In marketing your B2B product or service, you may find yourself in a position in which a fear appeal is a viable strategy. For example, you may offer a product that is federally mandated or a service that’s required for someone’s safety. Whatever the reason, using fear appeals may be an option, and scientific research can be useful in determining if and how to use them.
How should they be used?
For fear appeals to be most effective, you must follow these two rules:
- Effectively argue that the threat is real.
- Give clear instructions on how to avoid the threat.
If your target audience believes they can avoid the threat through your product or service, they will be more likely to elaborate on your messaging, thus giving you a better chance of motivating them to buy.
It may also be useful to articulate the threat as succinctly as possible and move on to your product or service. You don’t want them to get so caught up on the threat that they forget you’re the solution.
So to recap, fear appeals can be effective, but simply scaring someone isn’t enough. You have to both clearly show there is something to worry about AND that your product or service can help alleviate you audience’s concerns by helping them avoiding that threat.