How to Develop Exceptional Content that Engages Women

Blog Feb 2017 Content 1Women make more than 85% of purchase decisions . . . which translates into a staggering $18 trillion in earnings worldwide for businesses. So, your brand needs women. They’re avid users of social media. But are you sharing exceptional content that really engages women? Here are some tips to help you develop content that will motivate her to want a relationship with your brand.

What Grabs her Attention?

  • Happy Lives — A women’s Highest Personal Value is “establishing and nurturing relationships.” She wants to hear about happy lives!
  • Pop Culture — Engage women with a nod to pop culture. References to TV shows, movies and music trigger engagement, especially on social media
  • Discovery — Women enjoy discovering things . . . about themselves, experiences, places and ideas. Tap into this desire for discovery by sharing tips that will lead her to discovery

Brainstorming Ideas to Engage Women — If your brand is searching for ways to generate content ideas that will engage women, research indicates that the ideas will generally fall into three different groups.

  • The 1st round of brainstorming (usually your 1st 10 ideas)– This group will consist of the most obvious ideas. They’ll be “typical” and won’t usually represent anything new or interesting for women
  • The 2nd round of brainstorming (usually the next 10 ideas) — During the second round, your ideas will start to gain some momentum. You’ll begin to think more creatively and start to generate some actual “new ideas”
  • The 3rd round of brainstorming (usually the next 10 ideas)The final round will represent your best chance at coming up with a unique and innovative idea. During the first 2 rounds, you were able to exhaust the obvious ideas, forcing the new and unique to float to the top

OK . . . now your brainstorming is done. What next? Ever notice that some brands’ content activates a woman’s emotions? That’s because they use power words which engage women.

 What are power words? — A power word . . .

  • Strikes a balance between pretentious sounding words and standard language
    • Women migrate away from people and conversations that are insincere. They want authenticity and transparency
  • Communicates with clarity and precision
    • When women understand what you’re sharing, it helps them to develop a relationship with your brand
  • Enhances engagement effectiveness by invoking emotion
    • Women are driven by emotion. She has 36 emotional outlets in her brain with a lot of interconnectivity. A man has only 4 emotional outlets with very little interconnectivity
  • Studies indicate that conversations and stories which elicit “high stimulation emotions” (anxiety, amusement) are more likely to be shared and go viral than those that don’t elicit any emotion or elicit “low stimulation emotions.”   Power words are key to evoking these “high stimulation emotions.” Examples include words like “instantly,” “mistakes” and “hilarious”
  • Triggers curiosity
    • Research indicates that “curiosity” is one of the most powerful triggers to motivate women to share. Power words that trigger curiosity include words such as “reveals,” “proves“ and “ridiculous.”

To Engage Women through your Brand’s Content — Ask yourself these questions . . .

  • When she sees your content, does she see/hear conversations about happy lives, pop culture and discovery?
    • If not, your brand isn’t grabbing her attention . . . she’ll tune you out
  • When developing content, are you taking the time to brainstorm past the 1st two rounds?
    • If not, you may be sharing what other brands are sharing . . . presenting your brand as a “me too”
  • Are you using power words in your brand’s content?
    • If not, you’re missing the opportunity to emotionally attract and engage women

How To Create Videos That Go Viral

Roller CoasterEmotions Rule — People are ruled by their emotions. That’s why your brand needs to activate emotions through its content. For this article, I’ll share what you need to know about emotions before developing video content.

There’s a connection between the way people feel after watching a video from your brand and how they feel about your brand. Want to engage and motivate people through video content? Tap into their emotions. But, be careful . . . not all emotions will result in positive feelings and the actions your brand is hoping to motivate.

Recent research indicates that videos designed to produce negative emotional responses in viewers – especially anger – leave viewers feeling manipulated. And, when this happens, you lose the opportunity to have a relationship with people.

So, which emotions should you attempt to activate? Read on . . .

Videos That Excite Go Viral — It’s important to create emotional excitement quickly. Hit your audience hard and fast with strong emotions . . . amazement, curiosity, anticipation, surprise, amusement. Keep the branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause viewers to disregard the content as a sales pitch . . . resulting in loss of interest, and you’ve lost the opportunity to build a relationship.

When you develop video content, create an emotional roller coaster ride for your audience. Begin by creating emotional excitement then present different emotional levels. Using this technique, your viewers won’t become bored with a constant stream of low levels of emotional engagement or overwhelmed with a constant high level of excitement.

