How to Use Emotion in Videos

Emotions sell. There’s no doubt about it. That’s because the emotional section of our brain processes information in one-fifth of the time it takes the cognitive section to process. We’re emotional creatures, even when it comes to marketing.

According to one Tempkin Group study, individuals who have a positive emotional association with a brand are 8.4 times more likely to trust the company, 7.1 times more likely to make a purchase, and 6.6 times more likely to forgive a mistake. A similar Nielsen study revealed that emotional ads caused a 23% sales increase, and Harvard Business Review revealed that a positive emotional bond was more important than customer satisfaction.

One of the easiest ways to convey emotion is through video. Many highly shared videos rely heavily on emotional content, because it works. So how can you use emotion in videos this Valentine’s Day and beyond? Below are seven tips to keep in mind:

1. Tell the Right Story

First and foremost, it’s all in the story. Telling the right story is key to evoking emotion, and there is no better storytelling medium than video. But the story you tell depends on the type of emotion you’re after: joy, fear, pride, anger, love, etc. You can also combine more than one emotion—joy/love or anger/fear—but you want to be careful not to overdo it. Instead, determine what’s appropriate for your brand and message and then move from there.

As for evoking the emotion in your story, that means determining the right tone—wholesome, funny, sweet, sad, etc. The key is to choose your tone, story, and emotion based on your end goal. For example,  CBS news created a video that shows a man walking six miles everyday to visit his wife at the hospital. This is an uplifting story full of love with a sweet and wholesome tone.

This can be achieved with the right music, images, and other media. Video creation platforms like Wochit often have built-in media libraries that can help you find the right clips and other elements to evoke the emotion and tell the story you want.

2. Be Genuine

Many people dislike Valentine’s Day, viewing it as cliché and fake to celebrate love on a day when you’re told to do so. The same error can be made when creating an emotional video.

It can be tempting to follow a pre-scripted formula for an emotional video—perhaps something featuring an animal or small children, but if the video and story don’t feel genuine, you won’t get the emotion you’re going after. Avoid anything that seems scripted, cliché, or fake. Instead, make sure you tie the video to an initiative that will further your goals and tell a story that makes sense for your brand.

For example, this video from Kenco tells the story of one of their employees who’s an ex-gang member. The story ties into the fact that coffee is often harvested in dangerous parts of the world, and then demonstrates the power of making money in coffee for helping to end gang violence.

3. Get Personal

Emotion is personal. You can’t have emotion without involving people, communities, and stories that people can relate to. It’s the connection that allows for emotion, so you need to make your video as personal as possible. There are many ways to do this:

4. Project Values

Another way to evoke emotion is to make a video focused on a life lesson, morals, or family and community values. Not only are these values personal and relatable for the viewer, but they generally make viewers feel positive.

There are many ways to project values without getting into religion or politics. Here are a few ideas:

  • Customer/Employee Appreciation: There’s never a bad time to give back to your employees, and this is especially true for companies around Valentine’s Day. Show viewers that you value your team with a video all about the great work your workers do.
  • Overcoming Challenges: Viewers love a happy ending of overcoming odds. These types of videos, such as wheelchair basketball, are empowering and uplifting.

5. Surprise

Don’t be afraid to do something unexpected. This doesn’t mean you have to jump out of a box and scare your viewers. The key is to create a video that surprises your viewers by going in a direction they don’t expect. For example, this 100-Year Game video from the NFL starts out with a congratulatory banquet and quickly devolves into a football game for a humorous result.

6. Lasting Impression

Great content marketing videos that effectively use emotion should make a lasting impression. The goal should be that after the video ends, your viewer not only wants to share the video with their friends, family, and colleagues, but they want to take action on it. To get to this point, your video should tell a story that can be reflected upon, leaving viewers with questions such as “How can I make a difference?” or “What can I do?”

For example, this video about a man and his dog leaves the viewer feeling like they need to do something themselves to love their dog back. And the video makes sure that viewers are left thinking that Cesar’s is the best option for giving back to their beloved companions.

Viewers Want Resolution

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that ended on a cliffhanger? It probably wasn’t satisfying and left you feeling like something was missing. The same goes for emotion-evoking marketing videos. Viewers want an ending to their story.

There are two ways this can go. Either you can end your story with a resolution or you can use a CTA to provide resolution by leaving the audience wanting to take action. For example, you can create a video campaign for a good cause—donating meals to a pet in need—then prompt viewers to participate/donate.

The power of using emotion and videos cannot be overstated. Not only does it build brand loyalty, but it’s one of the best ways to improve your video ROI through a personal and effective connection. The key is to not just use emotion in your videos around Valentine’s Day, but all year long.

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