Harnessing Dread: The Role of Fear in Content Marketing

By September 19, 2014Blog, Content Marketing

Much has been made about the power of positive content. Among content marketing professionals, it is commonly acknowledged that if your goal is to go viral, your best bet is to create funny, awe-inspiring, pleasantly surprising content. We all know that funny kitten videos are never going to have trouble getting likes and shares.

But what if you want to create content that doesn’t just get shared? What if you want to create content that compels clients to act quickly?

Today Turn the Page Online Marketing takes a hard look at why you should be scaring your audience.

The Power of Fear in Content Marketing

Fear is a a primitive, powerful emotion. Responding quickly to scary stimuli was directly related to survival and to the success of our species. Even when survival isn’t in question, fear is such an uncomfortable feeling that most people will do anything to alleviate the emotion.

Smart content marketers can take advantage of an audience’s strong urge to avoid fear to get them to act. How?

Create a Problem

Show your audience that they are up against a problem that will have negative consequences for them. Toothpaste ads are great at this, telling users that if they don’t buy their brand, they risk oral pain, the social embarrassment of a less-than-perfect smile, and time in the dentist’s chair. If that doesn’t make someone want to run out and buy toothpaste, we don’t know what will.

Focus on Your Audience

One way that people avoid the discomfort of fear is by convincing themselves that the scary situation could not happen to them. It’s the job of content marketers using this technique to demonstrate that the problem that they have created, does, in fact, apply to each member of the audience.

Offer a Solution

After you’ve created the uncomfortable sensation of fear in your audience, the time has come to offer relief. If you present your content as a solution for the scary situation you’ve created, your audience is likely to respond–quickly.

Partner with an Online Marketing Expert

One of the things we’re most proud of here at Turn the Page Online Marketing is our ability to to tailor our content marketing efforts to get the results you’re after for your business. Let us show you how we can use content marketing to scare up success for you today. Call (816) 527-8371 to talk to one of our online marketing experts today.


Author Amanda Hall

More posts by Amanda Hall

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