The famous American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie once gave this sage bit of advice – “when dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” This principle holds true whether you are writing fiction or promotional web content. If you want your communication to truly resonate and engage the target audience then you must create some form of emotional appeal. It is through the injection of emotion that you prompt people to take the actions that you want them to take and ensure that the word is spread about your business.
Why focus on emotion?
It has been proven in multiple studies that people have a greater response to the emotional appeal of advertisements than the actual content. There are a variety of methods that can be used for the purpose of generating the desired emotional response. You should ensure that there is a clear and direct link between the verbal and visual content. The emotions associated with different fonts and colours should also be taken into consideration.
Consider the textual connotations highlighted in this infographic:
The most effective communications will appeal to both the head and the heart. As an example, Kleenex has traditionally appealed to people’s sense of love and compassion by featuring an adorable Labrador puppy in their advertisements. They then provide the logical justification for purchasing their toilet tissue, explaining that it is as soft as can be (ideal for wiping even the most sensitive of bums). The perfect combination of emotional and logical content will prompt desirable responses, making people more likely to buy your products and spread the word.
Of course there is considerable scope when it comes to building emotional appeal. The nature of your product and the desired audience response are just a couple of the key factors. You are advised to spend as much time as is feasible researching your audience; focusing on the motivations and lifestyle situations of people who are most likely to buy your products. Take the opportunity to speak with your existing customers, considering core character traits and perspectives. Think about the types of emotional appeal which are likely to have the greatest impact.
Here’s a selection of the emotional drivers which you might focus on:
Fear – what are the events and situations which people want to avoid at all costs?
Guilt – could your product be a guilty pleasure?
Trust – what are the values that prospective customers hold dear?
Value – what are the possessions and relationships that matter most?
Instant gratification – will your product provide an immediate and satisfying hit?
Trendsetting – could you help in the quest to win friends and influence people?
Time – could you relieve the burden on your prospect’s everyday life?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” | Helen Keller
If you’re not sure which emotions to focus upon then it would be worth taking a look at marketing materials produced by the competition. You are advised to review everything from rival websites to leaflets and magazine advertisements. There are bound to be plenty of good ideas for you to draw upon, focusing on the full range of emotions. Successful marketing campaigns produced by companies outside of your market may also provide some inspiration.
Consider the emotional appeals of these high-profile advertisements:
One thing that all of these advertisements have in common is the inclusion of emotion inducing verbal content. Each of them focus on the emotional benefits which people will enjoy upon buying the products. The choice of happiness in the Coca-Cola advertisement is clear and definite. The WWF advertisement appeals directly to the target audience, making it clear that action must be taken in order to avoid the fate of turning into a despairing manfish.
Here are a selection of emotional words which could be used in your own advertisements:
You: giving the impression that the advertisement is targeted at that one single person
Imagine: encouraging the creation of a mental picture of life after buying
Free: presenting the positive idea of getting something for nothing
Because: encouraging reflection on the best reasons for buying
Tempt: transforming your product into the forbidden fruit that’s just so hard to resist
Distress: focusing on the negative events and sensations which people want to avoid.
These techniques could transform the emotional appeal of your copy:
Metaphors- powerful links and associations could be drawn through the inclusion of metaphors. As an example, you could inject a sense of passion by referring to Scott, the dreamboat boyfriend
Storytelling – from popular campfire tales, to stories of wizards and muggles; the power of emotionally engaging stories is well established. You could use the model of the hero’s journey to build a memorable brand story
Painting visual images – there can be no doubting the power of the imagination when it comes to the encouragement of emotional responses. You could incorporate vivid descriptions within your copy for engagement in the reader’s mental world
Humour – jokes and funny asides could be used for the ultimate feel-good factor (of course you should take care not to exclude or offend)
Empathy – you can build the sense of togetherness and make a strong appeal to emotion by sharing your understanding of core beliefs and concerns. Just make sure that you base your copy on sound research, rather than assumptions.
It’s very well understanding the power of emotional connection and being aware of the techniques that can be used for the desired emotional connection. However, it does take some skill to craft the type of copy which engages the audience on the level that matters most. If you want assistance in the research, editing, and refinement of such captivating copy then you should get in touch with me today.
Thanks for reading … it’s been emotional!