Could you do me a favor and look at the beautiful faces below?
Image Source: Pexels
Each of these young people is different; they wear different clothes, have different personalities and values, and pursue different goals in life. Everything about them is unique because every person has a distinct worldview and different interests.
Does this matter to you as a business owner?
The answer is: absolutely.
Let me ask you another question about this beautiful picture.
Do you think these young people like being told what to buy?
While we certainly can’t ask them about this, chances are that no one of these four individuals lets businesses dictate their preferences and interests in clothing, electronics, and other products and services.
Why am I so sure about this? Well, it’s clear that the pictured individuals are most likely Millennials (ages 23 to 38 in 2019), the generation who is known for being deeply suspicious of corporate powers and lacking trust in brands.
But does that mean that Millennials – and many other people, for that matter – will never trust a business that makes an attempt to market a product or service to them?
The answer is a bit complicated because Millennials want to form an emotional connection with brands, which means that traditional advertising is a bad idea for businesses targeting this generation.
There’s a specific reason why I told you that each of the individuals in the image has different personalities etc. To create that emotional connection, a brand needs to understand its target audience’s needs and issues, therefore, some degree of personalization is also required.
In this article, I’m going to share four tips that you can use to evoke genuine emotion and reach out to your target audience, Millennials or other generations, with personalization and emotional marketing.
A bit about emotional marketing
Gone are the days when brands could advertise their products and services in any way they wanted. Customers are so sick and tired of hard-sell advertising, they won’t even bother considering buying from a business that chooses to use it.
Well, the answer is simple: traditional advertising is NOT focused on the customer.
“Traditional advertising is detached from their real needs, so it cannot evoke the emotional response that creates the intention to buy,” explains Anthony McGregor, a social media specialist from PickWriters.
Emotional marketing places a special emphasis on that response and prioritizes personalization to target customers, therefore, it has a much bigger chance to convince people to try your brand.
Let’s consider an example of emotional marketing.
The video below was created by Nike in collaboration with Kyrie Irving, one of the point guards currently playing in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving’s mother died when he was nine years old, leaving his father, Drederick, to raise Kyrie and his sister alone. Her passing spurred Kyrie’s father to assume the full responsibilities of parenthood and sacrifice his dream of one day playing in the NBA – and then to pass that dream and opportunity along to Kyrie.
And here’s how they made that into a beautiful Instagram post.
As you can see, Nike is using a story of a great individual to evoke that much-needed emotion in the target audience consisting of people following the NBA.
No in-your-face advertising.
Just a story of how a father dedicating his life to his son could play basketball at the highest level.
Now, let’s move to personalization
The essence of this concept is simple: to attract the attention of a certain customer, you have to make sure that your marketing considers their interests, needs, preferences, and issues.
Personalized content that has real value for the customer is the key to selling in the modern crowded online marketplace.
(by the way, the content will be even better if you add the emotional element to it, just like Nike did in the ad above)
Here’s some backup: according to a recent survey by Accenture, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands who “recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations” based on their interests.
Let’s consider an example. The Instagram post below was created by a well-known clothing brand H&M and posted on their official page. They used a real post by one of the customers – @michaelaforni – to make a user-generated post featuring a customer.
Also, they’ve provided the product’s code (Dress: 0748225001) in the post’s description which can be Googled to find it quickly. As a result, this post:
- Targets a specific audience (pregnant women looking for comfortable clothing)
- Considers the needs of a specific audience
- Is non-promotional
- Features a real customer enjoying the product.
And guess what: I Googled the product’s code, landed on the product’s page, and found out that H&M has sold it out.
The magic of personalized marketing? Maybe.
If you’d like your own brand’s online marketing to evoke this response by using emotional marketing and personalization, check out the following tips:
1. Study your audience
You can’t deliver relevant and personalized messages to your customers without knowing their needs, issues, and interests. That’s why you need to collect data on their behavior, purchasing patterns, interests, demographics, and location to be able to create truly engaging posts.
Gathering data using tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, and Instagram Insights would be a good first step.
2. Share user-generated content (UGC) to enhance personalization
Often referred to as “customer-generated content,” this type of content is one of the best for generating an emotional response because it’s created by customers who don’t get paid for it. That’s why Millennials and other generations treat it as truly genuine.
In fact, Social Media today cited the findings of the 2018 User Generated Content (UGC) Report claiming that 75 percent of consumers – think that UGC makes content “more authentic.”
And we know it very well that only authentic content can be considered as relevant and generate an emotional response from the target audience.
An example of UGC? Take one more look at the Instagram post from H&M we discussed above.
3. Use storytelling to make it easy for your customers to relate to your content
Remember that Nike story I described above? That’s an excellent example of a brand creating emotional appeal and finding the right words to make sure that no one stays indifferent after watching the video they’ve created with Kyrie Irving and his dad.
That’s what storytelling is all about. To boost engagement with your social media posts through stories, you have to learn how to create that much-needed emotional appeal and make people feel excitement, nostalgia, happiness, romance, love, and other emotions (keep it positive, of course).
By the way, Nike’s Instagram post featuring Irving and his dad generated more than 3.9 million views in just a few months. What can you do, people love stories and relate to them easier.
4. Think about your customers first
This means adopting a customer-centered approach to your social media marketing. Don’t talk about how great your product is! Talk about the benefits that it has for customers instead.
Don’t oversimplify the benefits, too, because only specific information about the problems that your product/service can help to solve is good enough to connect with customers on an emotional level. Besides, it’s a perfect opportunity to demonstrate some brand personality.
The bottom line
Your customers have content coming at them from every direction, so you have no other choice than to personalize your content marketing to maximize the chance of standing out. Personalization and emotional marketing can be your secret to winning the attention of your target audience (if you follow the abovementioned tips, too).
I hope that the picture of four happy individuals that I’ve shown you, at the beginning of this article, will help you to realize that each customer has unique interests, issues, and preferences, and you can’t really tell them what to buy. The best thing you can do is to make sure that your marketing has value for your target audience. Only then you have a chance.
Guest author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.