CEO of iResearch Services, a global thought leadership agency that focuses on evidence-based research to power thought leadership campaigns.
It has become more and more common for B2B buyers to use websites, email and online resources to stay informed about products, make inquiries and purchase orders. As a result, human-to-human contact has become a rare — and, therefore, all the more vital — aspect of a buyer’s journey.
Why Should You Emotionally Connect With Your Customers?
People like to feel as if someone understands their problems. They want to know that what they are going through is being heard. If your brand makes them feel this way, it can help them engage with your brand more effectively than ever before.
Your B2B marketing strategies could be the key to your success when you consider how to appeal to your customers on an emotional level. In many cases, emotions drive consumer buying habits.
When we are not satisfied with a purchase or interaction with a brand, we are often vocal about these concerns. Many people turn to a social media outlet to rant about the experience. Likewise, when consumers are really satisfied with a purchase, they might communicate that to a handful of people. For these reasons and more, most companies understand the importance of happy customers.
Take a moment to reflect and see if you have been marketing to your audience in the right way. Strong feelings of appreciation for your company could lead to increased conversions for web traffic or sales altogether.
MORE FOR YOU
How to Leverage Consumer Emotions
Organizations with a customer-centric mentality understand how to win customers, keep them and convert them into brand ambassadors. Brand advocates are those who engage the most and typically buy more than regular customers.
According to one study, only 22% of B2B brands say they have exceptional customer service. Those who understand how to tailor customer experience (CX) to different needs and behaviors throughout the customer life cycle are likely to deliver higher value. To improve CX, start connecting with consumers on an emotional level. Here are some ways to do that:
• Develop thought leadership content.
Thought leadership content provides a connection point for B2B marketers and their target audience. This is especially true when content is specifically written to appeal to the human side of buyers. With this, brands can foster understanding and credibility among prospects. They do this by providing knowledge that will elevate them from anonymous employees to trusted advisors who have insights into their products or services.
• Use social listening.
Social listening taps into consumer conversations online about topics relevant to a business’s interests. Social media monitoring reveals what people think about these subjects. This lets you know if they’re positive or negative so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly before it’s too late. It also shows you the demographics of those having these conversations so that you can target your prospects in the right way.
This is just one example of how emotional intelligence and social media marketing combine to make B2B relationships more influential than ever before, bettering brands’ bottom lines.
• Incorporate empathy.
Incorporating empathy into your operations — from customer service to marketing messaging — can be an effective way for businesses to connect with customers and understand what is essential when making purchasing decisions.
• Maximize value.
B2B CX going forward will be about segmenting customers into more profitable customer groups. Customer satisfaction is a standard metric typically used to boost ROI on thought leadership marketing campaigns.
In other words, B2B brands can serve customer groups better by delivering increased value to them. This leads to more varied customers and increased business for the company as well.
• Focus on a customer-centric mindset.
A customer-centric mindset goes hand in hand with understanding how different demographics might respond differently to a particular message or approach.
It’s easy for a B2B enterprise to focus on selling products over the unmet needs of its customer. However, if these organizations prioritize going after the quick win of a sale, their focus is usually not on a customer-centric mindset. The most successful B2B organizations I see take a step back, view the world from the consumers’ perspective and place the customers’ needs above the brand’s.
• Conduct quantitative and qualitative research.
Lastly, conducting qualitative (e.g., surveys) and quantitative research can provide insights into your thought leadership marketing strategies and let you know if you’ve been effectively connecting emotionally with your audience. This could have a significant return on investment for your brand regarding higher lifetime values from existing customers.
These are simple ideas that can have significant positive effects on the CX online. This will help them engage with your brand more effectively than ever before.
If an interaction feels personal or one-on-one, it creates a strong appreciation for the company involved. This leads to increased conversions for web traffic or sales altogether. Therefore, make sure every virtual contact has that feeling.
Use Emotions as Marketing Tools for Your Business
Marketing based on consumer emotions can be tricky to implement. We, as marketers, are often told to keep our content light and upbeat. We don’t want to upset anyone — or do we?
Appealing on an emotional level is the most effective way to engage with your audience, even when discussing not-upbeat topics. As a society, when our emotions are sparked, we are usually quick to respond. Whether that means telling a friend or posting on social media, we will let people know how we are feeling.
Therefore, when you create content that appeals emotionally, you ensure engagement, increase readership and generate buzz for your brand.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Yogesh Shah, Forbes Councils Member