Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

digital marketing tools, Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

How does your audience feel about your brand? What emotions and feelings do they have when they think of your product or service? Asking those questions help create awareness of how others will perceive you. Tailoring your digital assets to perform well or ensuring you have great SEO on your website is only half the battle of digital marketing. Sure, you have the right pieces in place, but is the meat of your marketing enough to keep your business thriving and favorable among an audience?

Take a second and think past the scope of results and making a profit. Stop and ask yourself if your marketing is relatable to your customer. Are you making them FEEL anything?

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero


digital marketing tools, Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

Wells Fargo Print Advertisement featuring a theme of ‘optimism’

Emotion should be your #1 digital marketing tool, and marketing decisions should always be made with the emotion you’re trying to evoke in mind.

At its core, your business and the problem it solves should make people feel a certain way. Honing in on what you want your clients to feel isn’t as simple as choosing “happy”. Think about this: what roots your business and what helps it grow?

For example, bank advertisements tap into feelings of confidence, optimism and friendliness. Banks want customers to feel like they’re there to help you and believe things will be okay so long as you take that first step with them. By channeling that in their advertising, they’re reaching to their audience in a relatable way.

Think about sports brands. Sports marketing strategies revolve around excitement, determination, and the risk of winning or losing. That type of advertising is bold, daring, and pulls the audience right into the action. Invite your customers to come along with you for more than just a transaction. CONNECT with them.

Think about a product that you purchase time and time again, your “old faithful”. Why do you do it? I’m fond of Dove hygiene products – but why? The reason is often attributed to a feeling. Dove products make me feel feminine, secure, and confident – three feelings that they showcase in their advertisements. (Plus, let’s be real, their products smell nice.) By creating market strategies rooted in those emotions, you can reach audiences on more than just a superficial level.

But how do you bottle emotion in advertising?

There’s no secret formula, but it’s not as complex as you may think.

  1. Identify and understand your target market.
  2. Learn their problems, pain points, fears, desires, and goals.
    • Tune into feelings like fear, loss, belonging, risk, love, confidence, and security.
  3. Tell a story that speaks to all of those things and helps build up the brand on an emotional level.
    • By using those feelings, you’ll be able to create advertisements, content, and a brand that persuades people subconsciously to take actions they may not have normally made. It’s not tricky or skeevy to use the subconscious to influence your customers. Make your emotion honest, influence for the right reasons.

Making your advertising less about your product and more about the experience your audience will have is a true, honest way to advertise. Tell a story, a personal one, that evokes a legitimate emotion.

In the above clip from the Pixar film Ratatouille, you’ll see exactly how impactful emotion is. Your goal is to evoke emotions so strongly that it brings your audience back to a specific time. Think about how many bakeries try to play off Grandma’s old recipe for cookies. It’s because it’s an experience that nearly everyone can identify with and almost always has warm, fond memories. When someone feels that, they’re more inclined to support that business to get that feeling again. It’s simple! If you create your ad campaigns and business around profit, you are in danger of slipping away from connection to manipulation.

Still not sure? Use emotions from your own stories.

Make an honest attempt to reach your clients by telling your own story. Tying in your own story brings a new transparency to your business. People root for underdogs because they see themselves in them. They see the power that other people have and feel inspired to take action themselves. By bringing some emotion from your life to your business, you’re inviting people along for your journey. You’re getting them involved before they even buy a product.

Bottom line, create marketing strategies that speak to your consumers and potential customers like they’re real humans with real feelings, memories, fears, and goals.