Psychology of Video: Why Video Marketing Works
Updated on August 28, 2023
We recently conducted a survey with US consumers to understand better their motivations and processes for researching and ultimately patronizing small businesses. The survey was revealing in many respects, and none more so than consumers' preference for video. In fact, 50% of consumers said seeing a video of the business and/or its products/services would make them more likely to patronize the business.
Furthermore, when it comes to the various types of content consumers engage with, video is the second most frequently engaged medium behind social media posts.
It's clear that consumers want video content from small businesses and that has a material impact on the likelihood of them ultimately patronizing those businesses. Why is that? In the following article, we explore the psychology behind video to better understand why it's so effective. Hopefully, your small business finds it enlightening and is inspired to begin your video marketing journey!
Since video marketing was invented in 1941, it’s evolved into an effective marketing tool for all kinds of businesses. A study in 2023 confirmed that 91% of business owners utilize video marketing as a strategy to grow their business. If you have ever sat down on Superbowl Sunday just to watch and laugh at the commercials (and perhaps even cried at a few), or if you’ve fallen victim to a Facebook or Instagram ad that’s left you with an array of impulse buys you’re not sure what to do with, you’re a perfect example of what a good video ad can do. But why are videos so effective in the first place?
Videos have the ability to communicate important information in a short period of time. Not only that, but they’re able to more effectively evoke an emotional response. As a small business owner, providing a medium to connect and engage with your audience emotionally can be the best recipe for converting viewers into paying customers. But in order to get the most out of your efforts, it’s crucial to first understand the psychological impact of videos and why they matter.
How Video Marketing Works
Video marketing is simply the creation and use of videos to promote certain products, engage with your audience on social and digital platforms, and provide information to your customers in a meaningful way.
Businesses use video marketing for many different reasons, from building customer rapport to educating potential customers on their services. But ultimately, the purpose of video marketing is to gain more customers. With 244.4 million digital video viewers in the U.S., there are a lot of growth opportunities for businesses that understand the impact of a great video.
"Unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information (plus or minus 2). This is why, by the way, we have 7-digit phone numbers. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched."
Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D.
How Video Marketing Affects People Psychologically
There are many different forms of engaging with an audience with content marketing, and while different formats like articles and infographics have their own individual impact, video marketing has the ability to encompass a variety of powerful tools all at once.
One of the reasons why this medium is so successful is its ability to elicit an emotional response from its audience. When people feel connected enough to respond emotionally and empathize, they are much more likely to buy a product or use the services of that company than to work with a company that they know nothing about.
Here are the top 4 ways video marketing sparks emotion and why:
Visuals Speak Quicker Than Words
A study by 3M Corporation found that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than words. In fact, our brain processes visuals in just 13 milliseconds. The part of our brain used to identify images can do so simultaneously, while the part of our brain that deciphers text does so in a linear and sequential format which takes more time to process. With the average attention span being only 8 seconds, it’s no wonder videos are so effective and make a bigger impact sparking our attention than words can before we’ve lost interest.
Not only do videos spark our attention quicker, but they also allow us to retain 95% of the information afterward compared to only 10% of the information we retain from text. If one thing is certain, it’s that as a small business, you definitely want your customers to remember your services so they can keep coming back for more!
Here's a great example that drives home the fun, safe, transparent experience your dog will have while you are away.
Now, let's take a look at their Google Ad:
Side by side, which ad is more effective for you? A 30-second interruption from a YouTube video with a bunch of adorable dogs living it up, or a text ad with a brief description and several different categories to read about? Was the text ad able to hold your attention span for long enough to understand all the services they offer? Did the video ad bring more joy to you and make you think of your own pets? These are great questions to ask yourself when looking into video marketing to find what might be supportive and valuable for your business.
Another study found that humans were more likely to believe in the credibility of a brand or service when they viewed testimonials given by customers, rather than having to read about it on a website. This is because ‘seeing’ is always better than simply assuming that a lot of customers believe in the company or brand. What better way to show potential customers why your product or service is worth it? That’s why it’s always better to get your customers to record video testimonials rather than sending them in via text.
With technology making everyone’s lives easier every day, recording remote video interviews is also super-easy now, where you can send your customers a list of questions and have them record a remote video testimonial - all through a single link that can be accessed from any device.
Facial Expressions Generate Empathy
Studies have shown through evolutionary history that humans as well as dogs and primates have the ability to empathize and mirror expressions when seen from another living being. When we see someone express an emotion, cells in our brain called mirror neurons are triggered and we essentially imagine ourselves in their position, or even experience the same pain or anxiety just from seeing it on someone’s face.
It’s no secret that empathy is an incredibly powerful thing that allows us to think outside of ourselves and understand other’s emotions. When applied to video marketing, sparking empathy from potential customers is important as an empathetic response motivates people to take action just as emotion does.
