brand relevance and emotional rapport in your content marketing campaigns!
Written by: (www.script.com.sg)
Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd