Ivan Temelkov
April 13, 2016

The Emotional Era: Content, Storytelling & Persuasion

We are living through the best years of human history. A world where technology continues to evolve and digital as a whole is an essential part of our lives. An era heavily driven by digital technology, content, and social influence. Content particularly though, plays a dominant role within the digital marketing mix. Something that consumers are paying strong attention to especially on their mobile devices.

Content and storytelling definitely aren’t new endeavors by any means. Th storytelling aspect dates back to the 1700s. In the early days a verbal conversation could have been classified as content. One individual sharing information with another. Content being shared and communicated between two parties in a very casual way. The principles have not changed though. As a matter of fact they are stronger than ever before. However much content in the modern digital world has amplified, it retains the core of its origins. It is also becoming extremely common and more widely used as means of prospecting or even in sales endeavors.

The emotional targeting era is on the uprise. Content marketing will be taking on a much more prominent position in digital marketing. There are a lot of obvious reasons why content marketing and storytelling will be the new wave of future digital marketing endeavors. For the most part, each consumer possesses two type of mentalities when it comes to product or service purchasing.

  • Psychological
  • Emotional

Think about it for a second. What crossed your mind when buying a product or service? You consider the needs for which you are purchasing the product or service. Also, there is an emotional ingredient in each that determines the way you feel towards something.

Does it provide happiness, satisfaction, or sense of fulfillment? Will this product or service satisfy your need?

Companies and marketers equally need to be putting forth stronger attention to detail on the emotional and psychological aspects of digital marketing. Content marketing particularly is an avenue that can assist with emotional consumer targeting.

Context & Substance

In the earlier days of content marketing, everything was about quantity of information. Any brand that was pumping out consistent content would ultimately position itself as a go-to leader in a particular industry or vertical. Those were the great days where bulk content would attribute to more web traffic and leads. As content marketing continued to evolve it started to become a lot more saturated. Consumers became frustrated with the clutter of information. The competition levels skyrocketed as more and more brands began to experiment with content marketing and storytelling endeavors.

These days everything in content marketing is about context and substance. Obviously, quantity matters but quality, context, and substance serves of utmost importance. It is extremely difficult to resonate with a target audience on an emotional level. Especially when every other brand is attempting to do the very same thing. It is need quite challenging to accomplish this. Hence why you should invest valiant amount of time in evaluating the context and substance of your messaging.

The Added Value Proposition

Each of your potential customers and your target audience seeks some value in the context you are sharing. Something that is enticing to them. It can perhaps be value in the form of context that helps them resolve a problem. Typically. something that has an emotional or psychological element appended to it. A key ingredient in content marketing is the added value proposition. Your content might be engaging, informative and authoritative, but if it’s missing the added value proposition, it is not quite connecting with your target audience..

A vast majority of content marketing these days includes special giveaways or something worth monetary value. It is the emotional element that engages with as as humans. Considering a strong added value proposition, can amplify the potential of your content. As a matter of fact, an enticing offer should be essential to your content marketing strategy as a whole. One of the major issues that most content marketers run into is not having an enticing offer for their target audience.

Emotional Engagement

A week ago, I wrote an article here on Curatti. Generally when I write, there is a tendency to focus on the emotional impact each piece will have on individuals. Never really having any expectations or even hyperfocused planning. It’s really all about providing value to others who may find some use of it. Well, apparently there was one particular individual who happened to find the information insightful. So powerful that she ended up reaching out to me on LinkedIn.

Here is the message I received from Paula:

I’d love to connect & follow you

Hi Ivan,

I’m a [company name] specialist looking to improve my knowledge vastly, and I saw your recent article on LinkedIn (“5 Digital Marketing Mistakes – And How You Can Fix Them”). It was a great article and I’d love to connect with you and follow you to learn more. I am being laid off from my 16-year job at a small aerospace company in the Boston area, and I need to rebrand myself for the new world of marketing.

Kind regards,


Receiving this message was quite moving. The fact that I was able to have an emotional impact on someone else felt quite fulfilling to me. Not to mention that Paula was able to find some value in the giant pile of ramblings I left behind.

In today’s competitive and saturated digital age, it’s all about emotional engagement. Especially when it comes to content marketing endeavors or even holistic digital strategies. Everything revolves around the emotional engagement with your target audience. Accomplishing this endeavor though, can be extremely challenging in most instances. Identifying what resonates with your potential customers takes some market research and testing to identify successful targeted tactics. For instance, identifying buying personas can be extremely advantageous to your business.

What are buying personas? Buying personas are ultimately fictitious representations of your potential customers. In essence this entails in individuals that think and rationalize in a certain fashion. Now, if you consider the emotional engagement aspect of this then things can get quite a bit tricky. It can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the mindset the your ideal customers. Based on market research and statistical data you can certainly come close to identifying who these individuals are and how they rationalize.

Psychological Reasoning

There is a psychological aspect behind everything. Including content marketing and digital marketing endeavors. Does it make sense? Is it beneficial to your target audience? Is there clear rhyme and reason to your approach? In all honesty I’ve seen some serious shenanigans over last 20 years when it comes to marketing strategies as whole. Marketers tend to overthink things a good portion of the time. It’s quite unfortunate but true.

When it comes to content, context and storytelling, consider the psychological reasoning behind your endeavors. It’s imperative that your target audience have a clear psychological understanding behind whatever it is you are attempting to communicate. Creating a misconception can be damaging to your brand, regardless of whether or not it’s intentional. Put forth a strong emphasis behind the psychological reasoning of your tactics. This should be established early on as well so that your target audience can start to pick up on the messaging more clearly.


A couple of years ago, I worked with a gentleman who portrayed a completely new meaning of persuasion to me. In reality it plays a factorial role in your content, context and storytelling endeavors. If you think about it for a second, your context prompts the user to take some form of action. It might be signing up for a subscription, filling out a contact form, or simply requesting more information. In the grand scheme of things though, you are attempting to persuade your audience to take a certain action against your content. It is a practice employed by many brands as part of their content marketing and storytelling endeavors.

Did you enjoy this article? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.


Image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_sylverarts‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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A digital marketing practitioner bringing nearly two decades of seasonality to the table with emphasis on Search, Social, & Content. I'm enthused about helping small businesses increase their digital footprint by utilizing the power of technology, web, strategic thinking, and targeted execution for maximum market penetration. CEO of @RazorSharpDigit, a human-centric digital brand but can be found @ivan_temelkov on Twitter as well.