emotional connection with consumers

How to Make an Emotional Connection With Consumers Through Your Website

In Leadership by Jennifer TomlinsonLeave a Comment

Fifty milliseconds. That’s all the time it takes for someone to establish an opinion about your website, and that opinion will go on to inform that person’s impression of your brand. It’ll also affect that potential customer’s every subsequent action—or inaction, at that. So how do you make an emotional connection with consumers?

That’s why dynamic design is so important to a website. People make an almost instantaneous assessment of a brand upon their initial interactions with the site. They decide then and there whether it’s worth the time to make any sort of investment. If the visual and content elements don’t align with expectations, the visitor won’t likely stick around — or return. This is where an emotional connection with consumers comes into play.

Elements of Good Design

For a website to connect with a target audience, even at a base level, its visuals must match that of the industry. Let’s say you work in construction: Your website should have correlating imagery to reassure prospects that they’ve arrived at the right place.

As far as content goes, the language should be common to that of your prospects. Sure, it may get a bit jargony at times, but you really want to speak in the vernacular of your target audience. You also want to use terms or phrases that make an emotional connection with consumers and capture attention, especially when it comes to headings and subheadings.

Besides all that, you’ll want to speak to their pain. Feel free to pose the problem and then explain — in a roundabout way, of course — how your products or services are the perfect solution. It’s all showing that you understand where they’re coming from: You get it, and that’s why you’re the best option.

LS Retail has the perfect balance between visual and content elements on its site. You know right away what services it provides — and for what industries. The messaging speaks to the pain of its potential customers, and it tells readers what to expect in its services: one software solution for commercial businesses.

Of course, getting it right isn’t particularly easy. It can be difficult to find the balance necessary to make an emotional connection with consumers, capture attention and encourage a purchase or other call to action. The following are often the best options to start:

  1. Tap into the motivation. There’s always a reason people seek out a given website. For some, it’s information. Others will want advice. You’ll also find those who frequent websites solely for inspiration. Determine the reason for the visit and leverage the emotions most closely associated with it. If, for example, visitors want information about products or services, one option is to use reassurance.
  2. Share your story. Consumers want transparency from brands — so much so that 9 out of 10 consumers would stop buying from a brand that lacks transparency. In an effort to become more transparent, divulge your brand story. Just make sure it’s authentic. Consumers can feel when brands are manipulating them, especially their emotions. When up-front and honest, you’re more likely to make an emotional connection with consumers that will instill trust.
  3. Keep content consistent. Many brands use the hit-and-run approach to engagement. They strike an emotional connections with consumers through an advertisement, but all other content lacks the same weight. Craft a narrative of sorts in each interaction between brand and consumer to engage on an emotional level. Otherwise, consumers will just lose interest.
  4. Encourage participation. It’s one thing to encourage consumers to provide feedback about your brand. It’s another thing entirely to encourage them to participate in the narrative of your brand. That’s where you’ll find the emotional connection with consumers. Embolden consumers to explore and interact with your brand. Give them access to information and let them choose where they want to go on their customer journeys. Doing so not only puts them in the driver’s seat, but also provides you with insights into what they care about most.
  5. Optimize with data. As you get to know your audience members, you’ll want to refine your messaging to better resonate with them. Look at the metrics to gain insights into what’s working, and then go back and optimize the content that isn’t. After all, marketing is a process that requires continual adjustment to ensure you make and maintain a connection with your intended audience.

Connecting with consumers isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. If you can engage with people via your website, you still must maintain those connections with each subsequent interaction. It’s like any other relationship in your life: It takes time and effort to make it really work.

Plenty of brands are masters of website engagement. What websites resonate with you?

The original version of this article was first published on The Marketing Scope.

Jennifer Tomlinson

Jennifer Tomlinson is Senior Manager of Channel Marketing at Microsoft. She leads partner marketing efforts to help companies manage their current customers and grow their customer base. Jennifer has more than 20 years of experience in implementing successful, scalable marketing strategies for product, audience, and channel marketing in enterprise and small- and medium-sized businesses.
Jennifer Tomlinson

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