marketing principlesStanding out in a crowded market place can be difficult when you’re running a services business. How can you differentiate yourself against the big-name competitors? Luckily, the internet has provided an opportunity for small service-based businesses to get their name in front of more and more people. There are tons of tips and tutorials on how to increase your reach and visibility online, but how do you get those people emotionally invested in what you have to offer, leading them to close the deal with you? Here, we’ll go into some great marketing strategies to build an emotional connection with your target customer and get them to become a paying customer.

Benefits-Based Marketing

In the world of advertisements, it’s fairly common to see feature-based marketing. This includes phrases like “made with high quality materials” or “one terabyte of storage.” These tell you the features or properties of the service or product. In some cases, these can work well. However, if you want to get your target customer emotionally invested in your product, you need to ask the question: “What good does that feature do?” This opens up a world of possibilities.

Say you’re a septic company, trying to market to the one in four homes with a septic system. Instead of just saying “We’ll install, repair, and maintain your septic system,” you can add on to that, “so you can focus on what matters in your life without worrying about your septic system.” Or if you’re an urgent care clinic, talking about the price of your services. You can say that the average cost at a retail clinic is 30% to 40% less than at a doctor’s office, but that doesn’t stir up any emotions. To this, add something relating to how they can use this saved money on something else that they want. This adds a whole other level to your marketing copy, speaking on a deeper emotional level to your consumer.

Fear-Based Marketing

While the sound of this might sound a little shady at first, this is actually a very common marketing tactic. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is widely used when talking about exclusive deals with a deadline. This could also include showing facts to your target market that could open their eyes to things they might not have otherwise known about. For instance, as a veterinary clinic, you could mention that a female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime, urging them to come in for flea removal services.

Or for an example of FOMO as a home remodeling business, you can make your consumer aware of the fact that 30 percent of home remodeling activities are through major additions and alterations. You can then tell them how they don’t want to miss out on having the home of their dreams, or being able to sell their home for more money.

Social Proof

A final way to build an emotional trust with a possible customer is to show them various forms of social proof. The main way to do this is to get endorsements from either a mass amount of people, or a few from sources people trust.

For the first way of gaining social proof, getting 5-star reviews on sites like Google Reviews and Yelp. Consumers are likely to spend 31 percent more from a business that has excellent reviews. In order to get said reviews, you can either ask directly for them from customers who you’ve done a good job for, or provide some sort of incentive. For instance, offering some percentage off their next order if they show you their 5-star review.

Outside of reviews from other consumers, getting endorsements from high-authority brands, businesses, foundations, and people can be tough, but can pay dividends. If you are in the Carribean, and looking for a golf course, you would trust one in Providenciales that has been ranked one of the top 10 best courses in the Caribbean by “Caribbean Travel & Life.” Or if you were looking at a digital marketing agency, seeing that they have been endorsed/written articles on big sites like Moz, Search Engine Journal, Inc, Entrepreneur, etc., makes them feel like a more reputable brand. Or if you see they’ve worked with big, popular companies, you know that they must be worth it to them, so they’ll be worth it to you.

Whichever way you choose to market your business, be sure to incorporate these general marketing tactics into your plan. Focus on creating an emotional bond with your potential customers, and help them see the urgency of their situation. If you’re the business that can help them through their tough times, you’ll be sure to be successful.