Content is King” means valuable, informative content is an integral part of any social media campaign. Want to be more influential and captivate your viewer’s attention? Then ask yourself: Have you identified your audience, are you communicating persuasively, and are you adding value to your customers?
Having a basic understanding of the brain can make this process much easier. Learning to appeal to the primal, emotional and rational part of the human psyche can leave a lasting impression on your audience that will give them something to talk about. But creating engaging and persuasive content requires a basic understanding of psychology.
Nathalie Nahai (the Web Psychologist) explains this process in the Mozinar entitled “Secret Psychology Behind Persuasive Content”, and shows us how we can appeal to the primal, emotional and rationale areas of the brain to create killer content.
This part of the brain looks after our basic vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, blinking, etc. It is where we get the infamous “fight or flight response.” It seeks to satisfy the natural cravings for food and sex.
Successful marketers have used this area to their advantage by initiating cues for sex, or the need for food. Such examples are common throughout everyday advertising. Photos of half-naked women in bikinis laying on the hoods of sports cars indicate cues for sex; or a lavish BBQ chicken sandwich with plump, juicy meat on-top of a crispy golden bun appeals to our need for food. Either way, appealing to these basic human necessities have been a successful tactic in many marketing efforts.
Motion— The human eye is captivated by motion or moving images. We are drawn to things when they are in transit.
Contrast and Concrete— We respond very well to before and after pictures. For example skin care lines show contrast with many of their products. They might show a droopy, acne infested “pre-product” face next to a smiling, clear, acne-free “post-product” face. These type of scenarios can be very effective. However, try not to be deceptive by making false claims or showing inaccurate information. The goal is to be persuasive– not deceptive.
End Experiences—- We often give added weight and remember those things that happened at the end. Whenever possible, give a positive take-away by making a customer feel like they have gained something or have been rewarded. One example is restaurants that offer candies or breath mints on your way out of the establishment. It’s a small gesture that can make a difference.
Scarcity— Those things that are scarce tend to have more value and human behavior proves this. People tend to place more value on things that are scarce because they believe other humans have gotten to it before them– indicating that the product is popular and of great value. By creating a sense of urgency in an appropriate way (“only 3 left” or “offer ends within 24 hours”) you can persuade people to act quickly.
The emotional part of the brain is contrived of the limbic and autonomic nervous system. Here the formation of dopamine takes place, which is responsible for risk and reward seeking. The limbic system also contains amygdalae which helps organize memories and the emotions associated with them. Emotions like fear, relevance, trust, happiness, sadness or disgust are all processed within this section. We also rely upon our emotional part of the brain to determine whether or not we should trust a person’s face. One way this takes place is through empathy.
Empathy– We contain mirror neurons that give us the ability to process info and empathize with how a person is feeling. When they hurt– we hurt, when they are happy–we get excited. By creating an empathetic emotional response, the right content can evokes feelings that will help your audience relate to your message.
Body Language– People learn whether or not they can trust you based upon your body language. If you say you only hire the happiest people, and post a photo with a worker’s face that is sullen or downcast — people are less likely to question anything you say because the message and image are inconsistent. Make sure the body language lines up with your story. Neglect in this area can have serious negative impact.
As humans, we have the advantage of having the highest cognitive functions over all other species on the planet. Nevertheless, it is a proven fact that while we can weigh things logically we still need to draw upon emotion to make that decision. While some people tend to lean more heavily on logic and others on emotion, the best way to market is to appeal to both. Some want in-depth details and facts, while some only want enough general information to act quickly. Listing specifications and product benefits of a certain item in bullet form can easily appeal to both type of browsers. Those who want the general run down can scan quickly without having to rummage through paragraphs; while those who want the whole breakdown can read the entire list to their heart’s content. Both parties leave feeling satisfied and informed. be the authority— people will always
Bring it all together:
Persuasive content can appeal to all 3 areas of the brain. Engage the primal by arousing the need for sex and food, evoke certain emotions through a compelling message, and provide valuable information that positions you as the authority. Keeps this in mind when creating content and you will be sure to WOW your audience.
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