October 26, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Social media has developed since its creation to put a hyper-focus on video, images, and animation. The constant visual stimulation people encounter online means brands are always vying for consumer attention among their competition. With over 95 million photos and videos shared on visual sites like Instagram every day, how can you make sure consumers see yours, react positively, and make conversions? By understanding science. Today, we’re discussing a few scientific concepts that affect how and why certain brands succeed in content marketing.
The science of visual attention focuses on what makes something exciting (or boring) when you view it. For content marketing, this can help you determine what visuals get engagements, clicks, and conversions. It can also tell you which pieces get scrolled past and ignored. There are two principles and content rating scores that help make these decisions.
Cognitive demand is the rating of how easy or difficult it is for someone to understand visual content. Pieces with low cognitive demand are easy to understand quickly. Think about a dance video on Tik Tok. There’s not much to take in, just someone dancing to a song in front of the camera. You can understand it without additional context. Content with high cognitive demand means people have to spend a lot of time figuring it out. They may not want to do this, so they relegate your content to the infinite scroll.
Clarity is the other principle. It can tell you about the key visibility areas of your content, such as your product image, ad copy, and call to action. A low clarity score means it’s difficult for viewers to find these elements within your content. A higher score means they’re easy to find. Visual content with low cognitive demand and high clarity gets the most views, engagements, and conversions because they’re easy for consumers to comprehend within seconds of seeing them.
Consumer science is the practice of learning how and why customers make certain choices when shopping, and what preferences or biases contribute to them. This social science is a popular category for middle school science fair participants because it’s easy to analyze and fun to explore. Companies and brands target shoppers with consumer science every day, maybe even without their knowledge. Do you buy brand-name cookies even if the generic tastes the same, for half the cost? Do you have a preference for paper towels even though they all serve the same purpose? That’s consumer science at work.
Consumer science can help marketers, content creators, and product designers when they’re developing actual items and the marketing materials to go with them. These professionals use surveys to help them figure out what people want and what they like. Research studies into consumer science can tell us a lot about how people act when buying items and spending money. Some principles learned through this type of research and experimentation include:
Neuroscience is the study of brain anatomy and chemistry. It’s often discussed as an introductory psychology topic in school. You have to know the parts of the brain before you can understand why it does the things it does. The specific lobes and sections of your brain may actually affect how you perceive content, such as the:
Yes, according to Izea, there is such as thing as Content Marketing Science. The organization defines it as the data behind the content. It’s the strategy that you use to get your desired results and the research and information that helps make informed decisions. Content marketing art and science work together to create the best campaigns.
The artistic side makes content pleasing to the eye, while the scientific side makes it easy to read and understand all the words and visuals. Content marketing tools like the Hemingway editor, which gives you a reading level score based on your word choice and sentence structure, are examples of content marketing science.
These are just a few examples of the type of science and research that affect how we market our content to the world. Following principles suggested from years of research and experimentation can help your content break through the monotony of feeds and find the right audience.
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