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Emotional Marketing Is a Brand’s Most Powerful Persuasion Tool

We are living in the emotional marketing era, where we present every bit of information as familiar and relatable to potential customers. The reason? Emotional marketing is interesting and memorable. The messages stay in people’s minds for a long time, which is exactly what you want to achieve: memorability. As any marketer will tell you, memorability is the foundation of any successful branding strategy.

Emotional marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make your audience notice and remember you, and then buy from you.

John Hegarty very rightfully said, “The first lesson of branding is memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember.”

Memorability Poster

Emotional Marketing and Culture

According to a recent psychological study, “emotions are cultural phenomena because we learn to have them in a cultural way.” This is one of the reasons why, for example, the interpretation of emoji varies from one culture to another. Batja Mesquita, a pioneer in cultural psychology, has been researching the role of culture in our emotional lives for decades. This is what she has to say about it:

We don’t really know discrete emotions when we are born; we only distinguish between pleasant and unpleasant. In interacting with others, we learn to categorize and experience emotions in certain ways. People in different cultures acquire different emotions. For example, people in many Western contexts may think of shame as a bad emotion. But shame is considered a good emotion in other cultures—it is in one category with modesty and embarrassment and these feelings show that you have propriety, that you know your place in the world. 

Psychology Today

Consequently, for emotional marketing to be successful in appealing to a global audience, it needs adaptation to each particular culture. In more technical terms, emotional marketing requires localization.

What Studies Say

According to Psychology Today, the influential role of emotion in consumer behaviour is well documented:

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that, when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (feelings and personal experiences), rather than information (attributes, features, and facts).
  • Research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.

The Role of Localisation

Batja Mesquita, the cultural psychology expert we mentioned above, explains that most cultures don’t think about their emotions as something that lives inside of an individual, but more as something between people. In those cultures, emotions are what people do together, with each other.

Framing emotions this way has consequences on our relationships and behaviour. And when you think of the brand-customer relationship and the purchasing behaviour, the importance of adapting to each particular culture becomes crystal clear.

As we’ve explained in one of our recent blog posts, localisation involves translation but also goes one step further. Localisation means adapting the source content (text and any other elements) in such a way that it takes into account the target culture. In other words, localisation professionals adapt content for local consumption. The purpose is to make it resonate emotionally in the target audience.

In other words, localisation is what makes it possible for your brand to appeal to the differing emotions of each culture you are trying to penetrate with your branding.

What Makes Emotional Marketing So Effective?

The main reason emotional marketing works is that it sticks over time. Chances are you still remember a particular commercial from when you were a child or a teenager. What is it that you remember about it? Was it the catchy tune that made you feel joyful each time you sang it? Was it a memorable phrase that you’ve been uttering since then to refer to a certain situation? Whatever it is, the brand in question managed to appeal to your emotions and become memorable through them.

How Emotional Marketing Relies on Persuasive Writing

Because consumers are often trying to ignore adverts and any type of marketing explicitly trying to catch the attention of potential consumers, many marketers face the challenge of creating content that can break through such barriers. This is where emotional marketing and strong rhetoric come into place.

Rhetoric and persuasive writing are at the core of emotional marketing. To begin with, let’s establish that rhetoric intended to persuade (i.e., “deliberative” or “legislative” rhetoric) concerns itself with constructing and defending effective arguments either through persuasive writing or through persuasive speech.

Rhetoric, or the art of argument, has inspired people to do both great things and terrible things. In the age of mass media, persuasive messages surround us. Most people, at some point in their lives, want or need to persuade other people to adopt their point of view. It’s the case of lawyers, politicians, marketers, entrepreneurs, and all producers and consumers of information.

Rhetoric has a real effect on people’s behaviour! Words move us to action and drive our decisions. In fact, whether at work, in school, on social media, or around the kitchen table, we are constantly finding ourselves in situations where it is important to articulate our thoughts.

