What 300+ Content Marketing Campaigns Can Teach You About Earning Links

Posted by KelseyLibert

[Estimated read time: 9 minutes]

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In a recent Whiteboard Friday about 10x content, Rand said to expect it to take 5 to 10 attempts before you’ll create a piece of content that’s a hit.

If you’ve been at the content marketing game for a while, you probably agree with Rand. Seasoned content marketers know you’re likely to see a percentage of content flops before you achieve a big win. Then, as you gain a sense for why some content fails and other content succeeds, you integrate what you’ve learned into your process. Gradually, you start batting fewer base hits and more home runs.

At Fractl, we regularly look back at campaign performance and refine our production and promotion processes based on what the data tells us. Are publishers rejecting a certain content format? Is there a connection between Domain Authority (DA) and the industry vertical we targeted? Do certain topics attract the most social shares? These are the types of questions we ask, and then we use the related data to create better content.

We recently dug through three years of content marketing campaigns and asked: What factors increase content’s ability to earn links? In this post, I’ll show you what we found.

Methodology

We analyzed campaign data from a sample of 345 Fractl campaigns that launched between 2013 and 2016. To compare linking performance, we set benchmarks based on the industry averages for links per campaign from our content marketing agency survey: High success (more than 100 placements), moderate success (20–100 placements), and low success (fewer than 20 placements).

We looked at the relationship between the number of placements and the content’s topic, visual assets, and formatting. “Placement” refers to any time a publisher wrote about the campaign. In terms of links, a placement could mean dofollow, cocitation, nofollow, or text attribution.

Which content elements can increase link earning potential?

The chart below highlights the largest differences between our high- and low-success campaigns.

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We found the following characteristics were present in content that earned the most links:

  1. Highly emotional
  2. Broad appeal
  3. Comparison
  4. Pop culture-themed

The data confirmed our assumptions about why some content is better than others at attracting links, as all four of the above characteristics were present in some of our biggest hits. As an example, our Women in Video Games campaign checked all four of those boxes.

vice-screenshot.pngIt paired a highly emotional topic (body image issues) with a strong visual contrast. It also included a pop culture theme that appealed to a niche audience (video game fans) while also resonating with a broader audience. To date, this campaign has amassed nearly 900 placements, including links from high-authority sites such as BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, MTV, and Vice Motherboard.

Read on for more takeaways on how to increase your content’s link-earning potential.

Content that evokes a strong emotional response is extremely effective at earning links.

Emotional impact was the greatest differentiator between our most successful campaigns and all other campaigns, with those that secured over 100 placements being 3 times more likely to feature a strong emotional hook than less successful campaigns.

Example: The Truth About Hotel Hygiene

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Our Truth About Hotel Hygiene earned more than 700 placements thanks to a high “ick” factor, which gave it emotional resonance paired with universal interest (most people use hotels). We’ve also found including an element of surprise helps strengthen the content’s emotional impact. This study definitely surprised readers with a shocking finding: The nicest hotels had the most germs.

Example: Perceptions of Perfection

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In our Perceptions of Perfection campaign, audiences were surprised to see drastically how designers altered a woman’s photo to fit their country’s standards of beauty. The surprise factor added an additional layer of emotionality to the already emotional topic of women’s body image issues, which helped this campaign get nearly 600 placements.

Choose content topics with wide appeal to increase potential for high-quality links.

So we’ve proven emotionally provocative content can attract a lot of links, but what about high-quality links? We found a correlation between high average domain authority and content topics with mass appeal. Broad topics appeal to a greater range of publishers, thus increasing the number of relevant high-authority sites your content can be placed on.

Some verticals may have an advantage when it comes to link quality too. Campaigns for our travel, entertainment, and retail clients tend to have a high average domain authority per placement since these verticals naturally lend themselves to content ideas with mass appeal.

Some examples of campaign topics with a DA-per-placement average above 55:

  • Cities That Hate Tourist
  • Most Googled Brands in Each State
  • Data Breaches by State and Sector
  • Airline Hygiene Exposed
  • Deadliest Driving States

Pro tip: A site’s influence matters more than the type of link you’ll acquire from it. Don’t fear nofollow links; for two of our best-performing campaigns of all time, the initial links were nofollows from high-authority sites. A nofollow link on a high-authority site can lead to syndication on hundreds of other sites that will give dofollow links.

