Understanding human emotion can be the key to an outstanding content marketing campaign. Recently, the Harvard Business Review dug deeper into the correlation between how people feel and what they're consuming online. From perusing sites like Reddit and Imgur, the HBR assembled a list of top emotions that are related to content marketing. Here they are and here's why you should care.
The group found that people were clicking on content out of curiosity. Although many things on the Web might be of interest to the reader, it's a matter of nailing down the right people to actually look at it. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially in the realm of business-to-business content.
If you want to produce an article, blog post, flyer, catalog or brochure that makes people feel curious, there are a few things you can do. For starters, enlist the help of someone who loves to write, suggested Entrepreneur. This person should be knowledgeable, informative, precise but mostly personable. Someone might know a lot about computers but it isn't going to do your company any good if they're robotic. Get people interested in what you have to say by speaking directly to them.
Okay, now you've got people paying attention to what you're saying, so next comes the "wow" factor. If you want to create some of most amazing stuff out there, you should focus on your headlines, post content at the right times and also be more in tune socially, according to Business 2 Community contributor Heather Gonzales.
This doesn't necessarily apply to social media. If you are trying to promote a piece of content, you should be out there at events and tradeshows meeting people and making important network connections.
Getting to know your target audience is a great way to pique your viewers' interest. People don't want regurgitated information, what they do want is something new and unique.
Be a thought leader and point out a part of a news story or research that is under-reported. Making a story interesting dates back to the early days of journalism. Newspaper reporters were writing stories about unique local and national events. If you want to keep it interesting, weave in some data, metaphors, anecdotes and humor, suggested The Huffington Post.
There was a YouTube video that was circulating throughout the cyber community for quite some time. It was a few minutes of twin babies swimming around a pool. As it's something most people haven't seen, they can't help but be astonished by it.
If you want to create jaw-dropping content, think about something that'd make you feel amazed. Give people their own "AHA!" moments, suggested Inc. magazine. Sometimes this means sifting through boring reports and statistics and picking out the big points for your story. Now shift gears from factual to human by putting a face to the content.
Don't be afraid to get a little weird with it. If it's unclear whether something you've written has the "wow" factor to it then it probably doesn't. Look at what you find fascinating and find a way to tell it to your audience.
You'll also need to leave something to the imagination. Shock your audience but don't give away everything. Like Inc. put it, don't try to do everything with your story. Think of it like you're a detective.
You're interrogating people for a case and all of a sudden, they switch stories on you. The question on your mind is "well, which one is it?" That's how your audience will feel if your story tries to cover more information than it should. Write a fine-tuned angle and give it to your people straight.
No one likes a negative Nancy
In addition to all of the emotions that should be invoked with your content, the HBR also found that negative emotion doesn't really go viral. This means that you might be better off focusing on some upbeat pieces rather than really difficult stuff. Keep it light!
Use these emotional triggers to your advantage and you may find that more people want to see your stuff. They're only human.