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How to use Emotional Content to Increase Visitor Response

Did you know that many folks make "buying decisions" when they are moved emotionally? Other traditional medias have made the most of these principles and taken advantage of them for many years, whether it be a TV commercial or an ad in a magazine. People are emotional beings and people make decisions (either good or bad) when they are emotional. If something causes a customer to become upset, they become angry and try and solve it. If they become upset enough...they'll make a decision to perhaps discontinue your service and hire another service. On a positive side, the TV media bombards us with commercials that try to make an advertisers product seem fun or cute. The "emotional content" tactic is in nearly every advertising and communication media from print to radio to TV and yes, even the web. Emotional content is used to sell everything from fast food to children's toys.

What every Toy Marketer knows:

Toy marketers have known for years that the focus in a toy commercial is not so much on their new product, as much as it is on the facial expressions of the child. They're showing the absolute joy and delight of playing with that toy. Often images in the mind of the child who is viewing the commercial might evoke a sense wonder, adventure and excitement. Sometimes, a toy marketer may aim much deeper psychologically by showing the child in their commercial, enjoying their toy with either Mom or Dad sitting on the floor playing with him or her. The child viewing the program may even desire that toy more simply because they think that "if they only they had this toy", their Mom or Dad might take more time to sit down and play with them too!

Emotional Content in Traditional Marketing:

In the example above, a TV commercial does not focus on the parent...they are selling to the child. However, selling a toy on the web, in an online toy store, is different in the aspect that you are actually selling to the parent (a child does not have a visa card to place an order). The benefits of a toy that appeal to the parent will be things like, it's safety features, the fact that it "educational". However, focus on appealing to the child might zoom to the top again in a children's entertainment site. If you want to sell a toy, you must make it desirable to have on the child's level. Most of us who have kids, know the impact and the drive that a child can have towards getting something from a parent. When a child "wants" something, that child will persistently find a way to go after that item until usually, the parent often gives in and buys it.

What about the silly characters brought to life in a fast food commercial and various the toy giveaway promotions? Certain fast food restaurant marketers know that children have the power to drag their parents to the local fast food place based on the fact that they can get this neat toy. All of this starts by a commercial in which that tiny little toy is made to appeal to the child's emotions. Is this not true also with certain breakfast food cereals and the "free prize" or "game" you get in every box? Of course as we grow from children to adults, we are not influenced by emotional media elements anymore....or are we. Let's look now at a few actual examples from my experiences on the web.

On The Web, Emotional Content Influences Peoples "Buying Decision." Actually, with the web being a multimedia experience, we have lots of opportunity to work with emotional content. After all, your visitors are just human beings too? We're really no different online than offline. We have an important emotional side of us that can be appealed to. Here's what I have learned from my client successes.

--If you are trying to sell a baby crib, but nobody is buying it,...put a cute little baby in the crib and PEOPLE WILL BUY IT!

--If you are relying on graphics, photos, animated gifs or any type of images, you want a combination of quality with uniqueness. Will your image make your audience smile or will it make your audience cry? Where might it be appropriate to make your audience cry? Actually, all it takes it the right scenario.

Example: I know of several businesses who are utilizing messages based on the events which occurred September 11 in the US. (The Sept. 11th tragedy in the US). In these examples, the web sites selling products are appealing to the visitors sense of patriotism or they may deliver messages of hope and inspiration. As important as these points are, they are also making good sales. In the case of the Sept. 11 example, some sites are selling but also contributing a portion to the cause.

--This leads to another thought....be very mindful of current events and current interest topics that you hear about on the media. Sometimes the most obvious strategies can be staring us right in the face. Be mindful of all media topics and in many cases you can bring about some good out of what would otherwise be missed.

--Whatever you are selling for retail online...."Lifestyle graphics" work best!

Example: If your selling a piece of furniture for the living room....display a picture of the furniture being used in someone's living room. The visitor may say to themselves...."look at this comfy looking couch". "This guy looks like he is really enjoying himself". (The image might be of a person sitting comfortably on the couch, in their living room....feet up and arms relaxed).

TIP: Lifestyle photos like this are much more influencing that just a product displayed in a showroom.

--Create pages that are not "hard sell". Instead, focus on the product benefits in way that it appeals to the emotions. (Keep in mind that many people will buy spontaneously, but they do not want to "be sold" something). Most people come to a web page in search of information. The "loud" or "hard sell" approach does not work on the web.

