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Our Go-To Guide For Emotional Marketing

David Bosley

Is Your Marketing Soft Enough? Here’s a Brief Guide to Emotional Marketing

As marketers, we may tend to focus on informative, valuable content. After all, one of our biggest goals is simply identifying our customers’ needs or wants and showing them exactly how we can satisfy them. It might be surprising, then, to learn that this isn’t actually how most people tend to make their brand decisions. In fact, the majority of people select their brands using their emotions rather than more informative content. This means that if you aren’t taking the time to focus on emotional marketing, you could be alienating a significant amount of your audience.

In order to help your brand grow as much as possible, we have put together some important ways you can start leveraging emotional marketing:

1. Know Your Audience and Brand

Emotional marketing is critical to the success of many companies, but you need to think about exactly how important emotion is to your prospective customers. Are you a B2B company providing a software solution and typically pitching to C-suite executives? Emotional marketing is probably not as important for you. If you’re a consumer-based brand that has lots of competition, on the other hand, emotional marketing is most likely necessary to break through the background noise.

2. Focus on Appropriate Emotions

A common misconception is that all emotional marketing must elicit positive emotions, like happiness. Any emotion can be leveraged effectively, as long as it is strategic and purposeful. For example, the World Wildlife Fund often induces fear with its advertising as a way to open people’s eyes to the dangers facing our environment. If you are able to introduce a problem facing your audience and elicit fear, surprise, or anger and then quickly pivot to show how you can solve it, you may very well see success.

3. Appeal to Nostalgia

Nostalgic advertisements are by far one of the most successful types of emotional advertising, especially when it comes to Millennials. Look around and you’ll see many old brands that have reinvented themselves attempting to take a step back into their traditional roots.

Nostalgia works because it makes feel people good. There’s comfort in looking towards the past and taking a trip down memory lane. People tend to remember their past with fondness, while they may view their future with a sense of unease. If you can utilize this to either run a #TBT (throwback Thursday) campaign, take a look back at your brand’s history, or just capture the feeling of a past era in your advertising, it will capture your audience’s attention. It’s important to understand that nostalgic marketing must be highly targeted, though, since what’s nostalgic to a Millennial, for example, won’t be seen in the same light by somebody who is a little bit older.


4. Tell More Stories

Stores are at the heart of emotional marketing. Stories share our experiences and build an amazing connection with our audience. A great story always rises to the top. Unfortunately, it’s often very difficult to tell a good story. A good way to determine what will resonate with your audience is by simply listening to them. What do they care about? What types of stories do they have? In fact, you should feel free to leverage your audience’s own stories. If you can show how your brand has positively impacted somebody else’s life, it will forge a serious emotional bond with other similar customers.

5. Personalize Your Content

We have previously discussed the importance of personalizing your content, but it bears repeating, especially in the context of emotional marketing. Personalized content forges a natural connection with you and your audience. By providing something that naturally resonates, you’ll have a jumpstart on soliciting emotions since your audience will already be more engaged.