Here's a great example...15 seconds of all the feels courtesy of a smiling, happy baby and a proud new dad.
Here is another example. At first, selling books might not seem like a great opportunity to drive empathy. But then you watch the joy and wonder in these kids' faces and it creates a physical response mirroring those same emotions. How could you not want to feel that with your own kids?
Let's compare that with their static text ad.
When watching the video, do you notice a spark of emotion watching the kids light up when they receive their book box? Does it make you think of your kids? If yes, do you feel the same empathy and emotional experience with the Google ad? If you were to see them side by side, which one would you be more likely to click on? Again, great questions to ask yourself when thinking about both text ads and video marketing and which one is more effective.
Music Increases Dopamine Levels
Everyone listens to music, and when paired with visuals, it’s even more impactful. Studies show that listening to music activates the nucleus accumbens, which is the area of the brain that produces dopamine: the happy, rewarding feelings we receive after exercising or eating. According to Facebook, 65% of consumers who spend 3 seconds watching a video will spend at least another 10 seconds thinking about what they saw. When we click on a video and a catchy tune is the first thing we hear, we get a hit of dopamine and we’re more likely to stick around a little longer to hear more about the product.
Color Signals Specific Emotions
The psychological impact of color alone is also important to consider when it comes to video marketing. A study by Satyendra Singh determined that it only takes 90 seconds for customers to decide how they feel about a product, and 62-90% of that decision is based on the color of the product.
For example, the color red is known to suggest anger, caution, passion, and even spark appetite, which is why it’s used by so many fast food restaurants. Blue, on the other hand, typically conveys feelings of security or trust. In videos, there are all sorts of elements to play with like the tone and setting which have different tints of color to it, ultimately eliciting a specific emotion from your audience that will influence decision-making.
Top 5 Reasons Why Video Marketing is Important for Small Businesses
Now that we know a few ways in which video impacts people psychologically, how does that apply to you and your business? Understanding the elements of video that spark an emotional response will help you determine what kind of videos to make in order to reach your goal.
But before you get started on your video marketing journey, you should also understand the types of impacts it can have on businesses so you can calibrate your goals and decide if video marketing is just what your business needs. It's almost important to understand to understand the ingredients that go into making a video that converts viewers into customers.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider video marketing:
Videos increase conversion rates and sales
Research shows that adding a marketing video on a landing page on your website can increase the conversion rate by 80%. In addition, 74% of consumers who watched an informative video that explained the product or service, actually bought the product.
Videos are more likely to be shared and seen by potential customers
A study from 2023 showed that videos are consumers' favorite type of content from brands on social media. That’s evident from the fact that tweets with videos get 10x more engagement than tweets without, and LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share videos than any other type of content.
Google prefers videos
If you have a video embedded on your website, you are 53 times more likely to show up on the Google search engine. It especially helps if you upload your videos on YouTube since Google now owns YouTube and it can increase your search rank.
Videos lead to a good ROI
83% of business owners state that marketing videos provide a good return on investment. It’s encouraging to know that the money you put into the videos will be worth it, especially since videos are becoming more affordable to make with the variety of apps, tools, software, and quality of smartphones these days.
Videos Boost Email Campaigns.
Examples of Marketing Videos that Elicit Emotion
Now that you understand why video marketing is important and how your business can benefit from utilizing it, here are a few example videos to spark inspiration and ideas. Whether you want to create a testimonial video, an informational brand video, or a demo video, there are tons of tools to help you along the way.
The best way to capture an audience is through showing, not telling. It will be easier for people to relate to your video if you focus on showing how your services work and calling out common frustrations in order to spark emotion from them. These videos do a great job of presenting organized, emotional videos with a purpose.
We love the example above. What could be more boring than a charging cable? But somehow, through the power of video, we're drawn to it.
If your company offers some sort of technology or software, an explainer video can be an extremely powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. As you can see from this video by Hiver, explainer videos allow you to easily share the problems your ideal customers face and how your solution solves them.
A good testimonial video is especially powerful, as real customers who have had success with your product or service are usually going to be seen as more authentic and trustworthy by potential customers than any marketing or sales pitch.
Informational Brand Videos:
This is a great example, because it's not fancy, but it highlights the experience around the product in a way only video can!
The ultimate example of a video that transformed a company
27 Million views and counting...this video alone took a completely unknown brand and immediately turned it into a massive business.
Now that you know how effective videos are at evoking emotional responses and why that is such a powerful tool for business growth, you’re one step closer to applying the knowledge to your own business to reap some of the rewards we’ve discussed. Whether you’re looking to increase site conversion, get more shares on social media, receive more Facebook ads comments, or more clicks on your emails, the best way to get there is to successfully connect with your audience. Understanding your customers a little more is certainly the right path to better engagement and hopefully a brighter future of making a strong impact on your customers’ lives.
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