Behind any piece of emotional content there’s usually a good story. Whether this is a story of someone overcoming challenges or only an amusing case study, it grabs our attention and arouses our curiosity. Often, the stories that emotional content tells are more persuasive than facts, however powerful these may be. Discover the power of emotional content and how to use it to your advantage.
A while ago, a Wharton Business School study on content virality found a link between emotions and the likelihood of content being shared. Interestingly, it wasn’t only emotionally positive articles that went viral, but also those charged with negative emotions. While the sad content itself was the least likely to go viral, articles that evoked anger or anxiety were the ones shared the most.
According to the psychology of advertising, the brain processes thoughts on two levels – an emotional level and a logical one. The emotional brain is millions of years older than the logical brain. It’s a lot faster, and in the low-risk scenarios we face online, it’s the one that sways our decisions. That’s why when comparing brands, we tend to rely on emotions rather than on information.
Benefits of Emotional Content
Emotional content has been used in digital marketing for a long time, and for good reason. Here are its key benefits:
- Increases shares and the chance that your content will go viral
- Connects you to your audience faster, and especially to people who are only discovering your brand
- Increases brand familiarity and recognition
- Tells your story in your own voice, which can help to improve how you are perceived online
- Generates a stronger response, including more comments and likes
- Takes your audience behind your logo and reminds them that you’re so much more — a team of people working hard to bring something useful to the world
How to Engage with an Audience
Some types of content are more likely to be emotionally arousing than others. Videos are perhaps the most emotional. Take this inspiring example from a Guinness wheelchair basketball ad.
Images generate powerful emotions as well, especially when they feature a smile at the right intensity.
While emotional content can take almost any form, it’s easier to be positively emotional with some formats:
- Blog posts featuring the story of your brand or that present the challenges you faced to develop a product or service
- Case studies focusing on the human element of a problem
- Social media content that invites users to generate their own content
- YouTube videos blending in fact, humor, and noble goals
- Instagram visual marketing campaigns
Positive emotions are especially powerful in content marketing. You can trigger them in a number of ways:
- State a surprising fact about your industry and then go on to share a relevant story
- Ask provocative questions
- Share happy stories about how your products or services have helped people
- Describe in a humorous way the challenges that your target persona is facing
How to Write Great Blog Posts That Engage Readers
If you can create emotional content for your blog, you can take the same principles to your website and social media and engage your audience there as well. Because of its versatile format, a blog is a great starting point for your emotional content. Making your blog content more emotional isn’t hard.
- Choose topics that trigger emotional responses
- Write as a person expressing their views of the world, not as a brand
- Admit your failings or the struggles your organization has been facing
- Present a genuine human problem and offer a solution to it
- Focus on people rather than on products or services
- Use emotional words like happy, change, positive, good, struggle, or joy
- Write in the first person as if you are talking to a friend
- Support your textual content with images or videos that trigger emotional responses
Remember that it’s not only the text and visual content that determines how engaging your blog is but also the design and the colors. Uplifting or relaxing colors like green, blue, yellow, or white work best.
The Role of Factual Content
Factual content may not always elicit a strong response from your audience, but it’s at the core of good writing. People are more open to facts once they associate a brand with positive emotions. Without factual content, it can be challenging to describe a complex problem and show how your product or service can solve it.
When it comes to factual versus emotional content marketing, it’s not a question of choosing one over the other, but rather of striking a balance between them. You need facts to point out issues and highlight problems. Lists of features, product descriptions, and usage guides are important to make sure people understand what you’re providing.
However, you cannot take the factual content from your product page with its matter-of-fact tone, put it on your blog or on Facebook and expect engagement to follow naturally. Each medium requires the right approach to content.
Here’s when to use each:
- Factual content – product pages on your site, how-to guides on your blog, announcements on social media
- Emotional content – homepage, about page, blog posts, social media updates, video content, images across mediums
On many pages, you can and should combine emotional content with factual content.
Be Emotionally Factual?
Despite the title of this post, emotional content and factual content aren’t mutually exclusive. Rather, they blend in to create a user experience that both informs and engages your audience.
Without emotional content, your website, blog, or social media pages will not connect you with your audience, nor will they turn visitors into fans and followers. By contrast, without factual content, everything you post may lack substance and the respect that comes from an authoritative voice.
To engage the reader, you should aim for a fine interplay between emotional content and factual content. Also, you should know when to focus on one over the other to improve the reach and depth of your message.
To strike a fine balance between emotional and factual content, you can try our content creation services. Whether you need content for your blog, website, social media pages, or a combination of these, we can help. Get in touch with us to learn more.