--If you are promoting something with emotional appeal which is already established through other medias, then also use it in your web page and tie it in.

For example, what do you think of when I say the 3 words...Zoom Zoom Zoom.

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--Remember the web has the potential to be a powerful multimedia experience. Is there a place for the use of music to contribute to the right atmosphere? Moving your audience just takes a little thought. Let your mind think outside of what is already being done. I am not talking about traditional stuff here, like putting a flash commercial on your site. Extend your creativity and be original. li>Does your product or service offer a solution to people's problems? Is there a way that it can be promoted with an emotional angle to it for greater impact?

--I learned that the use of Humour at times is very important. It can be in the form of text, graphics, audio, and video but just make sure it is good humour. People want to feel good on your client's web page. Good humour will influence emotion and "great humour" can funnel volumes of traffic into your site just by word of mouth.

Can you recall seeing humour used on a web page that made you laugh out loud? If so, just think back and see if you don't recall telling a friend to "check it out"! Then there may be sites where it might be hard to use humour (A funeral Parlour or perhaps a Divorce Lawyer). On the other hand, with a little creativity, who is to say it could not be done....with greatest of tact of course.

--A good example of the power of emotional content can be seen in instance where something about a site is so moving that it makes the viewer want to tell everyone they know!

Example: Interview with God (Very emotional feel good stuff)

Example: Alien Song (a simple 30 second animation that is guaranteed to have you telling your friends to check it out).

So what other ideas might you consider using to make emotional impact with your audience?

Is it possible to take old ideas and put a new spin on them?

What I mean by this is taking some older ideas and refresh them. There is nothing wrong with older concepts if they work, but sometimes all they need is re-thinking. One of the first things I ever experimented with was the idea of having a little fun with the old "printable coupon" idea. You know the old "discount coupon" which can be put on a Web page so the visitor can print it and bring it in to get a discount? At the time, I thought, what else could we do besides give folks a discount coupon to print off? It needs to be fun and have a little emotional appeal and still deliver value.

I created what I called the "SAY THE MAGIC WORD" campaign for a client.

Instead of printing coupons from my client's web site (a local Garage), I introduced the following promotion, which became somewhat popular with the client's customers.

When you visit the site, the visitor would scroll down the page and click on the image of a speaker. Suddenly you would hear a voice say "The Magic Word Is...." and it would give you a "word". Now this was not just any word, this was quite a magic word because when you take your car into the garage for a tune up, give your keys to the service manager and "say the Magic Word" you learned from the web site, they would cut your bill by 15%! Better yet, keep changing the magic word and you kept your audience coming back to the site.

People had fun with it...everyone told their friends about it, it delivered value. Honestly though, it was just a new spin on an old idea, but both the client and customer loved the concept.

I challenge you to put on your thinking cap.

You see as you introduce things like "humour" or other emotional content into use....you can also widen your scope of SEO promotion. Have you checked the top KEI values around subjects of comedy and humour? Hmmm...Well I guess that's an idea to be examined then isn't it?

Explore your clients business, explore what's going on in the world, but always remember the powerful impact that emotional content can deliver, if tastefully done.

About the Writer of this Article

John Alexander is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with Robin Nobles. Together, they teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. John also teaches online search engine marketing courses through http://www.onlinewebtraining.com, and he's a member of Wordtracker's official question support team.

Content is King!

Introduction

A pencil. Yes, a pencil. In my opinion, every great idea has started with a pencil. Sure, lots stay in someone's head, but to me a great idea doesn't have any value until it's written down. Until it's written down it's just dust I the wind: here today and quickly forgotten tomorrow.

But, every great idea needs a little something extra. Maybe you're great at design, but you simply can't write worth a darn. Or, maybe, you have the best idea for a web site, but no real way to get the word out. Either way, we all have different skills and we all have something to give and wouldn't mind getting a little something in return.

The web site I'm talking about today is really about just that: getting something valuable in return for something valuable. Whether you are a web site owner or a writer, this web site has been rather successful at giving you what you need, when you need it.

Constant Content is all about giving webmasters the content they need to make their sites great while at the same time giving authors the exposure and income they need to keep doing what they are great at. At it's core, it's about allowing people to play to everyone's strengths.

