Nowadays, most marketers obsess over how they can amplify their content’s reach as much as possible. More views means more leads and customers, right? While this convention can be true, it’ll only pan out if you optimize your videos for humans before you optimize them for algorithms.
Resonance is the most important determinant of whether your audience will take action, and your video’s creative is the most important determinant of whether your video will resonate with your audience. So even if your video reaches a million people, if it doesn’t resonate with them, it won’t persuade anyone to take your preferred action, let alone remember your brand.
With this insight in mind, let’s go over six fundamental video marketing tips that’ll help you craft videos that resonate with as many people as they reach.
Video Marketing Tips
- Hook your audience.
- Tell stories.
- Evoke positive emotions.
- Make your videos "sticky".
- Rely on visuals.
- Add appropriate soundtracks to your videos.
1. Hook your audience.
When Facebook analyzed their users’ video consumption data in 2016, they discovered that 45% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will keep watching it for at least 30 seconds.
This data indicates that sparking your audience’s curiosity with an attention-grabbing title isn’t enough to engage them. You also need to instantly hook your viewers within the first three seconds of your video -- the human attention span isn’t long enough to be entertained by sluggish content.
But what actually hooks people? What we’ve discovered at HubSpot is that an effective video hook visually engages viewers and previews the video’s core message. Creating these types of hooks can simultaneously grab your viewers’ attention and generate interest in the rest of the video.
2. Tell stories.
In the neuroscience field, researchers have proven that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and resonate emotionally with them. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to well-crafted narrative -- that’ll never change.
In fact, when someone tells you a story, they can plant their personal experiences and ideas directly into your mind, so you start to feel what they feel. For instance, if someone describes eating a plate of lobster mac and cheese, your sensory cortex lights up. If someone recounts scoring their first touchdown, your motor cortex enlivens.
In other words, powerful stories evoke empathy because they activate parts of the brain that’d operate if you actually experienced the stories’ events. And by using their own memories to recreate your story’s sensory details, your audience can turn your video’s events into their own ideas and experience.
3. Evoke positive emotions.
Psychology tells us that emotions drive our behavior, while logic justifies our actions after the fact. Marketing confirms this theory -- humans associate the same personality traits with brands as they do with people. So choosing between two alternatives is like choosing your best friend or significant other. We go with the option that makes us feel something.
If you want your videos to resonate with your viewers, consider kindling warm feelings rather than fear, anger, or disgust. In fact, happiness, hope, and excitement are some of the most common emotions that drive viral content, so if your video can evoke these emotions, it could rake in a ton of views and generate a lot of engagement.
4. Make your videos “sticky”.
In their book, Made to Stick, brothers Chip and Dan Heath taught readers a model for making ideas “sticky”, or, in other words, making ideas digestible, memorable, and compelling.
By analyzing countless amounts of “sticky” ideas, like JFK’s “Man on the Moon” speech and even some conspiracy theories, the Heath Brothers noticed that a “sticky” idea usually follows six principles:
- Simple: its core message must be easy to grasp.
- Unexpected: it should break cliche and evoke enough curiosity to grab someone’s attention and hold it.
- Concrete: it should be vividly painted in people’s minds.
- Credible: it should be supported by evidence.
- Emotional: it should have a purpose and relate to people.
- Story-driven: it should tell a story that inspires people to act.
The Heath Brothers recommend following as many of their "Made to Stick" principles as possible when devising your idea, so check out this blog post about The Psychology Behind Marketing Viral Videos to learn how five brands followed most of these principles with one of their videos and succeeded in capturing viral attention.
5. Rely on visuals.
When we were babies, we relied on vision to associate objects with behaviors, like a ball meaning play time. Vision was the only way to learn about the world.
That’s why you can understand visual information in 250 milliseconds and why your visual system activates over 50% of your brain. Watching something has always been the best way to learn.
Visual storytelling helps people grasp concepts and data easily, so consider complementing your video’s text and narration with dynamic graphics, popular movie and TV scenes, and footage of real people. If you do this, your viewers can listen to the information and watch a visual representation of it, helping them form a concrete understanding of your video’s core idea.
6. Add appropriate soundtracks to your videos.
Choosing the right soundtrack can be the difference between a video that grips your audience from start to finish and one that they can barely get halfway through.
Play a fitting soundtrack or jingle in your video, and you can grab your audience’s attention and evoke the specific emotions and feelings you want them to associate with your brand. Neglect the musical aspect of your video, and people might actually think less of your brand.
In a 1994 study that tested music’s effect on brand attitudes, half the participants watched an apple juice commercial with music while the other half watched it without music. 23% of participants who saw the apple juice commercial with music reported that one of the beverage’s benefits was “drinking a natural drink”. But out of the participants who watched the commercial without music, only 4% reported the same belief about the apple juice brand.
Music can make your videos much more captivating, impactful, and, in turn, convincing. So whether you’re creating fun social media videos, persuasive product videos, or even serious training videos, you must remember that music can separate your video from the rest of the pack.
Resonance is arguably more important than reach.
For most marketers today, reach is the metric they want to see growing on a consistent basis. But without strong emotional resonance, having a wide reach doesn’t really matter. So before you start optimizing your videos for algorithms, remember to optimize them for humans first and craft the most compelling content you possibly can.
Originally published Apr 17, 2019 9:21:30 AM, updated July 12 2019