The Art of Emotion and Why It’s Necessary in Online Marketing

Guest post from writer Nathan Sykes

Consumers emotionally engaged by your content are more likely to trust your brand, more likely to purchase and more likely to forgive any mistakes. Consumers are increasingly becoming savvier to classic marketing techniques. For this reason, it is important to become emotionally articulate to move your brand’s marketing forward.

The majority of markets are more saturated than they were decades ago. If you offer a service with no emotional connection and the consumer has a bad experience with your company, they have no reason to return when there are so many companies that offer the same services you do. That’s why it’s so important to engage emotionally. Ignite a passion for your brand, so it’s harder for consumers to pull away in the event of a poor experience. Generate enthusiasm for content consumers will organically circulate with friends.

Use Imagery
Take a cue from modern art. Powerful imagery and color evoke strong emotion. A tropical backdrop dripping with fresh fruit appeals to audiences stuck inside in winter snowstorms. The scene makes the viewer long for warmer weather and thankful for the feeling your image gave them, an example of positive emotional interaction between a brand and a consumer.

Be Genuine
Consumers are looking for genuine emotions. They are aware brands are eliciting emotional responses for profit. For this reason, the targeted positive emotion your campaign reflects should seamlessly fit into your brand identity.

Ram’s 2018 Super Bowl ad laden with pickup trucks and Martin Luther King Jr.’s voiceover received heavy criticism. Many felt it was a misappropriation to have the civil rights leader’s words sell trucks, as it trivializes words meant to move a nation forward. Consumers can sniff out blatant attempts of virtue signaling. They are not impressed by low-effort campaigns that come across like emotional manipulation.

Use Video Content
Younger generations are turning to YouTube for entertainment. In a world where technology continues to overtake human interaction, the video platform satiates hunger for human connection.

This channel offers an incredibly lucrative avenue for marketers. At the end of many successful videos, YouTubers thank one or more sponsors. Viewers have more patience for this type of advertising because it comes at the end of the video content they’ve already emotionally connected with, it usually shares a connection with that content and you’ve let them enjoy their viewing without any interruption.

Stay Relevant
Pop culture is moving at high speed. Gone are the days where advertisers can meticulously craft marketing campaigns for months on end without tinkering. You should certainly spend time carefully building campaigns through research, but be open to changing social media marketing with evolving social trends.

Break Down the Barriers and Engage
It’s not enough to have static social media pages. Consumers want to know a real person is behind the computer coordinating efforts. Like images that use relevant hashtags to your brand on Instagram to gain new followers and comment back on your latest Twitter reply. Consumers love when brands respond to their inquiries, gravitating away from the corporate facade.

It’s a tall order to couple emotional intelligence with marketing ingenuity. Get it right, and you will see fervor for your brand increase exponentially. Get it wrong, and you could receive intense backlash from enthusiastic proponents. By sticking to positive emotions, staying true to your business’ roots and highlighting the human aspects of your company, you are likely to be on the right track.

Bio: Nathan Sykes writes about business and business technology online. To read Nathan’s most current articles, follow him on Twitter @nathansykestech.

Anne Orfila
How To Up Your Instagram Game

800 million users are actively on Instagram every month. So how do you make your posts stand out more than the other 799,999,999 users?

Here’s my secret: Emojis!

Think of emojis as the bullet points of Instagram. When I’m posting for myself, or on behalf of Web Marketing Therapy clients, I use emojis liberally because they give my post some eye candy (helping to draw a reader to my post over others without emojis) and they also help to break up a long post.

Instagram generously allows us to post a lot (2,200 characters to be exact) but remember that most everyone is viewing your post on their phone. This means that if you have a lengthy post, it’s going to look like a novel on their phone. So break up the monotony! Use emojis and get creative! Make it fun! Up your Instagram game with emojis and watch your engagement grow.

See for yourself! Here are my “before” emojis and “after” emojis Instagram post examples below:

Web Marketing Therapy Up Your Instagram Game

🙂 Happy Marketing!

Katherine L. Garcia
How To Get Yourself In The Media (For Free)

If you’re a savvy business owner and an expert in your field, getting quoted in articles is a great way to help more people know about you and your brand! Want to get more media mentions? Start by placing yourself as an authority figure on the web by having a website that clearly communicates your skills and services. Next, write educational blog posts and social media posts. Then, work on getting yourself some media mentions!

Getting yourself media mentions is not as tough or pricey as you might think. PR firms can do a LOT for exposure and making connections, but if you don’t have a big budget, don’t stress. Pitching yourself to a journalist is not as stressful as it sounds – keep reading!

One way to get free press is to sign up for HARO (which stands for “Help a Reporter Out”). We absolutely love HARO. They provide experts (like you) with media opportunities and these opportunities are delivered to your inbox. Best part, it’s FREE.

