Emotional Triggers & Digital Media Promotions
Posted on March 15, 2019 | By Olga Andrienko

Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing, SEMrush.com, on how to ensure human triggers remain the key factor driving any form of communication, especially when it comes to promotional videos or digital advertising.

Digital advertising remains a brutally competitive marketplace, with competing companies pitching rival products and services in an effort to gain increased market share and, ultimately, profit growth.

Of course, this isn’t new. As with many global industries, the abundant technology advancements brought on by Industry 4.0 are providing both automated and interactive tools that provide better analysis of consumer demands and results, especially as the ad space moves increasingly more digital.

However, while the means and method of delivery are constantly evolving, the heart of any campaign remains the same – and often overlooked – measurement of success: the ability to move and connect with target audiences through human triggers.

The topic of evolving human triggers continues to dominate my daily meetings with both current and new clients, as marketers seek to better understand and adapt their own marketing efforts to optimise end customer targeting. As with all marketing factors, triggers change and are directly impacted by cultural and political influences, so it is important to regularly conduct research to gain current data sets.

It sounds simple for seasoned marketers, but those starting out or managing their own business promotional activities must ensure human triggers remain the key factor driving any form of communication, especially when it comes to promotional videos or digital advertising.

The ability to use the correct emotional triggers in promotional activities, especially in e-commerce ads, can mean the difference between attracting a greater pool of customers and securing loyal brand followers, or falling flat and receiving criticism.

Through various tools available at SEMrush - a research was conducted covering more than 8,000 of the most visited e-commerce websites in USA, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France to name but a few - a clear picture can be created that highlights what triggers the public when viewing online promotions. the picture becomes even clearer when further analysing the most common phrases used by the largest e-commerce websites to attract customers in 13 categories – sports and recreation, children’s products, food, electronics, health, home and garden, clothing, books, furniture, flowers, jewellery, music, and travel.

When looking at this type of digital data, it is also important to delve into how e-commerce businesses guarantee certain services in their ads, and what “sense of urgency ads” use to attract the customer “right here” and “right now”.

“The ability to use the correct emotional triggers in promotional activities, especially in e-commerce ads, can mean the difference between attracting a greater pool of customers and securing loyal brand followers, or falling flat and receiving criticism.”

The US and UK markets are solid basepoint examples to measure against. The term “free shipping” is the most frequently used phrase in the US for all industries studied. For the parallel UK e-commerce categories, the most popular phrase employed in the ads is pretty much the same, adjusted to “free delivery” for British English. These emotional triggers create urgency and encourage impulse purchases. This can work for true impulse buyers, but also for those who have been researching a product and waiting for the right deal to strike.

A call to action (CTA) that creates urgency with a highly “clickable” button is one of the most powerful advertising tactics for immediately attracting customers to a website, even if their results are determined by a number of factors. Through our own research, SEMrush examined what CTA buttons/banners are used most frequently in ads by the biggest e-commerce businesses, thereby identifying what words and phrases are considered “catchy” for the users seeing the ads. The most popular keyword that indicates urgency is “now”. In UK e-commerce ads in the UK, “today” is also a favoured CTA, while the most often leveraged CTA for both the US and UK is “shop now”. When looking specifically at the UAE, “off”, “sale”, and “% off” were the top three terms used.

The offer of discounts also ranked highly for both the UK and US markets, especially for US e-commerce firms applying a discount of 70 per cent of more, while the UK online retailers in the UK demonstrate a preference for a 20 per cent discount. Each industry presented its own preference, with the greater reduction being offered within the books category, where 90 per cent discount offers reign supreme. Conversely, smaller discounts were preferred in sports & recreation (20 per cent), food and flowers (33 per cent) and health (35 per cent).

One of the benefits most valued by web surfers is the guarantee provided by e-commerce businesses. For example, “price guarantee” is the most popular guarantee-related phrase in the UK and the US, where customers are aimed intent on securing the best price for a product. With most guarantee-related ads connected with “money”, “price” and “shipping/delivery”, the second most popular guarantee phrase in UK and US e-commerce ads is “money back guarantee”.

All in all, appealing to emotions in advertising campaigns is one of the key ways to reaching customers. It is also worth considering how any form of advertising can be adapted based on the knowledge learned by ads belonging to some of the biggest e-commerce players in the UK and US markets. The message is clear; emotions displayed in digital ads pull human triggers and directly affect buying decisions of those who viewing them.


About SEMrush

SEMrush is an award-winning digital marketing suite that enables users to be front-runners in their industries. Trusted by nearly 3,000,000 marketing professionals worldwide and 10,000+ partner agencies, SEMrush ensures customers are well equipped to increase their revenue and achieve online visibility for any business.

www.SEMrush.com