Emotions, making you cry, laugh, feel sick, smile, frown, scream, chuckle and more. Every day you go through a shitload of them. You feel happy, angry, disgusted, amused, frightened, awed, embarrassed, sad, surprised, interested, proud, and more in such a pace it seems like a miracle you have time for anything else in life.
Many people like to think they make decisions and choices based on logic and reason. In reality, emotions dictate your decisions, from the small to the big ones. You make decisions and choices based on how you feel about things.
You chose that pair of shoes because they felt right. Not just on your feet, but also just right for you. You chose that phone because it stirred the right emotions in you. You decided to go for that last vacation for emotional reasons.
While you may have had rational reasons for any decisions and choices you made today, those reasons were boosted by your emotions and feelings.
This is something you can tap into in your content marketing as well.
Do you want to get your message to more people? Do you wish to influence someone? Do you want to make more sales? Do you want a new job or clients? Utilise emotions to make people connect with your blog posts, social media updates and sales copy.
People react to various emotions when making decisions and choices. Think back to the choices and decisions you made today. Those small ones and those big ones. The choices of buying things, the choices of food, the choices of television shows you watched or the book you were reading, the choices of a tone and wording you used when talking with people, plus that life altering decision you happened to make. Which emotions led to those decisions and choices?
Your decisions and choices may have been based on fear and anger. Or maybe you chose something because it made you happy. Perhaps you chose to watch that particular show, because it made you amused.
Probably, for each decision and choice, there were multiple emotions in the play.
Similarly, when people choose to engage with your social media updates, read your blog posts, give you a job or buy your products and services, they are going through a bunch of feelings and emotions.
Does your content scare them? Does it make them angry or surprised? Does it amuse or give joy?
The stronger emotions your content stirs, the more likely it is to make people to share, react to and comment it. For sales copy, the strong emotions are what makes people to push the buy button.
So what exactly does encourage all those emotions? Is there a simple solution?
Ah well, it kinda depends. Clearly it's easier to sell to people who are distraught than to happy and content folks. Frightened people are easy marks, as you can sell them security and safety. For the sad ones you sell happiness. And for the dissatisfied you sell satisfaction.
The manipulative sell you first the fear and the sadness and the dissatisfaction. They tell you that you aren't skinny enough or you are too skinny to be attractive. Or that you should worry about these new people who moved to your neighbourhood. Maybe you aren't having enough sex or there's something wrong with your relationships.
When they have made you feel discontent, then they come in with a fix. No worries, I know how to make you more skinny, less skinny, get those scary people off your life and fix your sex life and relationships. Just buy this thing.
Frankly, if you really want to move people, the easiest way is to distinguish those emotions of discontentment and provide fixes to them. Luckily you don't have to start by making people upset. We are upset already.
In your copy, you can push emotions around in multiple ways. Use sincerity, authenticity and transparency to create an emotional connection. Throw in inspiring, motivating and soothing phrases to instil happiness, sense of purpose and security. Use strong and emotional words, maybe even swearwords if that fits your brand, to arouse immediate and powerful feelings.
Additionally you can use visuals for evoke emotions.
Photos and illustrations have a great power on influencing decisions, engagement and sales. With the help of the right image, you can get people to buy stuff, believe all kinds of things and feel connection with you and your content.
I'm sure you've stumbled upon way too many articles about colour psychology. The ones that tell you to use pink in your branding if you want to show enthusiasm and uplifting emotions, and green if you wish to convey health and safety. While those articles are in many ways off and they contradict each other (different colours have different meanings to different people) they kinda get something right.
Colours have a great impact in rousing emotions. Even mentioning colours in a text can make you feel varying things.
The both, copy and visuals, can work in various ways. While I may experience comfort and joy when I see images of cats, someone else may feel fear or anger. Blue is often perceived as enticing positive emotions, but also it can be related to depression (feeling blue). When you read motivational quotes, do they make you feel inspired or do you mostly feel annoyed?
Emotional content can backfire. You may notice that people experienced the completely opposite emotions than you were hoping for. Still, stirring emotions is better than leaving people indifferent. Even when the emotions aren't the ones you meant to arouse.
People have a tendency to give a lot of visibility to people who agitate them. While I don't recommend being an asshole just to be noticed, this is good to remember if you are worried that your content might upset people. The more emotional your content is, the more likely it is to rub someone the wrong way. Racist, abusive, misogynistic, ableist and other such offensive contents are obviously a whole different matter, and I don't recommend taking that path.
By being able to connect with people's emotions, make them feel things, and especially make them feel strongly about something, you can influence and motivate effectively.
You can't make an impact with content that doesn't feel like much anything.
The content that stirs emotions is likely to get more shares, likes, comments and other engagement. Sales copy that arouses the right emotions, and gives solutions to the wrong ones, is better for making sales. Visuals that instil feelings are noticed and remembered.
Emotions influence. Emotions direct decisions and choices. Emotions boost your content and create sales.