Brain-Based Content Strategy

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on March 1
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Brain_Science_Content_Strategy_MarketScale.pngAs a teacher, I operated under the motto that there are no bad students, just boring classes.  Keeping classes interesting is no easy task Maintaining an engaging content strategy involves similar challenges: Roughly put, getting information into a brain is like trying to get into an exclusive nightclub where only the glamorous few are selected. Once inside, another gatekeeper, emotion, determines what makes the cut to enter the upper VIP lounge in the prefrontal cortex—that valuable 13% of cerebral architecture where our highest cognition and emotional reflection takes place.

How do you get your message through the door?

Like that exclusive nightclub, our brains have bouncers at the door.  These bouncers determine what gets in and what stays out of mind.  And they are not easily impressed. Neuroscientists refer these bouncers as the brain’s Reticular Activating System or RAS. 

The RAS filters information relative to priority.  Dangerous threats are at the top of the list.  The RAS commits more attention to sources of stress. As a result, the more anxious we are, the less receptive our brains become to other forms of input. 

How to get past the brain’s gatekeeper? 

What opens the doorway into the brain?  What “sticks” and stays with us in memory?  Again, the brain’s RAS is sensitive to emotion. When not in high-alert lockdown, our brains are particularly open to curiosity—particularly curiosity inspired by change and novelty. 

Neuroscientists say that the appeal of novelty lies in another region of the brain known as the substantia nigra/ventral segmental area or SN/VTA.  The SN/VTA effectives the reward centers of the brain.  Simply put, the brain embraces novelty by releasing dopamine to encourage us to explore and search for rewards.  

Yep--the brain craves novelty.  How else could science explain the appeal of rubber, stretchy, slingshot chickens--a top hit when you google the word "novelty." Apparently, it's a thing.

For tips on how to more constructive bring novelty to your B2B marketing content, check out our blog.  Or better yet, contact us—we’re even more fun in person! 

Or contact me at owen.matson@marketscale.com.

Topics: Creative, Content, Content Strategy

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