Your Audience Has a Love Language – Are You Speaking It?

July 14, 2015

happily ever after

As a marketer, you know an audience who feels loved is more likely than others to remain loyal to your brand. So the natural question becomes, how do you make sure people who interact with your brand feel loved?

According to New York Times bestselling author Gary Chapman, there are five love languages, and each of us has a primary and secondary love language. A love language, more or less, is how an individual prefers to express and experience love. While they were originally outlined as a way to improve interpersonal communication in romantic relationships, B2B marketing professionals can leverage the tenets of each love language to ensure they are delivering experiences that cater to individual needs.

Read on to learn how your brand can account for the five love languages individual members of your audience speak.

  1. Words of Affirmation

In today’s social era, it’s never been easier to connect with people who speak this language. They want others to build up their self-image and confidence, and digital connectivity creates ample opportunity to tell your audience why they’re awesome. To them, “I love you,” is a lot less powerful than, “I love you because…”

Move beyond general flattery and focus on specifics. Ask yourself, “How can I make my audience feel good about themselves?” One option might be developing a blog series that focuses on industry wins, or spotlights companies that are doing something right. Or if you share an article with your network, you could point out a quote from the author that really resonates with you. Don’t just tell your audience you love them; tell them why.

Gold stars go to any of you who send personalized congratulatory or thank you notes, and gold medals go to those of you who write them by hand.

  1. Acts of Service

To these individuals, actions speak louder than words. Marketing automation is great, and it allows us to achieve objectives at scale, but there’s still no replacement for good ol’ fashioned customer service.

One way you can assure your audience you want to serve them is to simply be thorough. If you’re publishing a post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform, for example, take the time to define terminology, link to helpful external references, or flesh out a step-by-step action plan.

You might also aim to be more effective at addressing customer needs on social media. As marketing maven Jay Baer said, “The best – and most effective – social media programs aren’t based on promotions and message distribution. Instead, they revolve around removing friction and uncertainty for potential or current customers.”

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (LMS) speaks this language through the #AskLMS blog series. Blog readers are encouraged to ask the experts for help or clarification, so then LMS can give them the support they need.

  1. Receiving Gifts

Some people feel most loved when you give them gifts. If you’ve ever been to a conference or trade show, you know how popular (and fun) company “swag” can be. From bringing nifty giveaways to events to providing free eBooks, the key here is eliciting emotional responses like surprise and delight. Marketo and HubSpot have each written posts that speak to the dos and don’ts of promotional gifts, and each offers plenty of inspiration along the way.

hubspot swag

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  1. Quality Time

Audience members speaking this language really value your undivided attention. Think about offering live webinars, and allow ample time for strong Q&A sessions. Having an “always on” content strategy communicates your willingness to take the time to understand your audience and their needs.

MarketingProfs, for example, offers some top-notch online seminars, and they always include a live Q&A session. On top of that, they provide recordings of each session that anyone can cozy up with after hours. By doing so, they can cater to their audience’s schedule and assure potential customers they’re always there to teach and to listen.

  1. Physical Touch

As you can imagine, it can be tricky to tie this love language into everyday marketing practices. But at the heart of it is the simple desire for someone to want to be close to you. For marketers, the focus can be on identifying unexpected opportunities to facilitate face-to-face contact with your audience.

One thing you could try is keeping up with your social followers’ travel plans. Are they attending a conference or taking a vacation in your area? If so, extend an invitation for them to swing by your office or meet you for coffee. If you’re the one attending an event or visiting a new city, find out who from your audience will be there and make a point to shake their hand once you spot them.

Another option? Video. Instead of an hour-long phone-call, you could initiate a simple video chat to better simulate an in-person meeting.

In the same way communicating love and devotion is essential for intimate relationships, it can have a lasting impact on the professional connections you form. To live happily ever after with your audience, start telling them in five different ways that they matter.

For more tips on using LinkedIn to show your audience some love, check out The Enhanced Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn.