Making it stick
Ensuring that your audience receives, understands, and carries your message with them is not only critical to spreading your information, but key to catalyzing conversations and building relationships.
Conversations around agriculture bring a lot of science-based information and detailed concepts with them. To make huge ideas compact, you’ve got to pack a lot of meaning into a little bit of messaging, especially in the age of social media sound-bites.
How can you do that? How can you make your messages stick?
The Sticky Process
Chip and Dan Heath, authors of ‘Made To Stick’, say that there are five elements at the core of every sticky piece of information:
- Simplicity – Proverbs, for example, are easy to remember. Easy to remember = sticky.
- Unexpectedness – For an idea to have the long-lasting effect of Doublemint® gum, it needs to generate interest and curiosity. To keep the momentum, you need to consistently open gaps in their knowledge and then fill them.
- Concreteness – Through many years of research and experimentation, the Heath brothers found that naturally sticky ideas are full of concrete images since our brains are wired to remember concrete data.
- Emotions – Getting people to feel something about your topic is a key element to getting them to care about your idea. Our brains are wired to feel things for people, not abstract notions. Seasoned marketers know that using the right words not only tap into customer emotions, but help hold their attention long enough to get the message through.
- Stories – If you want people to act on your ideas, tell them a story.
Pepper your social media content with emotion-rich adjectives and carefully consider each one you choose: what imagery does that adjective elicit? A thesaurus is your best friend!
Also think about how you can incorporate the emotions that most commonly make an idea sticky: surprise (gets their attention) and interest (keeps their attention). Ben Parr, author of ‘Captivology’, says lasting attention builds up in three stages:
Ignition: capturing immediate attention
Kindling: trying to attract what he calls the short attention
Bonfire: captivating their long-term interest in an idea, message or cause
What recipe of sticky elements can you put together to ignite, kindle and spark the bonfire of attention?