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How to Add Emotion to Your Content (And Why You Should)

Jared Atchison
Updated Jun 27, 2022

People look for content online that inspires, excites and informs.

How do you get your audience to engage with your brand more without spending on advertising? 

The answer lies in creating content that’s packed with emotional signals. 

Your audience skims through an ocean of content online, filtering out marketing messages with lightning speed. Catching their attention is only possible by creating an emotional reaction.

Using emotion as a way to capture attention is a marketing principle that has been around for ages. Today, this principle still applies even as new apps, social media platforms, and technological advances alter the marketing landscape.

In this article, we’re going to look at how adding emotional signals to content can benefit your business. We’ll also explore how to make your content more engaging with the help of emotions. 

How emotion in content marketing benefits a brand

Many businesses work on creating content that reflects professionalism and integrity. This is essential, but in the process, many brands produce web content and email communication that appears impersonal and stiff.

You can communicate professionalism while humanizing your brand by adding emotion to your marketing material. Doing so create several benefits that will help grow your business:

  • Lower advertising expenses: Content that triggers emotions are more likely to go viral.  Your content will be shared and engaged with by people without having to invest in advertising campaigns, saving your business considerable expense.
  • Increased web traffic:  Blog posts, images, and videos that create emotions like curiosity or excitement will send more traffic to your website.
  • Greater engagement on social media: People are more willing to engage with your social media posts when it creates feelings such as humor, excitement, or surprise. Users will also share content that they like to their peers, boosting the visibility of your posts.
  • It humanizes your brand: By adding emotional signals to the way you communicate with your customers, it helps people relate to your brand more. You will humanize your brand image and make your business appear friendlier.
  • Increased brand memorability: When you make your advertising or marketing communication humorous, it not only gets people’s attention, it also helps them to remember your brand. In this way, you stand out from the competition.
  • Improved conversion rates: One frequently used way that businesses can increase their conversion rate is leveraging FOMO. You can drive conversions by creating an offer for a limited amount of time.
  • Better SEO signals: Emotion in content can increase web traffic, clicks, and engagement which may have an impact on SEO. However, it’s important to remember that there are several factors that can impact your website’s search ranking. Creating relevant and informative content, good UX/UI, internal linking, and more also matter.

Adding emotion to content has powerful benefits for any business. Let’s look at practical ways that your material can excite, inspire, and engage your audience.

Practical ways to add emotion to your content 

We looked at the reasons why adding emotion to your content is not only helpful but necessary. So, how can you add emotional signals that create a strong response in your audience?

Let’s dive into a few practical and easy ways that you can optimize your content to win over your audience.

Understand your audience

When making content for your website, social media pages, and email, it’s essential to understand who your target customers are and what they care about.

When you have a clear understanding of your target market, you’ll know what kind of emotions to generate that will appeal to them.

For example, a business in the financial sector needs to convey security, trust and integrity. An automobile company may need to create content that showcases status, adventure and other emotions. 

Use social media listening tools and sentiment analysis to understand your audience’s primary emotions surrounding a product. You can also ask your audience to report their interests directly by using a survey form

Create a compelling title.

The first thing that your audience sees is the headline of your blog post, video or image. It’s essential for your title to immediately trigger a response that compels them to click on it and read your content.

When creating a title, use power words to set off a psychological response. Words such as “best,” “free,” and other terms easily catch your user’s eye. Likewise, you can build confidence in your business by using words like “expert,” “certified” and other terms that indicate authenticity.

Create short, impactful titles by using relevant keywords and power words to build excitement. A great title will help you get more engagement and traffic on your site and on social media.

Focus on creating positive emotions.

Emotional content that goes viral often creates complex emotions, and there’s no straightforward formula for driving virality. However, according to one study, viral content has certain characteristics that you can replicate in your own content creation. 

  • Negative and positively charged articles can go viral, but positive content is often more viral than negative content.
  • Awe-inspiring content is more likely to be shared.
  • Negative emotions can also lead to virality. However, sadness does not lead to virality as much as anger or anxiety, making it important for businesses to step in quickly when customers share negative content that signals anger.
  • Surprise is a key emotion that leads to content going viral. Posts that create negative content such as sadness can go viral if the content leads to feelings of surprise.

Both negative and positive emotions can lead to your content getting more engagement. However, positive emotions are more effective and your brand should be associated with feelings like joy and excitement.

Use the right platform.

According to one study, people tend to associate specific emotions with certain social media platforms. For example, people associate using Facebook and Twitter with anxiety and isolation among other feelings. 

Other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are linked to feelings like creativity and excitement. 

When creating emotional content, think about the right platform to use. Appropriate platforms will help maximize the effect of your content.

It’s also important to create the right type of content for each platform. Social media management tools will help you understand whether to create a video, an infographic, a list or a blog post for different platforms. 

Content format matters and can also impact emotions. For example, blogs are rated as the fifth most trusted source for reliable information. Hence, you can use blogs as a way to provide helpful and informative content to users as a way to build trust and thought leadership. 

Create an emotional connection to your brand

Building an emotional connection to your brand using your content has powerful outcomes. One analysis shows that even though fully connected customers form only a fraction of all a business’s customers, they spend twice as much as less connected customers. Emotionally connected customers also have lower attrition and higher lifetime value for a business.

Infusing positively charged emotions into your content is a surefire way to build a closer relationship with your audience. Brands like Nike, Lego, Starbucks and many more hold a strong place in their audience’s psyche. This happens through shared values, creating emotions that spark positive feelings and building a community. 

It’s vital for your business to highlight its values and to build the right feelings in association with your brand. Along with creating emotionally-charged content, you can also create a membership platform to build a community.

A community membership site will help you create a hub for people to share content. It can also develop a closer relationship with your audience by creating an exclusive space for brand and customer interactions. This will help create feelings of belongingness, making your customers identify with your brand. 

We’ve looked at a few effective ways to build emotion through content. By working with the tips mentioned in this post, you stand to improve your brand image and to help your business grow quickly. 

Image Credit:

Rawf8 / Getty Images

Jared Atchison
Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.