We all know that content is king. We work hard on our content and content strategy. Can science help us to develop content that is more engaging for online visitors?
Scientists and psychologists continue to study the process of how human brains interpret written information. Knowing how people sort out information, along with what type of content holds their attention and what provokes certain types of responses, is vital to creating engaging content.
Here are three evidence-based ways to engage your online visitors:
- Imagery. We’ve known for quite some time that visual elements – photos, images and videos – increase user engagement. There are reasons for this.
- According to research, every time we read a sentence, our brains fabricate an image based on each word.
- As much as 90% of our brain power is spent on visual activity and our brains process images much faster than text (60K times faster!).
From a content creation perspective, this means that how content is presented is as important as what the content says. Include images as often as possible, as this has been shown to increase comprehension by up to 300%.
- Think gamification. Motivation has two sources: things you are compelled to do, like tax returns and studying for school (extrinsic motivation) and things you want to do/enjoy doing, like watching sports or going out with friends (intrinsic motivation). You want your online visitors to like and enjoy your content - intrinsic motivation. One thing science tells us in Self Determination Theory is that people want to feel competent as they read information. Your content shouldn’t be too difficult or stressful to follow, but it also shouldn’t be too simple. Using gamification tactics like quizzes or other interactive elements is useful, because it activates the reader’s brain and they retain more information.
- Personalization. This is not a new concept for marketers, but it remains an important one. We have enormous amounts of data available to us to create personalized content. Customer experiences that are personally tailored can greatly improve the likelihood of a purchase and lift revenues by 5%-15%. Personalization works by making customers subliminally feel more in control, leading to a more rewarding experience, and by providing immediate enjoyment from information that is what they want, minimizing the need to sift through extraneous content looking for what’s pertinent.
How does your organization approach content development?