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

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.