I had the pleasure of speaking about this very topic at the Worcester branch of Santander at the end of March. In front of a varied group of business owners, which included double glazing fitters and a food safety professional, I explained how each and every one of them could use emotion effectively, using my own experience as an author as a guide.
Authors, whether they mean to do it or not, always end up taking their audience on an emotional journey through their work. I am no exception! My debut novel, Heartbound, is predominately set in a Leicestershire town where I lived for ten years before my move to Worcester in 2017. There are parts of Heartbound which are based on my own experiences and I'm not ashamed to admit that I did get emotional a couple of times during the writing process.
It's actually a good thing!
Because I had such a deep connection with what I was writing, I was able to get across what my character was feeling and experiencing almost without thinking about what I was writing. The reader would be able to tap into that emotion and really connect with my character's situation.
This same emotional connection was key in Heartbound's promotion. Being a self-published author, it was down to me to promote my novel. I already had a connection with the setting so that helped me to approach the local media with press releases and the emotion I experienced when writing the climax was integrated into my social media posts.
The result of all this? Heartbound reached the dizzy heights of #2 in its Kindle category and I was proud to have achieved some fantastic coverage.
Now for the real lesson.
Each business is a collection of stories. And emotion is at the heart of them all, if you excuse the pun. I encouraged the business owners to think about a memorable moment they'd recently had and just sit with it for a couple of minutes. What emotions did they have? Did they feel happy about the outcome? Regretful? Angry even?
The point of that exercise was to show businesses that emotion comes from everywhere and they can learn a great deal from it. Not only that, but they could use that same emotion in their marketing.
Blogs are the perfect platform to share stories with your audience. Why? Because, as a general rule, they are raw. They often come from one person with their own unique view on a topic. And for businesses, blogs allow them to speak to their audience in their own style. Nobody else's.
Blogs also give businesses the chance to demonstrate that they understand their audience's situation and give advice on how they can overcome this situation. By putting themselves in their audience's shoes, and showing empathy, businesses can start forming that all-important relationship that they all need to have with a potential new customer.
Then there's social media, the perfect companion for a blog. I got my audience to consider using a creative approach to their social media posts and what the emotional effect this would have on their followers, whether that was simply to make them feel curious about an article or inspire them with an eye-catching graphic.
The key lesson I wanted my audience to take away from my talk was that no matter what your industry, businesses can use emotion, empathy, and creativity, to give their marketing an edge. It was a pleasure to advise them all and share my own personal successes with them all. And a huge thank you to the staff at Santander Worcester for allowing me to do just that!
If you'd like to learn more about using emotion in your marketing, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let's share your story!