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The Role of Emotional Appeal in PPC Campaigns

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How many ads have you read on Google or YouTube that just looked like they were written by a machine and stirred nothing inside you? This is a common thing and it’s something you should look to address in your PPC campaigns – emotional appeal. Below, I look at the impact of emotional appeal in PPC ads and show how you can make your copy resonate with potential customers on a deeper level.

PPC Ads are Historically Unemotional

The entire PPC industry is incredibly mechanical and driven by analytics. It’s often cold and calculated and we make our decisions based on numbers and what gets the best results. 

This is just how PPC works and while the end customer is considered in terms of how they may be searching for your product or their intent, the emotional aspect is often lacking. This is something that can be tweaked easily as you will see below and it’s something a strategic PPC agency can help with.

But Emotion Can Work When Used Correctly

Humans have an emotional response to virtually everything, whether it’s conscious or subconscious. It’s what separates us from animals as we have a far deeper well of emotion and understanding.

You can’t overlook the power of emotions, therefore, when crafting your PPC campaigns. If you can trigger emotions in the people who see your ads then they are more likely to click and make a conversion – it’s that simple, in the same way that it’s simple knowing what the three parts of a text ad are.

Consider what emotion is likely to trigger the desired action you want

To really make your emotional appeal effective you have to think what action you want from the customer and what emotion is likely to trigger that response. 

For example, would you use angry language in your ad copy if you were promoting Mother’s Day gifts? Of course not! The emotional tone has to match the tone of the ad. Think about what the customer is doing when searching for your product or service and the likely emotional state they may have.

A great example is charity organizations and world aid organizations. It’s no coincidence that their ads usually write about or show poverty, cruelty, and humans and animals in less-than-ideal conditions. This is intentional to trigger an emotional response – the emotion of empathy, sympathy, and sadness.

Positive vs negative emotions

It’s also important to consider the impact of positive and negative emotions. Don’t automatically assume that negative emotions won’t work. Depending on the scenario, triggering a negative emotional response could be exactly what you need. Just be careful when doing this though, as we cannot control how people react to what they view and read online.

Weave the emotion into your PPC ad copy

Working emotional appeal into your ad copy is possibly the most difficult aspect and it takes a more subtle approach. You have to be careful with your wording and not overt as blunt emotional messages often fall short or even seem comical.

For example, let’s say you run a solicitors and are promoting your will services. Obviously, some emotional triggers here include a fear of death, mourning, and a need to care for others. 

Do you really think ad copy such as “You could die tomorrow – do you have a will?” would work? It’s not really subtle is it, although it can trigger an emotional reaction, most people would find this ad just uncomfortable.

Instead, something along the lines of “Are your loved ones taken care of when you are gone?” is more subtle but still triggers emotions. You are still implying death, and stirring the emotion we all have of caring for our family.

Emotional appeal shouldn’t come at the expense of the technical SEO aspects of PPC campaigns either. You can’t simply fill your ad copy with emotional language and forgo things like keywords and including a CTA. These are staples of PPC ads and it’s important to find a balance between the two.

Try variations and do ad copy tests

Ultimately, you must still do the same testing of multiple ad variations when utilizing emotional appeal in your content. This is something that always applies to PPC campaigns regardless of the subject.

You can create variations of the wording used in your copy such as altering the “strength” of the emotional language you use. Also, try working with different emotional triggers to see which ones produce the best response. For example, you could try a set of ads that use positive emotions and another set that uses negative emotions.

Over time, you should see which type of emotional language works the best and can further tailor the copy to improve your results. It could transpire that different emotions are needed for different products or even seasons too and you can expect using emotional appeal to be a continual work in progress.

Emotional Appeal in PPC Works as it Taps Into Our Humanity

When crafting our SEO and PPC campaigns it’s so easy to get caught up in the analytics, the data, and the mechanical side of things. We see customers as numbers and potential conversions and forget the human aspect.

This is where emotional appeal in PPC works as it helps your ads resonate on a deeper level. You make more of a connection with the customer and by stirring emotions inside them, this can often be more effective than simply cramming keywords into your ad copy.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.