How to Drive Loyalty with Target Audience Emotions

target audience emotions analysis

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How can you earn the loyalty of your target audience using emotions?

Go straight to their heart. In other words, connect with them. If you enter their heart, you also win their loyalty.

As marketers, we have to understand our target audience on a deeper level.

For example, the only way you can touch the hearts of your audience is to understand them.

Indeed, you need to go on a personal level.

What are their motivations, hidden wishes, and deepest fears?

Let’s see.

What is a Target Audience

A target audience is that part of the audience that is the right reader for our content.

We may think our target audience is the perfect match for our product and our buyer.

Buyers have so many different needs. 

Definitely, they are live persons, so they have so many different roles in their life.

You can have different roles and needs or interests, even at the same time.

One of my favorite examples begins with the “Customer Values” exercise. You find it as an essential part of Stratergyzer’s Value Proposition Canvas.

You want somebody to buy your service or product, that is the user.

But, to sell, you have to convince other people that are covering different roles.

Those people can work with you, for example, influencers that move your buyer toward your offer.

Same as other people that are against you, that disagree with your offer.

For that reason, they push your buyer to another direction, a different solution.

A message with no crystal-clear target audience and goal is weak and may cost a lot of money.

In that case, you attract people who change their minds.

So, they won’t be loyal enough.


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How to Find the Right Target Audience Emotions?

First, as said, you need to catch the wind and understand who your target audience is.

Once you define your audience, then you have to go through an accurate segmentation.

Break down your audience in smaller groups with similar attitudes.

Some common characteristics may be:

  1. Demographic
  2. Psychographic
  3. Behavioral data

To know what to say, you need to find your audience trends and conversations.

For example, I love to use Twitter Advanced Search to find what is going on in some groups.

I use it to target specific geographical areas or keywords.

Also, I use Ghostwriter AI Audience Analysis.

It helps me find behavioral insights, related to demographic and psychographic elements.

AI algorithms are fast in identifying common patterns. 

How Artificial Intelligence Helps to Find Target Audience Emotions

Target audience emotions are difficult to spot, but new techniques that involve Artificial Intelligence improves content personalization delivery.

AI can transform how we engage the audience. It helps companies understand the needs we have, as consumers, and as a brand.

The trick stays in asking the right type of questions and providing the right kind of sources.

Once you gain insights about your target audience, you move to the right kind of content to create.

Even now, the right questions save you a lot of time.

Basically, there are three kinds of question to ask yourself:

  1. Is it helpful, inspirational, of entertainment?
  2. Will it make my target audience engage?
  3. Does it make the reader feel Something?

They hide a small, almost invisible, but crucial element in common: emotions. 

Why Target Audience Emotions Matters?

Hubspot defines Emotional Marketing as “a marketing and advertising effort that primarily uses emotion to make your audience notice, remember, share, and buy.” 

The purpose of emotions, in general, is to focus our attention and motivate us to action. Think of a feeling you’ve had, you had to decide your next purchase. What is it telling you to focus on?

As a matter of fact, well, that really depends on the job that you need to do.

What was your job-to-be-done?

Was it functional, emotional, or social?

Whatever, you will discover that there is an emotional component that you can leverage behind all of them.

For, example, you have to decide what to have for dinner. It looks like a functional “job-to-be-done”.

Let’s go for a burger? It will really satisfy (satisfaction kind of emotion) you.


You are one that wants to eat healthy food. You do sport, and your friend all eats food with a look at calories, fat, carb, and protein proportions. 

Looks like you are also a social pain. 

You need acceptance, and eat a burger will feel you guilty (guilty and shame emotions).

When you realize the situation, you get stressed (stressing emotions).

You visited burger restaurants, then low-fat restaurants.

Desperate (frustration emotion) is almost there, when you receive an ad display about a veggie burger new place.

That’s perfect!

Hope sentiment rises, and you also look for nutrition info to increase your trust and take the resolution. The deal is closed, you will book a table for you and your healthy lover friends.

You will surprise and delight them. The functional job is done, and social needs satisfied.

I’ve shaped a real situation of emotional marketing, easy to be true.

Types of Emotions that Drive Actions

Emotional marketing typically taps into a singular emotion.

However, we are complicated. A singular emotion can’t be enough to make a difference in our decisions.

How many types of emotions do we live in?

There are thousands of searches about emotions, but they are not so easy to classify.

The emotion annotation and representation language (EARL) proposed by the Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion (HUMAINE) classifies 48 emotions.

Another famous theory about emotions comes from Plutchik and his Wheel of Emotions.

Robert Plutchik diagrammed a wheel of eight emotions, just like a color wheel, they also have their opposites.

emotional marketing and the emotions involved

Even more, you can combine different emotions to get different intensity.

emotional marketing

As human beings, we are so complicated creatures compounded by an unbelievable mix of emotions.

How the emotional mix is explosive and dramatically changes the virality of a commercial?

Target Audience Emotions Trigger: How Things Get Shared

Emotional things often get shared.

But, not all emotions perform equally.

According to Jonah Berger, there are six principles of contagiousness.

In his book Contagious he lists them. Most shared news results are Triggered, Emotional, Public, Practically Valuable, and wrapped into Stories.

