Emotional vs Rational: What works best for Facebook App Marketing?
When you run a Facebook advert for your mobile app, your content directly competes with your competitors’ content in an auction. You only get a few seconds to prove that your ad is worth clicking on more than the next piece of content in a user’s Facebook feed, and this is no easy feat.
As the best digital marketers out there will tell you, it’s a fierce, head-to-head competition, and you need to be on the winning side if you want to make the most out of your advertising budget.
Finding the most efficient way to capture your target audience’s attention as promptly as possible is vital. The goal is to get them to engage with your Facebook or Instagram advert before they get distracted by the next piece of content on their feed.
In addition to defining a target audience that works for your brand, you’ll need to determine which ad creative delivers the best results. This, in turn, opens up the question of how you should be approaching your audience.
There are two opposing ends of the spectrum you can go with here: emotional or rational marketing.
Rational marketing centres around facts, brand advantages and features. It allows you to showcase the usefulness and technology of your mobile app or product while appealing to a user’s logic and direct, problem-solving capabilities. A user’s response to a good rational marketing campaign would be “That just makes sense. I want to download this app.”.
Emotional marketing, on the other hand, focuses on appealing to users’ emotions, experiences, wants and needs. These types of campaigns centre around the emotional benefits of using a product or app. They make use of storytelling, status, personal problems and empathy to entice the user to download or purchase a product. Emotionally-driven campaigns have viral marketing potential and can establish a brand’s entire identity, but they are not the easiest to successfully run. This is because it can be challenging to predict how your audience will react to a specific emotional prompt.
So, which type of ad creative works best, emotional or rational?
When comparing the profitability boost of campaigns which used an emotional appeal vs those which were based on rational information only, an analysis by the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) found that those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with rational content. Campaigns with purely emotional content also did slightly better than those with mixed emotional and rational content.
Apart from the statistics, it’s essential to understand which marketing style best suits your product, target audience, budget and company size.
Not all brands can - or should - focus on purely emotional marketing campaigns. Smaller brands might benefit from a combined approach, as they need to educate the audience on what their product is first and foremost.
Larger brands have the advantage of being able to fully focus on the emotional side of marketing, and their logo will be educational enough in context (we’re looking at you, Super Bowl ads!).
Here’s how you can incorporate emotional marketing into your Facebook advertising campaigns:
1. Generate excitement.
Nothing makes you want a product more than seeing other people be excited about it. Making use of an excited and energetic tone of voice is a great way to make your product look compelling, which along with the generated excitement, drives purchase decisions.
2. Solve a problem and be relatable.
Everyone has problems. So when we find a solution, we must have it at all costs, especially when someone we can relate to has had the same experience as you. Find out which problem your product solves, then explore clever ways of positioning the solution in front of your audience. Slack’s first ad campaign did just that.
3. Spark curiosity.
Human beings are curious creatures. By sparking curiosity in your ads and subsequent landing pages, people just can’t help but want to know more. SNCF’s ‘Europe. It’s just next door.’ campaign does a great job at this.
4. Portray emotion through imagery.
It’s not just about the copy and tone of an ad. Using bright colours, happy faces or other visual prompts can be a very effective advertising strategy.
5. Tell a story.
Good storytelling is memorable, making it an excellent tool for brand awareness and customer conversion. Everyone loves a good story that they can relate to. Just ensure that you include enough branding if you are advertising for a smaller brand. This Nike ad is a great example of this type of marketing using video, but you can also use carousels and still images to achieve a similar effect.
6. Make use of FOMO.
In today’s fast-paced and hyper-connected world, it is difficult to be a part of the action all the time, which makes FOMO - or the Fear Of Missing Out - very real. Make your audience wonder whether they are missing out on something. Whether that’s a great deal, an event, or a feature that everyone will most likely possess very soon. Make them wonder how they can stay relevant, then help them achieve this with your app.
As with every advertising campaign, it is crucial to understand what works best for your brand and audience. Just because an ad campaign looks great, that doesn’t mean that it will work well for you.
Find out how much user education is necessary at the marketing stage that your company is at right now, then find your balance between rational and emotional marketing based on that.
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