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Robots Working at Banks or: Why We are Just Scratching the Surface with Emotions in Content Marketing

Emotion-Reading Robots

In February this year, Japan’s leading bank revealed plans to employ emotion-reading robots. These robots will speak 19 languages and will have cameras programmed to detect customer’s emotions from facial expressions.


These robots are part of a new emerging field combining technology and human emotions. We will soon have a television that processes emotional feedback, devices that transmit emotion, and, some speculate, apple watches that will be able to track your health and emotions.


With all these advancements in emotional technology, why have we only scratched the surface in understanding the role of emotions in content marketing?


Emotion and Content Marketing

Sure, emotion has become the new buzzword for content marketing. You can find whole Twitter and LinkedIn feeds filled with: “How to create more emotional content“, “Why your B2B marketing needs more emotion“, or “Top ways to make your brand more emotional“.


There are a number of studies suggesting that emotion is imperative to successful content marketing. Berger and Milkman’s often cited study revealed that content evoking “high-arousal emotions” was more likely to go viral, regardless of whether those emotions were positive or negative (although content evoking positive emotions was more likely to be shared overall).


Buzzfeed is a perfect real world example of this phenomena, revealing time and time again that their secret to viral success is rooted in their emotional content.


However, filling your content with emotion is only part of the picture. The next step is to utilize technology to better understand users’ emotion-based activity on the web and apply it to content marketing.


What do I mean by emotion-based activity?

This means detecting how users are feeling and then tracking their actions based on their current emotion.


In terms of content, this means observing, for instance, if users who have just read an article that made them angry, are more likely to try to calm themselves by clicking on happier content, or if they are looking to remain angry by clicking on more inflaming content.


Through our data collection of users’ emotional responses, we have found the latter to be true: users who feel angry are looking to get even angrier and, furthermore, angry readers consume more content, reading more articles than their calmer counterparts.


That is, of course, in a global view; it varies with each site vertical – type of site (e.g sport, fashion news) country, language, time of day etc. Gathering all the data necessary to understand emotion-based activity is a challenge, and why more time needs to be invested into this emerging field.


Some of our other findings for emotion-based activity:


  • People feel happier when reading articles on their smartphone rather than desktop
  • When feeling angry, readers click on ads that provide immediate results
  • If happy, a reader will most likely choose content that is not another happy story
  • Readers click on ads more when they are happy


This is just a taste of the type of insights we can reveal from better understanding users’ emotion-based activity.  The application of this information will allow publishers and content marketers to improve their user experience, generate more page views, and boost the internal traffic on their site.


There is an exciting new field emerging, connecting technology and psychology, and while you might not have an emotion-reading robot running your marketing any time soon, you can certainly start using this science to get more ‘clicks’.


Have any ideas or questions ? Let me know in the comments below.

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