Do you ever feel like you invest tons of money and time into content only to have it ignored or forgotten by your readers?
This is a common problem among content marketers. We pour our heart and souls into our content, but sometimes it still fails to connect with the target audience.
Creating content that attracts and retains customers. takes a lot of money and time. Wouldn’t it be great if our content was more effective at generating audience engagement?Dr. Carmen Simon thinks we can do this with neuroscience. At her presentation at INBOUND 2015, she talked about understanding the human brain can lead to better content marketing.
These days, we know more about the brain than ever before, and we can leverage that information to make our content more memorable and actionable. Here’s how.
Attention is one of the scarcest resources in today’s digital world. People are so used to marketers fighting for their attention that they’ve become immune to it.
The reason for this is habituation. If we spent our whole lives paying equal attention to everything, we’d go crazy from the overload. So we selectively choose to tune in and tune out.
To get your audience to tune in to your message, you need to fight against habituation with these techniques.
- Surprise your audience. People ignore same old, same old messaging. But if you do something they weren’t expecting, they’ll be more likely to notice what you’re saying.
- Create suspense. Don’t just give away the punchline. Leave your audience wanting more, and they’ll pay attention to you.
If you don’t have your audience’s attention, you don’t have a chance of getting into their memory.
Improve Memory to Inspire Action
Here’s the harsh truth: people forget about 90 percent of what they read. If they don’t remember your content or your call to action, it’s impossible for your audience to make decisions based on them.
To counter this amnesia, Dr. Simon advises marketers to take control of the 10 percent your audience will remember. You need to decide two things:
- What core information do you want your reader to remember?
- What action do you want them to take?
You have very limited time and space to get these messages across. To make a strong impression, here are some tactics to use.
- Differentiate your content. Information that looks too similar is quickly forgotten. You should especially try to look and sound different than your competitors.
- Ask questions and encourage audience participation. People remember things that they contribute to.
- Focus on a few, easy to remember points. Our brains don’t like processing too much information at once, so keep it simple.
- Tell stories that invoke the senses. People remember stories much more easily than data.
Not Rocket Science
Neuroscience actually has a lot to say to marketing. In order to create content that your audience notices, remembers, and acts upon, you have to know how they think.
As you develop your content, think about how you can grab your audience’s attention by doing something unexpected. Then, focus on the 10 percent of your content they will remember, and make sure they remember the few key points that will inspire them to take action.
Image by J E Theriot via Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.