Look at this email.
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We are bombarded every day with thousands of messages. There is some deep research around how many messages per day we are seeing, but most accounts range from 3,000 to more than 5,000 message per day. I’m not going to quote them as the variance is too great and many are more than two years old. The reality is we are all feeling the pull to get our attention.
Some of the messages make it through our “filters.” We have trained our brains to only see what will benefit us. The messages that make us stop and take notice are ones that have caught our attention and have a perceived payoff for us. This could be a laugh or a piece of new information. Maybe it is the key to unlocking a problem that we are experiencing. Or it is a new awareness of something we didn’t know we could solve with ease.
Take a look at how you interact with Facebook (unless you are one of the few that have resisted this channel of messages).
Do you read everything?
Do you watch every video until the end?
If you did, you would be there 24-7. It never ends. The scroll goes on and on. The Facebook algorithm has been developed to do some level of filtering to give you what THEY believe you want to see. It considers things that your mutual friends who have engaged with the content and how you have responded before as well. It is still not enough.
My point here is that we are always selecting what we spend our precious time doing. It applies to social media…email…online searches and offline too.
Based on working with more than a hundred of companies over the last five years, I have seen that we tend to look to material that has what I call “Emotional Connectivity.” Yes, I have combined two words that you likely know to come up with an explanation for why we pay attention to messages that we engage and the index of Emotional Connectivity gets higher the closer we get to the purchase decision. It grows even bigger with the desire to be a raving fan. Raving fans can’t help but talk about brands because of their emotional connectivity to the brand and the impact that brand has had on their future.
Emotional Connectivity is another way to look at the word resonate. It is about relevancy and interest. It also includes emotional responses to moments that make us lean in and want more.
I remember scrolling Facebook a few weeks back to see a clip of a young girl singing. She said she was twelve years old. She was auditioning in front of celebrity judges. She was precious in her answers. You could tell she was nervous, but this audition meant too much to let that stop her. She was holding a ukulele and about to sing an original song. It could have gone either way. She could have been terrible, or she could have been amazing. One of the judges asked her, “Do you believe you can win?”
This tiny little girl quickly responds in the most enduring voice that melted the audience (and me too) with “…miracles can happen, so possibly.” Grace Vanderwaal began her song and immediately you could see the responses from the judges. This audition turned very quickly into a thing. I just listened to it again to share this story with you. Let me be honest I have listened to this video more than five times in the last few weeks, and it still gives me goose bumps on my arms (a physical indicator of emotional connectivity). I’m not the only one either as I type this message, Grace’s audition video has been viewed more than 66 million times on YouTube.
This is “Emotional Connectivity.” She captured attention and made me lean it. Grace was not trying to sell anything but what she did was stop each of us for a moment. However, she was selling the judges on her talent. This may be entertainment, but it also holds truths about marketing that could you spread the word of your business.
I am going to share with some of the principles that drive emotional connectivity so that you can see how they apply to your marketing messages. By the way, Grace went through the entire competition of America’s Got Talent in 2016 to win the whole thing. I watched that video too because I got sucked into the story and was curious about the ending.
Most people create messages that aim to INFORM. This is important. But if all you do is inform…you miss an opportunity to CONNECT.
Here are eight principles that drive Emotional Connectivity and these are the cornerstones of Customer Acquisition.
- Story Telling Principle: Sharing stories engages a creative element of the mind that allows the audience to go beyond listening, but engage with the story using their own stories to relate to the message. Telling a story amplifies the emotional connectivity in a way that sharing features and benefits just can’t do. When you tell your stories well, you will raise the emotional connection to you and your brand.
- Helpful Marketing Principle: You can tell others that you can help them or you can show them by actually helping them. Creating marketing that transforms someone from one state to another by helping them solve or understand a problem. Helping them adds to the emotional connectivity by increasing trust and hope that you can solve their problems.
- Authority Positioning Principle: Thought leaders have agency that seduces the audience to see them differently. Agency is just another way to say authority. Emotional Connectivity factors are raised when we perceive the person that has is leading the charge on a given topic, or in other words the authority. We give people perceived authority when we see that is published by a major publication or when they address the audience from the stage. The more authority you have, the higher your emotional connectivity is in the eyes of the audience.
- Unique Principle: Most companies focus on how to be better. Better customer service. Or a better price. However, better is hard to measure. In fact, it causes doubt which lowers emotional connectivity. I have discovered in working for so many companies that “Unique is Better Than Best.” Best is relative to them believing you. And “unique” is about how they see your differences to others in your market. Being unique increases the emotional connectivity if you have put the uniqueness in context to why they should consider your promise.
- Consistency Principle: How often they see your messages provides another layer of emotional connectivity. Too much and you are a pest. Too little and you are not top of mind. Most marketing errors on the side of too little which is just as big a mistake as too often. When your messages are helpful, have authority, and are unique…you raise your level of emotional connectivity. If your messages are bland and suck, you will alienate your audience. Also, the same great message over and over will erode your emotional connectivity. This means that you have to be consistent with new messages to keep the audience moving forward.
- Proximity Principle: Online is a great for sharing marketing messages. We have social channels that are historical and live. There is also offline channels that can be historical and live. I refer to the “historical” as a message that is not live and consumed after the event. Our emotional connectivity is higher for live performances. There is a feeling of being live at the moment that adds to the power to resonate. This is one reason why we still attend concerts of our favorite performers…live is better than DVD. The proximity principle also is higher when you are live and in-person. Watching someone one give a speech is a dramatic difference than watching the video after the fact.
- Deep Research Principle: Our bullshit detector has grown very sensitive with the advent of the internet. Every expert has an opinion about their topic. We value those that have to take the time to do deep research versus the ones that have just hammered out some platitudes on their laptop while sitting in a coffee shop (The irony here is that I’m typing this from my favorite coffee shop near my house.) The emotional connectivity increases when you have put in some effort to consider others in your theories. Note: I have interviewed over 270 people and worked with hundreds of companies to look at their marketing to develop what I’m sharing with you in this guide.
- Authenticity Principle: People can tell when you are YOU. It is common for companies to want to be what their audience wants from them. It is great when you have all the answers and never stumble in your journey. However, that is not realistic. We all fail, and that is a great aspect to share that humanizes your companies existence. Be vulnerable and be YOU. Share what you learned the hard way to help your audience see that you have taken risks that didn’t pay off. Being authentic may sound like a duh…of course we do that. But if you are honest with yourself, you are likely holding back on sharing the real journey. When you are authentic, you increase your emotional connectivity.
These principles to getting your message heard and had your audiences take action from your message is what I do. I share messages like this though my speeches and my work with clients. I’d love to know what you do to increase “emotional connectivity.” Send me an email to email@example.com.