How HARO Works

First you sign up for a free account as a Source. (You can upgrade your account to get keyword alerts, but the free account works totally fine!). After you sign up, you will begin to get three sets of emails Monday through Friday with queries from journalists. You will have to read through these queries and see if there’s one that matches your expertise. If there is a query that matches your expertise, you’d have to pitch yourself via the email they provide. 🙂

What to Include When Pitching Yourself to a Journalist

  1. Answer all questions the journalist asks. Journalists receive many pitches so it’s important to be clear and succinct as possible. We suggest answering the questions in the body of the email and not uploading your responses as an attachment. Adding an attachment to an email is one extra step the journalist has to go through. Plus, since the email HARO provides is a masked email, we’ve noticed that sometimes the attachments don’t go through.
  2. Include external links to your website so the journalist can learn more about what you do.
  3. Include your contact info. The journalist might need to reach you with clarification questions. Journalists are usually working with a tight deadline, so put contact info you actually check.

If the journalist approves your content, they will add your advice in their article (yay!). Once the article is live, you can add it to your press page (click here for an example of how a press page looks like) and share it on social media and on your blog. Press is awesome because it elevates you as an authority figure in your field and it builds your credibility!

What If You Pitch Yourself to a Journalist and They Don’t Reply

The majority of the time when I pitch a client to a journalist, I don’t get a reply. They get so many replies, they don’t have time. So here’s what I do:

I sign my client up for Talkwalker Alerts. This is a free service that emails me whenever new content about my client’s name or business pops up on the internet.

Next is the waiting game. I usually wait about two months to hear from the journalist or to receive a notification from Talkwalker Alerts, letting me know my client’s expertise was published in the media. If no mentions happen after two months, I go back to the original email sent, paste part of the pitch on Google to see if any mentions about my client pops up. If it looks my client’s pitch wasn’t posted, then I use the content I sent to the journalist to compose a blog post for my client. Nothing goes to waste here! 😉

Through HARO, we’ve gotten clients and even our team in major publications like Women’s Health, U.S. News & World Report, Shape Magazine, and more. We heart HARO, big time.

To sign up for HARO, click here. (This is not an affiliate link..we are not getting paid for this. We just love HARO so much and wanted to share the love!)

Anne Orfila
Is Your Website Outdated?

Do you want to know a little web marketing secret? 

Websites do age and, in this day and age of rapidly changing web trends, they can become Image via outdated quicker than the bag of chips in your pantry!

This news is hard to bear especially if you have invested big bucks in building a fantastic website just five or 10 years ago.

How do we determine if a website is outdated? Many website details can point to “old age”, but three key factors are true indicators of whether your website is outdated or not. If you answer “no” to all of these, than the web marketing therapist will prescribe a website overhaul.

If your website is “mobile-friendly” (or “responsive”, in geek speak) this means that your website seamlessly morphs to look good (clear, readable, searchable, clickable) on a laptop, on a desktop computer, on a tablet (i.e. iPad, Kindle), and on any variety smartphone. This matters because most Americans own a smartphone and, even way back in 2015, “more Google searches took place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan”. A “non-responsive” website is referred to as “static” which means that the website stays the same whether it is viewed on a giant computer monitor or a tiny phone screen (where the words are usually so small, they are not readable unless zoomed in). The bottomline: If your static website is not easily and clearly viewable on a phone or tablet – where most Americans are searching – they are going to pass your website by and go straight to a “responsive” website that is more user-friendly.

Flashy, busy websites are yesterday’s news. The trend for websites in-the-now are for them to be simplified, with a clear message and easy navigation. Simple design begins from the first glance – imagery and text that clearly communicates who you are, what you do and whom you serve. The bottomline: When it comes to website design in 2018, less is truly more.

Being able to make changes – easily – to your website is critical. If a price has changed or a product is out of stock or a new service is available, you want your audience to know now! If you’ve got a website provider that makes changes for you – but is unreachable or doesn’t make the edits in a timely manner – or if you login to make your own changes and feel completely overwhelmed, than it is time for an update. Also, Google likes websites that are updated and relevant. Even small changes can mean better SEO from Google. The bottomline: Making changes to your website – whether it is done by you or your website provider – should be a walk in the park, not a run for shelter in a thunderstorm.

When we propose that a website may need some modern day love, we often hear, “Do I really need to update it?” One of the easiest ways to answer this is to do a little self-reflection and ask yourself the following:

  • Do my competitors have newer websites than mine?
  • If I had a storefront, would I let it look dated?
  • How well does my website represent my business?

A dated website can indicate an out-of-date business. With so many choices on the web, a website that doesn’t look current can / will be passed over in one quick click. The bottomline: Your website is a reflection of you / your business / your online reputation so keeping it current is in your best interest.

Wondering if your website is outdated? Our Web Marketing Therapy team is here to help. Contact us today.

