How to emotionally connect with your audience to drive engagement
By Trianne Bamba
March 2, 2022
There are different techniques used in marketing, promoting, and advertising products and services. Emotional marketing is one of the effective techniques of marketing. Marketers utilize this technique to focus on emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, and anger to engage the consumer and increase sales of their product or service by inciting response.
I know well about emotions. But when I decided to pursue my career in marketing, I had to face some problems that I know might resonate with you.
There is a saying about consumer behavior that “people buy on emotions and justify the latter with logic”. It means when people or the audience watch different ads related to a certain product or service, they get attached with it emotionally. And so, people have the tendency to buy the product or service. Later on, after buying the product, they would think about whether their decision was right or wrong.
According to a study about Human Decision Making – Emotion vs. Logic, a lack of emotion leads to indifference, and indifference leads to lack of motivation. With that said, emotional motivation itself is a problem and a solution too. I say this because if you make any content or marketing strategy without including any emotional motivation, then it probably will fail to emotionally compel people to buy the product or service.
I would like to share my educational background here shortly. I was a student of Communication and Media Studies in college. On top of that, I’m also interested in the arts. As we all know, art is one of the best ways to express your thoughts with people. It’s about making deep connections and trying to share your own experiences of life with those of your viewers.
I was confident about my skills. As a communication major in college, my creative nature was a deciding factor for pursuing marketing as a career. I was aware of the importance of having these skills in the marketing industry. Or so I thought.
Back in 2020, I had worked for several international clients and garnered the best reviews. Gradually one after another, I got different projects and completed them successfully. I was incredibly happy with my flourishing career in marketing. And why shouldn’t I? All the wins I was experiencing gave me the confidence and motivation to look for more clients.
One of them happened to be BE-EDGE.
Surprise, it’s me! The Marketing director of this amazing company. If I remember it correctly, it was in April last year when Dana, the CEO of BE-EDGE, offered me this position. She told me that this could be my sandbox. The entire marketing department was to be my own territory. I was very excited of course! Who would have thought that a 20-year-old something would be a marketing director of an impressive, startup company. And in the excitement and charm of this new and exciting job, to some extent, I lost my concentration and kept on working without tracking its results.
I was in for a rude awakening. It was then that Dr. Julia Ivy approached me with news that made me get my act together. She told me that my words are not that powerful nor were they motivating my readers to take action. They are not responding to any of them. They are not feeling it. It was obvious that my marketing strategy was not working. I had to figure out and re-assess what I was doing.
It was the wake up call that I needed.
All that I’ve come to understand
I started to work on my content writing by doing a lot of research about it. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. I looked up different copywriters and tried to learn their approach and strategies. Still, something was missing. And then it hit me. As a marketer, I should be taking into consideration the cultural differences. You have to take note that I’m a Filipina, and my audience are immigrants, so this is crucial for me to know. Having done some additional research on the topic, let me share to you some of the things that I learned.
Cultural differences in emotional arousal level
It turns out that Western culture is related to high arousal emotions, whereas Eastern culture is related to low arousal emotions. Actually, Americans, compared with East-Asians, are reported to prefer high arousal emotional states such as excitement or enthusiasm.
High and low arousal emotions
Emotions with different arousal levels have different purposes or functions. High arousal emotions are energized states that prepare action. While low arousal emotions are enervated states that prepare inaction or rest.
Convincing messages vs. supporting facts
Some groups respond better to convincing messages; some resonate more to supportive facts like the Germans and Americans. Other groups like the French and Italians respond better to imagination appeals.
Finding my own voice
Without first understanding what is emotionally motivating your prospect to consider buying, the best copywriting in the world, or any other marketing strategy, won’t help you. It was through working with BE-EDGE that made me realize how important emotions are in marketing. I also love that I’m being exposed to different stories of Edge crafters, educators, and employers from different countries or cultures. I’ve been learning a lot from reading and talking to some of them. Not only did this help me expand my network and become sociable to people from different countries, but it also helped me get out of my comfort zone. There were times that I felt discouraged and overwhelmed. It made me even start to question myself if I’m really made for this career. But I know that if it wasn’t for this experience, without Julia and Dana’s supervision, I wouldn’t be this social media manager that I am now. Or should I say, marketing director.
Up to now, there are times when I still find it hard writing copies that sell emotion but as Julia and Dana always tell me, “this is YOUR sandbox. Go find YOUR VOICE”.
Trianne Bamba, Marketing Director of BE-EDGE / Freelance Social Media Manager from the Philippines