There’s a secret hidden in ALL our brains that you can use for cannabis content marketing.
Did you know that we’re all ruled by a super powerful hormone? It’s true. This hormone dominates decision-making, especially split-second choices like the ones digital users are making every day. Decisions like “click,” “like,” “retweet,” and “buy” and “subscribe” are all significantly impacted by this hormone. Savvy marketing strategists have been triggering this hormone for years, some knowingly, some stumbling upon it.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of this hormone. You’ve heard about in the context of drugs, sex, and even food. But what does this hormone do for cannabis marketers? I’ll get to that in a minute.
First, a little more about this hormone: dopamine. See? I told you you’ve heard of it. Dopamine is best known as the “pleasure hormone.” It’s the hormone that creates the surge of euphoria that we feel after a satisfying cannabis session. But, the surge of satisfaction is not actually the most powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal.
The most powerful tool for the marketer is anticipation.
And it turns out that dopamine is actually more aptly described as the “wanting and seeking” hormone.
Ah. Now you get it right?
It turns out that the “wanting and seeking” trigger is MORE powerful than the “satisfaction.” Which means, we’re hardwired to keep looking, keep seeking until we satisfy our wanting and seeking. And then, we’re hard-wired to do it all again.
Think for just a moment about the advantage to your content and overall cannabis marketing strategy if you can trigger this motivation. Images can trigger our wanting and seeking. Ever seen a really great close-up shot of your favorite food and found yourself searching for how to have it delivered at lunch that.very.day? Images of just about anything we want can trigger our “wanting and seeking” hormone. This means you really need to think about the images you’re using in marketing and advertising, because images are incredibly key to the top of the funnel.
While we see food and sex all the time in marketing, maybe those images aren’t appropriate for your brand. Although this knowledge is particularly useful for the cannabis industry – imagine using a cupcake instead of a joint in everyone one of your Instagram posts. Not only would this spark some word-of-mouth PR, but it solves many of the problems cannabis brands have with their own Instagram presence. Imagine how much harder it would be for Instagram to punish a pro-cupcake brand. Not only does this stike at the consumers’ anticipation in two different ways, it also creates another type of seeking.
Guess what else fuels our anticipation?
This is super important because not all businesses and campaigns are suitable for triggering the food, sex and drug urges.
The brain experiences dopamine rushes when we’re curious for more information.
Think about the last Google search you did. Ever been sucked down the rabbit hole of Google and found yourself coming out of the other side 45 minutes later? That’s your insatiable, hormone-driven seeking and wanting trigger. That’s your brain on the anticipation train.
Our quest for information is basically never-ending. We’re hard-wired that way, and from an evolutionary perspective, this is a very, very good thing. Now, WHAT information triggers this is the key. This is where we circle back around to audience identification and personalization.
We’re inundated with information, so we have to be very clear on our audience so we understand WHAT kind of information or curiosity triggers our target audience. Motivational triggers work on all people, but what triggers the motivation is where your marketing research and strategy come in.
Unexpected prompts, audio and visual also trigger our wanting and seeking hormone. You know what does this exceptionally well?
It beeps or vibrates or a message pops up and you almost ALWAYS stop what you are doing to look at it don’t you? This is why SMS messaging is so powerful. If you do manage to ignore your phone’s notifications, it takes an active and conscious effort on your part.
This is why my most hated and dreaded marketing tactic, pop-up messaging, is so powerful. I drop right out of a page when I get a pop-up because I feel like it’s insensitive to the reader, but the truth is, it works on the vast majority of people because the surprise triggers the wanting and seeking. Novelty and unpredictability also trigger our seeking behavior. Therefore, “New and Improved” works. It’s also why the above cupcake example works.
The Counter-Intuitive Path
You’ve probably heard over and over again to simplify. The message is too long. The funnel is too long.
Overall, this is good advice.
However, once you really understand the “seeking and wanting” hormone, your path can actually be quite long, so long as it keeps triggering curiosity and gives information in small bits and pieces if it gives anything until it offers the solution. Cannabis marketers can use this hunting and seeking trigger on their own websites too. And this is really important, because as federal legalization looms, cannabis brands will need to have a digital presence that is in control of them.
As cannabis education to a larger base becomes more important, you may find this technique particularly relevant in your cannabis marketing.
Have you ever found yourself reading a really ugly landing page with all text? Really awesome copywriters understand how to use this tactic in writing to move you through the process. Interestingly enough, the more time you spend on something, the more committed you are. So long copy, long funnels, they have a purpose and in the right situation, the right circumstance, the right audience, they work. You can use this strategy in your digital cannabis marketing to your benefit, particularly for product launches and blogs.
In A Nutshell:
Here it is in a nutshell, for fast and motivational results: trigger the wanting and seeking hormone.
Make your audience curious.
Lead them down a path that satisfies in bits and pieces.
Experiment with what triggers curiosity in your audience, experiment with the strength of their curiosity with funnel length.
Triggering the “wanting and seeking” hormone is the very premise behind free information in content cannabis marketing and the internet in general.
This article has been slightly edited from the original version on poodlemafia.com
About the Captivation Motivations:
The Captivation Motivations are all built around what I call our “other 90%” of our brain. The part of our brain that is the oldest and most developed part of our brain.
I didn’t make up the Captivation Motivations, I’ve simply been studying them and their effects for the last four years. I’ve been testing them in my strategies and tactics, reading and writing about them.
Simply put, these motivations are not some flash-in-the-pan-do-whats-trendy-now strategy, these are strategies which trigger reactions from the oldest part of our brain. More and more is now understood about these motivations. But one thing is clear: despite the fact that these motivations developed in the earliest days of humanity’s survival of the fittest experiences, these motivations are very much alive and well today. What triggers them in the modern world is just different than what triggered them in our earliest evolutionary days.