This week’s focus:
Last week, I saw the new movie by Morgan Spurlock called, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It’s a fascinating documentary that goes behind-the-scenes into the world of advertising, marketing, and product placement in movies. The funny part about Mr. Spurlock’s film is that he actually uses product placement to completely cover his production budget.
During the film, there’s an interesting segment that shows how some Hollywood studios are using neuroscience research to determine which movie commercials are the most effective. In one scene, Mr. Spurlock visits a lab where he undergoes an MRI while watching movie trailers, and scientists analyze his brain reacting to various commercials. The technology shows how scientists can predict which movie clips will have the biggest affect on viewers. In some ways, the research was a little scary to see the lengths that some companies will take to figure out how to get people to buy their products.
However, as I listened to the summation of the neuroscience research, I heard a powerful lesson that authors and publishers need to heed. The scientists explained that the best way to create an effective movie commercial is to show scenes that evoke the strongest emotion. For example, if you’re marketing a horror movie, the trailer needs to show scenes that amplify the fear and suspense. If you’re marketing a relationship movie, the trailer needs to show scenes that stir up feelings of drama and tension. If you’re marketing an action film, the trailer needs to amp up the energy, grit, and power of the characters. In other words, strong emotion plays a major role in convincing people to go to the movie theater.
I believe this same principle applies to marketing books, especially fiction. If you want people to buy more books, make sure your video trailer and other marketing tools (website, blog, free resources, etc.) evoke a strong sense of emotion in your audience. Perennial bestselling novelists, such as David Baldacci, James Patterson, Ted Dekker, John Grisham, and Karen Kingsbury, stay on top of the charts because they’re masters of touching the heart as much as the mind. They know that logic makes people think, but emotion makes them act.
Yet, keep in mind that emotion alone doesn’t trump value. You still have to answer the consumer’s ultimate question, “What’s in it for me?” But, when you combine strong emotion with tangible value, then you’re able to capture a person’s interest on multiple levels. So, take a look at your marketing activities and make sure that your style isn’t too stoic. Take a lesson from Hollywood, and draw more readers to your books by making them think, “I feel the need…the need to read!”
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