Using Emotion to Get More from Your Content
Whether you are a solar installer or a home performance contractor, your online content is ultimately what will tell potential customers whether or not they should do business with you. Content that appeals to emotion is consistently found to be the most effective at increasing engagement and generating leads for businesses.
People Trust How They Feel
Though many perceive decision-making as this process that involves only rational thinking, people are remarkably emotional in their choices. This is especially true when it comes to making purchases and investing in services. According to marketing guru John Unger, buying is 85% emotional and 15% logical. Studies of viral marketing campaigns, meanwhile, consistently find that campaigns underscored by emotion do twice as well as those centered around rational thinking.
What does this mean for you as a business in the better building industry?
It means that if you want your online content to resonate more deeply with your potential clients, you need to engage their emotions. In addition to sharing what you do and why you do it, you should consider sharing information that amazes them, surprises them, instills fear, makes them laugh, etc.
Some Emotions Are More Persuasive Than Others
It’s important to note that in the world of marketing, not all emotions pack the same punch, so to speak. Research consistently shows that some emotions are more effective than others at engaging and influencing an audience. It would be difficult to create a perfect hierarchy of emotions, ranking them from most effective to least effective in marketing, but research has shown some definite trends.
Happiness, which encompasses things like laughter, awe, and amusement, consistently ranks first in effectiveness. People readily respond to light humor and amusement, and they tend to share things that make them feel good. Moreover, people associating positivity with your business is always a good thing. The trick here, however, is that you must know your audience. If you share content that doesn’t quite line up with your target audience’s sense of humor, you’re going to scare potential clients away very quickly.
Fear is the other major emotion that seems to dominate in marketing. When people are scared, they tend to want to share the experience with others. In addition, fear is what drives many people to take action. If a person learns that air leakage could be causing poor air quality in their home, for example, they are more likely to seek professional air sealing services.
Anger, shock, and anticipation, while not leaders in effectiveness, also hold a very strong place in the world of marketing. Anger is what could inspire someone to share or comment on an article, asking for other opinions as they do so. Shock, meanwhile, leads people to share the surprising things they stumble upon online. Anticipation is what will keep someone engaged in your content — and as long as you follow through on your promise to share something interesting or surprising, your reader will remember you.
How to Include Emotion in Your Content
Connecting with your audience emotionally is easier than you might think. Whether you are sharing content to one of your social media channels or publishing new content to your website, there are a variety of ways to underscore your content with emotion. Here is a brief look at some of the ways you can include various emotions in your content.
What are some of the positive things your company is doing in the community you serve? You could create a video about your community involvement or share how your services have improved energy efficiency in homes in the area over the past year. You might also consider featuring a happy customer by showcasing a particular project that greatly improved their home.
A small dose goes a long way here. If your company specializes in improving indoor air quality, for example, you could highlight how your services keep unsafe and even toxic substances out of the home. Think about the dangers or health hazards your company addresses, and use those as a starting point for your pitch.
The goal here is not to incite rage and spark a tirade on social media. Rather, you might gently remind your potential clients about the things that anger them — and then offer constructive solutions. Maybe, for example, homeowners regularly seek your insulation services because they are tired of putting up with a hot upstairs during the summer. You could frame your insulation service as a solution to a common household annoyance.
Do you have something surprising to share about a service you performed? Maybe one of your customers is saving an extremely high percentage on their home energy bills, or perhaps you have an impressive “before and after” to show your target audience. Dazzle your potential clients with what you can do.
You can create anticipation by promising to share something surprising or interesting with your readers. Maybe you want to educate homeowners about a surprisingly affordable service that can help them reduce energy consumption significantly. You might indicate in the title of a blog post or subject line of an email that a certain service — while withholding which service it is — can help reduce home energy consumption by, say, 25%.
Balance Is Key
No matter how you bring emotion into your content, you should remember that balance is key. Always maintain variety in the types of content you produce. Rely on one emotion too consistently, and the novelty is going to wear off quickly.
Is your content generating leads for your business? Using emotion in your content will bridge the gap between your company and the consumer, allowing you to connect more strongly with your potential clients.