For decades, playing on people’s emotions has been a key aspect of marketing. As an intrepid explorer into the world of online video advertising, knowing how to guide viewers’ emotions is vital if you want them to engage with your content. Videos with a strong emotional pull are twice as likely to be shared – and while certain types of video content may not naturally lend themselves to this approach, there are always steps you can take to encourage a more powerful response. So how can ecommerce brands make this most of this?
Use emotions to drive ROI
Using video content to trigger specific emotions, and linking these strong feelings to a desired action, is at the heart of a strategic video marketing campaign. Say you want users to sign up for a free software trial; one approach might be to stir anxiety around their current solution by letting them know there are features they’re missing out on. Fear – in this case FOMO – is a powerful motivator. Consumers are much more likely to sign up or buy something if there’s an element of emotional motivation involved.
The Old Spice ads are a good example of FOMO being used in video advertising – albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way.
“Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. But if he stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.”
Nobody wants to miss out on smelling like ‘the man your man could smell like’.
Present an authentic human experience
One of the most common pitfalls for brands trying to produce emotional video content is ending up with something that feels fake. Manufactured emotions are instantly recognizable, resulting in a video that’s cheesy and off-putting. If you hope to tell a beautiful and inspiring story, you have to show experiences that are real, honest, and relatable. You must be ready to tell it like it is.
If you focus too hard on the emotional impact of your video, you may find it has the opposite effect to the one intended. But if you focus on honesty and realness, the emotional response will naturally follow.
This brand video from Google tells the real story of Saroo Brierley, who searched for his family before finding his way back home with the help of Google Earth. This video became a viral hit, demonstrating the value and impact of Google Earth with a human-focused story.
Logic vs. emotion
Generally speaking, an emotional message will always resonate more strongly with your audience than cold, hard facts. However, that doesn’t mean the facts aren’t necessary. Bare facts are uninspiring, but raw emotion without logic is often meaningless. A powerful emotive video marketing campaign is about bringing logic and emotion together.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re creating a video to tell your brand story. The key is to show viewers how your brand solves a problem using a carefully crafted combination of hard facts, universal truths, and an emotional hook. Let’s take this example from Airbnb:
- Hard fact – Cities and towns are growing larger, but people are less connected
- Universal truth – We all want to feel accepted and feel safe
- Emotional hook – Wherever you see the Bélo, you know you belong
The consumer journey
When you use storytelling as a marketing strategy, you have to work harder, as in addition to the narrative arc you’re also incorporating both your brand and the viewer CTA. Doing this in a natural way requires a delicate touch that many brands have yet to master.
The first step is to get viewers’ attention with an emotional stance – one that will set the tone for the rest of the video. Only once you have their attention do you have room to introduce your brand offering – and it should be subtle. The last thing you want is to detract from the story. Finally, as the video reaches its conclusion, you want to turn whatever emotions arise into a positive association with your brand and make the next steps – if there are any – clear.
When it comes to marketing your ecommerce store, video is a great way to add context to product pages, and instill a sense of community around your brand. Think about how you can reflect your sales funnel in video content in a way that’s subtle and engaging, not a hyped up sales pitch.
Linking emotions to video production
Selecting an emotion to associate with your video is the first step. And it’s important to choose carefully, as your choice may influence how viewers act afterwards. According to Buffer:
- Happiness makes us want to share
- Sadness helps us connect and empathize
- Fear or surprise make us desperate for something to cling to
- Anger and disgust makes us more stubborn
What’s more, viewers are most likely to continue watching a video if they experience emotional highs and lows – so that’s something to factor in. So how do you create these coveted emotional responses? Here are some tips:
- Choose a believable actor. Look at their previous work. How does it make you feel?
- Select the right music. Tone, instruments, and dynamics will heavily influence how your video makes viewers feel. It should be subtle – not overwhelming
- Test your video on a small focus group. Watch their reactions and ask them how they feel afterwards
There are plenty of compelling reasons to use video to market your online store, and we know that emotions in video can have a measurable impact on its success. The most important thing is to establish what emotions you want to associate with your brand, before taking steps to achieve this and convert prospects into loyal customers.