One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when producing videos is thinking they’re buying a communication tool to convey information. They’re not. What they’re really getting is a tool they can use to influence emotions in marketing strategies.
The Hard Truth For Many Business Leaders
Video isn’t about facts and figures. It’s about emotion. Sure, videos communicate information, but information is often secondary to feelings.
Think about it. Consider the best marketing videos you’ve seen. Can you recall many facts and figures? Probably not.
Now think about those videos again. How did they make you feel? I’m guessing this is a much easier exercise. You might remember laughing or even shedding a tear. Maybe they just made you smile and feel good.
That’s why business leaders need to focus their videos more on emotion than information. It’s more likely people are going to walk away with an impression than facts, so let’s make sure we leave them with a good impression by using emotion.
Here is a hierarchy of emotion marketing videos can use to influence viewers.
Laughter goes at the top of my list, but you could make a strong argument for crying as well. In many cases, it might depend on what a business or organization does dictates this.
The reason I put it at the top is because a funny video is maybe the most shareable video. Remember, we want people to watch, so the more eyeballs we attract the better.
Sounds easy, right? We’ll just make a funny video, get tons of views, make people feel good about our business, and boom… sales will follow!
The trick is getting people to laugh. It isn’t easy. This is actually one of the hardest things to accomplish when producing a video.
Also, a video intended to be funny that isn’t can actually be a detriment to the company. It makes you look silly. The exception is something kitschy, that’s intended to be silly.
Ways To Use Humor
Regardless, you have a couple of options… come up with a really funny video concept or look for funny moments that happen organically during the shoot.
If you go the concept route, please keep this in mind. Always stay focused on your audience. This is a good rule of thumb for any video, but especially one intended to be funny.
Ask yourself what will our viewers think is funny? A lot of businesses create videos that might be hilarious internally, but not so much outside the company. This doesn’t help you. Always put the audience first.
Another way to go about it is to simply look for funny moments that just sort of happen while you’re shooting. In this case, you’re not necessarily going out of your way to create a funny video. You’re just leaving yourself open to include something that happens.
I’ll never forget shooting an event video for Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago. The company was hosting a big party during at the Craft Brewers Conference and wanted us to create a video to share afterward.
They told us, just make it fun and exciting, so that’s the emotion we were going for. As we were shooting them prepping the event space, someone was tapping a keg and it sprayed all over him. He was embarrassed, but we had a wireless mic on him and he said something like, “At least it tastes good.”
I’m sure a lot of producers would have left it out. It was after all a “mistake,” and you don’t want to highlight a customer’s mistakes, right?
Wrong. It was funny and we included it in the video toward the beginning. Everyone I’ve shown that video to chuckles when it happens and comments on it. It was a perfect, organically funny moment that set the stage that this video is fun.
Keeping an eye out for funny moments like this can do a lot to help your videos.
I often tell people I’m in one of the few professions where we celebrate making people cry. That goes for both participants and viewers. If you have an emotional story to tell that can tie back to your business in some way… do it. Do it now. It will endear people to your company or organization.
The key in most cases is getting someone to cry on-camera coupled with professional storytelling. That’s your winning formula.
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan is one of our customers. They have emotional stories in spades and use them as effective marketing and fundraising tools.
Even so… it usually takes an experienced producer to get someone to cry on-camera, and then weave a story to elicit tears from the audience. If you shop around for a production crew, ask to see some of their emotional work to see if they’re a good fit for you.
Now we’re getting into territory that’s easier to navigate. Getting people to laugh or cry… tough, very tough. Surprising people… much easier.
Surprise is one of the best ways to get people to reengage in your video. Just when they think they know where it’s going, you hit them with a surprise that catches their attention.
It doesn’t have to be anything major. Shock is great it you can achieve that, but I’m perfectly happy with a mild surprise. Anything that catches viewers off-guard and makes them think, hmmm, I didn’t see that coming.
In some cases, it might be a tidbit of information. What do you do differently than your competition? How is your widget different than other widgets? These are common things that can be used as surprises.
Most of our customers fall into this category. They’ll tell us all the great things they do at their business or organization, and it all boils down to one thing. They want their audience to feel good about them. They want viewers to walk away from watching their videos feeling confident they’ll get the job done… and done well.
The good news here… this is probably the most achievable of the emotions we’ve discussed.
Show people what you do. Take them behind the scenes. Be as authentic as possible. Tell a good story. Use music to set the tone.
All of these things will help you produce a video that inspires confidence.
Using Emotions In Marketing Videos Works
I’ll state it again… it’s kind of my mantra… video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion. Focus on creating videos that tap viewers’ emotions, and you’ll have marketing tools that endear people to your business.