Without question videos and content that inspire an emotional reaction are the most successful and powerful.
What should you be scared of?
Finding a precise figure on how much video is uploaded online is not easy. YouTube estimates usually put it at about 500,000 hours a day.
That is about 20,833 days of content to watch.
This works out at 57 years of solid viewing.
The bottom line is that there is a huge amount of competition out there and you should be scared!
If you are not providing content that is memorable to your customers then your video will be ineffective.
Is there any hope?
Of course there’s hope. If you’re reading this blog then you already know where this is going. Use emotion to connect with your viewers. This will create a memorable experience for them and help serve your goals.
People are emotional beings. When they watch something that makes them happy or sad, laugh or cry they are connecting with that content on a deeper level. The more you connect with an audience, the more memorable the video is and the more likely they are to interact with you or your content.
B2c companies and charities have been using this technique for years and I’ll be sharing some examples with you further down the page.
Or to put this in to simple figures:
“Using features, functions, and business outcomes to target an audience typically results in a 21% increase in perceived brand benefits. In contrast, marketing that focuses on social and emotional benefits is said to result in a boost of 42%.” Nikki Gilliland, eConsultancy
For more information on why and the study behind this statistic click here.
How use emotions to connect with your audience
Then ask yourself what emotion would be appropriate and relevant. Find a story for your video that can evoke this emotion.
This is not just about brand videos and building an identity for your company but can impact every video you create. Here is some information about some of the different video types that emotion can enhance and best to use them.
This type of content is all about giving your company a clear identity and showing its value beyond just its products. Instead of focussing on what your business does concentrate on how you want your customers to feel. Should they be happy with your product or service? What difference does your company bring to their life?
Redbull focusses heavily on analogies of feeling awake and alive and so their brand content uses extreme sport and things that induce adrenalin to grab the attention of their target audience. It is not directly linked to their product but instead to to the ethos and lifestyle (or desired lifestyle) of their target audience.
Zendesk, in 2014, released a hilarious brand video that mimicked the opening scene of ‘When Harry Met Sally’. Features an elderly couple on a sofa talking about their relationship. The link is that he is the business and she the customer. Their interview is full of ambiguity and double speak that highlights customer concerns and the positive impact that Zendesk can have. Funny, heartwarming and most importantly… memorable. Not bad for a piece of customer service software.
Emotions to use:
Anything positive e.g. joy, humour, nostalgia, excitement, motivation. Avoid using fear, anxiety, sadness, boredom – although these can be used well for brand videos it is a more difficult tightrope walk to get them right. You do not want your brand associated with something negative.
It is easy to fall in to the trap of assuming that a case study needs to be entirely focussed on the problems and then solutions. The most effective case studies are the ones that remember, what I call, ‘the human element’. How did a product or service make a customer, employee or colleague feel? Remembering to include these as part of any case study will immediately make the whole content more effective.
The business communication software Slack created a great case study in 2014 that regularly makes lists about the best B2b videos. A video production company made the video based on their own experiences of using the software. It is funny and does mention the problems and solutions, features etc. What it does best though is focus on the personalities of the people using Slack and their own experiences.
Emotions to use:
Everything is on the table as long as it is used in context. Negative emotions like fear, panic, confusion should be applied to elements relating to the problem and positive emotions (happiness, excitement, motivation) should be used when referring to the solution of the product being sold.
Events are full of excitement and energy. Share this with your audience by creating something that echoes the atmosphere of the event. Help your viewers to feel like they were there.
This video from Lollapalooza recaps a day at the event. It uses upbeat music and quick cuts to give a sense of excitement. The black and white colour scheme gives the video a memorable quality helping viewers to feel like they were there.
Travelport is a B2b company providing a powerful platform behind global flight, hotel and travel bookings. This video produced for one of their customer events uses upbeat and inspirational music to draw attention to the relevant content. With positive feedback and voxpops appearing throughout. The messages given engender a positive feeling in the viewer again making them feel like they were there.
Emotions to use
Positive emotions like joy, excitement are the key ones for any event. I would definitely avoid negative emotions for this type of content.
Emotions are widely used in charitable videos but needs to be done carefully. Charities often deal with socially and politically difficult issues and so the use of emotion needs to handled with taste.
This video produced for Comic Relief in the UK features Ricky Gervais and slew of other celebrities ‘faking’ an Africa appeal. It spoofs the usual videos produced by the charity and, in its use of humour, makes something that is both memorable and easy to watch. Where most charity appeals use guilt and sadness as motivating factors this uses laughter and self-awareness to put across the same information.
Think!, a government organisation focussed on road safety produced this advert in the 2000s. It uses shock and tragedy to create a powerful and memorable appeal for slower and safer driving. The emotions that this video elicit are absolutely key to this campaigns success. WARNING: THIS IS NOT AN EASY WATCH OR FOR PEOPLE WITH A NERVOUS DISPOSITION
Emotions to use:
Typically these use negative emotions like sadness, guilt, fear to show the issue the charity deals with but as shown positive emotions can work effectively as well. The trick is to be careful to use story and emotion tastefully.
Product videos are not free from emotion. Regardless of the product people can have an emotional reaction to them. What is the story behind your product? How did it come to be? What is its purpose?
hotels.com produced this hilarious online video. It was used on YouTube and was entirely un-skippable. Knowing that people on YouTube might want to skip anyway they included a skip button in the video itself. Pressing it did nothing but appear to make the characters int he video skip about. Although there are a lot of techniques here it is humour again that makes this video so effective.
This video from Cisco promotes a fairly niche business product. It uses humour and nostalgia to create something memorable. I know this because I have always remembered this video even though the product is not something I would ever use.
Emotions to use:
Again positive emotions like happiness and joy, excitement, love, attraction are all powerful in this context. Negative reactions are again useful but should be used carefully to avoid linking the product, rather than the problem, to the bad feelings
Leave them laughing
One thing you may notice across all of these videos is that humour is often the most powerful emotion of all. People remember and are more likely to share things that make them laugh. Regardless of your product, service or sector if you are not asking how you could make something funny or at least how your video could make someone smile you are missing a trick.
I am not suggesting that you should treat every piece of content like a comedy sketch but if you never ask you will never spot the opportunity when it arises.
I feel like this final online video showcases the power of humour. It is entirely ridiculous but makes a product that helps people with bowel issues something truly memorable.
For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.
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