Thought Leadership

The Psychology of Content Consumption


At Little Dot Studios, we know that producing meaningful, relevant content is imperative for brands who are looking to maximise their digital potential.

A bit of Context

 A major part of understanding what will be a hit with your audience is to understand the psychology behind the way your users consume their content on a day-to-day basis. This is why we were thrilled to have Fashion Psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell deliver a hugely insightful presentation into the Psychology of Content Consumption at our event ‘Transforming Brands into Broadcasters’, earlier this year. (Check out the key takeaways from our full event here).

With 54% of the world’s population actively using social media, having a social presence is a necessity for brands as it creates human interaction without physical presence. This has inevitably caused a huge shift in the way consumers access brands, with 74% of consumers saying they would visit a brand’s social media page before committing to buying their products, and 66% of those consumers saying that a company's page will influence their final purchase decision. 

These figures demonstrate just how important it is for brands to represent themselves through their social channels, and highlights how a lack of social media connection with their audiences could truly impact sales and revenue over time.

The importance of social media isn’t a new concept, most consumer brands have already realised the power it has within the purchasing funnel with brand social media spend projected to reach $200 million this year alone. 

The challenge however, comes with the saturation of the market, the attitude of consumers and the fall of brand loyalty. What happens when there are too many fish in the sea?  How can you stand out in this (very crowded) crowd?

Don’t worry, we have some insight to understand the blockers and help you step forward in this crowd!


Guest speaker Shakaila Forbes-Bell speaking at our event in June 2022

The 4 blockers to social media success


Ad Blockers

Up to 30% of all internet users are using ad blocking technology, significantly reducing the power of paid advertising.

No Nonsense Mindset

Sceptical consumers are more likely to boycott brands they dislike, spread negative word-of-mouth or engage with content in a negative way.


When faced with too many options consumers can experience a cognitive impairment called “overchoice”, by which they find it difficult to make a decision if there are too many options.

A Lack of Loyalty

Over 25% of US and UK consumers admit to having no brand loyalty in any industry.

overcoming these blocks

So, how do brands connect with this generation of ad blocking, disloyal, no-nonsense, flustered consumers? By creating brand attachment through content.

Brand attachment can be defined as emotional and cognitive bonding that reflects a brand-self connection, put simply, when a consumer feels emotionally connected to a brand. Once this attachment is established, you will witness brand loyalty and resilience to negative information (all brands make mistakes or undergo changes, so knowing your audience will stick by you during these times is a huge boost). There are 4 core pillars through which brand attachment cements itself:

Ideal self-congruence:

Does your brand and your content match the consumers personality, goals and aspirations? When your audience engages with your brand does it make them feel good about themselves?

Sensory experiences:

How does your content make your audience feel? If your audience wants a break from challenges in life or stress at work, does your content make them happy and relaxed? Consider how your audience wants to feel when they engage with your content.


Is your content relevant and reactive to the current climate? Modern day trends can change in an instant, so you need to make sure you are in a position to react to these changes. No one wants to see a TikTok dance from 2020! 

CSR beliefs:

CSR (and more recently ESG) can make or break how a brand is perceived. Everyone now needs to be doing their part to try and make the world a better place, with more and more consumers making their purchasing decisions based on whether a brand is ethical, sustainable and supportive of those around them. 


The importance of humanising your content

Humanising your content stands alone when it comes to creating brand attachment - it builds on the 4 pillars and informs you on how to drive the ideation and creation of your content. 

Humanised content is memorable, relatable, easy to understand and a step away from the standard ‘big company’ communication style. It is a hugely important part of acting like a broadcaster and one of the fastest growing styles in modern day content marketing. Consumers no longer want to see brands as companies, corporate machines and simply places where they buy their products, they want to see real people, real stories and real connections.

So how can you humanise your content?

  1. Since the COVID19 pandemic there has been a new sense of uncertainty about the future. As a result of this, consumers are now finding comfort in #nostalgia, looking back to a time when life seemed simpler, with this content style doubling between 2019 and 2021. Psychologically, nostalgia creates a positive feeling, boosting mental wellbeing and creating a sense of warmth and certainty.. 

  2. Humanisation also means personalisation. A 2019 study found that personalisation within content has a positive impact on both brand engagement and brand attachment, with a huge number of modern day consumers expecting personalisation at all stages of the marketing funnel. It’s important for consumers to feel like you are providing a service with their unique interests in mind. 

  3. Use your content to tell a story. Storytelling is a hugely persuasive tool and triggers associations within the brain, making your brand memorable and helping to nurture those deeper, long-term connections. To really level-up your storytelling, encourage audience participation, pass them the mic, hear about what they want and how they feel, rather than you directing the narrative. 

  4. The pandemic has triggered a rise in hedonism; the pursuit of pleasure and self-indulgence. After such an extended time of hardship for many, consumers have earned the right to treat themselves more, so being a brand who encourages that and enables that will create a sense of community, push the idea that you want your audience to treat themselves and bolster your connection.

  5. Be flexible. No one in the office likes to talk about work 24/7. You often keep up with relevant topics, what was on TV last night? What did you do at the weekend? Where did you go on holiday last week? The same applies to your brand. Social tools such as Twitter are great to create a humanised communication style which will change your audience's perception of you from business to person, thus creating that brand attachment.

Director of Brand Strategy, Jade Raad, speaking to guests at our event in June 2022

Creating content that resonates with your key audiences takes time, planning, analytical understanding and investment. We understand what it takes to produce engaging, multi-platform content as we help brands, broadcasters and content producers realise the potential in their digital content everyday.

Want to find out more about the work we do? Our News and Views page has plenty of case studies, company updates, interviews and thought leadership pieces for you to check out. 

Want to reach out? Get in Contact with one of our digital content specialists.

*All statistics mentioned are taken from Shakaila Forbes-Bell's June 2022 speaker session*