We don’t buy only because we need things. We want them. For some reason outside the realm of logical explanation, we have to have the iPhone 6 even though our iPhone 4 works just fine. We’ll pay $200 more for the designer version of the same pump. And when it does come down to purchasing the things we need -- like toilet paper and rice -- we don’t base our buying decisions on cost and quality alone; we tend to spend our money on goods that make us feel a certain way.
Smart. Young. Progressive. Empathetic. Healthy. Relaxed. Part of the tribe.
In Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Noel Murray does a great job of breaking down this attachment between brand power and emotion:
"A nationally advertised brand has power in the marketplace because it creates an emotional connection to the consumer. A brand is nothing more than a mental representation of a product in the consumer’s mind. If the representation consists only of the product’s attributes, features, and other information, there are no emotional links to influence consumer preference and action. The richer the emotional content of a brand’s mental representation, the more likely the consumer will be a loyal user."
To elicit an emotional response, brands need to communicate a compelling “personality” through their packaging and the types of words and images they use to describe the brand, Murray says. And where do many (if not most) people first come into close contact with your brand? Your website.
That’s why it’s so important to create website content that makes viewers feel good/excited/intrigued/you-name-the-positive-feeling about your brand. Here are three ways to starting doing just that.
Tell your story
An engaging personal narrative can add the personality your website needs to make visitors want to learn more -- to click through to your products and services page, fill out your contact form, and check out your linked social media profiles. You can tell your business’s unique story through thoughtful copy, inspiring images and dazzling design on your entire website, but your About page is the go-to space for visitors to learn all about who you are and why they should care.
Tell your story in a few paragraphs sprinkled with trigger words that will invoke the type of feelings you hope to stir up. Add depth to your written story with photos and video. You can use the “About Us Page” section of the Content Creation Worksheet to organize your ideas.
Focus on the benefits
A bulleted list of product features isn’t likely to make someone whip out their credit card. But a list of reasons why your product can save them time or money or improve some other aspect of their life, might. Keep the focus on end-user benefits in your website’s headlines, product descriptions and customer endorsements.
Make ‘em want to DO something
“When you have the opportunity to present something of value to your potential customers, make it sound like it's going to be worth their while.” ~ Realtor Sam Debord
How does the word "submit" make you feel? Empowered? Curious? Ready to hand over your email address? Doubtful. If your aim is to compel website visitors to do something (click through, call, fill out a form, etc.) with a sense of urgency, “submit” is just about the worst call-to-action verb you could choose. The calls to action on your site should identify problems and communicate the benefits of taking action, or offer visitors something they can't turn down. “Shave hundreds from your tax payment!” “Save a pet today!” “Start learning now!” Use your calls to action to let site visitors know what’s in it for them, especially on an emotional level, so they’ll take that next step.
Even if they don’t need what you’ve got to offer, an emotional journey through your website could make them want it a little bit more.
Want to learn more about creating compelling content while managing your time? Join us for our upcoming SCORE Live Webinar: Bit by Bit: Creating Content for Your Website in Stress-Free Chunks!