Unless you’re Dyson and have a revolutionary product or service, it is inevitable that you will be competing against a number of similar organisations.
When your products, services or prices are almost on par with others, you need to break the mould and give your customers a real differentiator. Business is tough and you have to stand out from the crowd.
If your website meets current web standards; has a sensible navigation and layout; meta content has been well-planned and you’ve got a broader digital marketing plan in place, then I’d hope you’re getting a decent amount of web traffic. However, if you still feel like other sites have the midas touch, or your site visitors are simply not converting, here’s a slightly less tangible approach you might like to consider… emotionally intelligent content (EIC).
I am not talking about tear jerking videos from the CEO or using puppies and kittens on your blog (unless you’re a toilet tissue manufacturer) but there are a number of ways in which you can make that all important connection with your customers.
With this in mind, here are 10 ways to improve the emotional connection between your organisation’s website and potential customers, and coming from an inbound marketing agency, you won’t be surprised to hear that a lot of it revolves around onsite content and a blog.
Do you have a staff list and better still, photographs on your site? If your organisation is on the large side then consider just listing heads of departments. People want to deal with people and making a feature of that can be really valuable. You can see our mug shots on our about us page.
2. Staff blogging
Persuading staff from a variety of departments to write content ticks a number of boxes. It highlights the fact that the company is run by real people who want to help, and also means new topics can be explored and expertise demonstrated. If resourcing this approach is an issue then a similar result can be achieved by interviewing key members of staff instead and the marketing department doing the actual write up.
3. Customer service
Don’t hide your customer service details away in the hope that no-one will find them. Before you allow a customer issue to escalate to tomorrow’s Twitter scandal, make a feature about how your want customers to give their feedback. FAQs, specific contact names, a dedicated telephone line or email and live chat can all help. Be open, honest and quick to respond – mistakes will always be made; it’s how you are perceived to deal with them that makes the difference.
A picture says a thousand words and uninspiring photography is a real turn off emotionally. Family law must be one of those areas where it could be particularly easy to use dull stock shots but this law firm made me smile by using clean but quirky images to highlight the services that it offers.
It’s great to highlight your company’s accolades and whilst contract wins, awards and office openings have their place they won’t really get people to warm to you. Charity fund raisers, office party pics (from early on in the proceedings!) and write ups of attending events or networking functions will give the company much more personality.
6. Tell an emotional story
Telling the human side of a story is far better than just the cold facts. So if you’re an extension company don’t just tell me the dimensions of a new room or its environmental credentials, tell me how it was designed to solve a problem or meet the owner’s specific needs such as hosting parties or creating new family space. Here’s a good example of a garden room company letting the customer do the talking.
7. Case studies
Third party endorsement is worth its weight in gold as it will really make that all important human connection with other people too. If you’re a B2B business, then ideally name the customer and get a quote from the person you were dealing with – anonymous B2B case studies are fairly pointless. If you’re a B2C business then give as many pertinent details as you can and again a short soundbite from the person involved is more valuable than any content you could write yourself.
Language is the one area where people often go overboard: descriptors such as ‘leading’, ‘best’, ‘exclusive’, ‘bespoke’ are over used and we learn to skip over them when browsing content on our screens. In today’s world, less is often more. Think about the benefits of working with you and ensure your content is focussed on your target audience’s needs rather than being littered with useless, self-promotional adjectives.
Any of the written content above needs to be read by your customers themselves but one of the easiest ways to really connect is to deliver the message yourself. Film short videos with the CEO, MD, product heads or anyone else who feels comfortable in front of the camera talking passionately about the company and how they want to help their customers. Here are a few of the more quirky CEO videos.
We market websites rather than build them and often joke that we don’t care where you put your logo on your website or what colour it is (within reason) but of course branding and colour palettes do have a close connection to emotions and some have a very specific meaning in particular cultures. Even the colour of a particular call to action, such as an ‘add to basket’ button, can have an effect on how many site visitors convert. Try building test landing pages to find out what works best in a live environment.
You can’t please everybody all of the time but apparently, we’re more likely to overlook small mistakes or problems if we are emotionally connected to something. So not only does emotionally connecting with your target audience help differentiate you from your competitors it also buys you a bit of goodwill too, should something not go entirely to plan.
As psychologists and recruiters start to place more importance on emotional intelligence over IQ, perhaps companies would do well to ensure their online presence does more to connect with real people too. Of course form and function are also important as is a broader digital strategy but a website completely devoid of any personality or emotionally intelligent content (EIC) will do little to convert that all important traffic.