YES! That’s The Best Image For Your Content

Blog Best Image 1.18.18Did you know that 90% of the information our brain processes is visual and it’s processed 60,000 times faster than anything you read?

We’re constantly being bombarded with images. Yet we’re able to process thousands of images because our brains are always trying to figure out what we’re seeing. Recently, neuroscientists at MIT discovered that the human brain can process images the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds. That’s even faster than I scroll on Facebook!

But when it comes to remembering, not all images are equal. Some stick in our minds as if they were set with super glue and some just slip out like random thoughts.

Images can Increase Memorability and Sharing — Image memorability is an interesting subject. Well, it is to me since I’m a behaviorist and I find these types of topics fascinating. At this point, you may be thinking that an article about images might bore you to death. But, keep reading … there are some things you should know about images to help you create memorable and sharable social media and content marketing posts.

Emotions Engage — Emotion is the driving force of sharing.

A recent Harvard study evaluated what causes marketing campaigns, and their images, to go viral. Data indicates the most shared emotions are: admiration, interest, amazement and astonishment.

When selecting images, use those that evoke emotions. The more intense the emotion, the more likely we are to remember it.

The best way for your business to engage people and motivate their behavior is by building emotional connections with them.

Make it Relevant! — The images you use must align with your brand. Don’t turn away from your brand guidelines for memorable images that aren’t relevant to your brand or your audience.   Aim to use impactful imagery that stimulates emotions and are contextual to your brand.

Color is Important — The way color is used in an image contributes to the emotions you feel.  A recent study from Georgia Tech examined over 1 million Pinterest images and looked at the color trends between the highest and lowest shared images. The results? Red, purple and pink promote sharing . . . these three colors drive visceral emotions in both men and women.

You’re probably wondering which colors were shared at the lowest spectrum … drum roll, please. The least shared images used green, black, blue and yellow.

Your Content Needs Images! — Using images is a natural way to get people’s attention. It’s the perfect motivating force to encourage sharing. Just make sure the images you select are emotional, contextual to your brand and relevant to your audience.

 

What Is Your Brand’s Emotional Right Space?

Blog positive emotionsBrands must harness the power of emotions to develop relationships with people. This can be achieved by identifying the emotions you want your brand to evoke – the Emotional Right Space – and developing messaging that taps into those emotions.

Emotional Right Space Brand Examples — Let’s take a look at an impactful brand . . . Apple. This brand understands the power of emotions and uses them to develop long-term relationships with people.

Apple has identified its Emotional Right Space . . . the core emotions the brand wants every customer to feel across all touch points. The four emotions that Apple aims to tap into are: (1) Delight; (2) Surprise; (3) Connection; and (4) Love.

Disney identified one emotion in its Emotional Right Space . . . Happiness. Whether visiting their amusement parks; watching their movies and TV shows; shopping at their stores or staying in one of their hotels, Disney wants you to feel happiness!

Nike aims to tap into the emotions of (1) Confidence and (2) Inspiration. You can feel this in all of their communications.

Tip to Identify Your Brand’s Emotional Right Space — Which emotions do you want people to feel when they visit your website, see/hear your advertising, view your videos and interact on social media?

Here’s a tip . . . don’t identify more than four. When people feel more than four emotions, they’re overwhelmed and might tune you out.

Top 20 Positive Feelings and Emotions — To help you identify your brand’s Emotional Right Space, here is a list of the top 20 positive emotions (presented in no particular order). When people feel these emotions from your brand, they’ll share your brand’s messages.

 Happiness, Interest, Delight, Hope, Gratitude, Kindness, Surprise, Connection, Confidence, Admiration, Enthusiasm, Euphoria, Satisfaction, Pride, Contentment, Inspiration, Amusement, Enjoyment, Awe and Love.

4 Questions You Must Ask Yourself — After you’ve identified your brand’s Emotional Right Space, use it as a guide. Ask yourself these 4 questions. If you answer “sometimes” or “no,” to any of these questions, it’s time to readjust your marketing communications.

  • Do our communications across all media tap into those emotions?
  • Are my salespeople and customer service representative addressing these emotions?
  • Are we sharing stories in our content that evoke these emotions?
  • Is our social media presence sharing these emotions?

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.

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.