HubSpot #INBOUND15 in Boston earlier this month rocked! With four days of events, hundreds of sessions and thousands of attendees, it was impossible to walk away and not consider dozens of new ideas to implement in our inbound marketing agency and share with our clients.
One subject that keeps resonating with each of us here at SPROUT Content – talked about again and again in a variety of sessions we each attended – is that it’s worth the time, effort and dedication we put into each piece of content for our clients. The value of this content can grow exponentially as it’s shared and re-used in so many ways, and that’s one area we plan to have a lot more conversation around in the coming days.
But how does a good piece of content become an exceptional one? Why do people remember and interact with some but not all, or even most, of what they read or watch?
In the INBOUND session, “The Neuroscience of Memorable Content” Dr. Carmen Simon said that there are two trends affecting content marketing. One is amnesia – people becoming more forgetful because of the overload of information everyday. The other is déjà vu – because so much of content is becoming repetitive. Her discussion centered around the idea that there is a neurological reason why people remember what they read and ultimately why they act on it. As content marketers, we need to know why people pay attention and remember content.
“I think I’ve forgotten this before.” – Dr. Carmen Simon
That’s kind of a funny quote by Dr. Simon… but, then again, maybe not so funny. Especially for marketers and for brands who want to be remembered. She taught that people only remember 10% of what you say. The question is: Is it the right 10%? We don’t want people to remember a random 10%. We need to start with the question, “What do I want them to remember?”
Attention paves the way
The reason people forget so much is because they don't pay attention. Attention paves the way to memory. Dr. Simon said it like this:
“When you hold their attention, this translates into memory, and when people commit to memory, it translates into decision-marking. This is ACTION!”
So how do we get attention and keep attention? The brain focuses attention when the stimuli is changed, so to hold attention, change stimuli. How do we do that as content marketers? We can link new content to what they already know so that there’s a higher chance for memories to form.
Another way to get and hold attention, which is especially true for B2B companies, is that we can twist something complex into something the brain is already familiar with.
Here are a few practical tips to gain and hold attention:
- Instead of using text, use graphics.
- Instead of keeping a formal structure, move to an informal structure.
- Instead of having static content, use dynamic content.
- Instead of communicating in monologue, move to a dialogue.
- Instead of giving facts, tell stories.
So, when you’re creating content with the goal of creating a lasting impression and connection, ask yourself what your most important message is. What’s your 10%? You need to boil down your message to make it clear and memorable.
The first step in creating memorable content is to craft it to the right audience. Learn how with our free download on buyer personas.