There’s been a lot of talk within B2B marketing circles about the importance of putting emotion at front of mind when creating marketing content.
One of the powers of social media is that it allows you to be yourself or anything else for that matter.
The euphoria of having a platform where your voice can be heard or you can be seen, creates a completely different person to what everyone sees or supposedly knows “offline.” It’s also a ‘space’ where as a marketer, you can display some emotion, even if this is in a virtual environment.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to show that you engage the best with people when you connect with them on an emotional level. It’s not necessarily about high drama or hypersensitivity. It’s about finding a connection, identifying a common ground, spotting a leveler and using that to form the foundation on which marketing conversations, marketing communications, and marketing engagement can be built.
So, what’s the marketing magic that happens when you get in touch with your emotions?
- You create content that’s meaningful and not abstract
- You make a lasting impression, and your content is bound to be remembered
- You expand your creative vision
- You churn out relevant stuff that’s reusable
- You start to feel, and pick up what’s going on around you
- You awaken from a sense of dullness, boredom and slumber
- You identify your own value and pour it out to others
- Content creation becomes a hobby and not a chore
- You develop a personality and your image flows through every word, sentence, paragraph, campaign etc.
- You stop hiding and reveal who you are.
To sum it up, marketing is a thought process, and if you are ready to revolutionize your marketing, then get emotional.
Post by 4CM, a member of the Evoke PR Network.
As human beings, we’re primed to tell and listen to stories. From childhood through adulthood, we are drawn to the lessons we learn, the exciting journeys we embark upon, the knowledge we gain and the opportunity to unleash our imaginations. Stories celebrate our culture. They make life interesting and give people a way to connect. People crave them, which creates a big opportunity for brand storytelling.
However, storytelling, as it applies to business, isn’t about spinning a yarn or fairy tale. Rather, it’s about how your products or services exist in the world. Every brand has a story, but many never realize or tell them in an engaging way. A compelling brand narrative is something people relate to, believe in and enjoy. Your mission, vision and values are just one part of your brand story. This bigger story is what connects your brand to your customer and makes it relevant to their lives. A great brand story is authentic and creative. It enables you to connect emotionally and personally with your customer and inspires action – you want to take your audience on a journey with your brand.
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”
So how do brands break through and stand out from the crowd? How can you effectively tell your story to enhance your brand? Some quick tips to get you started.
Define your voice. It’s not just what you say… it’s how you say it. Your voice should be distinctive and recognizable, and express your brand’s personality and values. First, you need to know who you’re talking to. This will help to tailor your messaging. Analyze the language people use about your brand online or in communications to you – identify commonly used words or phrases. Aim to make your brand’s voice consistent with that tone.
What’s in it for them? How does your brand add value? The goal here is not to be company-centric. Make the customer or client the focus of your story, because they’re the reason you do what you do. Using inclusive words like “us” and “we” will immediately connect your customer to your brand. Always keep your ear to the ground and listen closely to what your customers are saying about your brand. Identify and connect with your brand ambassadors on social media and use those real-world and real time testimonials to strengthen your story, and connect with your audience.
Be the solution. How do you turn your client’s most critical challenges into successes? What does your customer need that, by using your product or service, will make their lives better? Illustrate this with solution-based content through white papers and case studies; use specific examples of how your product or service has solved real problems. Using video clips, quotes, and comments from your customers and clients will lend credibility to your product or service.
Communicate your USP. What sets your brand apart from the competition? Talk about why your product or service is unmatched in the market and what makes this important to your core audience. What’s you unique selling proposition? Be truthful, be authentic and more importantly, you’ve got to own it!
Build influence as a thought leader. Great thought leaders have mastered the art of sharing and putting their message and brand out there. A good way to offer advice and tips is to actively share them on social-media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also add value by bringing the thought leadership of others to your own customers: show your audience how you’re using cutting-edge research in your products, or demonstrate how new findings or ideas are relevant to them. The more valuable content you publish, the more you’ll establish your brand as an authority in your field.
Remember! Being able to succinctly articulate a compelling story around your brand, how it came in to being, what its all about, why it matters to your primary customers and where it’s heading into the future is crucial to your success. Stories connect people and your brand story is what gives it meaning and solidity, helps define its values, shapes its destiny and captures your customer’s imaginations, thereby attracting and engaging their ongoing interest.