Think about your favorite roller coasters. They shoot out of the station, then begin climbing before the breathtaking drop or corkscrew. This continues until the end of the ride, when the coaster slows to take you safely back to the station. How do you usually exit the car? Exhilarated and wanting to tell your friends all about it. That’s the way you want your viewers to feel!

By the way, as long as I’m using a roller coaster analogy . . . let’s talk about video length. From the time the roller coaster leaves the station until it gets back is usually around 3 minutes. The time of the actual ride, from the first hill until ending brakes, is about 1 – 1 ½ minutes.  Use this as a time guide for your video . . . never any longer than 3 minutes – unless you’re posting a TED Talk – and it’s best to keep the video “ride” to 1 – 1 ½ minutes.

Activate Sadness With Caution — We’ve all seen it . . . the sad content from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When you see the mistreated dogs, don’t you just want to avert your eyes or close the video? We don’t want to feel this sad.

If you’re telling a story though video, activating sadness is OK, but only as 1 part of a 3-part story line. Part I – Present the situation (this could be sad); Part 2 – Present a solution (this should be uplifting); Part 3 – Motivate action (this should be aspirational).

If all 3 parts of your video are sad, it may not be shared. BuzzSumo’s analysis of the 10,000 most-shared content on the Internet indicates that only 1% emphasized sadness.

Don’t Fake It! — The biggest danger in producing emotional content is creating something that feels manufactured. You know what I’m referring to . . . those videos that are so cheesy they’re cringe-worthy. No one likes them. How can you avoid this? Don’t manufacture emotions . . . no crocodile tears! Share stories that are real and true . . . draw on genuine experiences to share an emotional story to engage and motivate.

5 Steps To Engage Millennials — Brand Champs

Blog Millennials BC Feb blogAuthenticity, Not Interception – Engaging Millennials, a media-savvy generation comprising 27% of the U.S. population, requires an approach that marketers have traditionally not embraced . . . an approach about authenticity and transparency, not interception.

Millennials are always multi-tasking . . . many of them multi-task using multiple screens and multiple devices at the same time. This is a generation that grew up with the Internet. They’re used to checking online before buying something. And, they expect a seamless online experience regardless of the device they’re using.

Another consequence of growing up with the Internet is that Millennials prefer democratic, collaborative processes. They love being part of a team . . . they want to participate and they want their views to be heard.

Millennial Power – By 2020, Millennials will have $1.4 trillion in spending power in the U.S. They’re educated with an innate understanding of marketing and of their power over and value to brands. Millennials are significantly more likely than older generations to believe they have the capacity to help a brand succeed or fail.

Millennials As Brand Advocates – According to the Hashtag Nation “Marketing to the Selfie Generation” study, Millennials will advocate for brands they love . . .

  • 59% will “Like” the brand on Facebook
  • 57% will get involved in direct advocacy
  • 54% will purchase a that brand’s products in-store
  • 48% will buy that brand’s products online
  • Yet, 40% of Millennials complain brands don’t take them seriously. Don’t want to be “one of those brands?” Then, keep reading . . .

Brand Success – 5 Steps To Engage Millennials

  1. Make It Authentic – If your story is organic and not synthetic, it’ll engage Millennials. Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear #Seetherealme effort, for example, is an unscripted integrated digital and social campaign that showcases real-life teenage girls struggling with their skin issues.  The 19-part YouTube series has done phenomenally well because it touches a chord with young Millennial females. The bonus? It made the girls feel involved . . . it gave them a voice.
  1. Support causes that are important to Millennials — Millennials are constantly on the lookout for brands that align with their values and allow them to actively make a difference in their everyday lives. TOMS is doing a great job with this type of marketing.  The TOMS “One for One” campaign is one of the most successful cause brand campaigns. TOMS is winning with Millennials by engaging them in innovative ways, encouraging them to share their stories and marketing a cause that’s different.

The TOMS “One for One” campaign is so successful with Millennials because TOMS provides an individualized toolkit for participation and Millennials are encouraged to share their stories and engage in open dialogues about the cause instead of the product. TOMS is now considered a movement by Millennials . . . not just a company.

  1. Create experiences — Millennials buy stuff for reasons that are different from GenX and Baby Boomers. They buy things they can tell others about. They buy things because of what those purchases say about them. This explains why Millennials spend money on experiences.  The traditional advertising route won’t work with Millennials. Brands that are engaging Millennials are shifting their marketing dollars to events where Millennials can experience the brand. Chipotle is engaging Millennials through offline and online events.