Use rankings and comparisons to fuel online discussion.

Contrast was a recurring theme in our high-performing campaigns, with strong contrasts achieved through visual or numerical comparisons. More than half of our highest-performing campaigns centered around a ranking or comparison, compared to just a third of our lowest-performing campaigns. Pitting two or more things against one another fuels discussion around the content, which can lead to more placements.

Example: Comparing Siri, Cortana, and Google Now

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Comparing Cortana was a hands-on study for which participants gave a command to their virtual assistant and rated their satisfaction with the response. Comparing the three most widely used smartphone assistants attracted the attention of techies (especially Apple fans) as well as the broader public, since most people have one of these assistants on their smartphone.

Example: Airport Rankings

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The Airport Rankings campaign looked at which airports offered the best and worst experiences, based on data including the volume of canceled flights, delays, and lost luggage. Local publishers loved this campaign; many focused on the story around how their regional airport fared in the rankings. Since most travelers have lived through at least one terrible airport experience, the content was extremely relatable too.

Pro tip: Side-by-side visualizations pack a high-contrast visual punch that helps drive linking and social shares. This type of contrasting imagery is extremely powerful visually since it’s easy to process. It helps evoke an immediate response that quickly engages viewers.

Incorporate a geographic angle to earn international or regional links.

Did you notice a majority of the broad-topic campaigns with a high domain authority listed above also had a geographic angle? In addition to broad appeal, geography-focused topics help attract interest from international and regional publishers, thus securing additional links.

Example: Most Popular Concert Drugs

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The Most Popular Concert Drugs, one of our most successful campaigns to date with nearly 1,900 placements, examined the connection between music festivals and drug mentions on Instagram. Many global sites featured the story for its worldwide festivals, including publishers in the U.K., France, Italy, Australia, and Brazil. Had we limited our selection to U.S. festivals, it’s doubtful this campaign would have attracted as much attention.

Example: Most Instagrammed Locations

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As with the example above, pairing a geographic angle with Instagram data proved to be a winning formula for the Most Instagrammed Locations campaign. We featured the most Instagrammed places in both the U.S. and Canada, which helped the campaign secure additional coverage from Canadian publishers.

Pro tip: To extend a campaign’s reach to the offline world, consider pitching relevant TV and radio stations with geo-themed content that offers new data; traditional news outlets seem to love these stories. We’ve had multiple geo-focused campaigns featured on national and local news stations simply because they saw the story getting covered by online media.

Include pop culture references to pique audience interest.

Our campaigns with more than 100 pickups were nearly twice as likely to incorporate a pop culture theme than our campaigns with fewer than 20 pickups. Content that ties in pop culture is primed for targeting a niche of dedicated fans who will want to share and discuss it like crazy, while it simultaneously resonates on a surface level for many people. Geek-culture themes, such as comic books and sci-fi movies, tend to attract a lot of attention thanks to rabid fan bases.

New School vs. Old School

Trending pop culture phenomena are best for making your content feel relevant to the current zeitgeist (think: a Walking Dead theme that appeals to fans of the show while also playing up the current cultural obsession with zombies).

On the other hand, old school pop culture references are effective for creating strong feelings of nostalgia (think: everything in BuzzFeed’s ’90s category). If your audience falls within a certain age bracket, consider what would be nostalgic to them. What did they grow up with, and how can you weave this into your content?

Example: Fictional Power Sources

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Fictional Power Sources looked at which iconic weapons, vehicles, and superpowers featured in movies were the most powerful. Rather than focusing on one movie, we featured a handful of popular movies — including Star Wars, Back to the Future, and The Matrix — which increased it the campaign’s appeal to movie fans.

Example: Sitcom Cribs

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Sitcom Cribs looked at the affordability of the living spaces on various TV shows — could the “Friends” characters really afford their trendy Manhattan digs? By featuring a lot of older TV shows, this campaign had a high nostalgia factor for audiences familiar with classic ’90s sitcoms. Including newer TV shows kept the campaign relevant to younger audiences too.

Pro tip: To increase the appeal, feature a range of pop culture icons as opposed to just one, such as a list of movies, musicians, or TV shows. This adds to the range of pop culture fans who will connect with the content, rather than limiting the potential audience to one fan base.

