How to effectively measure the return on investment when it comes to influencer marketing.
For marketers, Christmas is around the corner – aka, the most wonderful, and stressful, time of year. 2020 is likely to be a whole different ball game, with added pressure to ensure campaigns are tasteful, and drive significant ROI. This article will explore the psychology of marketing, and why brands should use influencers and positive emotional cues in their content, to drive feelings of hope and happiness, which authentically resonate with their customers.
Influencers and Emotional Marketing
It’s a no-brainer that emotion is one of the key factors contributing to successful marketing campaigns, and in the very first neuroscience study conducted on influencers, it showed that their power comes from their ability to evoke intense emotions and create lasting memories – so, the two go hand in hand. The study results claimed that influencer ads were 277% more “emotionally intense” than TV ads and 87% more memorable. The hardest part of marketing is getting customers to connect with your brand and products on an emotional level, and that’s where influencers come in. They can gain the trust of their audience by promoting transparency, so the power of an influencer is not solely based on their number of followers – but instead around how much trust people invest in them.
Once trust is established, content creators can positively resonate with their audiences on a more intimate level. From big brand activations driving positive consumer responses, like John Lewis owning Christmas, to smaller moments like makeup brands using influencers to create ASMR content that calms the viewer. Each year, the John Lewis Christmas advert is eagerly awaited, always a tear jerker, and usually lands from an ‘audience connection’ point of view; they can’t not get emotional marketing right. We’re going to show you how to use influencers and emotional marketing in tandem, to reach John Lewis levels of feel-good festive cheer, with an authentic edge and for half the price!
The Psychology of Emotional Marketing
There’s one thing we will always be certain of: that emotions rule our decision-making. In fact, 70% of viewers who experienced an emotional response to a campaign were more likely to buy the product. From sentimental adverts to inspiring quotes, an emotional approach allows brands to connect with their audience on a deeper leve, and with the invention of social media, that’s never been easier. We now have more direct access to people than ever before, and there’s a whole bank of diverse creators to work with, and more communities to influence. The success rate of (tasteful) emotional branding has soared as marketers have put psychology into action to compete in the customer-centric digital age.
To truly understand the concept of emotional marketing, we need to touch on the psychology behind consumer behaviour, and understand what motivates people to choose one product, over another. The psychology behind consumer behaviour is based on two fundamental drivers of human behaviour – Emotion, and Logic. Without falling off the deep-end into neuroscience, these two terms can be defined as follows:
- Emotions refer to the mental responses that occur at the sub-conscious level of the mind and cause biochemical reactions in the body. Emotions are physical, and can be measured by brain activity, blood flow, facial micro-expressions, and body language. Just like the Pixar hit Inside Out, American psychologist Paul Eckman identified six basic human emotions; joy, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust.
- Logic is the mental response that occurs at the conscious level of the mind and involves deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning based on memories, observation and imagination. Basically, if you listen to your head instead of your heart, you’re using logic over emotion.
So, how does it all work? Emotions also cause the release of neurotransmitters (big word, bear with us) that are essential for memory consolidation. Emotional memories are generally much stronger and longer lasting, so if a brand or marketer creates an emotional campaign that connects with a customer, that customer is far more likely to remember and buy their specific product.
3-Step Guide to Emotional, Influencer Marketing
If we now understand the psychology behind making a purchase or choosing one brand over another, we can recognise that marketing is all about influencing the ‘Emotions’ and ‘Logics’ of consumers. It’s a thin tightrope to walk – between moving people and hitting a nerve – but it is easily possible (if you follow our guide) to inspire and delight, alongside the rollercoaster of emotions your customers are going through in 2020.
- Step 1: Stay Authentic: our biggest rule of thumb when it comes to any influencer marketing campaign, is to stay authentic to your brand. Fine influencers through archetypal alignment rather than follower count, and don’t alter your persona to fit into a trending topic. Right now, it’s hard to determine the emotions of your customers with so much uncertainty going on, so building trust in your core brand ethos is key, and a great way to do that is through sharing user-generated content that is reactive, relevant and relatable – even better if it comes from an creator with influence. Fun Fact: Around 93% of consumers think that UGC is helpful when they’re making purchasing decisions.
- Step 2: Read The Room: Human beings have always loved stories, and we will always be suckers for emotion – it’s just part of our nature – but don’t feel you have to be unnecessarily soppy, but focusing on hope and happiness could be your gold dust right now. Throughout our lives we’ve been learning about the world through carefully-crafted stories that spark imagination and generate emotional responses. Additionally, scientists have found that positive emotions are more likely to convince us to share and retweet with friends, than negative feelings. Brand storytelling needs a storyteller, and the most effective storytellers out there, are influencers. Influencers didn’t get to where they are out of sheer luck – they managed to build their influence because they know what their audience wants and how they want it. Give them scope to design the content and copy around the preferences and needs of their audience.
- Step 3: Monitor Success: You won’t know what success looks like, if you haven’t set out KPIs in advance. Just like a school science experiment, you need aims and an evaluation to get the marks, so know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it, before you set out. Use analytics and social listening to determine whether or not your emotional marketing efforts are going to land, learning as you go.
If you’re looking to find a balance between emotional marketing and rampant tear-jerking, that lets you keep a solid brand image, whilst working with influencers on campaigns that your customers will continue to love, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!