The Importance of Emotional Triggers in HIT Content Marketing

Frank Cutitta

It's no secret that the most successful global brands bake emotion into their storytelling.

There is no shortage of books and seminars related to the need for building emotional intelligence as a key element in the science of “why they buy.” These emotional factors can range from something as simple as having a pleasant and engaging phone manner, to much more subtle or subliminal emotional nuances deeper within content. These triggers or indices built into emotional content marketing result in “data exhaust” during every engagement that translates into to some very powerful buyer insights.

So how does this affect your content marketing, social media and data aggregation efforts?

In our world of healthcare B2B marketing, we don’t have quite the same luxury of storytelling using nostalgic reunions or feats of Olympic greatness. This by no means infers that there is no emotion involved when healthcare information and technology (HIT) decision makers research, analyze and procure smart and effective products. Building certain “trigger words” that address positive or negative emotional elements of the purchase will add an incredibly powerful empathic tone to your content as part of a broader “empathic marketing strategy."

The Importance of Triggers in HIT Emotional Content Marketing

Remember– you're marketing to people. Think about the uncertainty and anxiety that many health industry purchase decision makers must feel when committing millions of dollars to relatively new technologies. Fear of interoperability failures, cybersecurity breaches, privacy concerns and skills shortages are all typical emotional elements within HIT promotional materials and tweets.

Buyer emotion can also be embodied on more temporal indices; many providers are anxious about the speed with which implementation can occur. Others want to assure that the pace of deployment does not exceed the term of the administration that budgeted and initiated it. So how do health vendors provide content that increases the “HIT happiness quotient”?

Content marketers must develop a keen emotional intelligence that translates into enriched promotional and sales materials. Finding the “secret sauce” requires perfectly integrating content related to the emotional, the educational, the business case and the economic aspects of these projects at every stage of the analysis and procurement process.

Once the enriched content for each stage is developed, it must then be further optimized to align with the multitude of 21st century content distribution channels ranging from white papers and webcasts to “compacted emotion” in 140-character social media feeds.

The most successful suppliers and vendors also realize that the emotion quotient does not end with the purchase. As all of us who have called customer service after a purchase know, perhaps the most intense frustration can occur when the product or service does not perform as expected. On the other hand, successful companies create content-driven post-sales customer engagement strategies that create incredible satisfaction.

Finally, if done well, the ancient art of storytelling can be one of the most powerful tools used in emotional content marketing to establish trust and credibility during periods of market chaos. For example, many of the case studies we see use an emotionless or clinical approach to the content personality. Just as with face-to face communications, storytelling that builds in the emotional triggers gathered add a more tangible feeling, tone, cadence and most importantly, empathy that bullet points can rarely convey. Stories that convey challenges reaching an intersection where serious business resolutions must be decided in times of uncertainty are especially powerful.

A prospect clicking on content assets, social media feeds or editorial features embedded with these emotional indices can provide a treasure trove of data about what stage the buyer collective is entering the fear factor continuum aspect of the buying process.

As industry leaders, HIMSS MEDIA LAB continuously researches the complex balance of emotional and business needs required to perfectly align enriched content at various buying stages — all in hopes of creating higher quality leads and deeper customer engagement.

Contact us today and have our content marketing specialist do an initial analysis of your current content asset strategy.

About the Author

As head of our Center for Content Analytics, Frank builds "weapons of mass discussion," aka, compelling content that buyers can’t resist. He’s launched media and data companies in 95 countries, served as global CEO of the International Advertising Association, and was named one of the top 40 influencers and innovators in media. Frank also teaches graduate courses at Northeastern University, and, if you ask nicely, will offer you some of his homemade beef jerky.

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