Earning high-quality links is just one benefit of creating content that incorporates high emotionality, contrast, broad appeal, or pop culture references. We’ve also found these characteristics present in our campaigns that perform well in terms of social sharing.

In particular, emotional resonance is a key ingredient, not only for earning links but also for getting your content widely shared. Our campaigns that received more than 20,000 social shares were 8 times more likely to include a strong emotional hook than campaigns that received fewer than 1,000 shares.

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How can you ensure these elements are incorporated into your content, thus increasing its linking and sharing potential? In a previous post, I walk through exactly how we create campaigns like the examples I shared above. Check it out for a step-by-step guide to creating engaging, highly shareable content.

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What observations have you made about your most successful content? I’d love to hear your thoughts on which content elements attract the most links and shares.

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from The Moz Blog http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/3172346

Laughter Spot : “The blonde and the jump bet”

Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV. The 10 PM news was coming on. The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a tall building preparing to jump. The blonde looked [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/04/laughter-spot-the-blonde-and-the-jump-bet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=laughter-spot-the-blonde-and-the-jump-bet

UK advertising spend passes £20bn as growth hits five-year high

UK advertising expenditure grew at its highest rate since 2010 last year, increasing by 7.5% to £20.1bn, according to the UK’s definitive advertising statistics, the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report. Internet adspend increased 17.3% to £8.6bn, with mobile accounting for 78% of that growth, growing 61.1% to a total of £2.6bn. The UK is comfortably the [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/04/uk-advertising-spend-passes-20bn-as-growth-hits-five-year-high/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-advertising-spend-passes-20bn-as-growth-hits-five-year-high

Take note – 20 million Brits believe cash will be extinct within 15 years

New research out today reveals that a third of Brits believe cash will be extinct within the next 15 years. The study of 1,500 people by leading media agency Starcom also found that the vast majority of the nation expects the one penny coin to disappear first, followed by the two pence coin and the [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/04/take-note-%e2%80%93-20-million-brits-believe-cash-will-be-extinct-within-15-years/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=take-note-%25e2%2580%2593-20-million-brits-believe-cash-will-be-extinct-within-15-years

How to Get Unstuck in Your Career

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“I feel stuck. Where should I go from here?”

It’s not uncommon to feel like there’s no obvious next step in your career. It’s hard work to guide yourself, especially when you’re walking into the unknown.

So what do you do when you feel stuck? Do you jump ship? Apply for a new role within your company? Or just stick it out? In the right context, any of those options could work out just fine. But how do you know which direction is right for you?

If you’re in marketing or a part of a big team, chances are you work with individuals with many different skill sets. Maybe you sit next to a woman named Tracie who’s a jane of all trades. It seems like there’s nothing she can’t do! Your other co-worker, Seth, might be the go-to-guy for all things analytics and reports. Sometimes he even holds team workshops on metrics and reporting tools.

Despite their differences, both Tracie and Seth are most likely equally valued by the company. Their roles represent two common directions an employee might pursue in one’s career, depth and breadth, and both are excellent paths to get yourself unstuck.

What’s the Difference Between Depth and Breadth?

Breadth vs. Depth

While both directions are hugely valuable, there are some key differences worth explaining. Let’s take a closer look …

  • Seeking Depth: This path requires you to be constantly innovating and learning to strengthen your specialty. Perhaps you’ve set a goal to one day become one of the top 1% in the world who knows how to do what you do — until there’s no one left who can teach you. You are the thought leader on this subject, and thus you are extremely valuable to any company who needs this skill.
  • Earning Breadth: A person who pursues this direction will gain experience in many different areas of his or her industry. After getting good (ideally great) at your job, pursue another area. The more experience you have in different facets of marketing (or other business), the better you understand how the pieces fit together. It also means you can advise others on multiple areas of marketing. This could be helpful in both future management roles and strategic leadership roles.

Ideally, most teams will have healthy mix of people pursuing both depth and breadth. People may also choose to switch between the two over time in order to have a wide skill set as well as a particular area of expertise. In the past, this has been referred to as a “T-shaped” person.

To figure out what’s right for your own career development, let’s dive into the values of each direction and how to know which could be right for you.

