Have you ever wanted to know how to market your products or services in a way that would make your customers feel happy, relaxed, inspired, or other such emotions?
You might be experiencing what we call ‘affective marketing’, which is essentially the art and science of marketing products or services in a way that would make your customers feel a certain way. This could be anything from making them feel inspired to encouraging them to fall in love with your product or service – but why should you have to rely on chance for inspiration when you can work out a list of emotions you want your customers to experience and then use that to guide your marketing strategy.
Prioritise Your Target Audience
Whether you’re a business to business marketer, a marketer for a business, or a marketer for an institution, the first step in affective marketing is to define your target audience. By prioritising your target audience, you’ll ensure your messaging and approach is speaking to the right people.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is most likely to be interested in my product or service?
- What do I know about my target audience’s needs, wants, and desires?
- How can I serve my target audience with my product or service?
- How can I communicate with my target audience using language they will understand?
Once you’ve defined your target audience you’ll know exactly what approach to take in order to get the best results. You’ll also have a clear benchmark to work to. If you can get your customers to feel a certain way when they interact with your product or service, achievement of that is what you’ll be judged on. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still need to provide value to your customers, but you’ll be doing so in a more meaningful way.
Determine The Best Way To Communicate With Your Audience
The next stage in affective marketing is to determine the type of information you’ll need to communicate, and the best way to do so. For example, if your target audience is decision makers or stakeholders within an institution, you might want to use academic articles or webinars to present your arguments rather than using a sales brochure. In other words, presenting your target audience with the ‘hard facts’ might not be the most effective strategy. Consider the following elements when deciding on the best way to communicate with your customers:
- The objective you’re aiming for – in this case, sales.
- The channels your target audience uses – e.g., web, mobile, social media.
- The style of language you’ll be using – this is especially important if you’re aiming to communicate using written words (e.g., a sales brochure, website copy, or marketing material).
- The level of detail you need to provide – this will heavily depend on your target audience and type of product/service you’re selling. For example, if you’re aiming for a very specific group of customers (e.g., scientists, academics, or government officials), you may not need to communicate with your customers at all beyond what’s necessary for them to choose your product or service over your competitors’.
- The target audience’s characteristics – e.g., age, gender, occupation, and interests.
- The target audience’s decision-making criteria – e.g., cost vs. value, features, compatibility, etc.
- The competitors’ information – If you’re competing in a crowded market space, it’s important to know what your competitors are doing and how they are doing it. Keep an eye on the latest trends and technologies, as well as their successes and failures, and you’ll be able to develop more effective strategies to compete.
- The research you’ve done so far – This is particularly important if you’re beginning your marketing activities and don’t have much (if any) data to work with. Having information about what has (and hasn’t) worked for you in the past can help you produce more effective strategies for the future.
- Your analysis of the market – This is important for all stages of marketing, but is crucial at the outset. Having a clear picture of the market dynamics will help you determine the best approach for engaging with your audience. For example, if you see the majority of your target audience as consumers rather than decision makers, you may want to consider using marketing platforms like Facebook or Instagram, where most of your customers are, in fact, consumers rather than businesses or individuals.
- Your product (if you’re a business)
- Your services (if you’re a business)
- Your price (if you’re a business)
- Your target audience (if you’re a marketeer)
- Your brand (if you’re a marketeer)
With this kind of information in hand, you can determine the message you’ll be sending to your audience, the media you’ll be using to get that message out, and the tone of those messages. In addition, you can begin to consider what kind of language you will use, the visual aids you’ll need, and the frequency of your communications.
Create Keywords And Phrases To Easily Find Your Content
The final step in affective marketing is to create keywords and phrases that can be used to find your content, either through traditional or digital means. Through a process of word association, you can derive keywords and phrases that when used in conjunction with your chosen search engine, can help your content to rise to the top of the pile.
The advantage of using keywords and phrases is that you don’t have to rely on chance for your content to be found. Google, Bing, and other search engines, when used in conjunction with relevant keywords and phrases, will automatically find and present your content, without requiring any further action from you. You just have to make sure that your content is, in fact, relevant to the keywords and phrases used.
Plan Your Marketing Activity
Affective marketing is more than simply throwing some words and a couple of images together and calling it a day. To get the best results from your efforts, you need to plan everything – from the type of content you’ll use to the platform(s) you’ll be using to engage with your audience. This way, you can ensure you’ve covered all the bases and worked out the kinks before you begin your marketing activities. Make a plan and stick to it. You might find it helpful to use a tool like Trello to keep your objectives in view and to monitor your progress throughout the year. And don’t be afraid to adapt your plan as necessary. Just because one strategy isn’t working well for you doesn’t mean you need to throw away your entire plan and start again. Instead, you can modify it and use the results to inform your next move.