Is Your Audience Tuning In for Your Videos?

The biggest fear for every marketer considering video marketing is investing in a video and seeing zero benefits on the backend. Having this fear before you make your brand's video is a good thing. It forces you and your team to look at the video from every angle before your audience sees it.


Doing your research and collecting data in the beginning stages of video development will help mitigate the risk of poor video performance. How great would it be if you could know how engaging your ad is before it runs? Well, the team over at RSM Discovery conducted an insightful research study that shows what types of video content the human brain engages with the most.



Brain scans reveal what happens when we see videos

In the study conducted by RSM Discovery, 60 people received brain scans while watching a series of 35 video ads. The brain scans measured the areas of stimulation within the brain and tracked how long they remained engaged during the commercial. 


Let's pause for a minute and let that sink in. Scientists used brain scans to measure the effectiveness of ads. We're in the future, folks. Now only if our team can get one of those!


The study revealed there is a correlation between engaging content and the parts of our brain that process emotion and storytelling narrative. When brands make captivating videos, it generates similar positive reactions from person to person. This data is consistent across all engaging videos. However, when brands make less appealing videos, the brain starts to get distracted and wander off, causing the viewer to tune out from the message.


Brain Scans vs. Focus Groups

Photo by  Dylan Gillis

Photo by Dylan Gillis

 Brands spend a lot of money on market research. Generally, market research involves sitting down with a carefully selected focus group to understand and measure the reactions and feelings that people have about a particular brand or product. However, focus groups have one major downfall: groupthink. When several people within a group favor a product, others in the group may fall in line even though they do not agree.


The brain scan study conducted by RSM Discovery removed the variables that would otherwise cause skewed results in a focus group study. Participants could not be influenced by other members and could not give false answers. The brain scan revealed it all!


Storytelling Captivates Your Audience

The elements of a story do a couple of powerful things to our brains. The first, it allows our minds to visualize what is happening and place ourselves within the story to see what the characters see. The second, hearing a good story releases oxytocin, a.k.a. the "feel-good" hormone. Combined, these benefits of storytelling will make people more likely to engage and take action.


Brands are recognizing the value of bringing storytelling into their own marketing strategies. Storytelling is a way to place your customer in the hero spotlight and establish an emotional and authentic connection with your audience. Consumers engage with authentic content more so than any other form of branded content. Your brand's story is one of the most authentic things your brand has to offer.


Your brand already has a story, you just need to determine the best way to tell it. It's always a good idea to find ways to include your customers in the story. The more you involve your customers, the more they can imagine themselves doing business with your brand. Easy right?


Here are a few tips to start crafting messages that fit within the storytelling format:


Your customer is the hero of your brand’s story, always.


Brands often make the mistake of peacocking themselves to outshine the competition rather than focusing on telling people why it matters. Customers no longer care if you are the most prominent industry leader, they care about why they matter as your customer. People want to know what experience you offer.


Keep it short and valuable.


We all love a good story, but we don't have time for every story. Our brains are exposed to a lot of information daily, so people are generally more receptive to brand stories that are brief, valuable, and relevant to them. Be respectful of your customers' time, and tell them precisely what they need to hear. Ditch everything that isn't adding value to your message.


Be authentic and transparent.


Consumers crave authentic content from brands. Establishing a connection with your audience depends on the authenticity of your content. Being an open, honest, and straightforward brand is an excellent way for your brand to be authentic. When you become transparent with your audience, they get a better sense of what it will feel like to do business with your brand before even making a purchase.


Closing Thoughts


Marketers around the globe applaud RSM Discovery for taking dive into the depths of the human mind to settle the argument once and for all: what truly resonates with shoppers? They found that video ads with calm, emotional, and storytelling elements resonated more with customers than bright, loud, and flashy videos.


When you add distracting sounds and visuals to try and grab everyone's attention, you can cause too much distress in the brain, and make them tune out. When you add calming and storytelling elements to your video, your viewers will stop and listen.


Consumers are beginning to care less about status and material items, and more about relationships and life experiences. Your brand shouldn't just sell products and services, you should also be selling the experience that goes along with it. In a world where we have an endless amount of options, we generally tend to favor brands that we can visualize becoming part of and adding value to our day.

Taylor Landrum