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Welcome to the first in a four-part series in which we'll be exploring major trends in communications for 2022. In this initial installment, we're examining the concept of emotional marketing, its traditional definition,  and its current state. People have been appealing to emotions to motivate others for millennia. Aristotle himself established techniques for emotional appeals that were quite persuasive. While appealing to emotions may seem manipulative, it's usually not nefarious. Emotional marketing connects people with the things they want and need on a deeply personal level. True, some marketing and advertising campaigns play on negative feelings of fear or greed.  Here, however, we're looking at how emotional marketing can elicit positive results, and why it's a major trend in communications with tremendous staying power.

What is emotional marketing?

Emotional marketing identifies and builds on an audience's emotions to market to them more successfully. Rooted in current best practices in research and behavioral psychology,  today's emotional marketing requires a deep understanding of the feelings a specific audience has toward a product or service and its competitors.  To work, emotional marketing has to get a good handle on an audience's vibe, and how it affects their view of the entire product genre. A very simple example is marketing campaigns for online talk therapy providers where emotional marketing is essential to conversion. The target audience naturally includes anyone who's experiencing distressing emotions and could benefit from online mental health counseling. You don't have to look far on Twitter to see people tweeting about their struggles with mental wellbeing - and you also don't have to look far to see ads for these therapy providers in the same places.

Is it ethical?

A lot of business owners are still really intimidated by SEO and the general difficulty of it. They just don’t understand all of the technical mumbo-jumbo and they also don’t have the time to devote to it either. The truth is that SEO is now no longer difficult. It’s really easy and if you have the right mentality and the right commitment then there is absolutely no reason why you can’t go on to experience a huge amount of success. Any business owner can become a master of SEO, and this is especially the case when you have the right tools at your disposal. Is SEO That Hard? Those who are not familiar with website development may hear the words “Google algorithm” and instantly feel uneasy. Sure, the algorithm is complex and it is really difficult, but there is no reason why you can’t go on to be successful with it. The truth is that sophisticated algorithms don’t actually need a sophisticated strategy, and it’s really easy for you to go out there and achieve positive results. Google wants to provide the best online experience and if everything was as hard as you think it is then they wouldn’t be able to do that - purely because nobody would have a clue how to get started.

Facebook marketing and advertising have a lot to learn from SEO, and vice versa. When integrated, Facebook and SEO strategies can be a powerful combination, though it might not be obvious at first glance. Here are some tips for synergizing Facebook and SEO to create more powerful results for your IMC campaigns. 

Think Beyond Marketing Silos

Six years ago analyst firm Forrester published a report showing that 86% of marketers see an integrated campaign as crucial to their success. A siloed approach to social media, content, paid search and organic search can end up feeling disjointed. As two of the bigger components of an omnichannel approach, integrating Facebook and SEO makes sense as a marketing priority. It’s important that social media, content, and search teams are not only briefed on each other’s activities but working together. An integrated team approach will improve marketing results, and probably save you some money too. When brands don’t connect all the different elements of their marketing strategies, they miss out on the potential to engage their audience from multiple angles. Facebook and SEO can work hand in hand when you're using communication as a basis for consistency. (If you're still planning your overall SEO strategy, there's more about SEO in 2018 here.)

Evaluate The Opportunity

content shockIt's been two years since Mark Schaefer declared that content shock is here. Since that time B2B brands have continually increased their marketing budgets while technological advances like ad blockers threaten to disrupt the industry. Still the problem of content shock remains. There’s an overwhelming amount of free content on the web -  far more than any rational human being can consume. As a result, people have become increasingly selective about the content they consume. Internet users are coping with information overload by scanning faster and reading with less intensity than before. This, in turn, makes it harder for B2B brands to reach their audience. To continue connecting with prospects, marketers will have to continually refine their niche. Yet, they face another problem.

social mediaVisual media is an important element of your marketing. It grabs the attention of the viewer and tells a meaningful story in a glance. Visuals help you create brand recognition, highlight events, promote products and create a curated catalog of your business. The kiss of death for any visual social media is poor-quality photos. You don’t want blurriness, undersaturation and low exposure to distract from the content of the photo. There are many ways you can go about the production of your social media photos, ranging from a professional photographer to a high-quality smartphone camera. The following tips will help you create the best photos and videos for your social media marketing campaigns:

Professional Photographer

If you have the funds for a professional photographer, hire one. Professional photographers have the artistic expertise and the camera equipment needed to produce outstanding photos. The photographer should at the very least have three different lenses, a tripod, a detachable flash and studio lights. You can generally hire a photographer for a project-based rate, rather than an hourly rate. Make sure to check out online profiles when you shop around for a photographer. A portfolio gives you an idea of the photographer’s range; it reveals if he or she is a one-trick pony or if he or she can take high-quality photos in multiple genres with a variation in tone.