The Gist of the Gist

There are really two parts to Constant Content. If you are a webmaster, there are hundreds of articles available for you as free content, licensed content or exclusive content. Constant Content will even have content custom written for you if you don't find what you need!

It's a little bit like having hundreds of writers sitting around at your beck and call. Some would call it spoiled, but I call it a dream come true.

The flipside of this equation is for authors. As you can tell, I'm an author. I've written articles, reviews, tutorials and curriculum for magazines, universities, books… You name it, I've done it. For me the two hardest parts about being an author are exposure and a revenue stream. Either you can't find enough work, or the work you find doesn't pay you often enough or well enough to make life easy.

For writers, this is where Constant Content comes in. It provides you a place to showcase your work, to license it (lots of people buy, lots of money for you) and even to sell exclusive, lucrative, licenses of content you prepare.

As I said before, Constant Content really is about connecting webmasters and writers up to form a team. A very cool concept which works very well.

Webmasters, Put Your Hands in the Air!

By now any smart webmaster should be aware that content is what makes the site go round. Even if all you have is an Ecommerce site, it's still ultimately the content on that site which gives it legs. Your users need to know certain things, and content is what fills them in. Whether it's articles, reviews, tutorials, essays or editorials, every site benefits from new, professional content.

Before we get in too deep to how you can get that great content right now, let me go through some of the basics of how Constant Content works for site owners. The process is fairly simple. You go to the Constant Content site. Then you find the type of content you are looking for (there are several ways of narrowing it down). Once you've found a piece you like, you are able to see a preview of it to make sure it fits with the overall tone of your site.

You then have a choice. Do you want a "Usage" license or a "Unique" license. A Usage license basically means you are allowed to use the license, but so is anyone else who buys a Usage license. It gives you the content you need, but does not guarantee you won't find it elsewhere. The flipside of this is that the content is very well priced: often in the 10-20$ range, which isn't bad at all. If you're looking for exclusive rights to a piece of content though, you will need to purchase a Unique license. This will guarantee that nobody else buys the piece in question. It's a bit like buying a print of a famous painting versus buying the original. Both are great, both will work, it just depends on your needs.

Ultimately, there is only so much content on Constant Content right now, as it is a fairly new service. So, what happens if you don't find the content you like? Well, you can either submit a Request for Content and hope authors help you out, or you can apply to have a piece custom created for you. Sure, you'll pay a premium, but you will also work with the author to make sure the piece is ideal for your project.

Whether you choose to buy content already on Constant Content or get it created just for you, ultimately you'll find what you need, at a great price, delivered with a smile. Constant Content allows you to play to your strengths, without having to worry about all the extra hassles.

Authors, Princes Among Men

Being a writer is tough these days. Either you can't figure out what you want to write about, or you've written tons of stuff that nobody's buying. After all, we can't all be John Grisham's (nor do most of us want to… though the 3 boats wouldn't be bad).

Working with Constant Content has several key advantages, at least in my experience. First, it helped get my name out there. I submitted several articles for free which are now in use on dozens of sites. It gave me exposure, and several times has given me opportunities to write custom content for a decent fee!

The other area Constant Content has helped me is in writing that I've just got "kicking around". I haven't sent it to anyone, it isn't published and it's basically just gathering dust. I can submit the piece to the site and just sit back. Sometimes I'll get purchases fairly quickly. But sometimes nothing will happen for a few months. Somehow that's even more gratifying. The fact that I can submit content, and have it pay me for years to come isn't a bad deal at all. It feels a bit like some of the royalty checks for book contributions that I get.

Besides the ability to submit free content, Usage content, Unique content and custom content deals, there is one other great thing about Constant Content: referrals. I've referred several friends to Constant Content. Every piece they sell, I get 5% for. Yeah, that's right. Sometimes I wish real world publishing worked like this, because I know a lot of authors. If every time one of my friends got a big signing bonus for a book I got 5%… I could practically retire.

You Too Can be King!

While I'd hate to be really cliché and say Constant Content provides a win-win situation, I really have to. If you're a webmaster you have access to a growing repository of reasonably priced content. If you're an author, you have an easy forum to not only let your writing speak for itself, but to make some decent money while you're at it. Visit Constant Content now at http://www.constant-content.com to find out more and to sign up for your account.

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