Are You Promoting Literally or Emotionally?

Understanding why emotional responses to ads are more influential on a person’s intent to act than the content of an ad itself.

literal or emotional promotion, indie band coach

Over the last couple of years, I've stumbled into many communities on Facebook in the efforts of higher learning. Over the past 6 months or so I've been fortunate enough to be a part of  Jasmine Star's Social Curator group. Jasmine is a social media influencer and hosts a fantastic community of savvy business owners.

One of the points she focused on in a recent masterclass was the difference between literal and emotional communication on social... and that got me to thinking (of course) about how it relates to music and musicians.


Here's the thing, we're all different in very unique ways, but unless we're careful, all of our "stuff" will start to sound the same as the next artist or band. 
Just keep this in mind though: Every band in your scene has a show this weekend and you're probably not the only ones who play at that venue. If you can learn to sell from an emotional perspective vs. a literal one, connecting with your fans and standing out from the crowd will be par for the course.
+ 3 Audience Temperatures: Why To Strike When the Fans Are Hot

"Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make brand decisions -- and that emotional responses to ads are more influential on a person’s intent to buy than the content of an ad." Check out the whole article here from Jami Oetting, Hubspot.

So how can we use this in our promotional messages? When you think about how closely related a live concert and music are to emotions and experience, it won't take long to generate great ideas for your brand!


  • Literal example: "Come check us out at Indie Tavern! We're playing all the classic rock hits! This Friday, show starts at 10PM!"
  • Emotional example: "Leave stress at the office and enjoy a trip down memory lane! It's a classic rock party and you're invited. Friday 10pm @ Indie Tavern."
Obviously, the point isn't that THESE specific words would work for you, but rather speaking to how important it is to focus on how your fans will feel vs. just what you're going to do.

In fact, think about it as a template to use as a starting point.

As humans we either move AWAY from pain or TOWARDS pleasure  ( Those are universal reactions, and can be what ties your message into what people relate to. You can then add in the specific feelings, emotions, and experiences that are unique to you.

Would. you. like. to. play. a. game.? 

Great! Have you ever played mad libs?
mad libs game, indie band coach

It's basically a fill-in-the-blank game where one person reads a story out loud to other players and they fill in blanks with nouns, adjectives, proper names, etc. Once it is filled out, the reader tells the story using all of the "nonsense" or out of context suggestions.

Pretty fun... especially on long car trips too... but let's keep it focused on promotion for now.


If we take the emotional example and break it down, it can easily be turned into a "mad lib" style caption that you can customize.
"Leave (1)_________________ [stress at the office, kids at home, boring nights alone] and enjoy (2)_______________________ [a trip down memory lane, a fun night on the town, a a 3-hour vacation from your worries]! It's a (3) ________________ [classic rock party, romantic evening of smooth jazz, a crazy 80's night] and you're invited. Friday 10pm @ Indie Tavern."
Here's this one little promotional caption broken down....
  1. Describe the typical PAIN or negative situation your audience might want to leave.
  2. Describe a PLEASURE they might want to move towards (*keep it clean now*).
  3. Try to highlight the type of experience and/or genre your audience could expect. 

Again, this is just an example, and it can also pertain to your music. It doesn't have to just be about events.

If you're feelin' saucey, take a minute to think about your next gig or latest release. How can you focus on the feelings and describe the emotion around what you're promoting?
writing pen, promotion, indie band coach
Did you come up with one you'd like to share? Drop a note in the comments and let's start making a deeper connection with your fans! 🎶

👉🏼 Knowing What to Post Just Got Easier

Grab this 30 Day Post Planner and get over 200 Content Ideas,
Post Prompts, and Themes for Your Band Page.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published