How to Effectively Convey Emotions with Branded Content
3 ways LinkedIn can help you draw consumers to your brand
November 17, 2014
Can you think of a brand that you feel a connection with? One that you go out of your way to find? Or one that you buy even when there are cheaper options that will meet your needs? Companies like Nike, Whole Foods, and Apple have that connection with their audiences. So do B2B companies like Ideo, FedEx, and Cisco. But is it possible to build an emotional connection with your consumers through your content marketing?
Yes. Brands can use content marketing to form emotional connections with their consumers through “interesting narrative, authentic communication, and by bringing the brand’s unique selling points to light in a human way.”
So what emotions can you inspire through your content marketing initiatives, and how can you put these insights into practice on LinkedIn?
3 Ways Your Brand Can Form Relationships on LinkedIn
1. Convey understanding
Empathy is one of the most important tools marketers can use. Customers want to buy from companies that understand their challenges, needs and what is important to them. In fact, connecting over personal values is twice as impactful as connecting through business values like saving time or money.
The LinkedIn platform offers you direct insight into what is important for your audience. Take a look at your target consumers’ profiles and recommendations to see the type of language and the words they use. You can use this as inspiration on your Company Page or Showcase Pages to go beyond the functionalities of a product or service and more authentically connect with your target audience.
2. Encourage a sense of belonging
On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a sense of belonging ranks only behind safety and physiological needs. People want to feel like they are part of a community and to connect with others like them.
Brands can use LinkedIn Groups to create a sense of shared purpose. Citi launched the Connect: Professional Women’s Network to build relationships with professional women by asking thought-provoking questions. The group now has over 300,000 members and has even inspired offline meet-ups.
Hubspot, on the other hand, engages with many inbound-marketing related groups on LinkedIn. They answer questions and engage in discussions that advance their industry. Then they create webinars inspired by the insights they gain through their group participation.
3. Inspire a feeling of trust
Research shows that 80% of consumers will pay more to buy a brand they trust. Companies that use LinkedIn are already on the right track – members are over twice as likely to trust information posted on LinkedIn as on any other social network. According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, to inspire more trust from their consumers, companies need to listen to feedback, demonstrate they place customers ahead of profits, and communicate frequently (and honestly) on the state of their business.
On LinkedIn, you can reach out frequently to your audience on a Company Page or on each brand’s Showcase Page. Post updates and news that will be interesting to followers, tell stories of how your brand works with customers, and ask questions to start conversations. By keeping your voice consistent and engaging over time, you’ll inspire your followers to trust you more.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to form network connections with your followers, but you’ll get more out of the platform if you use it to build relationships. The more positive emotions you inspire in your followers through your content marketing, the stronger connection they’ll feel with your brand and the more likely they'll be to recommend your brand to others.
Learn more about emotional branding by downloading the LinkedIn eBook: Connecting Consumers to Brands on LinkedIn.
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