Last month’s season premiere of AMC’s hit TV-series, “The Walking Dead,” left thousands of fans shocked, outraged, and . . . anticipating next week’s episode. Writers of TV shows like this understand that characters and storylines need to connect emotionally with their viewers. Similarly, consider a favorite brand or product that was suddenly taken off the marketit was pretty upsetting, right? That also is an emotional connectionwe didn’t need Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar, but once McDonald’s decided to retire their mascot and characters to revamp their brand and marketing, over a decade of many childhood memories went with it. As business owners, you’ve got to communicate your product or services in a manner that appeals to the emotions of your audience, in person and online. Here are a few key factors to get you started:

1. Don’t Educate; Sympathize

While it’s important to teach your clients and audience about your products, that isn’t what initially pulls them in. According to Relevance, people aren’t persuaded by features alone, but more so because they’re convinced you’ll help them solve their problem. When developing content on your website or social media posts, consider quick, close-ended questions to which your audience will mentally respond with “yes.” Have you ever heard a weight-loss ad ask consumers the type of food they’re eating or how often they workout? Probably not. The quick and simple “Are you trying to lose that extra 10 lbs?” seems to catch everyone’s ear.

2. Use Influential Colors

Humans are influenced by colors more often than you think. For example, bright sun-based colors, such as yellow and orange, are usually associated with energy and happiness. Blue colors, on the other hand, such as skies, oceans, and lakes, instill a sense of calmness and serenity. Dove soap definitely adheres to this color-influencing method, utilizing blue and white, because the color white is said to psychologically corresponds with cleanliness and good hygiene. You’ll discover that Dove not only uses blue and white within their packaging, but also on their website and commercials. What colors and shades work best to bring out what your business offers and to aesthetically attract customers?

3. Rational vs. Emotional Marketing: Knowing the Difference

The ultimate goal is to build relationships with your audience and consumers. Learning who they are and what they like is important when appealing to their emotions. Keep in mind, however, that there needs to be a balance. A car salesman can smooth-talk a couple all day long about how safe, comfortable, and tech-advanced his car is, but if it’s still out of their budget, the couple will most likely decline. An important emotion to remember is genuineness; consumers want to feel respected, not as if their intelligence has been insulted.

For over a decade, the joyful, adventurous Ronald McDonald character appealed to the emotions of thousands of children, who, at the time, were the primary consumers of McDonald’s Happy Meals. Society has progressed, however, and with millennials now attracted by healthier meal options, McDonald’s decided to change their marketing strategy.

Now, it’s time to think about your strategy. Does your copywriting build trust between your business and consumers? Does your website design emotionally influence how you’d want people to view your products and services? See how those close-ended questions work? And if you need a little assistance in your approach or web design, Emerge has you covered.