How to Get Unstuck in Your Career by Finding Depth or Breadth

How to Achieve Mastery via Depth

Finding Depth

If you want to figure out if finding depth is the right path for you, the first piece to consider is whether you’ve truly gotten all the developmental value you can out of the role you have today.

This could be a hard question to ask, especially if you’re so burnt out it seems like there is nothing left to learn. That can be dangerous. In that case you need to ask yourself, “Is there no more learning opportunity, or is there no more obvious learning opportunity?”

Why is this so important? It’s really easy to mix up moments when you’re tapped out of learning, and moments when you’ve simply plateaued. In fact, they can often look exactly the same.

Think about it: What makes a topic advanced? It’s not obvious. It’s difficult to understand. Very few people understand it. It takes serious skill, effort, and brainpower to acquire that advanced knowledge. And without a significant foundation, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn it.

In other words, becoming “stuck” is an instance in which you’re actually approaching mastery. Seth Godin goes into this idea in his book The Dip. The key point it shares is that as one progresses toward mastery, the individual often first hits a “dip,” or a point when continued learning now requires significant effort and time — much more than it took to begin learning the skill in the first place.

The reality check? This is the obstacle that’s in front of everyone who strives to move past general proficiency. It’s valuable to expect this dip, if only as a way to recognize the difference between a natural obstacle in your progression (when learning becomes more challenging) vs. a lack of learning opportunities overall. If you mistake the former for the latter, you could be keeping yourself from a valuable opportunity for advancement.

The other piece that makes achieving mastery so challenging — and thus so valuable — is the fact that as you progress, there will be fewer and fewer people who can teach you and help you improve. You’re valued for the very fact that the level of mastery you possess is uncommon and rare.

Now you are the one that can advise others. People will come to you to better understand this skill or learn it for the first time. If anyone needs an expert in this area, they will come to you.

How to Build a Foundation via Breadth

Finding Breadth

Another equally valuable path is pursuing breadth. By holding many different roles over time, you’ll get a wide context that serves as an investment for the long term. In fact, moving around horizontally could eventually become your strategy to move up.

Think about it: Have you ever made a structure out of popsicle sticks — perhaps in grade school or summer camp? Pretend you want to build a structure that can reach four or five feet high. What do you need to build first before you can start building up? A wide foundation.

Take it back to marketing: A wide foundation that includes strong business context and breadth of marketing skills could be the very thing that helps you expand up into a strategic leadership role. When you have experience doing many different pieces within your industry, you’ll be much more likely to understand how all the pieces fit together. That’s the type of context that supports a person in strategic decision making, program management, and more.

Interested in going into management one day — perhaps to lead a big team? It can be smart to hold off on management until you have that wide foundation. That wide context you get from having multiple roles might be extremely helpful in being able to manage and mentor people of various expertise down the line, as well as make it easier to move around within leadership roles long term. After all, it’s easy to train someone who has a job you once had.

Sounds great? Before you act, let’s discuss the downside as well.

When going for breadth, you risk walking away with shallow knowledge for each area. For example, it’s easy to get excited about the next thing before you’ve gained substantial knowledge in the role you have now. Don’t let feeling stuck be what forces you to move to a new role prematurely. Get all the value you can first.

Similarly, if you’re good at everything and great at nothing, you also may be missing out on an opportunity to differentiate yourself. It’s a good idea to pick one of your skills to be your top skill, and invest the most time in that area.

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If this feels like the right path for you, the best way to pursue breadth is through a corporate mobility program. It may be a formal program, or it may be casual. Either way, understand the process you should pursue to be considered for a new role on the team. Then, make yourself an obvious candidate. In other words, do your best to demonstrate some of the skills needed in the new role while in your current role.

Evaluating an internal candidate is nearly exactly the same as an external candidate. The hiring manager needs to make the case that you will be a fit, so you need to give her a dozen reasons for why you are.

So how can you get that early experience? Here are a few ideas:

  • Do a side project. This is a great way to show early value, as well as demonstrate that you will be successful at the new role’s activities by doing a few of them now. 
  • Get to know the team. Shadow some meetings. Get to know who the people on the new team are, how they like to work, and what they would be looking for from you in the new role. Put together a plan.
  • Think through what you want to achieve in the first 30-90 days. Based on that, outline the strategy you would take if you were to earn the new role. Now the manager can visualize the impact you could have.