Modes of Appeal

There are several “modes of appeal”, or ways in which you can get your audience to agree with you. The main ones are:

  1. Logos (or “appeal to reason”): it uses logical reasoning to convince an audience. It may work through deductive reasoning (making one or more propositions and then working through their logical implications) or through inductive reasoning (making probable conclusions from examples or pieces of evidence—such reasoning is always conclusive in proportion to how representative the example is).
  2. Ethos (or “ethical appeal”): it is based on establishing the credibility of the speaker or writer.
  3. Pathos (or “emotional appeal”): It involves evoking positive emotions, like pride or hope, or negative ones, like fear or hatred.

These modes of appeal are artistic (in the sense that they involve an art that can be learned); “non-artistic” means of persuasion, by contrast, include things that do not rely on the skill of the rhetor, like cited sources, statistics, testimony, and proverbial wisdom.

Style in Persuasive Writing

Almost every single twist of syntax (word order) and diction (word choice) has the power to make prose more compelling and turn a text into a piece of persuasive writing. Together with tropes, syntax and diction are part of a text’s style.

Diction involves precise word choice, as well as the use of different kinds of vocabulary or “register” (e.g., poetic, technical, casual, or slang); and patterns of sound, like repeated consonants or vowels. Various sentence lengths and syntax help develop a distinct stylistic pattern, as does the design of paragraphs. Finally, there are tropes, or turns/twists/play on meanings, from metaphors to puns.

Multilingual Emotional Marketing: Tips for Its Success

Everyone is investing in content these days. Also, most business owners are discovering that good, impactful content marketing that appeals to people’s emotions is hard to nail down. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, press releases, websites, videos… There’s just so much content everywhere!

If you find that scary (and the fact that bad content might do more harm than good to your brand), imagine achieving a successful content strategy in multiple languages at once. But worry not! We’ve compiled a list of tips that you might find useful. Whether you are just getting started or looking to improve your strategy, sit back and enjoy the read:

1: Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy Ahead

Do you have a strategy for the content you are going to share on digital channels in 2019? Not having a clear plan before beginning content creation is a recipe for failure. If you don’t know where to start, check out this link.

2: Don’t Write Just for the Sake of It

This relates to the first tip. Creating irrelevant content with no strategy in mind, just to show your followers that you post regularly, is a Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Keep your content relevant to your target consumers, consistent, and according to your plan. Nobody says you can’t have fun content, but beware of TMI (Too Much Information). In other words, unless your brand is related to animals, best to avoid posting about your cat’s recent visit to the vet.

3: Leave the Keyword Research to the Experts

To quote Retro Digital, one of our regular clients, “Search engine optimisation is probably one of the most overlooked tools in a digital marketers toolbox. When it comes to Google (or whatever your country’s local search engine is), 75% of people don’t actually make it past the first page.”

To avoid Google overlooking or pushing back your content, it’s important you hire a team of professionals to:

  • Conduct appropriate (multilingual) keyword research
  • Measure performance in all markets
  • Devise new ways of reaching your target consumers through localised content

4: Find Resources Specialised in Content Marketing

Like anything, content marketing takes continuous trial and error before you start getting things right. But if there is one content marketing lesson you do not want to learn the hard way, it is that you need at least one dedicated person to manage your content. What’s more, you need one dedicated person per language. This could involve one content writer for one of the languages and specialised translators or transcreators for all the others.

To drive good results, your content marketing needs to get all the attention it deserves! By appointing one person to the task for each language/market, you ensure consistency and timely management.

Having your content transcreated by specialist Marketing translators is an investment rather than an expense. When executed correctly, transcreation and localisation can skyrocket your sales so that your ROI makes it worth the effort.

5. For Content in Spanish, Contact Us

With our over 15 years of combined experience, you will get the expertise, the personalised service, and the flexibility of a professional freelancer. But our model means you will also enjoy the fast turn-around, the efficiency, the quality assurance processes, and the high-end technology of a big Language Services Provider. And we are committed to giving you all that without losing the human and ethical touch. The bonus? We are super fun!

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