In 2011, Chipotle launched Cultivate — Food, Ideas & Music Festival. In the first year, more than 17,000 attended and attendance continues to grow. The Festival features live music and chefs from around the country. Attendees are also educated about responsible farming.

Chipotle’s content marketing takes on industrial farming with their video “Back to the Start, which depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the error of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future.

Chipotle’s offline and online experiences motivate Millennials to have a relationship with Chipotle . . . to eat at Chipotle, share Chipotle stories with their friends and collaborate in advocating for the importance of developing a sustainable food system.

  1. Provide opportunities for them to interact — Millennials have the need to share their lives online and in-person with friends, family and the general public.

Starbucks is doing a great job with this! Campaigns like Tweet-a-Coffee and the Starbucks app allow Millennials to use social media to share coffee and connect with each other. Starbucks locations encourage face-to-face interactions with their cozy seating arrangements and high-top tables that create a feeling of community. Starbucks Millennial marketing is successful . . . it ranks highly among Millennials in terms of brand equity, according to Goldman Sachs.

  1. Include them in decision-making — As Millennials age, it will be crucial for brands to continue conversations with them using insight communities and other engagement tools.

Millennials want to be included in the decision-making process beyond focus groups or social media. They want to be brought in as respected thought leaders to help contribute ideas and develop concepts and strategies. They want to get their voices heard in the early stages of a campaign or new product development.

Use These Steps To Engage Millennials — If you want to engage Millennials, your brand needs to make it authentic; support causes that are important to them; create experiences; provide opportunities for them to interact; and include them in decision-making. The result? Brand success.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

3 Tips Backed By Science To Engage Women

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Did you know that because of our brain structure humans are story junkies?  Our brain reacts differently when presented with a story than when it’s offered facts.  Stories that we read, hear and watch affect us naturally. Because of our brain’s neural coupling, stories activate parts of our brain that help us to integrate stories into our own experiences.  Since women’s brains have more interconnectivity than men’s brains, this process happens more frequently.  When a woman hears a story, she’ll search for relevance to her life experiences.  If she doesn’t find any, she’ll forget the story!

Share Emotional Stories — Our brain also releases dopamine when presented with an emotional story . . . this helps us to remember the story longer and with greater accuracy than when faced with a non-emotional story.  When women hear or read an emotional story, we’re more likely to tell other women.  It’s because women have more emotional outposts in our brain than men . . . 36, compared to 4.  And, our emotional outposts are located closer to the area of the brain that is responsible for speech.

Women Storytellers

Blog4Photo2Because of genetic memory, women evolved to be storytellers.  Our ancient female ancestors were responsible for raising children in the tribe until they were old enough to have kids of their own. To keep children safe, women shared warnings and instructions within a story . . . which resulted in children following the warning, remembering it and passing it along.  This was a big “Aha!” moment for women. Women also enjoy telling and hearing stories because it’s a way for us to interact while reducing the possibility of having a conversation that might lead to conflict. Because of hereditary influences, women enjoy interaction and collaboration, but attempt to avoid conflict.  Since our past female relatives had to raise children, they  needed to collaborate with other women in the tribe.  Today, this collaborative nature continues to motivate women’s behaviors. So, what do these social science insights mean to your brand?  To engage women, you must be a creative storyteller.

3 Behavioral Tips to Engage Women

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1.  Women are people-powered.  Women consider people to be the most important and interesting aspects of life.  This is because a woman’s highest personal value is establishing and nurturing relationships.  And, let’s face it, how can we establish and nurture relationships with your brand if you don’t provide us with the opportunity to interact with people?  What is your brand doing on social media to engage in conversations with women?

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2.  Women are driven by empathy.    The operative emotion with women is empathy.  We want to belong and be understood.  We relate to stories that have people and situations we recognize.   When we hear idealized scenarios, we don’t identify with them.  We’re looking for the “that’s me!” moments.  But, be careful!  Although we don’t want to hear stories about the “perfect” woman, we also don’t appreciate continually hearing stories about the “harried” woman.  Keep it real.

Blog4Photo53.  Women need women.  Behaviorists refer to this as the “girlfriend factor.”  Having girlfriends keeps us healthy, happy and sane.  When faced with a stressful situation, we don’t exhibit the same “fight or flight” behavior as men.  We’ll huddle with girlfriends . . . which biologically decreases our stress level.  How is your brand helping us to bond with women?

