12 Incredibly easy ways to create content with emotional impact

Mark Schaefer
Apr 22 · 3 min read

One of the more shocking revelations in my book Marketing Rebellion is that loyalty has disappeared. Fully 87% of our customers “shop around” now.

As a marketing professional for more than 30 years, this sort of information is hard to take. It’s my job to make people loyal. I like loyalty!

But now that I’m aware of the true nature of our world, this sort of data seems to be hitting us from all sides a new study from Meaningful Brands reports:

  • Seventy-seven percent of brands could disappear and no one would care, according to the findings. The number is 3% higher than the 2017 report and the highest since the research began in 2008.
  • Brands viewed as meaningful have seen their wallet share multiply by 9X, and see a 24-point greater purchase intent.
  • Nine out of ten consumers expect brands to deliver content, but consumers think 58% of content from brands is irrelevant.
  • Most interesting — The report revealed a 72% correlation between content effectiveness and a brand’s impact on personal well-being.

The report should be cause for some concern for marketers, as it reveals that consumers are underwhelmed by most brands and their content.

Research by McKinsey and other show the reason people feel disconnected or even distrustful of brands is because there is a lack of emotional connection with the company and its products.

Content is an area where most marketers are failing, according to the report. Consumers expect relevant, personal content from their favorite brands, but brands are missing the opportunity to engage them in a meaningful way that builds loyalty.

Re-inventing corporate content

What does that mean? How should brands be improving the emotional impact of their content? I believe we can take some steps forward by implementing a few simple ideas.

  1. In most company content, I don’t know who is producing it. Where is the author? I want to see a human face.
  2. Stop using stock photos. Show real people and their smiles. When you use stock photos, the message you convey is “even we don’t care.”
  3. Nobody cares about the arc of your story. Content that connects in an emotional way must put the customer at the center. Make the customer the hero.
  4. Most corporate content isn’t native to a normal content stream. For example, you can almost always spot a sponsored post on Instagram because they just don’t fit in. Take care to craft content that appears natural and native to the social stream.
  5. Even company content must be in a human voice. Not a legally-approved human voice. A REAL human voice.
  6. Humans are friendly, approachable and even vulnerable. How about your content? Oh yes, our human friends admit it when they make a mistake.
  7. Brands should be exploring new ways to tell stories. A blog is a blog is a blog. How do you tell a story in a way where the format is as conversational as the content?
  8. Stop selling. Start helping.
  9. If somebody came to your store, would you ask for their email address before they enter? Treat people online like you would treat them offline. That includes ending pop-up ads. Stop doing what people hate.
  10. The economic value of content that is not seen and shared is zero. Are you developing a competency in content transmission? Content must enter the conversation to work.
  11. There is a difference between personalization and personal. Personalization is an expectation. Personal creates emotional impact.
  12. Content should be viewed with the same esteem as your company’s products. It’s not just sales propaganda. It should be good enough to be a stand-alone product that customers look forward to receiving. If you can’t meet that standard of quality, you’ll certainly fail in this era of overwhelming information density.

What simple ideas would you add to add emotion to your content?

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for {grow}, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.


Originally published at https://businessesgrow.com on April 22, 2019.

Mark Schaefer

Written by

Chieftain of the blog {grow}, strategy consultant, educator, podcaster, author of Return On Influence, The Content Code, and The Tao of Twitter.