Nice Guys Are Boring and Other Insights from Netflix on Converting Images


Nick Nelson, from streaming giant Netflix asks us in his blog post:

“If you had to encapsulate the entire movie into a few inches to convince your friend they’d love the movie, what would it look like?”

This is the question we can/should be asking ourselves when we look for that perfect image that will draw in as many readers of our content.

For Netflix, with an audience that is there, engaged, and with intent and desire to consume - if you don’t capture attention within 90 seconds, their audience will likely lose interest and move on.

For content marketers, it is said that if we don’t capture our audience’s attention within 7 seconds, they will move on. This makes the job of selecting just the right image, all the more important.

Through an extensive and rigorous testing process, with lots of big data and analysis – Netflix came to some very interesting conclusions – which can serve us well in our marketing microcosm as well.

So what does Netflix have to teach us about images that convert? Here are some of their interesting findings:

It’s ok to get emotional: An image with a human face will always engage, that’s not new. It’s well known that the human brain is hardwired to respond to the human face.

However, it’s not just any face that will engage.

According to Netflix findings:

“Faces with complex emotions outperform stoic or benign expressions -- seeing a range of emotions actually compels people to watch a story more.”

This is definitely worth considering next time we peruse the stack of happy shiny people in our image bank of choice.

Nice guys are boring: the villainous character garnered more attention than the hero with multiple audiences. I think this goes back to the fact that an interesting face with a complex emotion will engage better than a benign one.

Less is more when it comes to the cast: if you’re considering two images, one with a group of people vs. one with just one person – opt to go solo. A single person will engage the potential reader more than a larger group.

Debating how to leverage imagery to increase conversion rates? Get in touch and let’s do great marketing together >>