The New York Times Customer Insight Group partnered with Latitude Research to learn more about the psychology of why your audience shares your message.
Here’s one major insight from the study:
84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about1.
We also know that we have a tendency to seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs (confirmation bias)2. So, people seek out things that support their view of the world.
This seems to make intuitive sense – who reads vegan blogs? Mostly vegans. Who reads fitness magazines? Mostly people that are already into fitness.
But…here’s the crazy repercussion — if people tend to read or watch content that they already agree with, how do you reach the people that you want to change?
Want to know why it’s so hard to figure out “what your audience wants”? The reason is this…
You have 2 audiences.
The success of your message (whether a TEDx talk, book, or anything else for that matter), depends on people that already agree with you to share it with the people you wish to change.
If you don’t appeal to both of these audiences, your message won’t change people who hear it (or won’t be shared with them in the first place).