“Fear marketers paint the picture of what your life might be like if you don’t get their product,” explains social marketing blog writer Nedra Weinreich. So, does fear marketing work? Weinreich’s not so sure. “Fear appeals can be tricky and often ineffective in bringing about behavior change.”
Can fear appeal be of business blogging help? Maybe.
In many SEO marketing blogs, the blog content writers focus on appealing to consumers’ fear. Fear, in fact, is one of seven emotions that marketing writer Courtney Mills calls key drivers for successful ad copy writing.
But, having spent much time and effort and a host of words (in both these Say It For You blog posts and in corporate blogging training sessions) stressing my view that blogs are NOT ads, I needed to ask myself whether scare tactic marketing is ever appropriate for use in business blog writing. Some considerations that run through my mind:
Corporate blogging for business, of course, represents just one aspect of any company’s overall marketing strategy. The entire tone of the blog, therefore, needs to be consistent with the company’s brand.
To appeal to a better kind of customer – the kind that buys for the right reasons and then remains loyal, I think Calls to Action (both the implied CTA's in the blog content writing itself and the Call to Action "buttons) should appeal to readers' better nature.
- As I like to remind business owners and professional practitioners, it’s interested people who are showing up at your blog in the first place. Now the task is to help those searchers get to know you and your company. No hard sell needed.
On the other hand, as Atlanta Director of Buying Behavior Studies Vann Morris points out, (as someone who provides blog writing services, I follow my own advice to keep “reading around” to learn from other bloggers’ content), “Research has found that using fear appeals or scare tactics may be more effective than statistics or date because they may cause people to think more about the issue.”
“The best ads, the best campaigns, touch our hearts. They make us scared, they make us angry, and they make tears well up in our eyes,” claims Robyn Tippins of talentzoo.com.
Yeah, I know. What I don’t know is how that carries over into blog content writing. What do you think?