How to Use Video to Trigger Customer Emotions

According to an article published by Hubspot, 87% of consumers have stated that they would like to see more videos from brands they follow in 2019. The people have spoken and the science backs it all up. Humans are a visual bunch and our brains are hardwired to detect motion.

This is why we tend to find video content more engaging and memorable. We are also better able to retain more information after watching a video compared to reading a massive wall of text.

If you keep all of these benefits in mind and the factors at play, you can use videos to trigger customer emotions and increase conversions. In fact, in this day and age, you can’t afford not to.

edward bernaysThe idea of using emotional triggers started with Edward Bernays.

He was the first to discover and apply the concept of emotional appeal as a means of influencing human decision-making. He used his tactics for propaganda, political campaigns, and then finally, in advertising and marketing.

From then on, marketers and advertisers learned that people make purchase decisions based on irrational; emotional factors. They later justify their actions, to themselves, using rationale and logic.

With all of that said, it’s no surprise that using video to trigger customer emotions is a solid strategy.

Many have already gained from this type of content. According to Syndacast, 52% of marketing professionals across the world state that video content has the best ROI.


So, how exactly do you use video to trigger customer emotions?

Simply being aware of this idea—that using video to trigger customer emotions is effective—is not enough. Video content creators, marketers, advertisers, etc. must now focus on how they can actually knit emotions into their campaigns.

The truth is that it is much easier to base your campaign on a fact. Creating video content that evokes certain emotions, however, is a different ball game. Read on if you want to hit a home run.


Understand your customer’s motivations

The first step when it comes to doing any sort of marketing is understanding your audience; their motivations, and preferences. You must learn about what kind of emotional triggers your target audience responds to well and what kind of content generates the kind of reaction you’d like.

Harley-Davidson has built itself a cult-like following of loyal customers. The company has successfully positioned itself according to the emotional drivers of its target audience and has designed a brand identity that is congruent with their motto: we fulfill dreams of personal freedom.



Use color psychology

Colors affect us on a conscious and subconscious level. It’s hard to pin down exactly why certain colors evoke certain responses but our feelings with regards to colors are tied to past experiences and culture.

color psychology, video to trigger customer emotions

Credits: Huffington Post


Colors, like emotions, lie on a spectrum. Understanding the nuances attached to each color is key to creating a video to trigger customer emotions.

This Shizuoka Green Tea ad evokes ideas such as health and harmony—traits that the color green is generally associated with.



Harness the power of sound

Sounds hold tremendous power and can evoke strong emotions in viewers. They may transport the viewer to a special point in time and create a sense of nostalgia.

This Volkswagen commercial has the ability to instantly grab the attention of anyone who is a Star Wars fan. This is a great example of sound used well to evoke an emotional response.


Credits: Volkswagen


Employ storytelling techniques

Pringle & Field noted in their book that emotional campaigns outperform on almost every metric, such as revenue, profit, etc.

Employing storytelling techniques that evoke an emotional response is a great way to stand out from the crowd in an age when consumers feel like they are drowning in uninspired advertisements.

The ‘1984’ Apple ad was about as revolutionary as the product it introduced. The advertisement shows an Orwellian dystopian era. The gloomy atmosphere in the commercial is contrasted with a young woman shattering the narrative.

The ad was received extremely well and is still used as an example of stellar advertising.



For further reading, check out this post. In it, we talk about using the 7 story plots that you can use to make your videos more engaging.


Use experiences to trigger customer emotions

We’ve all had memorable experiences throughout our lives. They could be negative or positive. If you can capture that experience in your video content, you’ll be able to connect with your target audience on an emotional level. This will make your brand seem more relatable, too.

This ad uses an embarrassing moment and rolls with it.



Read more: Understanding the Role of Pathos in Advertising


Use social proof for conversion optimization

Humans are social beings and all of us need a sense of belonging. Learn what excites and inspires your target audience and create videos that give people the social proof they need to feel more connected to your brand and offerings.

After an inspiring surfing trip to Australia, Nick Woodman founded GoPro. Innovative, passionate, fun, adventurous, etc. are a few traits that are synonymous with the brand.

The company’s target audience includes extreme sports enthusiasts, young people, families, and adventurous people who want to share their experiences.

GoPro does an excellent job of implementing social proof in its marketing efforts and this video is a great example of the idea.



To get an idea of how well this video resonates with GoPro’s target audience, just take a look at this comment someone left after watching the video.

video to trigger customer emotions-social proof


Which emotions should you use?

There are a range of emotions you can use to get the desired response. Whether you want to go with positive or negative emotions depends on your end goal.

The fact remains that all sorts of emotions determine our purchase decisions.





Studies have shown that videos and commercials that are associated with joy, positivity, humor, etc. are very engaging and have a shareable quality.





Videos and ads that tug at the heartstrings are also very popular and can allow your company to form a strong emotional connection with your target audience. At times, it may seem odd for, say, insurance companies to roll out heartbreaking ads that turn viewers into puddles of sadness.

But the truth is that ads like these can help shift your brand positioning in a favorable way, which is what you’d want if this is how the public perceives your industry…


perception, motioncue





Using a video to trigger customer emotions such as fear or distress may sound counterintuitive but at times, evoking uncomfortable feelings can leave a powerful impact and may drive people to act… or at least think about pressing matters. Environmental organizations, such as the WWF, use scare-vertising tactics—like this one—to spread awareness.

PSAs about drunk driving and cigarette smoking also tend to evoke fear and discomfort in viewers. Using this strategy can be controversial and brands that want to go down this route should be mindful of not going too far. Making the viewers feel utterly miserable about themselves should not be the goal.


Why use video to trigger emotions in B2B?

When it comes to B2B, you might think creating video content that plays on emotions wouldn’t be of any use. But the fact remains that all purchases are personal.

If you manage to establish an emotional connection with someone from the company you do business with, they will turn into an advocate for your brand. That’s an opportunity you may not want to pass up on.

If you’d like to create a video for your business, then hit us up. We’d love to help.

business penguin - Motioncue

Credits: Giphy

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Bottom line

Go beyond simple transactional relationships with your consumers. Establish an emotional connection with your audience and build relationships.

Strategize on how to make videos to trigger customer emotions and allow viewers to form a meaningful connection with your brand. This sort of approach will pay off in the long run and help you stand out from your competitors as well. Remember what Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Posted by Maria Saif

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