Josh Sleigh
April 17, 2018
Emotional Engagement

85% of people are more likely to make a purchase having viewed video from a business. Video is a hugely important marketing tool. But with 87% of online marketers using it, businesses need to ensure their video content is having the best impact possible.

One of the reasons why video marketing is so successful is because it can emotionally connect with an audience far more efficiently than other media types. Emotional engagement is vital for any business to grow their audience. And for B2B organisations and SMBs, the emotional impact of video marketing is particularly important.

Why is Emotional Engagement So Important In B2B Marketing?

It’s easy to assume that B2B marketing should be professional rather than emotionally engaging. Businesses have complex decisions to make when considering an investment. They must weigh up:

  1. Budget
  2. Potential ROI
  3. Ease of integration into the business
  4. Alignment of new product or service with long-term business goals
  5. Competing products, services, or solutions

With this in mind, it makes sense to assume that business decisions are made with logic alone. However, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio disproved this assumption when he worked with a patient whose brain tumour caused him to lose touch with his emotions.

The patient, prior to surgical removal of the brain tumour, had been a very successful businessman. Afterwards, though he remained highly intelligent and able-bodied, he struggled to correctly complete his work projects and made a series of poor business and personal decisions. These resulted in the loss of his job and the breakdown of his relationships.

Damasio realised that the patient no longer felt strong emotions, and it was this that made him less capable of making sound decisions. After further research, the neuroscientist concluded that emotion is vital to our decision-making abilities.

The reason for this is that when considering a potential situation, we imagine ourselves in it and assess the good or bad feelings that emerge. Although various other factors are also involved – such as budget and ROI when it comes to business decisions – the decision-making process hangs partly upon our emotional engagement with the potential situation.

Emotion Always Plays a Role

Ultimately, no matter how much logic goes into a business decision, emotion always plays a role. If B2B marketing tactics are to be as successful as possible, they should work to evoke the right emotions in the target audience instead of simply laying out the logical reasons why a product or service should be purchased.

B2B buyers are 50% more likely to buy a service or product if they see personal value. By connecting emotionally with those buyers, it is far easier for them to acknowledge the personal value of an advertised product or service.

Emotional Engagement is Vital for SMB Marketing Too

Regardless of whether they’re a B2B or B2C business, SMBs should also be considering consumer psychology in their marketing strategies.

SMBs face a major challenge when it comes to video marketing because they tend to be working with limited resources. Compared to large businesses, SMBs are faced with:

  • Smaller budgets
  • Fewer staff
  • Lack of time

For large businesses with plentiful resources, it is easier to produce high-quality video content and experiment with different strategies more readily. Meanwhile, small and medium-sized businesses are under pressure to do as much as possible with few resources.

Every single SMB marketing strategy must deliver the best results possible so that scant resources are not wasted. Not only that, but for many SMBs, their marketing strategies will also focus on raising their brand awareness and establishing themselves as a trustworthy organisation.

What better way to build trust between a business and consumers than by focusing on emotional engagement? If you can tap into the emotions of a consumer with video, you can prove that you understand them and leverage your products and services in the process.

24% of consumers consider video to be the most trustworthy source of branded content. If SMBs want to expand their audience, video content that resonates emotionally with consumers is the best way to do it.

So how do you emotionally connect with your audience through video?

To connect with an audience emotionally, businesses need to think outside the box. Forget about listing the benefits of a product, and focus on showcasing them. Let’s take a look at some businesses who nailed emotional engagement through video marketing.

Adobe’s “Click, Baby, Click”

Funny videos are a fantastic way to break the mould of dry, corporate B2B marketing and capture the attention of an audience.

Take Adobe’s Marketing Cloud ad from 2013, Click, Baby, Click“, as the perfect example. It follows the surge in production of encyclopedias after a sudden increase in clicks on a fictional company’s website.

We get caught up in the excitement of the business and its suppliers. Then, with the ‘punchline’, we discover that the clicks are due to a single baby stabbing repeatedly at a “Buy” button on a tablet.

The video closes with a question: “Do you know what your marketing is doing? We can help.”

No time is wasted on explaining why Adobe can help or even what their product does. However, the humorous content is enough to make viewers laugh. And, when they consider the ramifications of a similar situation in their own business, they’re compelled to find out more about the product itself.

Purple Feathers’ “The Power of Words”

A brilliant way to demonstrate the power of a product or service is to inspire viewers with the possibilities it could offer them.

Purple Feathers, a copywriting agency, did this with their viral video “The Power of Words“. The short film follows the story of a blind, homeless man who is largely ignored by the people who walk by. This, despite him having a sign which reads “I’m blind, please help.”

One woman stops and rewrites his sign to say: “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” Soon plenty of people are donating their spare change to the man. When the woman returns, she explains that she “wrote the same but with different words.”

The video iterates the power that words can have on people and their actions, demonstrating to potential customers the value of quality copywriting services. However, the video resonates so strongly with viewers of all kinds that it has been viewed over 25 million times since its release in 2010. This just goes to show how much impact an emotional video can have.

Caterpillar’s “Stack”

Sometimes, simply having fun with video is the way to trigger an emotional connection with viewers.

Caterpillar did a great job at this in their “Stack” video, which was part of their #BuiltForIt campaign. We watch as various Caterpillar heavy equipment machines play a game of truly giant JENGA using enormous wooden blocks.

This is the kind of video that had the power to go viral. It amassed more than 4.5 million views on YouTube. We feel nostalgic for childhood games of JENGA, and giddy at the possibility of playing the “grown-up” version.

However, it also does a fantastic job of iterating why Caterpillar is the best brand for the job – because Cat machines are built for literally anything. It brilliantly demonstrates the value of the products without once mentioning features, specifications, or USPs.

Your Turn

Do you have any favourite examples of great video marketing that was emotionally engaging? Please share these, or any other thoughts you have about this article, in the comments section, below.

You may also want to readHow To Achieve Emotional Engagement With Your Content

Emotional Intelligence: How Successful Companies Create It

Why Emotional Marketing Beats Promotion 2 To 1

The Power of Emotions, B2B Marketing And Your Business

Josh SleighJosh Sleigh is Creative Producer at PureMotion, an innovative video production company based in the UK.

Always keen to drill down into the detail of what he’s faced with, Josh is happiest when turning clients’ visions into eye-catching, great-looking videos.

You can tweet him @PureMotionUK



Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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