We’re in information nirvana, and as good as that is, it does come with some unwanted side-effects.
One such side-effect is information overload — there’s just so much out there that we can’t consume it all, even though we try.
This leads to analysis paralysis, the inability to act when we’re faced with an abundance of choice.
Not only that, but we consume so much that it’s impossible to remember everything.
Mindless consumption leads to very little being remembered — not unless it speaks to our core, unless it goes beyond the other smorgasbord of information we’ve seen, not unless we use it and allow it to become part of our lives.
This becomes even more important when you’re the one trying to get the attention of others.
Considering all of the strategies that go into marketing these days — the science of headlines, cross platform media, etc — how do you differentiate yourself? Is it possible to follow the rules and use the science yet cut in front of all the others that are doing the same?
Making it Memorable
Awe and inspiration are life-changing mental experiences. They impact us in more meaningful ways than most other mundane experience.
Awe is that reverential feeling you get when you experience something you can’t explain, it changes your perspective.
Inspiration is perhaps the biggest motivator there is, nothing gives us the urge to do something more than the insight into a new and creative way of doing things.
Awe and inspiration are not passively consumed and regurgitated like the other generic content out there. They change your mind, the moment they hit you are driven into action, to a new way of thinking.
The Attention Economy
In your social media campaigns, how do you attract people’s attention?
You might still get it with the tried and true methods that everybody else is using, but do people remember what you say more than those others? Is there something about your information that sticks with them? That changes their understanding?
How can you incorporate awe into you social media so that people, after having experienced what you have to say, are inspired by it?
You want people to consume your media, and be so struck by it, that they cannot return to mindless consumption afterwards, they must either be driven to know more, driven to act in a way that encompasses what they’ve learned, or simply be driven to sit and contemplate.
Engaging people with awe and inspiration is effective, but far from easy. They are rare, personal, and moving. That’s not to say it’s impossible.
Using Awe & Inspiration in Your Media
1. Know Your Audience
If you try to please everyone, you’ll be boring, flat. You want to rustle some feathers, get under the skin, cause some shock.
By understanding your niche, you can cater your media using what you know will strike up conversation and engagement, without worrying about what people outside your niche might say or complain about.
“I don’t know the key to success, but I know that the key to failure
is trying to please everybody” – Woody Allen
2. Buck the Trend
Most people look to share things that are already popular or being talked about. It’s why we have a number of sites that will tell you about trends.
But if they’re trends, then chances are you’re not really saying something someone else hasn’t said already.
You want to be ahead of the trend. That requires being predictive and acting fast.
You could put a new spin on something popular, find a new angle, be unusual. Take note of current trends and think of ways they might evolve and change in the future, and try to make use of that.
3. Go Beyond Words
We use language to communicate all the time, it’s our default medium to get a point across. But it’s far from the only option.
We know how many words an image is worth, but what’s just as important is that an image can say so much in so little time.
It takes only a split second for us to interpret a picture, the first impression is made before we’re even consciously aware of it.
Think of the last time you were inspired by something, chances are many more memories of a visual nature come to mind. Awe strikes us in a moment, from there we’re left trying to understand it.
Images have already been shown to engage people more, so take advantage by using visuals in your campaigns.
4. Cater to Emotions Over Logic
Awe and inspiration are feelings. Not only that, but people make decisions based more on feelings than on logic.
Happiness, anger, fear, humor, they can all happen automatically, and they can take control over our actions and thoughts.
Our emotions are swayed by meaningful and powerful words and images. Don’t try to make people think, try to make them feel.
5. Change Perspectives
The essence of awe is to become aware of something that defies how you previously perceived it. It’s to find something that makes you feel smaller, and the world around you much larger.
The best way to use it, is to find unique ways to display something. A picture from an angle nobody previously thought of; write about something from a position nobody had done before; give people information that changes or obscures something they had thought was clear and precise.
If you can successfully create awe in the minds of your viewers, and inspire them to learn and be more than they are, then you will give them something they will remember.
It’s important not to disregard what research has shown to work, but it’s also important to note that as all of those techniques become more common, it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out.
While awe and inspiration are more difficult to use, being even moderately successful will have you standing out in front, not only engaging people eye’s but also their minds.
They will make you memorable in an age of information overload.