Contagious stepps to get shares
Jonah Berger Resources

He has run a search on New York Times hundreds of articles to identify if emotions affect shares.

What results do you expect?

Firstly, he has found that awe is a strong emotion, able to boost shares.

Then, he has also discovered that anger is not less influential. 

As a matter of fact, anger is even more potent than awe and positive emotions!

He finally has reached a conclusion: arousal is the key.

emotional marketing enable shares

Situations that heighten arousal should boost social transmission, regardless of whether they are positive (e.g., inaugurations) or negative (e.g., panics) in nature.”

But, how the use of emotions affects how we share content?

Let’s see some practical examples.

How to Drive Loyalty with Target Audience Emotions: Examples

Let’s see some real examples of what we said.

Long-Term ROI: Nutella

If you are pointing to long-term ROI, then aim for positive emotions.

Positivity keeps us motivated.

Challenges, efforts, patients move significant shares.

Take all together with the information that you collected on your buyer personas and use them to find challenges in your audience’s life.

Solve them.

Be your customer’s secret weapon, their personal magic wand as in the Harry Potter saga.

Look at this Nutella famous nut cream Facebook ads.

nutella involves target audience emotionally

In the COVID lockdown, Nutella launched ads that blink to the brand’s audience passions of the moment.

For example, baking, gardening, inventing crafts with kids, using Nutella and its jar. The symbol of the brand.

Nutella’s marketing team seems to have studied the main trends of the period, leveraging positive emotions to beat the virus fear.

Create empathy telling a story: Google

Bring emotions to live, connecting worries, fears, and solutions. Tell a story to mix them all.

You have the recipe.

Look at Google.

During the 2010 Super Bowl, Google launched its promo title “Parisian Love.”

A Super Bowl is an exceptional event, watched by millions of Americans.

How to catch most of them?

Which emotions can draw a line?

Also, considering that the audience should be in a high arousal mood, how to keep that high? With love.

The short video catches the emotions of all people who engage with love stories and a happy end.

People love to hear stories that they can empathize with, and the Google search engine serves as the magic wand we told.

The ingenious author mixed the classic storytelling elements—character, setting, plot, conflict, and theme.

Make all efforts to be authentic: Coca-Cola

Emotions are powerful and tricky at the same time. You may throw all your efforts away by making a small mistake.

Stay clear and be authentic.

Align your brand tone of voice with your campaign.

But, also take care of the target market where you are.

What is useful in a place may be offensive in another!

Make your customer feel involved. Coca-Cola mastered this tactic with its 2014 “Share a Coke” campaign:

  1. high personalization of the content
  2. deep personal involvement.

People set their individual story sharing the bottle, and their name, with family and friends.

coca-cola virality share
photo credit: Mike Mozart

Surprise and Delight: Ikea

I don’t need to say how important the surprising component is.

Everyone loves surprises, don’t you?

I love my husband, and one of the reasons is that he can surprise me and make me laugh.

You feel better when someone takes care of you, making you smile and relaxing, right?

All of us know how stressful a pandemic situation is.

You are worried about you and your family’s health, the future of your job, the stressful situation, the children at home, and the video call to run.

Ikea launched in April a new ad campaign in Russia.

The subject? Something similar to “How to build a fortress at home.”

They leveraged the typical furniture instructions visuals to tell a new story.

The story tells about a terrible fear, a pandemic, a monster (a dragon, maybe?), and how to keep it safe.

Build your fortress, defend your beloved.

The story puts you out the fear from your private space and brings inside cuddles, warmth, and childhood.

target audience emotions at ikea
IKEA’s quarantine campaign illustrates six ways to make furniture forts

Where to find what they’re worried about? Burger King

I’ve shown you that many famous campaigns have stories that reverse the order of bad things inside.

Talk to people, listen to them, and discover their emotions.

Sentiments in their comments are a handy way to know about that.

Many companies will jump to deleting negative comments or moving all customer communication into a private forum.

That’s wrong. Carefully handle negativity and arguments and keep in mind that they burn and diffuse like a fire.

Use the opportunity to show that there is a real person behind your brand. Manage the comments, empathize and apologize if it is needed.

Opinions are the best way to discover the first spark of a crisis that, if ignored, can burn a woods with its fire.

negative sentiment analysis helps to identify weakness

Why Focus on Audience Loyalty?

We studied emotions, right?

You see how powerful they are.

Loyalty, or its contrary, betrayal, comes from positive or negative emotions.

If you want to win over your competitors, you need to push such positive attitudes. Surprise, and delight, that it comes hard to your customers to change you.

The data shows how emotions impact loyalty.

Delighted customers buy more, but also share and recommend more!

We know that social proof changes a company’s destiny. 

target audience emotions and impact on loyalty
The (Large) Connection Between Emotion and Loyalty


Do not underestimate the power of emotions.

Our customers are, first of all, humans.

As we feel sad, upset, and angry when Something goes wrong, they are the same.

On the contrary, we are happy, excited, and we want to share when beautiful things happen. So they are.

But, please, don’t forget a crucial thing: the worst of the angry is the indifference.


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