Your Brand Needs Women — We control $7 trillion in U.S. spending.  But, we need your brand to respect us by sharing stories that are relevant.  Show us you respect us by embracing female-specific behavior and share content that we want to hear!

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

5 Tips To Engage Moms With Content

Blog2Photo1 Your Brand Needs Moms – Moms are powerful consumers responsible for $2.5 trillion in annual U.S.  spending.  And, the mom market is continually self-renewing.  According to eMarketer, approximately 4  million babies are born in the U.S. each year . . . 40% are to first-time mothers.

Moms Want Brands To Understand –  Yet, only 20% of moms feel advertisers are doing a good job connecting with them.  Another 70% indicate marketers aren’t focused on moms in their advertising and 30% report seeing ads that offend them.

Moms Want To Be “Connected With” . . . Not “Sold To” –  So, it’s no surprise that a recent study, conducted by ContentPlus, indicates 70% of moms prefer to get to know a company or brand through original articles rather than ads.  And, according to the Custom Content Council, 61% of moms indicate they feel better about a company or brand that offers relevant content . . . and, are more likely to purchase from them!

Embrace Behavioral Insights To “Connect With” Moms — You’ve probably noticed a lot of advice being bantered around about how to develop engaging content.  However, to engage women and moms, your brand needs to embrace behavioral science.

5 Behavioral Tips To Engage Moms

By embracing female gender-specific behavior, your brand will pre-cognitively engage moms.  This list of 5 tips are “must haves” to develop a motivating and engaging content marketing program for moms.

1.  People First.  Tap into moms’ orientation toward people as the most important aspect of their lives.  Let moms see, hear and read stories about people and situations from people she’d like to have relationships with.

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Dove’s Sisterhood campaign on Facebook engages moms because it taps into women’s and mom’s highest personal value of establishing and nurturing relationships.

2.  Help Others.  Moms want to help other people.  If your brand shows her you help others, she’ll bond with you and tell her friends.  Make it real.  Make it honest.  Don’t do it just for publicity . . . she’ll sense phoniness, (women’s intuition), and walk away from your brand.

According to a Cone Cause Evolution study, 92% of moms want to buy a product or use a service supporting a cause and 93% are likely to switch brands to support a cause they care about.  

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P&G continues to develop strong relationships with moms by helping children around the world through their Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.

 3.  Respect Her.   Moms want your brand to listen to them and respond to what they’re saying.  Remember when you were younger and your mom told you to respect other people?  Well, today’s moms are demanding that brands respect them.  Respect moms by understanding them and their needs.

This can only be accomplished by listening to moms!  Conduct research and listen to their conversations on social media to hear what moms are talking about.

Target listens, and responds with respectful programs.  Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products.  The Result?  Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.
Target listens, and responds with respectful programs. Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products. The Result? Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.

4.  The “Girlfriend Factor.”  Moms enjoy being with other moms – their girlfriends.  It keeps them healthy, happy and sane.  Did you know that when women are faced with a stressful situation, they don’t experience the same “fight or flight” behavior as men?  Women will huddle with girlfriends, which biologically decreases stress levels.

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Moms like to hear from other moms. Disney knows this . . . that’s why they’ve created the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

5.  Make Her Laugh.  Doctors agree that laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even help improve memory. Funny videos account for some of the most watched videos on YouTube. Parenting comedy has risen in popularity with countless blogs, videos, books and TV shows all aiming to provide some humor on the subject.

Moms, in particular, are stressed and at times feel overwhelmed about their role as a parent. Use laughter to connect with mom and give her a quick break in her day.

Here are a few tips for taking the comedic plunge . . .

Know your brandIs your brand all about making mom’s life easier? Or, maybe your products allow her to make healthier choices for her family? Bringing out the humor in everyday situations is a great way to connect with mom. Know your audience to make it meaningful, and keep on par with your brand to stay relevant.

Provide support — Comedy helps a mom realize she’s not alone out there and it’s OK to make mistakes. Motherhood is a journey with never ending lessons along the way.

Keep it tastefulDon’t go overboard with anything too extreme or raunchy – you don’t want to risk alienating moms over a joke gone wrong.

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Check out the American Express Tina Fey “Yogurt Facial Rejuvenation” spot in their #EveryDayMoments campaign — a great example of how to make moms laugh!

Mom, Mom, Watch This!   All moms have heard their kids shout this phrase repeatedly when they’re trying to get mom’s attention.  If your brand yells, “Mom, mom, watch this!” it will alienate moms.  Instead, get mom’s attention by embracing these 5 behavioral content marketing tips.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.