Most of the time, when we click on a website that is a SERP result or respond positively or negatively to a brand, it is driven by emotion. As consumers we do not realize it, but we have a subconscious itch that we need scratched when we sit down to consume digital advertisement. Whether it is to settle a debate about who was president after Truman (an itch to be right), a desire to find a skin care routine to fight the signs of aging (an itch for content to educate us to take care of our aesthetics) or our desire to eat at the same restaurant that we frequent every Friday instead of choosing somewhere new (a positive response to branding) we make most of our purchases based on emotion, and most of the sites we pick from a Google query are founded on an emotional itch.
Let’s Talk about Sensory Branding
Sensory advertising is the attempt to appeal to more than one sense in an effort to get the consumer to relate to your product or brand on an emotional level. Studies have shown that when consumers respond to more than one sense at once, the advertising they consume is more effective.
A classic example is the “Starbucks experience.” We say experience here because consumers are hit with a number of different senses at once. Starbucks uses the same smells in every coffee shop, taste is appealed to with similar delicacies in every store, and samples. The company of Starbucks has a “playlist” where the same type of songs are played in every single cafe.
What about television commercials for “Red Lobster?” Your sense of taste is appealed to when Red Lobster offers succulent visuals of the “Shrimp Side Trio.” There may be a chef talking over the imagery, describing the effort and care it takes to craft each meal, appealing to consumers on an emotional level. A light, airy song plays in the background, appealing to our sense of sound. We feel carefree and ready to spend money. The imagery, song, coupled by the words that we are visualizing work together as a triple whammy. We find ourselves at Red Lobster that night without realizing why, and afterward head to Starbucks for an espresso, none the wiser.
How can Smaller Digital Advertisers take Advantage of Human Senses?
For advertising copy such as Adwords and meta descriptions that digital advertisers have an opportunity to take advantage of, sight, sound and feel can be more effective senses to leverage in our advertising.
Lets look at how to do all three in Adwords copy for a dieting website:
The Adwords Formula that almost every expert encourages us to take advantage of:
- Headline is a Feature
- Subline is a benefit
- Display URL makes prospect trust you by using relevant keywords with correct capitalization
Appealing to Sight:
Hate Being in Pictures? (Emotionally connect to consumer by addressing a pain point of overweight people who avoid taking pictures. Begin to appeal to the sense of sight. The benefit is no longer feeling self conscious)
How about a picture with you fifty pounds lighter? (Offer a benefit – this is the Adwords golden rule, feature first, benefit second. This benefit of losing 50 pounds causes the web surfer to visualize themselves without the problems they have now.)
“You Look Younger Than You Did In Highschool!” (This Pain point is one of someone who is seeing worried about someone who they haven’t’ seen in a long time after a weight gain. The feature offered is hearing someone who hasn’t see you in a while’s surprise at how amazing you look.)
Going to a reuinion will be a snap when you lose 50 pounds, fast, guaranteed. (The benefit is getting that reaction after quickly losing fifty pounds)
Since the Weight Gain, When He Caresses You Is it Just Not The Same? (Appealing to pain point of an overweight person who is self conscious – the feature offered is that your relationships will be better and you will feel sexier.)
Reclaim your life, your relationships and your self confidence with our simple weight loss plan (All of the benefits offered complement the feature – this feature appeals to the sense of touch, being touched and feeling attractive)
These are just a few examples of touch, hear and sight imagery you can harness in your Adwords copy and your meta descriptions. Smell and taste are possible, but until you have mastered the senses of sight, touch and hearing, you should focus on these before moving on to smell and taste. Most often brands like Starbucks will use these in their strategy because smell and taste often involve you having to smell or taste the product in person.
Employ these methods, and use them in your Adwords A/B testing. If one group using this strategy is working well for you, don’t just assign it its own ad group, incorporate it into your meta descriptions and your ad copy.
Once Again – Going over the steps
- Listen – research forums, groups, discussion boards and speak to your current clientele. If you can, incorporate a drop down menu that asks new visitors how and why they arrived on the site and what they are looking for. Try surveys through email asking clients what they hope to achieve with what you are offering.
- Create Buyer Personas and Figure out what people’s main pain points are. There will be an upcoming blog on Buyer Personas and Target Audience Research for you to read if you are having difficulty doing this.
- Incorporate sight, sound, and touch into your advertising copy, and use Adwords for testing.
- Figure out what is successful, separate these ads into their own ad groups, and tweak until they are improved enough to incorporate into your meta descriptions and advertising copy.
- Find ways to incorporate smell and taste, and continue to appeal to as many senses as possible.
With a little practice, you will be connecting to your prospects on an emotional level, and your revenue should increase exponentially.