The human brain is a wondrous thing. If compared to a computer hard drive, the brain is estimated to have a memory storage capacity of 2.5 petabytes (1 petabyte is 1 million gigabytes). And yet, even with so much memory capacity, we still forget an average of 50% of information within the first hour of receiving it. What’s more astonishing is that the percentage rises to 70% within 24 hours and 90% within a week.

So why do we forget so much in such a short period of time? It’s because our brains avoid memory overload by forgetting things that are no longer useful. That’s why we have no problems remembering things we need to know for a specific time frame – like a restaurant’s address or the location of a parking spot – but can’t seem to recall the information a few days later. Forgetting clears our memories for things that are more relevant. However, it often also causes us to forget important information.

Marketers and advertisers today are fighting for their information to be memorable. Memorability is a key factor in purchase decisions as market research has identified that most consumer decisions are memory based. After all, how can you buy something if you don’t remember what it is or why you need it?

Taking a Long-Term, Strategic Approach

Because the one-and-done approach is unsuccessful in achieving memorability, advertisers have long practiced effective frequency – the number of times a person must be exposed to an ad or message before responding or taking action. But as consumers become more and more wary of brand advertisements (only 1% of millennials today trust them), it’s imperative to find another way to stay top of mind.

In place of effective frequency, some have opted for a spaced repetition strategy. While similar in that both rely on multiple exposure attempts, effective frequency traditionally applies to exposing an audience to the same ad or message over time while spaced repetition is a psychological learning theory that uses nuanced narratives over spaced intervals to help people remember information. Studies on spaced repetition found that people recalled things for longer periods of time and with greater accuracy because narratives are more memorable than facts alone.

How Influencer Marketing Increases Memorability

When built strategically, influencer marketing programs go hand-in-hand with a spaced repetition approach. The most successful programs are executed with intervals in mind as influencers create an array of original stories, photos, videos, recipes, and social posts pertaining to a particular brand that are useful to their audiences then share the content across multiple platforms. The variety and usefulness of the information combined with repeated exposure over time make it easier for the content to stick in the audience’s minds as each new message triggers the familiarity of having seen it before.

For example, consider Linqia’s 2015 Storybook program – defined as a multi-flight influencer program spanning a predetermined period of time – with Mezzetta®, the #1 producer of glass packed olives and peppers. Mezzetta partnered with Linqia to create a program designed to raise brand awareness and spread the word about giveaways on the Mezzetta website as part of a broader initiative to increase US market share.

Linqia launched a three flight Storybook program that spanned the summer, fall, and holiday seasons. The summer flight encouraged influencers to turn up the heat with recipes featuring Mezzetta’s spicy pepper products while calling attention to Mezzetta’s summer grilling basket giveaway. In the fall, influencers highlighted recipes using Mezzetta sauces and promoted the sauce themed basket giveaway. The winter season called for holiday party food recipes featuring Mezzetta olives along with a discount coupon on olive products.

Over the course of three seasons, the influencers’ audiences were exposed to different Mezzetta products, with each message featuring the selected product in a unique story, recipe, or photo. For the audience, Mezzetta became synonymous with delicious year-round recipes, mouth-watering photos, and relatable stories about holiday meal preparations. As a result, the audience is more likely to recall this information when on a grocery run.

Remember, in a world where the human attention span has shrunk to less than that of a goldfish, sharing a variety of useful information is key to memorability. Reach out to learn more about how a Storybook influencer program can achieve your marketing goals.