One Good Deed a Day: Why Businesses Need More Positivity in their Marketing Strategy
Barely a month into 2019, I think it’s safe to say that for me at least, this year has been nothing but a rollercoaster. Historically, Australian Open has always been my way of kickstarting the year but then I watched Murray’s press conference at the beginning of the tournament and for the first time in 2019, I cried. But lo and behold, the left-handed Czech player Petra Kvitova went on a fairytale run and reached the final even though it was only two years ago that she gravely injured her dominant left hand while defending herself from a robbery.
Thankfully, the good news doesn’t stop there as I recently read this story about a couple of gay penguins in Australia that have been raising a baby together. Apparently, this has been a thing since the October of last year but I’ve only learned about these two penguins – Sphen and Magic – just recently. Honestly, no amount of heartwarming stories like these could ever be enough, which is precisely why marketers and SEO services need to put more positivity in their content marketing strategy.
Faith in humanity, restored
The word “Hope” became Obama’s calling card as he won his first presidential election in 2008 by a landslide, 365 to 173 in electoral vote and a handy margin of 8 million in popular vote. Jacinda Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37 by running on a platform of ‘relentless positivity’, as she described it. By contrast, take at look at how both Brexit and Donald Trump, both use blatant fear-mongering to rouse the public, are doing right now.
It’s not just politicians of course; brands everywhere around the world are trying their best to one-up each other by engaging in positivity movements. There’s the body positivity movement that’s been going around for a while for one and recently, I’ve started seeing more and more support for the acne positivity movement, including an endorsement from none other than Justin Bieber no less. Even mainstream publications such as ABC and especially The Guardian have a section dedicated solely to feel-good stories on their website.
The conclusion then is clear, positivity is definitely in. The examples can be seen all over the internet and if you’re the type that prefer to be persuaded by statistics, Google has stated that in 2018, people use the word “good” as a search term more than any other year so far and they even included a pretty heartwarming video to go with it. But why exactly, is this the case?
The simple psychology behind the power of positivity
We like to feel good. We read things that make us feel good, we watch things that make us feel good and we consume things that make us feel good. At the end of the day, we human beings really aren’t that complicated. Do you remember how the world dropped whatever it is they were doing in the middle of 2018 just to pray for the well being of the 12 kids from the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach that was trapped in a cave in Thailand?
We were absolutely transfixed by their rescue operation then, religiously following every minute detail of the operation and cheered out loud when all 13 of them safely made out of the cave. You might think that that wasn’t exactly a productive use of our time but an American study showed that inspiring stories can actually push people into action and not just to simply push them to tears. People are more productive when they feel good and reading or watching inspiring stories can make people feel good, ergo inspiring stories can make people more productive. It’s really not that complicated.
Inspirational stories push people into action
There was an old episode of Top Gear with the old trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May where Dame Ellen MacArthur was a guest. Dame MacArthur used to be a sailor and in 2005, around the time that episode was aired, she broke the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. Yes, she sailed around the world alone for a total of 71 days and my memory is a bit fuzzy but I remembered in the Top Gear interview she states that she kept a laptop or something in her beat equipped with satellite internet that allows her to read e-mails sent to her during her solo voyage.
In that same interview, one notable e-mail was shared where someone wrote to her that they were so inspired by what MacArthur was doing that they got out of bed and finally mowed their lawn to immense laughter from the audience. That probably wasn’t a very good example but it does underscore the fact that inspiring stories can push people into action and in marketing where the idea is to get people to buy your products and services or at the very least to help spread the word, inspiring stories can be a very useful weapon.
I’m sure there are plenty of times in the last five years or so where you were forwarded a story or a video on YouTube from someone you know. Some of them are breaking news, some are probably memes and jokes they found online but some of them I’m willing to bet are the typical feel-good stories. This is why businesses should consider including positivity in their content marketing strategy because they can reliably push people into action. At best, you’re getting a new customer while at worst; they could share your contents in their circle and help your business reach more audience.