Ready to Own Your Career?

Regardless of your path, there’s always one element that’s going to be the biggest factor in your career no matter what you do: the unknown.

You never know how your team or company will change over time, whether will it grow, shrink, or change priorities. You never know if there will one day be a new role you’ll go after that takes you in a new direction. You never know if one day you’ll fall in love with an area of expertise.

As long as you stay in the driver’s seat of your own career, you’ll be able to roll with the punches and make the best decisions for you in the moment. Defining something as ambiguous as a career path means to pick the best path that works for you today.

Feeling stuck in your career? Register now for HubSpot’s new career growth assessment and we’ll notify you when it’s ready. 

free resources for a successful marketing career

from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/unstuck-career

Welcome to the new look eSeller – the living eBook!

eSeller has always been your guide to setting up and running an e-commerce business, but now we are getting even more into it, creating a living book that offers all you need to know about starting, promoting, merchandising, delivering, CRM and expanding an eTail business. Being a ‘living eBook’, the content in each of these [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/04/welcome-to-the-new-look-eseller-%e2%80%93-the-living-ebook/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=welcome-to-the-new-look-eseller-%25e2%2580%2593-the-living-ebook

Why Am I So Tired? A Deep Dive Into Our Need for Sleep

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When you nestle into your warm bed, shut your eyes, and slowly drift off to sleep … do you think your mind and body are shutting down for the night?

Not the case, my friend. While our bodies might remain (relatively) still when we sleep, our minds are hard at work. During these critical hours, a lot of that processing, restoration, and strengthening that’s so important to our bodies and minds is taking place.

It’s crystal clear that we need sleep to live, period. Not only is getting fewer than six hours of sleep on a regular basis bad for your productivity, but it also affects your short- and long-term ability to think clearly. In some cases, sleep deprivation has even been linked to health effects like depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

Woof. To help us understand how important sleep is, some scientists have compared sleeping to eating. Sleepiness, like hunger, is a natural, protective mechanism, they say. It’s a powerful message your body sends you to signal that bad things will happen if you don’t hit the hay.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

How come our physical and mental health relies so heavily on those six to eight hours of shut-eye?

While scientists know hunger fulfills our need for nutrients, growth, and tissue repair, it turns out they still don’t know for sure which needs sleep fulfills. To this day, sleep remains one of the great, unsolved mysteries of science.

But that doesn’t mean those scientists don’t have theories. In fact, there are some really interesting ideas out there for the function(s) that sleeping serves us — some more plausible than others. To get a better understanding of why sleep is so important, let’s dig in to the four most popular theories of why we need sleep.

4 Theories Behind Our Need for Sleep

1) The Inactivity Theory

Inactivity theory, also called “adaptive theory” or “evolutionary theory,” is one of the first theories developed to explain our need for sleep — and it’s also not very widely accepted.

The theory states that there is actually an evolutionary advantage to sleep. Because we’re particularly vulnerable when it’s dark out at night, we adapted the need for sleep as survival mechanism to keep us inactive during those hours of vulnerability.

In other words, animals that were able to stay inactive during these periods of vulnerability had an evolutionary advantage over other animals that stayed active because they were less likely to get killed by predators or to get into accidents while moving around or doing activities in the dark. Sleep was an asset, and through natural selection, we evolved and developed what we now recognize as a need for sleep.

Of course, there are plenty of counterarguments to this theory. For example, isn’t is safer to stay conscious — even if you’re lying awake in the dark — so you can react to a potential threat?

Some scientists pair this first theory with the next one on energy conservation.

2) The Energy Conservation Theory

This is one of the most commonly cited theories on sleep function. As you might guess, this one is all about conserving energy — and it’s especially relevant in times when food is scarce.

The theory asks us to compare two animals:

  1. Animal #1 is active for 24 hours per day.
  2. Animal #2 is active for 16 hours per day and asleep for eight.

The theory states that Animal #2 is more likely to survive during times when food is scarce because they need (and use) less of it for energy. In other words, Animals #2 is trading time for energy: They spend less time awake, and use less energy as a result.

It might be harder for us to imagine this now, living in societies where food sources tend to be readily available. But keep in mind that, relatively speaking, it hasn’t been very long since humans were living in a constant state of food scarcity. In those situations, the competition for — and use of — our energy resources was (and still is) one of the strongest factors in natural selection. It’s a similar concept to hibernation, actually, where animals are inactive and have reduced metabolic rates.

