Understanding Key Brain Functions for the Development of Attention Grabbing Content
If you want to develop customer focused content marketing that will get the attention of your audience, then you need to understand the three fundamental brain functions that will affect reaching this goal. You want to integrate them into your content for the best results. As someone is reading or viewing your content, their brain is processing millions of messages simultaneously. These messages are all competing with each other to grab your overall attention.
The content messages that do grab a person’s attention are connected to memory, interest, and awareness. Incorporate these three keys into your inbound marketing strategy for the best results.
What we pay attention to is often significantly influenced by memory. Every minute of every day we use our prior experiences to predict where to pay attention. Different environments create different expectations.
Unless your content creation strategy is based solely on eliciting a “fight or flight” reaction in your audience, you need to tap into how other key elements of the brain works to get and keep their interest. Memory triggers can be an important element in creating your visual or auditory content. Emotional memory adds credibility to the notion that thoughts can trigger emotion just as the activation of emotion can create opportunities.
Emotional memories are powerful and serve to guide and inform us as we navigate the present and prepare for tomorrow. As you craft your content, think about the visual or auditory cues that you can use to stimulate the viewer’s memory to create a backdrop for allowing them to relate and embrace the message you are trying to convey.
People pay attention to subjects, individuals or something that is important to them and they can relate. Our brains are continuously scanning the sensory landscape assessing surrounding events for potential interest or importance. Can we create interest? Our main task is to secure the attention of the audience by evoking their emotions in a relevant, unexpected and personalized way while getting their attention to the message(s) you are seeking to convey.
The answer is Yes. Unique stimuli that encompass the unusual, unpredictable, or distinctive are powerful ways of capturing attention and creating interest. The ad below is an example of what researchers refer to as encompassing these characteristics.
We must be aware of something in order for it to catch our attention. Each side of our brain has a different primary role in processing visual information. The left side focuses on the “big picture or the gist.” The right side on the details. Then we have the other senses that present “big” and “little” sensory stimuli. These are also processed differently contributing to how we become aware of what we are paying attention.
The more disruptive something is the more interesting it becomes. Some considerations for what makes us aware are:
- Anticipation makes us pay attention.
- What’s in it for them?
- Sensory cues will direct attention automatically.
- Pain is more urgent than pleasure.
How do we pay attention?
Emotions get our attention.
Emotionally charged events are better remembered-for longer and with more accuracy than neutral events. While this idea may seem intuitively obvious, its frustrating to demonstrate scientifically because the research community is still debating what an emotion is. When your brain detects an emotionally charged event, your amygdala releases the chemical dopamine into your system. Dopamine greatly aides memory and information processing. Think of it as a Post-it note with, “Remember this” on it.
Certain emotionally charged events are universal, capable of capturing the attention of all of us. Such stimuli come directly from our evolutionary heritage, so they hold the great potential for use in teaching and business. They are strictly related to survival concerns. The brain pays a great deal of attention to several questions:
- Can I eat it? Will it eat me?
- Can I mate with it? Will it mate with me?
- Have I seen it before?
The human brain has many dedicated systems tuned to the perception of threat; to reproductive opportunity; and to patterns that assess our environment for similarities. We tend to remember things easier if we have seen them before.
One of the best examples cited in industry literature that incorporates all of the key principals above was the Apple computer commercial aired in the 1984 Super Bowl.
To develop a content creation strategy that can be effectively used for your client’s inbound marketing strategies, remember that if you understand how our brain processes information and reacts to information, you can develop memorable content.
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