How to tap into the emotions of your audience for effective content marketing.

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Commonly, business owners and content marketers get so caught up with the technical aspects of content marketing such as the latest software, SEO techniques, and analytics; that they forget the EMOTIONAL element of their audience.

Research has shown that 80% of sales are driven by emotions, and only 20% are logical decisions. Besides, the first natural response towards anything is usually emotional before the logic can kick in. While you may choose what to think about something, often the initial emotional response is not deliberate.

Yet, if you take a good look at the majority of content on the internet, it is focused on providing facts and trying to persuade the audience’s intelligence.

Take some time and think about your best commercial.

The one that made you buy and still lingers in your mind long after it stopped airing. What is it about that commercial that you liked so much?

I can bet it was not the facts and features that were presented about the product, service or cause. It had something to do with the way it evoked a certain emotion in you. Maybe it made you want to laugh, or to cry, or you just related with the characters in the ad.

Well, to some extent, a logical appeal does work but taping on your customer’s pathos could get you more sales, better profits and more social media shares. If you have done all you could to get results for your content marketing, and you are looking for a way to accelerate your results, you might want to add an emotional aspect to your content marketing strategies.

The 5 emotions you need to tap on in your content marketing.



When your content makes the reader feel happy, excited or entertained, they are very likely to share it. BuzzSumo research found that over 50% of their most shared content stirred up positive feelings of awe, happiness, joy, laugher, or amusement.


Bringing out sadness in your content helps the audience to empathize and connect with it ultimately building trust.


Fear makes people want something to cling on to or to connect with. If your brand provides a sense of trust overall, the reader may be inclined to greater affiliation with it. Fear also inspires the reader to take action.


Facts or information that shocks the reader inspires them to share your content.


Anger causes the audience to itch to respond. However, it is an emotion that you may need to tread carefully with as it may bring about misunderstanding or hurt; therefore, becoming counterproductive to your efforts of establishing trust with your audience. On the other hand, it can drive clarity and momentum towards a certain action.

How to create content that engages your reader’s emotions?

1.Understand your target audience


Create a demographic profile of your customer base.  Determine the following about your audience:

  • Age bracket
  • Gender
  • Location where they live
  • Psychological attributes such as what interests them, their likes, what frustrates them, what kind of they enjoy, their values and aspiration and their pain points.

If you already have an established audience, look at your social media and website analytics to better understand them. If you are just starting out, do thorough research and then do an educated guess of who is most likely to consume your content. As your audience builds up, analyze who is reading and optimize your content accordingly.

Keep in mind that, a joke that tickles a millennial may not be ideal for a baby boomer, or some information that you hope will trigger fear in a teenager may not have the same effect on a new mom.

I cannot overemphasize that you have to have an accurate understanding of your audience so that you can stimulate the right emotions.

  1. Understand your brand

What is your business about? What kind of emotions do you want your business to be associated with? For instance, Bentley is associated with sophistication and luxury.

  1. What is your content marketing goal?

Are you looking to build awareness, attract traffic to your website, promote sales, or nurture new leads? For example, if you want to nurture leads, consider creating content that makes the audience feel understood. On the other hand, if you want to capture the attention of new customers entertain them or offer information that brings in an element of surprise.

Techniques for creating emotional engagement in your content

  1. Use images

BuzzSumo after analyzing how their content was performing discovered that content that had an image after every 75-100 words received more shares on social media.  This approach works best for short-form articles as it may make long-form articles extremely lengthy. Ensure you choose the appropriate images. Use image compressing software to reduce the size of the image so that it does not slow down your website’s speed.

  1. Incorporate videos

Research has shown that most customers prefer watching a promotional video about a product rather than reading about it.  Furthermore, the audio-visual characteristic of video creates a subliminal effect. However, video is the most expensive form of content to produce making it unaffordable for many small businesses.

  1. Use descriptive language

Descriptive language is especially vital for written content. It is the tool that you use to create an image in the reader’s mind to stir a given emotion.

  1. Use colors

In written content, use colorful images, different contrasts, and font color. For instance, you may have all your content in black but you use a different color for the headlines. Or you may use bold black for headlines. For videos, ensure that images are of high quality.

When writing any content, think about:

  • What action do you want your audience to take?
  • What emotions do you want to bring out in the audience?
  • Types of words, phrases and the technique you will use to bring out the emotion.


Every human being experiences emotions every day in their lives. You cannot afford to ignore that aspect in your content marketing campaign. It could be the key to your content going viral, increasing your web traffic and a higher conversion rate.

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