Emotion Is Your Most Strategic Marketing Tool

Emotion is the tool you need to create content that captures the attention of your target audience. You need to engage their brains then their hearts if you want your content to be shared across networks and social media platforms.

The goal of your content goes beyond keeping your existing audience engaged and informed. You want whoever reads your content to love it so much that they feel compelled to share it with their online community.

What will trigger that immediate response? Emotion.

Decision making is not based on logic it is based on emotion. The emotional part of your brain is leading the decision making charge. The logical analytical part of your brain is simply playing catch up and ends up “justifying” a decision that has already been made.

Emotion is a tool that can be used to guide the brain’s response. What is the best way to insert emotion into strategic marketing? Graeme Newell breaks it down very eloquently,

“Start with your clients emotional priorities then show how you can make their dreams come true.”

Knowing your clients emotional priorities is essential to creating content that connects with your target audience at a fundamental level. You need to trigger in their brains a strong feeling of YOU UNDERSTAND ME.


Feeling understood is incredibly powerful. It resonates in the brain and forms the foundation of an emotional bond. The same kind of bond you experience with friends and family that “get you”. A place where you feel understood, appreciated and respected. You can create that emotion in your target audience.

Collect emotional insights from your current clients and target audience. When you first meet them are they exhausted, anxious, depressed or overwhelmed? What language are you hearing after receiving your services? Are they re-energized, driven, passionate or ecstatic? These emotional insights become your unique strategic marketing tool.

[Tweet “Feeling understood is incredibly powerful in marketing”]

The content you create will reflect back to your audience the emotions they your audience find themselves currently experiencing and the emotional place they are striving for. What is it about your services that will have an emotional impact on your client? What emotions are they experiencing before and after working with you?

Emotion transforms your strategic marketing from a flowchart into the embodiment of your ideal client.

Emotion Keywords Amplify Content Impact

Henneke Duistermaat wrote a blog post that perfectly captures the importance of adding emotion words to content to increase impact and drive your audience to share.

Capture the emotions that are driving your target audience by collecting insights from direct interviews and online research. If you aren’t sure which emotions to explore initially, a good place to start is by looking at the 8 basic emotions shared within Henneke’s post.

Emotion Is Your Most Strategic Marketing Tool - inforgraphic - emotional power words

The study of emotion and emotion words is an active area of research. Dr. Watt Smith conducted research which revealed that there is a granularity to emotions that we still haven’t fully captured in common every day usage words.

These emotions are still impacting our daily actions and reactions but we can’t readily describe them. In some instances you may not even realize you are experiencing the emotion until you read about it.

The use of emotions and emotional words will anchor those feelings and frustrations that are bubbling within your audience and link them with something tangible – your content and your strategic marketing.

Emotion will be the tool that builds the relationship between you and your target audience. It will not matter how wonderful and charming you are in person if your online content is full of jargon, acronyms and corporate speak.

Read any article you find about viral content and the one common element that was widely shared is emotion. High arousal emotions provoke action which is ultimately the point of creating content.

You want to build an engaged community that responds to the content you create. You want the likes, retweets, comments and shares. Their response is a direct reflection of your audience insights and knowledge. The more you understand how to engage their brain, the stronger the response you will receive.

Emotion Increases Visual Memory

Our brains process visuals first and retain a memory of them longer.

[Tweet “Emotion increases visual memory”]

Use visuals that have an emotional impact to capture the attention of your target audience as they scan through their social media feeds, emails and online reading.

Given how short our attention spans are, you need to use emotion as your primary strategic marketing tool. Emotion will drive the visuals you create, the stories you share and how well your audience remembers your message.

Once you have collected the emotions your target audience is experiencing, you need to create unique visuals as part of your strategic marketing. There are many easy to use and cost effective techniques for creating custom visuals.

A creative visual catches the eye and gets the visitor to stay and explore your website. It can also buy you those few extra precious seconds on social media for a user to stop and actually read your content. A visual marketing strategy is essential for engaging the brain. Adding emotion to your visuals in the form of overlaid text or the use of images that reflect emotion significantly increases how well your content will be remembered.

Emotion is your most strategic marketing tool. Emotion captures the attention of the brain and engages your audience to take action. We already know that content with visuals gets 94% more views than content without visuals.

[Tweet “Emotion is your most strategic marketing tool”]

Take that knowledge and bring it to the next level by adding emotion to the visuals you create and share.

Set emotional connection as the overarching goal, the “true north” of the customer experience

Set emotional connection as the overarching goal,
the “true north” of the customer experience
– Zorfas & Leemon, Havard Business Review

Are you ready to take your strategic marketing to a whole new level? Why not join our Neuromarketing 101 eLearning course. You will learn marketing emotion, how to create powerful visuals and how to craft stories with lasting brain impact.


Jennifer-ArnoldJennifer Arnold, Founder at InnovaMap, Ph.D. in Neuroscience

InnovaMap – we use the science of content marketing to connect you with your target audience. Get our free ebook and learn the neuroscience of marketing to your ideal client or check out our eLearning course neuromarketing 101 – how to ignite your strategic marketing.

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