Hannah Lansford
Digital Marketing Tips and Ideas published an article titled “Top 25 Digital Marketing Tips & Ideas from the Pros” that includes advice from WMT’s very own, Katherine Garcia! is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed by providing useful tips and information to their readers. We loved that Katherine’s insight and advice made it into the piece.

Katherine serves as a Digital Marketing Manager here at WMT, and has years of experience in social media marketing. She supports and advises brands in all areas of web marketing, so her expertise fits perfectly into the article’s content. In the article, Katherine points out that just like many other areas of life, consistency is key, especially with your company’s visual brand.

She recommends using Canva to create graphics and ensure consistency with your brand’s visual social media content. She sets Canva accounts up for her clients allowing clients to use the same fonts, and colors. She teaches them how to use a consistent style for all web and social media spaces. If you don’t know the exact colors that are being used on your website, there is no need to worry!

Katherine makes reference to this website so you can easily figure out the colors that are being used on your site and then insert them into Canva. Once you make your graphics for social media, she advises you save them with descriptive phrases in order to help boost your SEO and increase visibility. With these helpful tips in mind when creating your social media content, your brand’s social presence will be one of the key factors in ensuring your business’s success.

There are many other valuable tips mentioned in the article including one with Jordan Scheltgen, the founder of Cave Social, who talks about the importance of engaging with other businesses who have similar customer bases as yours. This reminded me of the #CommunityOverCompetition hashtag I’ve been seeing everywhere on Twitter amongst creatives. It’s so important to create and cultivate relationships with clients and other businesses in order to both build up and cheer each other on, and I loved that the article included this tip in their article!

If you want to learn more digital marketing strategies, be sure to check out this article and Katherine’s feature (she’s number 21 in the article, but to us, she’s #1)!  

Hannah Lansford
Website Best Practices – Evaluate Usability

No matter where you are at in business, your website will always be a foundation to all marketing. First impressions are important – people always tend to remember their first interactions with someone, in real life and online. For most people, especially potential clients, your website will be their first impression of your business, personality, and work. Therefore it is imperative that your web presence is clean, consistent and has a high level of usability.

Web Marketing Therapy helps clients optimize their marketing based on a five-factor success framework. Usability is one of them. Usability can have many different meanings, but today we’ll be covering three attributes of usability and how you can make sure your website implements them well.

Here are three questions to ask yourself while putting a website together (new site or redesign). It will help you make decisions regarding design, pagination, and what content should or shouldn’t be there.

  1. Are there too many words on this page? Every sentence should serve a purpose on your website. It’s very common for websites to have pages full of words that are doing nothing more than taking up white space. In the current day and age, people’s attention spans aren’t very long, and many people do not have the patience to be reading every single word they see on a screen. In fact, when most people are reading web pages, they’re really only looking at keywords, facts, and information, so it’s likely they’re already just skimming through the content anyway. If your website has a ton of extra fluff words, they’ll either a). Close the page entirely or b). Skim too fast to be able to process and see the main points before losing interest. To prevent this from happening, simply take out the needless words! You’d be surprised to see that when you get rid of the extra words surrounding the main idea you’re trying to get across, nothing is lost and people are more likely to be able to find exactly what they were looking for in the first place.
  2. Is my website easily navigable? Like I previously mentioned, attention spans are at an all-time low now that we have high-speed internet almost everywhere we go. People need to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for in less than 5 clicks. This practice will dictate how you decide to split up content into pages and the general organization of your website.Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your users are able to easily maneuver your web space:

    1. It is very obvious what is clickable and what is not
    2. There is not too much clutter on the page that is more of a distraction than it is visually appealing (remember, everything on the page serves a specific purpose)
    3. Use a lot of headings to organize bodies of text. Keep them clear and concise, and close to the text it’s outlining.
  3. Is my website going to be memorable? I spend a lot of time looking at business websites and other content creators’ portfolio sites for job openings and inspiration (that’s actually how I got this job at WMT!). I couldn’t even begin to give you a solid number of how many websites I visit in a day. However, I can easily point you to at least 5 websites that I visit regularly because I know that I will be able to find exactly what I’m looking for with ease. These websites all have one thing in common: a consistent flow of content. All of the page headings match whatever words I clicked on to get there, page content is broken into clearly defined areas and sections, and the text is formatted to support scanning rather than reading. I always remember websites based on their ease of finding information; that was actually one of the first indicators that I had chosen the right university to attend (kudos to Georgia Southern for having such a simple and searchable website)! I researched about 10 schools and Georgia Southern’s was the easiest for me to navigate and find information, and I definitely remembered that when I was looking at programs and applications. Consistency is key in a lot of aspects of life, and your website is definitely one of them too.

Make the web experience for your potential customers and other viewers positive. Many people, myself included, will usually turn away from a company or service if they don’t have a solid website that can tell me what I’m looking for.

The goal of your website should be to inform people and to have them keep coming back.

With the attributes of usability discussed here, both of those goals can easily be accomplished.