Growing up, most of us can link at least two or three brands to some measure of emotional attachment. Whether it’s that basketball game you won in your new Nike shoes or your first date in high school where you bonded over a bottle of Coke. The emotional attachment also explains why you always get your cup of coffee for an extra dollar at a local coffee shop where the manager often takes the time to ask about your day.
Emotions make the world go round. For businesses, emotional bonds are among the biggest reasons why potential customers become loyal customers. Emotions are the driving force behind 50% of every buying decision. Ad campaigns that had elements of emotion were twice as likely to produce results compared with those that showed no emotion at all, according to a study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
So, always look to instill an emotional angle in every aspect of your brand and marketing campaign. Here are a few ideas to get started.
1. Identify that one thing that drives your customers crazy
Before you can connect to your customers emotionally, you’ll obviously need something they can connect to. And it’s definitely not your online business because people don’t do business with a business, but with other people. More details on that later.
You’ll need to find something within your business that draws one emotional connection. Your customers need to feel that one emotion every time they interact with your brand. This one thing will vary among different businesses, but will usually have three qualities: it’s focused; it speaks to a predefined demographic; and it’s an experience, not a feature of one of your products or services.
2. Expand avenues for customer interaction
The easiest way to establish an emotional connection with your customers is by simply asking them. Businesses that actively listen to their customers are able to identify their customers’ pain points and address them, which is one of the fastest ways to their hearts.
Being a listener demands linking your brand to platforms that give your customers a voice. If you haven’t already, ensure you’re adequately and correctly utilizing social media as a part of your marketing campaign. Use tools like Survey Monkey, Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact to carry out surveys. By listening and interacting with your customers, you’ll be able to develop solutions to their problems and show that you do care about them.
3. Create emotional content
The human brain is naturally wired to respond to stories, especially content that tends to be emotional. Emotional stories have been shown to trigger the release of oxytocin from the brain, a hormone that’s often associated with happiness and contentment.
There are three basic philosophies of emotional connection that surround good content: a catchy headline; engaging content; and content that makes the user take some form of action. Use the word “you” throughout the content and always look to connect with your audience via the headline. Reference the reader as you write and focus on their feelings by creating feeling-focused phrases within your wording.
4. Guarantee information privacy and confidentiality
With many businesses collecting customer data from surveys, opt-in emails, online purchase portals, and many other digital platforms, the question of information privacy and confidentiality often occurs. On one end, businesses can use this data to improve their service offerings by better understanding their customers. On the other end, such information can be used for the wrong purposes, such as sending an unsolicited communication.
Information privacy is an important facet of customer trust, which is why it’s always vital to assure your customers that their personal information and data will not fall into unauthorized hands. Always be on the lookout for different types of web hosting, partly because different providers usually offer varied types of website security.
5. Prioritize your customers’ needs
The business world has increasingly become customer-centric, which is why businesses that fail to prioritize their customers’ well-being are losing out on opportunities to establish emotional bonds. Without a good customer service strategy, you might as well close shop.
There are many subtle ways you can use to show your customers that you care. Share, comment or like their posts on social media, even when they aren’t related to your business. Offer customers as many payment options as possible when checking out on your website. It’s always the small things that matter.
6. Technology is your friend
No, advances in tech do not mean the end for human connections. On the contrary and when used correctly, technology can be used to foster human to human connections and promote emotional bonds between customers and online brands. Technology can be used to leverage customer insights using tools such as Google Analytics. Such insights can be used to understand your customers’ demographics and content consumption habits, which in turn can help you customize your product and service offerings according to their needs.
With mobile devices becoming more popular than ever, you can use simple mobile apps to help your business connect with customers. For instance, you can use a simple weather app to predict the weather in your area and use the information creatively to make clothing or accessory suggestions depending on the weather.
It’s simple, but it just might speak to a customer who really needs the help, making your brand the hero of the day.
7. Personalize your brand
People never do business with a company or a brand. They do business with other people. This is why it’s very important for your online brand to have an identifiable personality. This is also where your social media strategy can become your biggest tool.
A good social media strategy will let you craft your company’s personality into the posts and information you share with your followers. These posts and updates should communicate your company’s voice and help the business connect emotionally with your customers.