DIY Digital SLR

If you own a digital SLR,

Starbucks Integrated Marketing CommunicationsFew brands have truly harnessed the power of integrated marketing communications as well as Starbucks. They embraced the concept of integrated and multi-channel marketing techniques well before most other brands, recognizing early on the value of, for example, a direct mail campaign that's supported by e-mail and echoed in social media. When it comes to the holistic picture of integrated marketing communications, Starbucks continues to blaze a trail that other big brands – and small businesses alike – should carefully examine. The foundation of Starbucks' strength in IMC is twofold: consistent branding and consistent customer recognition. Visually, the Starbucks brand is undeniable. Travel to any major city around the world, and quite a few less major ones, and you'll see the familiar Starbucks face peering at you from coffee cups held by passersby. You'll identify a place to get the coffee you love in an airport, or wandering down some strange new street. There are other brands for which this phenomenon also occurs – like McDonald's – but whereas the reaction fast food creates can be mixed (especially when the restaurants are very close to historic or religious landmarks, which seems tacky), the concept of a soothing cup of coffee or cooling Frappucino is almost universally well received. Starbucks is also meticulous about getting to know their customers, and maintaining long-term relationships. They've always understood the value of perks like birthday gifts, delivered via postal mail to customers like an actual present. And they have a website dedicated entirely to customer feedback. My Starbucks Idea brings together a global community of Starbucks lovers. Customer ideas can be voted upon by others and the company provides feedback. Some ideas have even been implemented. At this time, 214,553 ideas are cataloged on the site. My Starbucks Idea is powered by Salesforce, so there is a huge CRM component behind it.

One of the greatest examples of integrated marketing communications is a plan so seamless and flawlessly executed that it deserves a place in the hall of fame for a completely immersive experience that didn't even feel like marketing. Who will ever forget the Smell like a Man, Man campaign , AKA “Old Spice Man?” This particular IMC campaign heavily integrated advertising with content and social media marketing. Combining television ads with wildly viral video and above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty social media engagement, Old Spice plucked the memorable, tongue-in-cheek character of Old Spice Man, initially portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa, straight from television screens across the country and deposited him on YouTube. This was the start of pure magic. It all started with a 30 second ad spot that was widely run and exceptionally well received. Realizing the potential reach and cost effectiveness of YouTube, particularly when marketing to a younger generation (the target demographic for their line of body washes – who were already being assailed regularly with memorable ads from brands like Axe), the Old Spice team uploaded additional videos in the campaign series online. Fans of the character could see him in action far beyond the reaches of their TV screens. As interest in the character and the ads became clear, Old Spice released additional television commercials. These were supported with continued YouTube content, one of the first and certainly most spectacular examples of how video on TV and video online can work perfectly together. But Old Spice had the smarts to not just upload ads, but to pay attention to what people were saying to the character in tweets and video responses. They added the perfect twist that accelerated results astronomically. 

[caption id="attachment_5797" align="alignright" width="200"]Download (Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)[/caption] By Nick Rojas The World Wide Web has granted the ability to create and distribute content at a rate never before achieved in human history. In 2008, The University of California, San Diego published a report that showed American households consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008. A zettabyte, almost defying comprehension, is one billion trillion bytes, that’s a one with 21 zeros added. This data shows that the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and is exposed to 100,000 words in a single day. Some estimates place the number of social media users in 2014 as high as 1.82 billion people. As the number of eyes on social media pages has grown, so has the demand for content to fill those pages. Search Engine Optimization is a field currently exploding in an effort to meet this demand. But is there such thing as too much? Too much content for readers to possibly consume? Well, industry influencer Mark Schaefer believes so.