The Innovative Marketer's Blog

Does Your Marketing Have a High Emotional IQ?

Posted by Monica Romeri

Emotions have a powerful influence on decision-making and behavior.  When you leverage the power emotion, you can create more engaging content and connect with your audience in a real way.  Content marketing emotional-marktingis becoming increasingly competitive, and brands are using everything in their arsenals to outdo their competitors.  Although content must have a strong emotional impact in order to go viral, some types of emotions yield better results than others.  However, both positive as well as negative emotions can amplify the reach of your content.  If your branding and marketing are not emotionally savvy, it is high time that you raise their emotional IQs. 

Use active storytelling to promote engagement, and do not be shy about your opinions.  A strong viewpoint is far more interesting than an uncertain one, which fails to express your true thoughts out of a fear of offending those who may oppose your arguments.  Tap into the emotions of your audience.  Incite emotional responses of happiness, awe, anger or anxiety, which can all increase your the reach of your content across social media.

No matter what type of content you create, it needs to resonate and strike an emotional chord with your audience.  Emotional resonance makes content more memorable, more remarkable and more likely to be shared on social media.  According to research carried out by Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski of, the emotions most commonly found in a viral content outbreak include curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, uncertainty and admiration.   

Leverage the Power of Emotions

The strongest or primary emotions are the ones most commonly used in marketing, including fear, guilt, pride, greed and love.


Fear is widely used in emotional marketing—often based on the stated consequences of not taking action.  Fear can create a sense of urgency and prompt a buying decision.    


While triggering feelings of guilt for inaction can be effective, another way is to provide a way of resolving guilt.  Imagine that you work long hours and are unable to take enough long walks with your much-loved dog.  An ad for a dog-walking service could offer a solution to resolve your guilt. 


Marketing that leverages pride to prompt action aims to make the audience want to make a buying decision, because it will provide a measure of exclusivity or make the buyers feel special due to their purchase.  Marketing for an exclusive country club could use pride as an catalyst for action.


Marketing that offers to save you money or improve your business is appealing to greed.  Illustrate how you create value; prove your utility, which will help you leverage the power of greed. 


Love may be the most potent primary emotion.  HubSpot is a big proponent of creating marketing people love.  Be a lovable brand.  You know and understand your clients and prospects, so speak to their needs, offer solutions, and give them what they truly want.   

The Emotions of Color

Color has a significant emotional impact, which can significantly influence your marketing.  The infographic below, created by The Logo Company, illustrates the effects of color choices used by major brands.  Consider whether you want to appear trustworthy, strong and dependable with blue or exciting, youthful and bold with red.  Be cognizant of the impact of color, when you chose images for your content or create your own visual media, such as infographics or webinars.  What emotions are you currently projecting with your website design?  What emotions does your latest content trigger? 





Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation, B2B Sales and Marketing, Design