By and large, most small publishers will do better with the latter approach. Of course, if you're starting a website like Wikipedia or WebMD you'll probably want to take on a professional tone. However, if you're a smaller website looking to gain traction, you'll want to aim to engage your reader's emotions.
It Makes People Remember You
People browse dozens if not hundreds of websites every day. Most websites fail to draw their readers in emotionally.
How many website do you visit each day that gets you to laugh, gets you to feel touched or gets you to get angry about something? How often do you feel like a website is talking directly to you and your problems and that they understand where you're coming from?
These kinds of websites stand out. There's a reason why YouTube videos of shocking clips, funny clips or touching clips tend to get passed around a lot. They make people feel something, and that's memorable.
It Gets You More Links
It gets more shares on Facebook and gets more retweets. In other words, it has a higher chance of getting passed around immediately, but also has much stronger long-term potential.
Develop a Stronger Reader Relationship
Finally, emotional content will help you build a much stronger bond with your readers.
People reading your content will feel like they can relate with you, as opposed to feeling that you're just an objective website on the internet.
This translates to people coming back more often, to a more lively community around your blog or business and finally to more loyal buyers and customers.
As an added benefit, people will also want to partner with you more. If they can tell you're really passionate about something or that you have a way of being able to move an audience, they're likely to want to invite you to speak at their events, do teleseminars for their audience and in general open up their customer base to you.
There are many benefits to creating content with an emotional punch rather than just factual information. Adding a dose of personality is great for just about any small to medium sized business. Unless you're trying to build an encyclopedia-type site, try to make your website as emotionally engaging as possible.