Have you ever seen Budweiser’s anti-drinking and driving commercial with the little golden retriever puppy who waits for his owner to come home? The owner goes out drinking, and he doesn’t return home because he’s been killed drinking and driving.
The puppy just waits and waits. And our hearts are broken watching him.
That, fellow digital marketers, is how to emotionally connect to your customers.
Did we learn something from this commercial? Will we think twice about drinking and driving, for the sake of our beloved, adorable puppy friends? Most likely!
And that’s what the commercial wanted us to do all along. Many people are likely now thinking that they’ll buy Budweiser beer from now on because they appear to care about their customers’ safety.
Whether you throw your audience in a gut-wrenching loop, entice their fear about something, or make them laugh until it hurts, marketers need to appeal to emotions to get our point across.
Now, let us show you how you can do this on social media so you can really perfect your digital marketing strategy.
How to Connect to Your Customers
Okay, so the puppy commercial is an obvious example. But you’ve also likely seen ads that tell you not to miss out on a sale, or act now before their product is gone. Those appeal to emotions, too. And it works.
You need to understand how to connect with your customers in an emotional way.
Human beings don’t make decisions based entirely on rationality. We use emotions to help us decide what to purchase.
There’s a reason that you can react to Facebook posts with different emotions now, instead of simply liking the post. It’s because people connect with emotions.
If you’re not appealing to your customers’ emotions, you’re missing a crucial part of your marketing strategy and likely not seeing the results you want.
A World of Emotions
Scientific research has shown that there are 4 basic emotions that act as bases for other, more complex emotions. They’re kind of like spinoff emotions.
Your core emotions are:
From here, those emotions advance to others. For example, happiness turns to ecstasy, love, or joy, while fear can turn into scepticism, anticipation, or paranoia.
So what does that have to do with your digital marketing strategy?
Well, these are the emotions you have to consider when you create your campaign. Each emotion is useful for a certain type of content engagement point. These emotions are how you’re going to reach your target audience and inspire conversions.
Let’s go through these emotions and discuss how you can use them in your digital marketing campaigns.
Happiness: Inspire Sharing and Positivity
Happiness can be contagious. Think about all those viral videos that get shared every year. How many of them are sad, compared to the amount that are funny, exciting, or optimistic?
When we see things that make us happy, we share them. So if you’re trying to figure out how to increase engagement on social media, try posting happy thoughts.
Apple has a great marketing strategy based on innovation and inspiration. Their company prides itself on promoting new ideas and motivation to push technology further.
In turn, their customers are inspired and excited. When new Apple products come out, they feel that they have to have them right away, so they line up for hours to be the first to get something.
Both of these emotions are sub-emotions of happiness. And it’s working for Apple’s multi-billion dollar profit margin.
Sad Emotions: Make People Feel Empathy
Sadness also makes people feel more inclined to connect. This is how you make a personal connection with your customers.
People want to relate to one another, and when someone tells a sad story, you want to try to help.
Think about the World Vision adopt-a-child campaigns. They show you the tragic life that a poor orphan child has, and how you can help change that child’s life.
On the website, you can “meet” the orphans and see how much they struggle in the conditions they live. Then, you feel bad for not donating and want to do something about it, so you donate money.
Helping others is a great way to spend money. But these organizations are brilliant at using empathy, which is an emotion that builds from sadness.
Empathy makes your customers more trusting. People who are empathetic to something are more willing to give their money to that product or service.
Give people a reason to trust you.
Anger: Make People Take Action
For many people, anger makes us want to get up and do something to take action.
After happy emotions, posts that entice angry emotions are the second most likely to become viral.
Now, we’re not saying to go out and make your audience super angry. Use sub-emotions in your digital marketing campaigns to trigger a branch of emotions that make people want to create change, whether that’s in their own life or in the world.
One of the most common sub-emotions that comes from anger is jealousy. Lotteries use this strategy to perfection. They show you these happy people who became rich just by buying one ticket, and of course, everyone wants to be rich.
So, naturally, you become jealous of those people and want to become rich too, so you buy your own ticket for the next lottery.
This tactic works for tons of other industries, like travel companies who show happy people on vacation, or weight loss companies that tell you so-and-so lost 50 pounds, and “you can too!”
If this is something you can do with your product or service, try it out now!
Fear: Appeal to Urgency and Desperation
One study found that people who watched a horror movie and got scared had more of an affiliation to a certain brand presence than if they watched something happy or funny.
What does that mean? It means that consumers look for something they can cling to in moments where they feel scared or nervous.
This forms brand loyalty, because that consumer relied on that product in a time of desperation, and now they have that connection with it.
Fear also creates a sense of urgency.
Let’s go back to those “don’t miss out” and “act now before it’s too late” ads. They’re using fear to make people buy something right away.
If you make your customers think there’s a limited time for something, they’ll worry that they’ll miss out on a great sale, and want to buy your product before it’s gone.
Have you ever got roped in to the Lightning Deals on Amazon? They give you a countdown until the deal is over, as well as a status bar that shows you how many people have bought that deal.
This strategy is popular for e-commerce websites because it works. Make sure your online store uses it in some way or another.
While you might feel like you just completed a psychology lesson, this is all important to your digital marketing strategy.
It’s a lot to take in. That’s for sure. But if you’ve been in the business for a while, you’ve likely already used some of these strategies. You’ve at least thought about it.
Time to put it into practice! Emotions are extremely important for your social media campaign because connecting with customers is the name of the game online. Make it work for you and drive sales.
Ready to get more sales? Connect with your customers now.
Need some help? That’s where we come in. At VPDM, our digital marketing experts build data-driven targeting strategies that reach qualified social media users. We will develop custom digital marketing strategies that connect with your customers.
Let’s chat! Contact us today for a consultation.