Olivia Ryan
August 1, 2017

How To Take Advantage Of Your Customers’ Emotions

Online advertising using customer emotions

When brands create their promotion strategies, they all have one goal in mind: to engage and attract more consumers. And if you had to choose only one word to describe advertising in general, you could easily say that it’s “emotional”. To make online advertising more effective, every digital marketer needs to know how to influence consumers’ emotions.

This is the most important mission in an industry which generates more than $67 billion annually in the US alone. There is an entire science hiding behind this process and we decided to give you a brief guide on how to take advantage of user’s emotions when creating the Internet promotion strategy.

5 Steps To Using Emotions In Your Online Marketing

Successful online advertising campaigns consist of many elements but there are a few of these that marketing experts consider the most important. Let’s check out 5 such elements.

1. Understand how emotions influence people

If you want to control brand image through emotional messages, you need to know the basic feelings that advertisers use in their campaigns. The most popular emotions to target are happiness, fear, anger, sorrow and surprise. Using one of these emotions, you can influence target audience and strengthen their relations with the brand.

It’s up to you to choose the feeling that correlates best with your products. It depends on the overall brand vision, the current state of affairs and the creativity of your marketing team. But what is most important here is that you channel this emotion in the right direction to make the biggest impact. It’s not so difficult to manipulate people’s emotions but you need to be very precise about your goals.

For instance, home insurance agencies will definitely try to scare the people and instill fear in the minds of potential clients. That way, people will think about their families and how they need to protect them in every possible way. And it’s nothing but the result of advertising based on fear as the motive.

2. Exclusivity

Self-esteem is an essential emotion, ingrained in all individuals. People love to be appreciated by others and also to feel proud and confident. An air of exclusivity in an Internet promotion can give them this type of feeling. Making a general atmosphere of high-value will motivate your audience to act and engage.

Just look at the most prestigious brands out there: Mercedes, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, etc. All of these brands offer more than just a simple product. They offer clients exclusivity, prestige and superior quality. It’s all about the brand image and the way they promote their products.

Take Rolex for example. There are so many high-quality watches in the world but only Rolex can claim to be the best brand in this field. This company never misses a chance to emphasize its tradition and exclusivity. That’s why their online advertising says: ”Rolex doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.” In this manner, Rolex attracts more and more customers. They are likely to be people who feel that the superiority of the brand transfers directly to their own personas.

3. Understand your audience

All people are different. In fact, there are so many categories that people can be grouped into that it gives a chance to all sorts of brands to act and create Internet promotion strategies. There is not a single brand in the world that can cover all people based on their age, education, social status demands, and so on.

Having this in mind, it is evident that you need to understand your audience if you want to design a successful digital campaign. For instance, teenage gamers and middle-age ladies definitely don’t fall into the same category. They are completely different target consumers and you need to know how to approach each of these groups.

It’s surprising to realize that many brands actually don’t track their consumers. Apparently, more than 70% of marketers fail to target consumers with behavioral data. This is the sort of mistake that serious companies cannot allow themselves. You need to figure out how your audience thinks, what they feel, where they go and what they buy to fulfill their personal needs. This is the only way to make your online promotion strategy complete.

4. Surprise people

Surprise is the emotion that can thrill an audience and make them very excited about your brand. When you do something unexpected, you tell your audience that you are not like everyone else. Your brand is different, more exciting and distinguished.

Internet promotions that count on surprise elements need to be clever and amusing. Marketers usually achieve this by adding humor into promotional messages. It takes an interesting plot twist and a well-written story.

McDonald’s created a great video ad that thrills consumers with its funny and surprising scenario. Two guys go to the same place each day and the young woman behind the counter always asks them something new. They are trying to think of the perfect order, the one that’s impossible to upgrade. However, the girl always suggests adding something new and keeps them desperate. The moral of this story: you can never surprise McDonald’s but McDonald’s can always surprise you. How clever, right?

(I’d have loved to embed the video here, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. If you know the one, find the link and post it in the comments, I’ll add it)

5. Highlight your shortcomings

In the sea of ads that talk about “perfect” products, you can distinguish yourself by letting the audience know that you are not flawless. This is an excellent way to present yourself as the more honest brand – something that can cause a strong emotional reaction in consumers. That’s exactly what Nike did several years ago in its famous commercial with Michael Jordan:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Is there anything more impactful than listening to the best basketball player of all time explaining how his flaws actually made him that good? It’s so easy to relate to his words and build a strong connection with the brand. Think about this element next time you plan an online advertising campaign.


A surprisingly small number of consumers respond to promotional messages logically. They make emotional reactions instead. If you want to capture their attention and promote your products or services online more efficiently, you need to design the strategy based on those emotions. Social media enables you to reach huge potential audiences, so don’t waste the opportunity. Use these 5 steps to build your campaign and you’ll attract all of the attention you need.

Any comments?

Do you have any thoughts regarding marketing to consumer emotions? Better yet, do you have any experience in this type of marketing? If you’d like to share anything on this subject, please leave a comment below.


Olivia is an incurable optimist who always sees the glass as half-full. She likes nature, knows how to enjoy silence and keen on writing for different websites as well as for AussieWritings.com service. Meet her on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_bowie15′ / 123RF Stock Photo

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