Cognitive Fluency: Why ‘simple advertisements’ are more effective

cognitive fluency means that simple marketing tactics are better

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The way we all view and process information is no secret. We avoid the complex, and more often than not go straight for the simple option.

It is just as important to understand the tastes of your audience, but also how they think and process information.

That is a key process surrounding cognitive fluency: not just knowing the vision for your content, but how the content will be interpreted.

Therefore, cognitive fluency should be a part of your daily content marketing repertoire, as I will explain below!

Cognitive fluency: What is it?

Cognitive fluency is the subconscious decision made by humans to avoid complicated content and in turn, favour simple content.

That feeling of ease when reading or watching something, despite your feeling that ‘this is complicated,’ is a major part of cognitive fluency.

Think about the way information is delivered to you from the description of a product online, to a status update or an advertisement on a billboard.

Content is becoming increasingly simplified and streamlined, as companies understand cognitive fluency and use it to draw the attention of consumers to their product.

No matter how complex the subject of your content, the easier it is to read the more attention it will receive.

This has been very big in the medical, legal and finance industries, where exceptionally complex services have been communicated in ‘layman’s language.’

Understanding how to utilise cognitive fluency will allow you to streamline all your content marketing endeavours, without sacrificing any core message or artistic style.

cognitive fluency

The relationship with content marketing

The relationship between content marketing and cognitive fluency is becoming increasingly important.

It represents an important relationship between you the content marketer, and how your potential audiences interact with your content.

As I mentioned in the last paragraph, many brands/companies are keenly aware of the importance and effects of cognitive fluency.  

How you describe your product/content is a question you, the content marketer, must think about.

The very basis of all advertisements/marketing schemes is some sort of writing.

You must decide what kind of copywriting you’ll feature throughout your marketing journey, in light of cognitive fluency.

It might not always be a decision between whether to keep things simple rather than complex, but it’s useful to think about how you word things.

For example, would describing a perfect blue circle by detailing every feature, be better than just having a graphic of a circle?

In many cases the more detail you give usually is the better, but in this case having a graphic is not only a great way to bring colour and flair to your content, but is much easier to understand than a bunch of text.

How to make it work with your content

There are many steps you can take to synthesise cognitive fluency into your content marketing.  

An easy exercise to incorporate into your work is during the editing process, go over sentences you might think are too long, or over-complicated and try to rewrite them in simpler terms.

If you can say something in a less amount of words but still send the same message, do it.

It may seem like this is all just about dumbing down your content but it’s more about reframing it so your audience are quickly drawn to, and understand your content.

Think of it as a philosophy you should live by as a content marketer; ensuring each piece of writing is concise and streamlined as possible.

Another method similar to the blue circle example I mentioned in the previous paragraph is to incorporate graphics, images, photographs and so on into your content.

They are a great eye-catcher and can bring life to an otherwise dull, lifeless, piece of marketing.

Website Design Mock Up On A Desktop Monitor, Laptop And Tablet

Major brands are into it

There are many classic examples of major brands using cognitive fluency over the years.

Apple for example, with their classic grey tinged advertisements, use concise, simple language and largely rely on a number of shots/images of their products.

While their modern advertisements look something like this, with less text and emotionally evocative statements like ‘to wear it is to love it’, their older efforts looked a lot less cognitive fluency-friendly.

In Apple’s case, they have not only made it easier to understand their content, but they have made audiences feel like they have to have it.

That is a massive step many big businesses take in the content marketing game- not only using simple, concise language, but actively making consumers feel like they need their product.

Another example is VOSS Water, whose website’s front page only features 3 words- ‘exercise great taste’– and features a high quality image of a woman doing a stretching exercise.

In this case VOSS wants your attention drawn to the three words, as they are capitalised and in large font.

Instead of any explanation or description of the product, I understood straight away what the product was offering, creating a sense of curiosity and inspiration.

A mindful future

Cognitive fluency is an important psychological insight into the world of how we individuals process information.

Favouring the simple over the complicated, and unconsciously avoiding the complicated isn’t exclusive to content marketing but it is a massive part of it.

Cognitive fluency should become a part of your daily content marketing process, as there are many simple tweaks and changes that can be made to ensure you are conveying your content in the simple, but ultimately best way possible.  

If you would like more hints regarding cognitive fluency, feel free to contact our Google Ads agency CLIQ Marketing Content below!

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