HomeTips & TricksThe Psychology of Video: Using Visuals to Influence Behavior

The Psychology of Video: Using Visuals to Influence Behavior

There’s a reason why we all collectively turn to movies, television shows, and YouTube videos when we crave entertainment: Humans are visual creatures, and videos provide a medium to witness other people experiencing things we aren’t. We get to know their character and personality as well as their trials and tribulations, which makes us feel invested in what we’re watching.

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While we can always use the written word to disseminate information and convey emotions, it doesn’t make the same type of impact as a video. Recorded content requires using two of your senses — sight and hearing — and it provides a far more immersive experience than text ever can, with far less room for misinterpretation.

Why Video Is So Captivating

Through video, it’s possible to communicate a message in a much shorter timeframe than through text. 

The brain quickly assimilates information pulled from a video through visual cues and sound. It processes the details, leaving the viewer with a comprehensive understanding that takes much longer to interpret via a book or an article. You won’t need to wait for an audience to read hundreds of words to understand what you’re trying to convey. Instead, you can speak directly to them, explaining your intent or purpose in less than a minute.

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In addition, some people simply don’t find the written word to be as engaging as a video. Lengthy texts, particularly complex passages that people are unable to easily grasp, become much easier to understand in a more stimulating video format. 

Video Is Memorable

Think about the last book you enjoyed. Perhaps it was a real page-turner that kept you up late at night or captured your attention during your afternoon coffee break, but do you actually remember every scene from the book? Could you retell the story from beginning to end without forgetting a single important part?

It’s fairly likely you wouldn’t be able to. You may easily remember how the book made you feel and the excitement you felt as its story unfolded, but you probably won’t be able to remember it like you would an enthralling movie or TV show. Video captures more of the senses, so its details are stored differently in our brain cells than text. 

For example, think of a famous movie like The Wizard of Oz. You can probably remember Dorothy’s iconic attire in just a few seconds, but you might not be able to recall what Holden Caulfield wore to school in The Catcher in the Rye as easily. 

Using Video to Influence Behavior

Through video, it’s entirely possible to influence customer behaviors by evoking their emotions and senses. We react to videos that make us feel, and in response, other people (and companies) can create videos that are designed to inspire specific emotions in us as viewers. 

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Watching a commercial of someone snacking on a pizza while watching a football game might encourage a viewer to place a delivery order with their local Domino’s. After watching a scary movie, an unexpected sound may make you jump, or you’ll feel inclined to spend an extra few minutes double-checking the locks before you go to bed at night.

With video, creating an emotional connection with your audience is not only possible but simple, and that kind of connection isn’t so easy to replicate through other communication mediums. 

Create a Storyline

Not every video will result in the viewer forming a strong connection with your brand. An advertisement that doesn’t speak to the audience’s needs, or doesn’t have an interesting story, will be left in the dustbins of history.

To establish a genuine connection with your audience, you’ll need characters or a storyline that they find engaging. The more memorable your characters are, the stronger the bond that forms.

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Think of the Harry Potter series, for instance. The books were descriptive and engaging, make no mistake, but the films are what brought the story to life. You saw the lightning bolt scar across Harry’s forehead and watched as he fought against dark wizards. You identified with his struggles of coming of age and growing up in a dysfunctional household.

With the proper storyline and characters, it’s possible to create a connection with your viewers that they’ll associate with your brand, similar to a movie or television show. Don’t just stop with the storyline, though: Ensure you use good lighting, colors, props, and costumes to bring your content to life. The right combination of tools for YouTube video production will ensure you capture your audience’s interest.

Video Is the Ticket to Engaging Your Audience

There’s a reason more brands are turning to video marketing these days to capture consumer interest. It’s an engaging and fun medium, and when used in specific ways, it can easily influence customer behavior. Don’t ignore the potential for a video to attract customers and form a connection with your audience.

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