Posted by Irene Gomez, CIO, CorpMedia.
We’ve found there are six main reasons why PR practitioners and businesses avoid using images as part of their communications.
We thought we’d suggest solutions to these problems so you can start creating more vibrantly eye-catching and interesting content.
“Our product is boring. I don’t think it would be a good subject for an interesting picture.”
All the more reason you should use creative images to enliven your communications. Think of Innocent Drinks. Their product is not unique, but their social media content is awash with images that are unrelated to their product but fit with the quirky image they’re trying to give their brand’s personality.
However, if you don’t think this would work for your brand then you should consider thinking about how you can create an emotive or humorous image in some way connected to your product. Look at this humorous example for Webroot Internet Security.
Another tip is to write down your headline. What first comes to your mind when you read it? Have you used a metaphor? It’s often easier to match a picture to a headline than the whole story.
“Professional photographers are too expensive; I can’t afford to pay for photographs to accompany every press release I send out.”
Professional photographers might not be as expensive as you think. If you plan wisely, you can get a lot for your money.
Rather than hiring a photographer on an individual campaign basis, consider making a list of all the campaign activities you will have in upcoming months so you can think about the images you might like to accompany your documents.
It is much cheaper to hire a photographer for a whole day and take a wide range of shots to build your photo library. This collection of photographs can then be shared with your whole team so they can have easy access to photographs when they’re creating documents and presentations.
“We’re a small company we can’t afford fancy digital cameras, never mind a photographer.”
Don’t underestimate the power of your smartphone or tablet. The number of megapixels on these devices is equivalent to the digital cameras people were investing in only a few years ago. Also the quality of apps, such as Instagram, is continually improving.
Though the images these devices produce might not be of high enough quality for printed materials, they can certainly be used across social media and in blog posts.
“I take terrible photographs; they really wouldn’t be publishable.”
There are two websites worth checking out if you would like to improve your photography.
Writer and designer Adam Dachis has put together a comprehensive guide on Lifehacker that includes a number of lessons for use with digital cameras.
Expert Photography provides a thorough Beginner’s Guide to Photography and more than 250 other articles to help you improve your skills whether you are shooting with a camera or a phone. It’s definitely worth a read.
“I can never get my photographs the way I like them. I would have to buy expensive and complicated editing software or pay someone to edit them for me.”
Photoshop is the undisputed king of photo editing. However, it’s notoriously complicated and expensive. If you don’t want to fork out a whole heap of cash there are great free alternatives.
According to PCMag.com: “Paint.net lives in an interesting space between very basic image manipulation applications like Microsoft Paint and robust big guys like Photoshop.”
Gimp.org is a credible competitor to Photoshop, and it’s free. You can combine it with Photoshop plug-ins should you feel the package is not extensive enough. Read Brighthub.com’s review for details.
If you’d still rather use Photoshop but don’t want to pay for the full package, try Photoshop Elements. It’s a basic version of the full package at a fraction of the price.
“I am unsure of copyright laws so I would rather avoid using other people’s images.”
The Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act of 1988 is notoriously complicated and extends to more than 300 sections. Therefore, you should avoid using other people’s photographs unless you are absolutely certain you are not infringing any copyrights.
When you need an image in a hurry, it’s tempting to jump onto Google Images, do a few searches, and see what catches your eye. Of course, many images will be copyrighted. To find images you can freely use, use the advanced search and tick the use rights option that says, “free to use or share, even commercially.” Even then, please credit the original photographer.
The same applies with Flickr, the world’s largest photo-sharing site. Go to the advanced search and select “Creative Commons: find content to use commercially.”
“I find the photographs on these online stock sites are often very cheesy.”
Generally, it’s worth paying for stock photography, although it’s true you have to look hard to find shots that aren’t bland, generic, or cheesy.
There’s a knack to searching on these sites. Try to think of conceptual search terms that go beyond the obvious. You might, for instance, look for metaphors from nature or perhaps the arts.
As with most things, you tend to get what you pay for. Take a look at sites such as Alamy, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and 123RF, and find the cost/quality ratio you are comfortable with. If you want to buy photos and use them without restrictions, make sure you search for “royalty free.”
So, these are just some solutions. What do you think? Perhaps you have some of your own tricks to add. Please let us know in the comments below.