In a world where a swipe left or right can make or break a relationship, it’s no surprise that forming authentic connections with your audience—also known as ’emotional marketing’—is getting harder.
And your followers and customers are starving for connections with the brands they love. A recent consumer content survey found that 86 percent of people care about supporting authentic brands.
That’s a lot of people. And trying to reach so many at once makes it challenging to form an authentic emotional marketing strategy. But it’s possible to have a large online presence while still connecting with your audience on a personal level.
Here are a few emotional marketing examples that every business can use to build more authentic connections with their audience.
Tell real stories on your blog
My favorite blog articles to write are my “Owner to Owner” posts, where I talk about how I’m handling a marketing challenge that many businesses have.
I recently wrote about making time for social media marketing—something I personally struggle with, just like my audience and potential clients.
When I shared it on LinkedIn, my community jumped in and started sharing their own experiences with the social media struggle.
How can you do this? If you have a business blog, publish a post by your founder or CEO every few weeks. Their voice means a lot, and sharing it on your blog gives your audience a chance to connect with someone that they don’t often hear from on a personal level.
Empathizing with your audience’s problems and relating them to your own is a key skill in emotional marketing.
But remember to keep the post relevant and tied to your brand. John Hall explains:
“The first rule of sharing more personal content: avoid oversharing irrelevant stories. Not every experience you've had is going to be important for your audience to hear. Create content fueled by ideas and stories that actually helps others.”
Create personal connections on social media
Personal interactions drive emotional marketing. But it can be hard to connect directly when your goal is to reach as many people as possible. Luckily, there are two easy ways to bridge this gap.
1. Turn comments into conversations. A comment is a perfect way to connect with customers authentically. Instead of just liking their comments, send a reply. Ask a follow up question or share a short story related to what they said to get the conversation flowing.
Make it even more personal by tagging them in the reply. By using their name, you’ll come across less like a brand, and more like a friend.
2. Connect with Instagram Direct. Instagram Direct Messages work just like direct messages for your personal account, but for your business page. Use it reactively to respond when people reach out to you, and proactively to encourage engagement.
Here’s a great example from Mav Social on Instagram Direct for Business: Kim Kardashian sent an exclusive photo of herself to just fifteen out of her millions of followers, along with a hashtag for them to use when posting the image to their own Instas.
By reaching out personally to only a handful of her audience, she made the experience feel exclusive—prompting her followers to share the image organically. You might not have a Kardashian size following, but Kim’s emotional marketing tactics are far from rocket science.
3. Share a personality quiz. Personality quizzes are the emotional marketers secret weapon. They provide a direct link between your brand’s personality and your audience’s, and they’re fun too.
Think about it: even if your quiz is completed by thousands of people, each person still gets a personalized result tailored to their answers. This helps you form personal connections with your audience on a wide scale—the key challenge of emotional marketing.
Facial hair product vendor Beardbrand used a social media quiz to show they care about beards as much as their customers. You can try it out here:
The ‘What type of beardsman are you?’ quiz has pulled in over 150k leads, and people share their result on social as a personal reflection of themselves:
Share your life
Remember that survey showing that most people care about the brands they support? That same survey also found that 57 percent of consumers think less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic.
“Stand out by bringing your personality into your messaging and connecting it with your ideal audience.”
One route to authentic emotional marketing is to open up about your life and the journeys you’re on.
Stories of struggle and hardship are one thing we can all relate to. And they can help you grow a diverse social audience that cares about your brand beyond the products you sell.
Stand out by bringing your personality into your messaging and connecting it with your ideal audience. Jenna Kutcher put it like this:
“What are the stories you want to tell and who do you want to reach? For me, my ideal follower is a mid-twenties to mid-thirties woman who has big dreams, a big heart, and is always willing to bet on herself. She may relate to me in my journey with body insecurity or infertility, or she may be showing up for business inspiration. But whatever she’s there for, I want to ensure that I am serving her wholeheartedly.”
Sharing your life gives you a chance to be vulnerable and relatable. You may be a business owner, but you’re also a regular person. While everyone else is focused on selling, you can be the one person saying, “I messed up here” or “I’m struggling with this.”
Emotional marketing starts with authenticity
The best way to drive emotional connections with your audience is to be authentic.
Reply directly to your customers, talk about struggles everyone can relate to, and most importantly: be yourself. By being authentic, you link your brand with your audience’s emotions. Not just to sell, but because you really have a reason to connect.
Nailed your emotional marketing? Time to think about the bigger picture with relationship marketing.