Emotional Inbound Marketing
If you’re not using emotion in your inbound content — you’re doing it wrong.
Inbound marketing is a marketing practice focused on attracting customers through content that is relevant and helpful — with the purpose of forging a stronger relationship with a prospect or customer.
The inbound methodology classifies prospects into five categories: strangers, visitors, leads, customers, promoters. Companies evangelizing the inbound methodology discuss it from the marketer’s perspective — when to employ specific types of content for a specific category. As content marketers, we need to focus on the perspective of what someone needs to feel in order to transition from one stage to another.
Emotion is the catalyst to transform a stranger into a promoter. Marketing Insider Group reported that 66% of a B2B purchasing decision is based on emotion rather than rational decision making.
Certain emotions cause different reactions in our audience. Paul Ekman’s six base emotions (joy, sadness, anxiety, anger, and disgust) each trigger a different reaction and as a result can help build a relationship between a potential customer and a brand. I’ve taken a look into each of the inbound stages, and identified the emotion to move them from one step to the next.
The content designed to appeal to strangers needs to be shareable, viral even. Joy has been proven to increase social sharing and will help increase your content’s visibility.
Sadness has been proven to increase connection with a brand. The content you create for a visitor does not need to be inherently sad (no, you don’t need Sarah McLaughlin playing in the background of your video), however, you do need the content to elicit subconscious levels of sadness to show that you understand what a visitor is feeling. Visitors need to know that you’ve experienced the same pain points as them — and you’re ready to help.
Because leads are the intersection of marketing and sales, the content you create at this stage needs to convert. Think about the latest addition to the Amazon storefront — lightning sales.
One look at this CTA and whether you came to buy those new headphones becomes irrelevant — you have to have them now. Shifting the problem that your product solves to the forefront of a prospect’s mind will facilitate their purchasing decision and convert.
Once a prospect is a customer, you need to ensure that they stay. Anger helps solidify a customer’s purchasing decision and helps reduce customer turnover.
The Apple v. Samsung rivalry is not about converting new customers — it’s about keeping the ones that already own an iPhone or a Galaxy.
Once you get a prospect to the ‘delight’ stage, you want to provide them with content that they can share. At this point, they are ready to start telling people about your amazing brand, incredible products, or fantastic experiences. Content optimized for joy will cause them to share more of your post purchase content, hence starting the cycle over again with new visitors.
Emotion needs to be a foundational aspect of your content creation process — great content fosters empathy between you and your audience.
“Impact is measured not by what you do, but by what happens to other people when you do it.” — John Jantsch.