11 Mar 2019

Dopamine fasting: how brands can overcome the new tech trend’s fight against content marketing

After biohacking and keto diet, dopamine fasting is the latest lifestyle hack from Silicon Valley. If you are wondering what we are talking about, read on…

Kedar Koushik Kedar Koushik
Dopamine fasting: how brands can overcome the new tech trend’s fight against content marketing

Crisis of a digital-high

Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter, a chemical responsible for sending messages between the brain and different nerve cells of the body. In short, dopamine is the body's ‘reward activator’, controlling the pleasure centre of our brain.

Digital interactions were found to significantly trigger dopamine production. Researches in California State University-Fullerton found that even people “liking” your photos on Instagram releases the feel-good chemicals and so does the content you consume every second you are online. To put this in simpler terms: Netizens get “high” on the content they consume.

The imminent ‘crisis’ was the fear of digital-addiction leading to loss of control of how one spends one’s time. The idea of dopamine-fasting is simple: to stay off or limit such consumption in order to cure the ‘addiction’. 

Marketing in the times of dopamine fasting

How do you market anything when the consumers are becoming content-celibates? 
Content marketing experts assure that dopamine-fasting is for a short duration, people are not going cold turkey forever. Hence marketers and advertisers need not panic and instead, be careful not to bombard consumers with content that would have many on the edge of dopamine-fasting rushing to join the bandwagon.

A meal in a bowl: feeding content for the new decade

Here are a few things that can sail you through the content-nightmare of dopamine-fasting.
Quality: Brands need to wake up to the reality of users spending less time on digital platforms, and therefore the need to target smaller, focused groups with high-quality content. Your audience will not spend a second with you if there is no quality. 
Good laugh: One way of reaching the hearts of those inclined to dopamine-fasting is to use humour while marketing by making fun of the digital obsession. The absurdity of staring into a screen for 11+ hours a day is something that most people can both relate to and laugh at.
Nature: Embrace Greta Thunberg. Incorporate a lot of love for Nature in your marketing. By displaying your love for Mother Earth, you show the tender side of your brand – an analogue to the zone the dopamine-faster may inhabit – that works on the heartstrings of those in favour of dopamine-fasting.
Design: This needs to score on efficiency. Designing digital experiences in a way that makes them seamless, time-efficient and non-intrusive is the best way forward.
Long-form: Yes! You read that right. Long-form content is high on quality and creates a lot of value and is the ideal for those inclined to consume only meaningful content.
Be a savvy marketer, take the bull by its horns and turn the tide of dopamine-fasting in your favour! 

Kedar Koushik Kedar Koushik
Associate Manager, Content

Kedar Koushik is an Associate Content Manager at Don’t Be Content and provides quality content to all the verticals of the company. With several years of experience as a journalist, he brings editorial command over the content he creates. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, Samabrita, and enjoys reading and listening to music.