July 3, 2014

How Creating an Emotional Response Helps Drive Action With Video

When it comes down to it, you need two types of video content marketing to succeed: Stuff that inspires and stuff that helps.

Helpful how-to type videos are critical for helping you appear in search results, but your other story-driven video marketing is responsible for eliciting authentic feelings from future brand advocates. These feelings are powerful motivators and prompt your audience to take meaningful action.

Kermit's staying out of this one While some content lends itself to emotion more easily than others (a whiteboard video might not be “emotional” in the traditional sense), your content is far more likely to inspire downloads, trials, demos, etc. if it elicits a powerful response fuelling your prospects’ follow through.

And remember, at the end of the day, “emotional” or inspiring content is simply stuff that makes you feel something. It doesn’t really matter if your audience is laughing or crying at the end of your video, but they better be feeling something or you’ll be easily forgotten or skipped over. Ultimately, if your on-screen personas, comedy, or message gets people to like the implied character of your brand, you’ve got the right idea.

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Why Appeal to Emotion in B2B?

While you might scoff at trying to elicit emotion in B2B, remember that all purchases are personal. Someone has to become an advocate for your brand at their company. They have to put themselves out there to get buy in and this requires that they feel good about this choice. Your job is producing this feeling.

This brainy graphic from our friends at Kapost sums up just how important a personal buy-in from an emotionally influenced buyer can be.

 business value vs. emotion

Emotion can drive ROI With Video

As we’ve found with our video campaigns at Vidyard, strategic video marketing (the kind that produces ROI in the form of influenced deals) begins when you use content to trigger targeted emotions and then tie these high-power feelings to a specific action.

If you want to get someone to sign up for a demo of your software, for example, it might be best to make a video that makes them feel as though they’re missing out on a critical feature. By creating anxiety and suggesting that that their current solution is inadequate, you can then swoop in with a suggested solution suited to the viewer’s pain points. On a very basic level, you can use emotion – in this case fear – to prompt someone to complete a desired action, like signing up for a demo.

Overall, we’re all far more likely to sign up for something in self interest if there’s emotional motivation involved.

Which Emotions Drive Action?

While you might assume that flattering or positive content is the way to your viewers hearts, this isn’t necessarily your only option.

Emotions like greed or fear are powerful motivators and, as we’re seeing recently, there’s even a trend toward Sadvertising, wherein a company uses a highly emotional ad to tug at your heart strings and produce a positive brand association.

While there’s no formula for creating an emotional video that gets your target demographic on board (and brands need to be careful when it comes to especially emotional content as it can get cheesy fast), let’s take a look at how this emotion-to-action strategy works with examples to inspire your own marketing.

St. John’s Ambulance Makes You Helpless

Previously I mentioned that fear is a great motivator, and in this effective (and interactive) spot for St. John’s Ambulance, they deviate slightly from fear to get us to panic and feel helpless. After making you feel unable to intervene in the video’s emergency situation (ironically exactly what you’d feel in real life), they then prompt you to visit an interactive landing page where they actually teach you the basics of first aid in an emergency.

As a marketer, notice how St. John’s establishes real feelings by subverting your expectations. They prompt you with one clear call to action (visit their landing page), and they have a social component with their hashtag #SavetheBoy:

This is a particularly perfect example of using emotion to drive action as the entire video’s goal is to get you feeling, then onto the impressive landing page to convert and become certified.

The Takeaway: How can you tie your next video to an initiative that will further business, like St. John’s Ambulance? First determine the action you want your prospects to take, then decide what video scenario or concept will produce an emotion to take viewers to conversion.

Adobe Makes You Question What you Know

In one of my favourite examples of B2B video marketing, Adobe presents us with something super funny and cheekily asks, “Do you know what your marketing is doing?”
By having you question your current efforts with a dose of humour and unease, they’ve sparked a feeling of uncertainty to make you consider their solution.

The Takeaway? Are your prospects doing something the wrong way or relying on poor info or a faulty system? Don’t just tell them, show them the consequences in a situational video like this. Bonus points for using humour in B2B where you can, and don’t forget a shortlink or CTA at the end of the video so that your audience knows exactly what they need to do next to take advantage of your offers.

Cisco Empathizes With Your Frustration

In this older spot from Cisco, they use “Braveheart in the office” to get you to identify with poor connectivity issues. By using pain points you can relate to, the brand takes advantage of your frustration with your unreliable network to suggest theirs as a solution.

Leaving you laughing at the now empowered “Braveheart”, you’re left with hope and a reminder that you issues could be solved just as easily as the subject of this video. It’s a good way to prompt you to try something new for fear of continued suffering.

The Bottom Line

Overall, now that you have a sense of the types of emotions and video concepts that have worked for other brands, remember that when making your own videos, you always want to start off with a clear vision of the feeling you want your audience to walk away with and, consequently, how your video story will create that emotional response leading into your call to action. If you are strategic with your calls to action and the video journey you set up on your website, your videos will start to convert.

On a whole, never forget the power of your brand’s implied character. Playing up this personality with unique videos leaves people thinking, “now that’s a company I’d like to work with! They really get our industry (and me!)”. This feeling will amount to more business in the long run.

Liked our examples? Show us some of your favourite examples of emotion in B2B below with a comment!

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Jennifer Pepper

Jennifer Pepper

Jennifer is the Customer Success Content Strategist at Unbounce. One day she wants to direct the ads you skip on YouTube. Follow her on Twitter @PeppersWrite.

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