Making the emotional connection with your audience

What a fitting title for a blog about social media and Word of Mouth marketing, right? Seems a bit like a dog chasing its tail.  But, as marketers we often forget two very important things:

  1. Everyone in your audience is human
  2. As humans, we have emotional triggers

Storytelling is the easiest and quickest way to make an emotional connection with your audience. In fact, an emotional connection can be powerful enough to motivate your customers to act on your behalf. And, your most enthusiastic customers (AKA  Advocates) will spread the good word about your brand, services or products to the world on their own (no incentives needed).

My friend Todd Potter, a professional athlete who medaled six times in the summer X Games and four times in the X Games’ international competition, is a perfect example of a “brand” that has yet to connect with its audience.  As a Moto X Freestyle gold medalist, Todd epitomizes the “Bad Boy” persona that usually goes hand in hand with FMX biking world. But, Todd has yet to connect with his audience (his fans) emotionally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAYnTH7THbY

How can someone, (or a brand, product or service) who is perceived to be a “Bad Boy” or simply trying to combat negative Word of Mouth, make that crucial connection? Easy! Simply tell a story that everyone can relate to.

In spite of his negative perception, Todd is one of the most caring, sensitive and kind people I know. He grew up in an alcoholic environment without much money, and worked at a bike shop to save up for his first bike. Todd is the youngest of six kids (one of whom died when he was younger), and he doesn’t have an active relationship with his father.

Amidst the difficulties that surrounded him, Todd went pro at age 17 and is currently sponsored by big brands such as RockStar and Verizon. After losing one of his best friends to the sport, Todd has been involved with a number of charities and actively helps to give back to the community.  He is also involved in building a track where underprivileged kids can learn to ride and practice for free.

But, is anyone aware of these good deeds? Not really. He hasn’t armed his Advocates with the information necessary to spread positive Word of Mouth on his behalf. It’s like getting on your dirt bike without a helmet and gas.  The emotional connection is already there, but Todd hasn’t connected all the dots to make it visible for his audience.

So, my question is – have you made an emotional connection with your audience, and armed your best customers with the tools to easily spread positive Word of Mouth for your brand?

-Lynn Svitenko, Senior Customer Success Manager, Zuberance