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Emotions are a powerful tool in marketing, and when it comes to content marketing, leveraging emotions can be the key to unlocking a brand's full potential. In particular, the Content Marketing Institute argues that one of the most popular methods utilized in content strategies today to comprehend and affect consumer behavior is psychology.
With B2B companies becoming increasingly focused on developing and implementing content marketing strategies, understanding the impact of emotions in these efforts is critical. In fact, 95% of our purchasing decisions are made in the subconscious mind, according to Gerald Zaltaman, a professor at Harvard Business School, in his most recent book, How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market.
In this post, we'll look at the advantages of including emotions in content marketing, how to do it well, and why B2B businesses should give it some thought.
When it comes to content marketing, emotions can differ between an average and a memorable campaign. Here are some benefits of incorporating emotions into your content marketing efforts:
Emotions are powerful drivers of behavior. They can influence our actions, thoughts, and decisions. In content marketing, emotions are key to building relationships and connecting with audiences. By tapping into the emotions of your target audience, you can create content that not only engages and informs but also inspires and motivates.
Various inputs, such as sensory signals, personal experiences, and societal influences, can cause emotions to arise. Marketers aware of the psychology underlying emotions can produce content that connects with consumers more deeply. When developing content, marketers should take into account a variety of aspects, such as tone, sentiment, and readability level, all of which significantly impact the reader's emotions. Marketers may produce content that connects more deeply and creates a lasting impression by considering these factors.
To effectively use emotions in content marketing, it's important to understand the different types of emotions and how they can be used to influence your audience. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which divides people into four different personality types, is one technique for understanding emotions:
Understanding the personality types of your target audience will enable you to produce content that appeals to their emotional preferences. For example, a B2B company selling software solutions to large corporations may target ISTJs with data-driven whitepapers and case studies while appealing to ENFPs with fun and creative infographics.
The goal of marketing has always been to engage consumers and motivate them to take action. This is even more true in the B2B market, where establishing connections and trust are crucial to closing deals. But how can you arouse interest in your company and its offerings? This is where Robert Cialdini's Principles of Persuasion come in.
By understanding and applying these principles, B2B companies can create content that resonates with their target audience, generates engagement, and ultimately drives conversions. Here's a closer look at the six principles and how they can be integrated into B2B content marketing.
The principle of reciprocity states that people are likelier to do something for someone who has done something for them. Content marketing means creating valuable and relevant content that offers real value to your target audience—for example, providing a comprehensive white paper or e-book on a subject relevant to your industry. By providing helpful information, you are more likely to win over your target audience's trust and develop a relationship, even their contact information, which will pave the way for subsequent conversions.
According to the principle of scarcity, people value things more when they are scarce because they want what they can't have. This idea can be applied to B2B content marketing by developing limited-time offers or promoting information that is only accessible for a limited time. For instance, a B2B software provider could emphasize the product's value and instill a sense of urgency in potential customers to act by providing a free trial for a constrained period of time.
Choosing the right offer is key to making the scarcity principle effective. Here are some types of offers:
The principle of authority states that people are more likely to follow the lead of experts and leaders in a field. This idea may be applied to B2B content marketing by positioning thought leaders and subject-matter experts within your company as authorities in your sector. For example, a B2B consulting company might produce a blog or video series in which its specialists discuss their expertise and perspectives on numerous subjects. This gives your target audience helpful knowledge and positions your brand as a thought leader in your sector.
One effective way to achieve this is by implementing content marketing initiatives such as Castleberry's "Content At Scale." This initiative's goal, based on content documentation, is to capture expert interviews, meetings, and roundtables. From this documentation, various types of valuable aggregated content, including podcasts, blog posts, playground videos, and more, are then extracted and disseminated through multiple channels. By doing this, you can create a library of content featuring your experts and position your brand as a leading authority in your industry.
The principle of consistency states that people are more likely to comply with requests that are consistent with their past actions and beliefs. In B2B content marketing, you can use this principle by creating a sense of consistency and stability in your brand and messaging. For instance, a B2B manufacturing company could create a series of how-to videos showcasing its products' quality and reliability, together with value-added information. You can develop trust and position your brand as a trustworthy information source by continuously producing valuable and pertinent content.
The principle of liking states that people are more likely to comply with requests from someone they like. In B2B content marketing, you can use this principle by creating content that connects with your target audience on a personal level. For instance, a B2B tech company could generate a series of employee profiles that showcase the personalities and interests of its team. This humanizes the brand and makes potential customers feel more connected to and invested in your business.
Here are some tips to make your content more enjoyable:
The principle of consensus states that people are more likely to comply with requests that are consistent with the actions of others. In B2B content marketing, you can use this principle by showcasing social proof and customer testimonials. For instance, a B2B software provider could provide a case study that highlights the accomplishments of its customers and illustrates how the product has aided them in achieving their objectives. Since potential consumers are more likely to be influenced by the actions and opinions of others in their field, sharing the experiences of others can help you build trust and credibility with them. This may result in more conversions and favorable responses to your marketing initiatives.
To apply it successfully, brands can use some of the following resources:
In conclusion, including emotion in your content marketing strategies can be the key to realizing the full potential of your business. B2B organizations can forge a more profound and lasting connection with their target audience that will increase engagement and sales by comprehending the advantages of and how to use emotions in content marketing. Take advantage of this chance to advance your content marketing efforts.
Adweek: The Power of Emotion in B2B Content Marketing (2019).
Burnam, E. (2019, august 23). The psychology behind persuasive content marketing. WRITE&TRUE. https://medium.com/write-true/the-psychology-behind-persuasive-content-marketing-3a3c79a4c5b6
Cialdini, R. B. (2017). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. HarperCollins.
HBR: Why Emotional Appeals in B2B Marketing Are More Effective Than Rational Ones (2020).
Forbes: How Emotional Storytelling Can Transform B2B Marketing (2021).
Influenceatwork [influenceatwork]. (2012, november 26). Science Of Persuasion. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw
McGrath, L. 5 psychological insights to improve your content marketing. Content Marketing Institute. Retrieved on the 21st of september of 2022, from https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/articles/psychological-insights-marketing/
Patel, N. (2016, april 5). How to use Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to improve your content marketing strategy. Neil Patel. https://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-use-cialdinis-principles-of-persuasion-to-improve-your-content-marketing-strategy/?amp
The Myers & Briggs Foundation - MBTI® basics. Myersbriggs.org. Retrieved on the 21st of september of 2022, from https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/