There’s an important shift in content marketing tactics that affects professionals who want to get found, get known and get clients online. And that shift means a different mindset.
Not too long ago I came across a great blog post. There was a picture of a pair of glasses lying on a bench with this caption: Don’t you wish you could see through your customers’ glasses?
What if you could live in their shoes for a day? Or, track their brains as they go online to your website? What makes them click? What makes them take action?
Here’s where you should start thinking a little differently when writing content for the Web:
Smart content marketers are using persuasion tactics that appeal to emotions rather than reasons. They know that emotions not only guide our decisions and actions, they determine whether or not we buy.
When successful web writers create online content, they appeal to the senses and the emotions. They:
- Grab attention through outrageous headlines and images
- Appeal to basic human wants, desires
- Tell a story of one person
- Use emotional hot buttons
- Use persuasion triggers
- Motivate action with fear, scarcity, urgency
The most effective content marketing occurs with a mixture of both rational and emotional tactics. That’s because people use the emotional parts of their brains to make what they consider rational decisions.
Much of the time, in a split second, people process incoming information (text, images, sounds) subconsciously through the emotional centers of the brain, tag it with an emotional reaction (positive, negative, neutral), and prime the cortex to either resist or join in with your message.
Buying decisions come after a positive emotional reaction that triggers one of our primary motivators. This may include the desire to belong, to have status, to be powerful, or loved.
It’s only several seconds after this happens subconsciously, (7-8 seconds?), that we interpret with the rational parts of the brain. It’s almost always a process of justifying our decisions based on logical reasons. But the emotions come first, the “reasons why” are tacked on after the fact.
To persuade others, you need to address both your audience’s logic and their emotions. You can’t do that unless you can see through their eyes.
Emotions play a more powerful role in what makes people click than facts, numbers and a rational assessment of your products and services. When you aim for the heart, the mind will come along with you.
Vivid descriptions, metaphors, analogies, images and stories are among the tools you can use when writing content for the Web.
P.S. There’s a reason I put a picture of a dog with glasses on this post… A pair of glasses alone won’t connect with feelings as much as a pair of glasses on a person or a child will, and I wanted to grab your attention by using an image that was out of the ordinary. (photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net)
It evokes curiosity and hopefully a bit of humor as well. Think about how the images you use on your blog posts can connect emotionally to your readers.