Picture a primitive family gathered in a dark cave dwelling, listening intently to the patriarch in the clan as he tells a cautionary tale in the glow of a roaring fire. Now, envision a few of a king’s best launderers weaving a yarn amid soapy washboards. Finally, imagine an aging grandfather sitting on a porch stoop with two bouncing grandchildren, one on each knee, eagerly anticipating the conclusion of his story.
For countless decades, oral storytelling has been an integral part of our literary history and culture. Filled with fear, entertainment and nostalgia, these tales that have been passed down from generation to generation never lost their momentum and were eventually recorded in some fashion or other. Despite obvious differences such as ethnic background, time period or audience, each tale or yarn had a similar purpose that kept this pastime alive … it evoked an emotional response.
Relevance in the 21st Century
With digital marketing campaigns struggling to become noticed amongst all the noise, there is no doubt that the key to viral marketing is similar to that of oral storytelling; it must trigger an interest or show true emotion to become widespread and memorable.
Think about the last video that you shared with a friend or saw was shared many times in your Facebook newsfeed, blog or Twitter account. Then, consider the questions below.
- What was the video about?
- What made the video so interesting?
- Why did you/your friends share the video?
- How did the video make you feel?
In focusing on the final question, your response might have been similar to “Well, it was funny. It taught me a lesson. It really pushed the envelope on some hot topics. That made me want to cry. I couldn’t help but smile and feel good.” From this, a viral video is born. We share these videos because they spark a particular emotion that is inbred in our human nature. Like a good story, we can’t help but spread the news.
How Do We Use Emotion to Drive Marketing Campaigns?
1. Be Captivating
Ultimately, having a creative and engaging title will drive your campaign. This is the first aspect that viewers notice when experiencing and sharing a viral video. You need something captivating enough that your audience cannot help but make that initial click to view your content. Without engagement, your content will cease to exist to viewers.
Always remember to make sure your title encompasses the message of your campaign. This will generate the curiosity of your viewers while giving them the opportunity to make meaning from your efforts. For example, Clarity Way sponsored a video titled Bath Salt Zombies. While a simplistic title, it created enough mystery and vagueness that it intrigued viewers to see what it was all about. Â The video highlights the side effects of your body on drugs. The name is intriguing and the video was timely. It was created on right the heels of the extensive media coverage of the â€œbath salt epidemicâ€.
2. Show You Care and Others Will Share
Around the holidays, it’s often easy for marketers to create the magic of the Christmas season among consumers. However, since this campaign technique is used so frequently, a campaign must go above and beyond to make that magic or excitement happen in order to stand out.
Naturally, it’s important to evoke emotion right away, but avoid hitting your audience hard with branding to avoid sounding spammy. Your goal is to connect with your audience and find a way to make them feel something. Tell a story that allows your viewers to place themselves in the shoes of the characters onscreen. Therefore, when marketing to your audience, you are being genuine, honest and showing that you truly care about your customers.
When in doubt, tell a story that sends your viewers on an emotional ride. For instance, WestJet Airlines weaves a magical, philanthropic campaign that creates a genuine experience for its viewers. They create a video that chronicles the impossible becoming possible, a miracle of sorts. Keep your audience in suspense and let them experience joy, happiness, sadness, hope and countless emotions to become a memorable campaign.
3. Generate Unique Content That is Poignant
When including emotions as a viral video marketing technique, you should think about what emotions will really evoke a strong, positive response to put your product in the best light.
While a genuine curiosity or interest will help you generate initial clicks for your video, consider what most people want to view by doing research. After gathering your data, try to put a spin on your campaign that matches othersâ€™ common interests but is unique to your brand.
Campaigns tend to focus on loving and appreciating yourself and the idea of being yourself, and what it means to be unique in your own skin. For example, Dove released an emotionally captivating campaign on how we and others view ourselves.
By channeling raw emotion and focusing a product on how it satisfies the needs of its user, you can generate a viral video that will showcase your campaign and that is backed by trust and loyalty to its customers.
What Does it All Mean?
Bottom line: Be inspiring and be viral by sending your audience on an emotional rollercoaster. Hit your viewers with what they connect with most … human nature and our ability to feel.