Want more external links? Get emotional with your content
If you want to boost your social sharing numbers and earn more links, it’s time to start creating more emotional content.
A study conducted by Fractl and published on Moz.com looked at over 300 marketing campaigns, to analyse their performance in terms of ability to earn links.
The number one factor that resulted in the most amount of links was content that was highly emotional, trumping other characteristics such as broad appeal, comparison and pop culture related.
According to the study, “Emotional impact was the greatest differentiator between our most successful campaigns and all other campaigns, with those that secured over 100 placements being 3 times more likely to feature a strong emotional hook than less successful campaigns”.
One of the campaigns the study looked at was the ‘’Perceptions of Perfection’ campaign. As part of the campaign, a UK-based online doctor service distributed a picture of a female model to graphic designers around the globe, asking them to photoshop her to meet their country’s idea of an attractive woman.
Dealing with a highly sensitive issue such as body image evoked a strong emotional response from readers, drastically increasing the number of links earned.
People that are emotionally moved by content will be more inclined to share it, so if you can include an emotional hook in your content you may just increase your engagement.
Of course, campaigns like Perceptions of Perfection are not suitable for just any business, but you don’t need to just target one particular emotion. Your content doesn’t necessarily need to rival ‘The Notebook’ in terms of creating an emotional response – you can also write to surprise your readers, or to make them laugh.
How to write emotional content
A great way to elicit emotion from your audience is to tell a story. Not the fairytale kind of story, but the kind that grabs their attention and keeps their eyeballs on the page right to the end.
Content that tells a story is crafted in such a way that readers lose themselves in the writing. It’s not necessarily about the topic, it’s about the delivery.
One of the best ways to tell a story through your writing is to teach your audience something. People will be far more captivated by reading something new, something that they don’t already know. This is wholly the foundation of content marketing itself – helping your audience through providing useful and relevant information.
If you can deliver that information in a way that takes the reader on a journey and makes them feel some sort of emotion, the beginnings of a consumer relationship have already been established.
Using emotional content to boost conversions
Creating emotional content and delivering it effectively will really improve your content’s chances of being consumed on a large scale. The next step is to use that emotion your readers are feeling to get them to convert.
The emotion within the content is what hooks readers, but appropriate use of calls-to-action can be the difference between whether that content leads to a conversion.
Research has shown that viewers react differently to commercials during ad breaks if they do not match the energy levels of the program they were watching. For example, after viewing news programs viewers were less likely to be responsive to high energy ads that were placed during the commercial breaks.
The same can be said for the content that a brand shares through their website or social media channels. Matching energy levels that the content provokes in regards to what you are directing your customer to do is crucial to how they react to it. If the call-to-action does not match the mood of your content, it is likely to reduce its effectiveness.
Make sure that the CTAs you use to accompany your content are well matched – both in terms of what they ask the reader to do and how they are designed. Don’t just think about what you want your readers to do, think about what is most natural in the context of each specific piece of content. If this piece was about Google cracking down on annoying interstitials or pop up CTAs, a red flashing pop-up CTA wouldn’t be the best choice in the context of the article!