The Surprising Way Your Brain Consumes Content

Do you ever struggle with how to best market to your target audience? A blog? Video? Podcast? How can you tell what's most effective?

The solution is in the processes of the brain.  

The way the brain processes information greatly affects how your message is received. 

What you're trying to convey and the content you use are actually interrelated. 

Let's suppose you want to create a relationship between your brand and the consumer. In that case, written content is best. When we read, our brains attempt to put us in the shoes of the author or protagonist. Our brains are activated in the same area, whether we read about something or see it in real life. 

Written content is good for: 

  • Creating a relationship between brand and consumer
  • Showcasing expertise and experiences
  • Building consumer trust
  • Evaluation and comparison of your product and services. 
  • Sharing customer testimonials. 

Written content includes: Blog posts, case studies and white pages. 

Did you know it takes you only one tenth of a second to understand a visual scene? When your brain sees a symbol, it attaches meaning to it. Can you guess how long it takes your brain to attach meaning to a symbol? 250 milliseconds. In fact, as much as 50% of our brains are wired to receive visual input. Visuals help us quickly remember and understand content. Images are stored in long-term memory. 


Visual content is best for: 

  • Presenting complex data and ideas.
  • Attracting attention and interest to your brand.
  • Creating memorable content.
  • Making a persuasive argument.

Visual content includes: infographics, slideshows and ebooks. 

What do you think is the most shared content type on Facebook? Visuals such as photos? Written, such as statuses? This is sort of a trick question. The answer is neither. It's interactive content. Interactive content combines visuals, stories, and participation, tapping into multiple regions of the brain. Readers feel catered to and heard when they receive personalized quiz results. Participation leads to higher rates of retention and learning. 

Interactive content is best for: 

  • Creating content to be shared on social media.
  • Engaging a reader on a personal level. 
  • Developing an interactive experience that will be remembered. 

Interactive content includes: Interactive infographics and quizzes. 

Suppose you want to create a strong emotional connection with your audience. Videos use a mix on intonation, pitch, movement, body language, and other behaviors to enhance an emotional connection. The brain actually processes video 60,000 times faster than text! Bonus: the brain uses significantly less energy watching a video since it does not require active participation. 

Video is best for: 

  • Sharing personal stories about your company, history, and brand. 
  • Forming an emotional connection with the viewer.
  • Showing how to do something. 

Video content includes: Vlogs, instructional videos, brand/culture videos and webinars. 

As you can tell, the type of content you use should really depend on the goals you have for your target audience. So the next time you go to post that cute, funny picture about your brand, just imagine how long your customers' brains will hold that image! 

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