Sep 18, 2014
According to a recent article by HubSpot an emotionally intelligent employee is a valuable team member. They are ‘Curious’, ‘Self aware’, ‘Self motivated’ and ‘Empathetic.’ Numerous studies have shown that these same people are integral to the success of your digital marketing campaigns.
Here’s the thing: Emotionally intelligent people have an inherent understanding of how human beings think, feel and respond to situations, events and messages. They, therefore, make excellent decision-makers when it comes to social media marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, creative campaigns and networking.
This is what digital marketing is about: Talking to humans, connecting with people, strengthening relationships. Making your customers feel, think and act.
Katherine Milkman and Jonah Berger, both professors from the University of Pennsylvania, created a compelling study entitled, ‘The Link Between Viral Content and Emotional Intelligence’. The study reveals how Neetzan Zimmerman, a former writer for Gawker pulled in 30 million page views a month through one core insight: he understood the emotions that might inspire a human being to click.
Even though your goal might not be to make your content go viral (please tell me that’s not your goal), we could all do with a few more shares, a little more interest and a bit more buzz around the stories we create. During their study, Milkman and Berger revealed the six emotional intelligence factors that influence the virality of a content campaign. We share them below and discuss how they can relate to your business or brand.
Social currency – Sharing things that make us look good. For example, a thought-provoking article you know will impress people in your industry.
Triggers –It’s easier to share information we’re likely to remember. So make your content memorable by providing cues and telling compelling stories.
Emotional intelligence – Content that provokes an emotional response. For example, human interest stories, charity campaigns and motivational tips.
Public – The “front” we put on to protect our brand or our public image. For example, your content should avoid being too confrontational or controversial.
Practical use – Think – how will it help people? For example, how-to guides, in-depth studies and video tutorials.
Stories – People are inherent storytellers. Do you have an article you need to write on a boring topic? Use a story or metaphor to engage your readers from the start.
Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of Buzzfeed echoes the emotional intelligence sentiment, explaining that all marketers and media companies need to tap into their emotional side if they’re ever going to understand what works in the digital era. He said, “We started thinking it’s a game or an algorithm when really it’s about humans and what we want to share and making things that are worth sharing.”
Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of Buzzfeed speaks about the importance of emotional intelligence below:
acknowledging our customers needs and priorities. And how do we do that? Yes, you guessed it – through emotional intelligence. Your customers don’t want to feel like they’re talking to automated machines. They value personal responses – responses filled with human kindness, empathy, warmth and understanding.
A Yale University study focused on ‘Emotional Intelligence and Social Interaction’ found a positive correlation between the ability to manage emotions effectively and the quality of social interactions emotionally intelligent people enjoyed. As digital marketers, we can use this information to build relationships with our customers both online and offline.
Emotional intelligence is about listening and putting your customers’ needs first. Always. Used in the right way it can give your business a competitive advantage that’s never going to age. While others are focussed on new technologies and up-to-date innovations you’re focused on what matters most – your customers.
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