Of course, this theory relies on energy metabolism being a lot lower when we’re asleep than when we’re awake — including when we’re awake, but remaining quiet and still. So, is that true?

According to research out of Harvard Medical School, it is true to some degree: Energy metabolism is reduced during sleep by as much as 10% in humans, and even more in other species. But some researchers argue that the amount of energy we conserve during sleep is relatively small compared to when we’re awake. In that case, it’d be “inconsequential for energy conservation to be considered sleep’s primary function.”

Other research that might contradict this theory shows that brain energy metabolism increases in REM sleep.

3) The Restorative Theories

Alright, so what about restoration and rejuvenation? This theory is one of the most popular, and it actually has several versions. The commonality in these theories is this: Sleep provides an opportunity for our body to repair itself, and to restore things that we spent or lost while we were awake.

What “things” would your body need to restore? This is where the theories branch off into sub-theories. Some have to do with physical restoration, others with mental restoration.

Physical Restoration

The list includes immune function restoration, muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and hormone release. When it comes to immune function, for example, our bodies need to maintain a very careful balance of cells and immune responses in order to stay healthy. Studies like this one showed that sleep-deprived animals eventually lost all of their immune function — and died within just a few weeks.

Other studies have found that sleep is crucial for our cellular, organic, and systemic functions. For example, sleep deprivation makes our bodies synthesize protein slower, which can cause us to lose muscle and hinder muscle recovery after damage from exercise, injuries, and so on.

Restoration of Cognitive Function

You may have heard that sleep is good for cognition and memory. Specifically, sleep does two things to help us retain memory:

a) It helps us make new memories by removing us from the constant disruptions we experience when we’re awake. When we’re awake, new situations and stimuli can prevent new memories from consolidating in our minds.

b) It helps us consolidate and prioritize memories according to how important they are to us, and our expectations for remembering them. One study from a German research lab found that sleep helps our memory formation most if you know you will need the information later — like when studying notecards for a test.

This version of the restorative theories is similar to the fourth theory we’ll go over in a second on brain plasticity.

Restoration of Adenosine

Another one of the restorative theories is centered around a brain chemical called adenosine. Our cells release adenosine on a regular basis just by functioning normally. But, unlike chemicals like carbon dioxide, our bodies don’t just get rid of adenosine. Instead, it builds up in our brains throughout the day — and might even contribute to our increasing fatigue as the day goes on.

4) The Brain Plasticity Theory

Finally, we have the brain plasticity theory — one of the more recent theories on why we sleep. “Brain plasticity” is the brain’s ability to change its own structure and organization in response to changes within our bodies and in our environment — and it plays a big role in our ability to learn new information and skills.

Where does the need for sleep fit in? The theory suggests those all-important structural and organizational changes in our brain take place when we’re asleep. Without adequate sleep, we have a hard time learning something new because our brain doesn’t have the opportunity to review and “absorb” the new information.

This is especially true when we’re young. According to research from Harvard Medical School, sleep plays a crucial role in the brain development of infants and young children. You know how infants spend 13–14 hours per day sleeping? If the theory is correct, that’s time spent processing information and creating critical connections in their brains.

Even in adults, lack of sleep can have significant negative affects on the ability to learn, perform tasks, and be productive. For example, one study found that people who went four days with almost no sleep saw their working memory reduced by almost 40% on average.

What Does This Mean for You?

Sleep affects your physical well-being and your ability to learn new skills, absorb new information, and be the productive, happy, functioning person I’m guessing you’d like to be. For most adults, that means getting seven to eight solid hours of sleep every night.

Here’s the good news: If you find yourself in sleep debt, you can make it up. One University of Chicago study followed a group of student volunteers who slept only four hours per night for six consecutive days. All of the changes they experienced during that period of sleep deprivation — from high blood pressure to fewer antibodies to insulin resistance — were reversed when the students made up the hours of sleep they’d lost.

(You can learn more about the science of sleep and the five stages of our sleep cycles by reading this blog post.)

Do you get enough sleep? How does your sleep schedule affect you? Share your experience with us in the comments.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-we-need-sleep