We’ve been hearing for years about how blogging is a great way to build your reputation, establish yourself as an expert, and pass along vital information about your goods and services to potential customers. You’ve probably also heard and read that one of the things a good blog does is help potential customers make a good buying decision (as opposed to trying to sell them your product or service).
It would seem to follow that whatever you blog about should contain lots of good facts and figures, because that’s what decisions are based on—right? There’s only one problem: decision-making isn’t logical; it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience.
A while back, bigthink.com posted an article that highlighted a groundbreaking discovery made by a neuroscientist named Antonio Damasio who studied people with damage in the part of the brain that generated emotions. Although these people seemed normal, they couldn’t feel emotions. And they had something else in common: they couldn’t make decisions.
Smart marketers have known this for years—even if they’ve lacked the scientific evidence to back it up. People make decisions based on emotion and then rely on facts to back up their decision. That’s why marketers (and advertisers) have talked about the importance of “selling the sizzle, not the steak.” If you fail to engage a potential client’s emotions, you’re simply not going to get your point across.
But before you start brushing up on your Harlequin romance writing style for your business blog, it’s important to remember a couple of things. Good blogs aren’t just about emotion. Sure, you want to engage emotions and solve a problem your readers have. But good information is important to. Don’t exclude helpful facts and data. Just remember that facts alone aren’t enough. If your readers think you’re just leading them on—and the facts don’t back up what you say—they will run from you and never come back.
Equally important is that good blogs are not about manipulation. There’s a big difference between speaking to an issue that has emotional impact and trying to use emotions to get people to do what you want them to do. Your blog should be about your audience. It’s only about you to the extent that what you say helps your readers solve a problem.
When you sit down to write your next blog, think about the emotions your potential customers have. Are they frustrated? How can you help them get over that? Are they fearful? What information can you pass on that will help them deal with their fear? Are they uncertain? What questions can you answer that will help them move toward a solution (even if it doesn’t involve you)?
Facts are great things to pass on—and you should make sure you include them—but if you rely on “just the facts” you’re probably not really helping your potential clients make a decision. Feed them facts, but don’t forget their feelings!