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Unleash Your Inner Chimp to make Content that Connects

4 min read.



Employer Branding

Data will help you track what your audience are clicking on, but how do you create memorable content that really connects with people? Time to start monkeying around...

People still ask me the same question that they have for years, ‘how do we get to the top of Google?’ 

What's this SEO Jedi stuff that we keep hearing about? 

And I say this. SEO is dead. Google has finally got it right. It focuses on the people. It thinks about experiences. 

It’s now about Search Experience Optimisation. There’s loads of updates, loads of different social channels and they’re growing and a lot of our customers are in them, so we talk about content marketing, and what we are going to do. What's the one thing that we always have to be focused on? It’s us. It’s people.

It is the people who sit behind the keyboard and type in the searches. It’s us.

We need to give people incredible experiences, because it's not about links, it's not about keywords and so on, it’s about creating world class digital experiences on any device. 

Whether it's wearable technology, mobile, or desktop, it's about world class experiences. 

And if we focus our attention on that and understand it, then we can win online. 

The Chimp Paradox

Aristotle was one of the founders of communication techniques. Ahead of his time. And he came up with a method of communication based on Ethos, Logos and Pathos. Ethos is persuasion through credibility, trust and achievement. Social proof.  Logos is about consistency, facts, figures - the evidence to make better decisions. And Pathos is persuasion through human emotion. 

Dr. Stephen Peters is a top sports psychiatrist and wrote a book called The Chimp Paradox, in which he talks about our inner chimp, the neocortex of the brain. It's how we feel. It's gut instinct. He explores the relationship between our emotional chimp and our logical human mind, and provides insights on how to manage and harness the power of our emotions to achieve success.

If we can learn to connect with these things as digital marketers, we can get better results. We can improve our experiences, we can connect more with people, and get more of what we want.

People seek the truth. They want answers. They want the evidence to make smart decisions. The facts and figures shouldn't just be boring. They shouldn't just be numbers on a page. We have to work harder to do something with them. 

When we share funny memes and things like that, we’re actually sharing how we feel.

Take for example, the payday loan company, Wonga. They understand their customer. They know that their customer is about ‘I need some money. I really need some money, and I need it now’. 

Their first sentence says ‘Within five minutes, you can have £500’. Facts and evidence convince the customer to do what they want. They don't have charts for how much you're going to spend and how much it's going to cost you. They have active, real time measurement and movement with facts and figures, making it easy for the user to take the decision.

Always Sell the Truth

So how do we go about telling the truth? What should we be doing to connect with the human part of the brain, the neocortex, and help our customers make the right decisions? We need to be sincere. We need to be authentic. We need to be genuine. 

Get your customers to do real life (not staged) case studies. When we as marketers tell people about our product. We're marketing. When our customers tell people, it's social proof, and people believe it. 

There's a thing called the critical faculty. It’s our bullshit detector. It's always on and marketers are the best trainers of bullshit detectors in the universe. We train people to ignore stuff. We see over 10,000 links a day and we ignore most of them.

The Fogg Behaviour Model says sometimes we don't need to motivate people more to do things. We just need to make the trigger easier. So, think about your mobile responsive website. If people can't find the buy button, how are they going to buy? 

Our brains seek information to help us make better decisions we justify in our brains that we're making the right choice. We seek the information.

You've probably heard of Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action in the sales funnel. Well, now there’s See,Think, Do. Thought leadership content is right at the top of the funnel.  Great content answers your customers’ questions when they're in research mode.  

Imagine all the questions that get asked on Google about saving cash. The Moneysaving Expert, Martin Lewis, stepped in and created a site that answers those questions. And he did one other clever thing. He made sure he created content for journalists. He influenced the influencers. He eventually sold it all for £87m, and doesn’t have to worry about saving money anymore.

What do we do to become a thought leader? To help our customers’ brains believe they are making the smart decision?

Being good isn't good enough. We've got to be great. We got to be remarkable. We got to give our best stuff away, and it's got to be high grade. Otherwise, why would people share it? 

But it doesn’t mean anything, unless we connect with the chimp.

All that stuff you've just done to convince people, to make them feel better about their decisions, to make the neurons go on and light up their brains, doesn't matter unless we connect with emotion.

Five Key Emotions

There are five emotions we need to focus on to connect with Dr Stephen Peters’ chimp. Five key emotional drivers that make us connect with people to help light up the brain and create emotionally charged responses. Happiness, sadness, fear, anger and anticipation.

Happiness/Joy. Remember the Dollar Shave advert we all shared at the time? It was cool, it was happy and it made you laugh. We were sharing the experience, not the video. The emotion that we feel is what we were sharing.

Sadness. When we feel sad, we like to talk to people. We like to share. Empathy is very powerful. Charity videos use it a lot. There are some amazing videos out there that really use sad effectively. 

Fear. When we watch scary films, our heart rate goes up because we start to empathise. And when we see fear, we're compelled to bond. We feel like we need to connect with someone else and tell them about it, creating amplification of our content. 

Anger. Create an opinion that may be a bit controversial in your content. Reach out to influencers and maybe disagree. You are allowed, and it might spark a conversation or elicit a response. 

Anticipation. Hollywood has used anticipation since forever,  with teaser campaigns. And as humans with anticipation and curiosity, you're compelled to want to know the end.

Lead with empathy. If we show empathy and understand our customers and connect with their chimps, we then understand them better. 

If we don't lead with empathy, how do we know how to talk to people? What you're doing then is you're talking about you and not about them. You're not understanding their routines, their characteristics, the questions that they ask and the things that you need to say to convince them to light up their brain to lead to emotion.

We feel first, and we think second. Connect to the chimp, and you'll get through to the human.  People may forget what you said or did but they won’t forget how you made them feel.


Understanding the Chimp Paradox

Dr. Peters explains that our minds consist of three key elements: the Chimp, the Human, and the Computer. The Chimp represents our emotional, impulsive, and instinctual side, while the Human represents our logical, rational, and analytical side. The Computer stores memories and learned behaviours. In storytelling marketing, understanding this duality is crucial. By recognizing the emotional responses that the Chimp generates, marketers can craft stories that tap into these emotions and create powerful connections with the audience.

Emotional Engagement 

Emotions play a significant role in how individuals perceive and respond to marketing messages. By incorporating emotional storytelling techniques, marketers can captivate their audience, evoke specific emotions, and leave a lasting impact. Stories that resonate on an emotional level are more likely to be remembered, shared, and have a positive impact on brand perception.

Empathy and Understanding 

Storytelling marketing relies on empathy to connect with the audience. Marketers need to understand their target audience's needs, desires, and pain points to create narratives that truly resonate. By empathising with their customers, marketers can develop authentic and relatable stories that establish trust and forge deeper connections.

Cognitive Biases and Influence 

Cognitive biases affect how we perceive and interpret information. We feel first and think second. In storytelling marketing, understanding these biases can help marketers shape narratives that align with the audience's cognitive processes. By leveraging cognitive biases such as social proof, scarcity, or anchoring, marketers can create compelling stories that persuade and influence consumer behaviour.

Goal Setting and Visualization 

By setting clear objectives and visualising their attainment, individuals can increase their motivation and focus. In storytelling marketing, setting clear goals helps marketers create narratives that are aligned with their brand's objectives. Visualising the desired outcomes enables marketers to craft stories that inspire action, whether it's driving sales, building brand loyalty, or raising awareness.

Managing Stress and Pressure

This is relevant in storytelling marketing, as marketers often face tight deadlines and high-pressure situations. By implementing stress management techniques, marketers can maintain clarity and composure, ensuring that their storytelling efforts remain impactful and authentic.

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