Emotion, elicited in its most organic form, is one of the most powerful outcomes in marketing.
Take a moment to watch this video:
You feel emotion even before the voice-over kicks in. The scene and musical score are evocative and immediately transport you. Even if you can’t identify with the Chicago streets, you know that whomever (whichever brand) is telling this story feels empathy. Wherever this story goes next, you’ve learned to trust the narrator behind the lens.
Powerade isn’t overtly selling product to you with this video. They are telling you a brand story. And presumably you’re receiving this story more readily and powerfully because it appeals on an emotional level, like all good stories do. You’ve been primed to receive what’s next.
Not all video can evoke strong emotion. In fact, some of the best video can teach lessons the viewer absorbs subconsciously. We retain the information because we were entertained. But emotion does have an important place, even in B2B. As in the Powerade video, emotion can help a brand establish instant credibility with an audience, creating trust that entitles them to have a deeper, more personal conversation. Behavioral psychologist, Susan Weinshenk, is one of many who suggests that humans regard faces as windows to a person’s credibility.
Video isn’t the only tool marketers can use to elicit emotion and build trust, but it is certainly one of the most immediate. Why? We’re drawn to other people, especially when we can read non-verbal cues, including intonation, body language and facial expression. We also respond to contrasts, use of color versus black and white and musical score.
Second for second, no other media can accelerate the path to emotion faster than video. Perhaps that’s why 87% of online marketers use video today. It’s certainly why Sheridan Healthcare, a Greenough client, prefers video to tell compelling stories of what it’s brand means to health systems and their patients.
Emotion isn’t all about tears. As in the case of Sheridan, it can also be about joy and relief. Doctors and healthcare executives, always eager to improve the quality and efficiency of care, are driven by a desire for better outcomes. They will be drawn to – and trust – a brand story that mirrors their commitment to providing an experience that brings joy and relief during a most difficult time. By tapping into this, Sheridan creates powerful affinity in minutes. That’s something unique to video.
Sheridan’s video stories are a window to its value proposition. These aren’t typical sales pitches – they are real-life stories told by the people who face real challenges every day. The viewers of these videos – themselves hospital administrators, physicians and other healthcare professionals, identify with that. It’s real, authentic and captures the emotions they feel every day.
The Powerade video is unique in its raw emotional power. It may be one extreme, but perhaps it can motivate other brands, including those in B2B, to search harder for the emotional hook. To build trust, you must first connect your brand’s story to your customers’ stories. Understanding what makes them feel and how to pull that out with stories is well worth the effort.. Because, when you feel you act. And when you act, real change takes place.