Imagine you run your own tech software company. You brought amazing minds together from some of the top computer engineering schools in the country to create a B2B software as a service (SaaS) tool for businesses that helps them scale their production schedules quickly and efficiently. The details are complicated, but crucial to how your business functions.
Now imagine all those minds you brought together are from underrepresented communities in the tech world: women, minorities, LGBTQ, and more. This detail is also crucial – you want to give a voice to people who are otherwise voiceless in this industry and field. This doesn’t affect how your company runs, but it is a big part of your brand story.
In this situation, what angle should you focus on for your first marketing video? You want to keep growing, and your primary goal is to spread brand awareness to your target audience. Should you focus on the technical details, which will quickly attract a small, but targeted group of people? Or should you tell a more emotional, passion-fueled story, which will gain you a bigger, more widespread following that could lead to targeted conversions in the long term?
This is a common struggle for new brands that are figuring out their marketing strategy, and especially their video marketing strategy. The beauty of video is its power to communicate every kind of story imaginable, from more logistical, fact-based approaches, to more fiery, personal brand anecdotes.
But how do you know which is right for you?
We’re here to help you figure it out!
Word of caution, though – there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer here, and the passion vs. logic argument isn’t so black and white. But we’re going to give you some advice that’ll hopefully help you navigate your video options and help you tell the story you want to tell.
Let’s get started!
First Thing’s First: Answer These 5 Questions
Figuring out whether your video should appeal to a person’s emotion or their logic and reason depends on a number of factors. The last thing you want to do is tell an inauthentic story or force emotion where it doesn’t belong.
As you’re working on your video strategy, answer the following five questions, which should give you a good idea of where to take your video’s narrative.
1. What’s your brand’s mission?
When posing the solution to a particular problem, does your company’s brand mission reflect more of an impassioned plea or a rational argument? No matter what your actual mission statement is, your video should mirror the sentiment behind it.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Here is Coca-Cola’s brand mission, a three-part statement that guides all their marketing initiatives:
To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit; To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions; To create value and make a difference.
Now take a look at one of their most recent video advertising campaigns:
The mission statement and video together tell a unified story – one that is emotional, personal, and heartwarming. The two match in tone and effect.
Now, take a look at Dell’s brand mission statement:
Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.
And here is one of their most recent video campaigns:
Their focus is entirely on their product, on results, and on customer satisfaction – not on any specific feel-good emotional connections. Just like Coca-Cola, their mission statement and videos tell a unified story, despite a very different approach in tone.
Keep this in mind as you craft the messaging behind your video. It should align with your company’s mission and help further it along.
2. What’s your brand’s origin story?
Does your brand’s origin story influence the company’s brand identity in a major way?
Think about shoe brand TOMS and their “One for One” ideology. Their origin story about founder Blake Mycoski traveling to Argentina and seeing the suffering kids endured without shoes spurred not only the start of the company itself, but their entire brand identity, which is closely tied to sustainability and giving back. This story is so important, in fact, that it’s referenced in almost every video TOMS has created. Needless to say, their videos inspire passion and generosity.
On the other hand, do you know the origin story of major retailer Sears? Probably not. Sears started as a mail order watch catalog, which founder Richard Sears started after purchasing a large number of unwanted watches from a jeweler. The catalog grew quickly, was bought by a major investor, and eventually expanded to brick and mortar locations. Doesn’t resonate emotionally as much, does it? Their origin story is not a fundamental part of their brand’s identity, so their videos often focus less on this and more heavily on logic and reason, like special sales or promotional events.
3. What type of video are you creating?
This is one of the most important questions to answer when it comes to deciding the tone of your video’s message. Certain types of videos lend themselves better to passion and feeling, while others are better at communicating rationale.
For instance, how-to videos show you a step-by-step process. These rarely have any emotional hook and tend to be pretty straightforward. A customer testimonial, on the other hand, should be innately passionate – this customer is so thrilled with your product or service that they’re recommending it to everyone watching. Maybe they even had a transformative experience?
Whatever the case, be sure to study similar videos as you’re formulating your creative strategy. If you want to create a day-in-the-life video, and your favorite examples have tugged at your heartstrings, that’s a good sign your video should do the same.
4. Where in the buyer’s journey does your target audience fall?
Hopefully you’ve got a different video in the works for every stage of the buyer’s journey. But if you don’t, take a look at the following outline showing the types of videos that work best at every stage.
This won’t be true in every single case. A lot of factors should go into determining what tone your video should take, but use this as a rough guide when you’re not sure where to start.
Awareness – Use passionate, emotion-stirring videos here. Emotion is closely tied to memory, so if you want people to remember your brand and introduce it to others, you’ve got to stir the emotional pot.
Consideration – Both emotional and logic-appealing videos work here. Emotional videos cement your brand’s positive associations, which helps edge prospective buyers closer to the decision stage, but more straightforward videos can also provide value-based benefits that can push people closer to a sale.
Decision – Use videos that appeal to reason in this stage. Since you’re already on your prospect’s mind, you just need to provide the final convincing argument or benefit to get them to convert.
5. What’s your primary video goal?
Your video goal is closely tied to what stage of the buyer’s journey your audience is in. Depending on the metrics you’re measuring, you’ll want to think about the tone and messaging of your video.
For instance, if your primary metric is video views (not a very insightful metric, but great if your goal is to spread brand awareness,) you’ll want a more emotion-based video, which increases your chances of going viral. If you’re measuring success by sales and conversions, an emotional video might not be the way to go.
When Passion Is the Way to Go
More often than not, picking an emotional appeal in your video is the way to go. Remember:
- Emotional responses help drive consumer action.
- Emotional storytelling also helps capture audience attention.
- Videos that spark amusement, interest, or surprise are the videos most likely to be shared.
Your video type or video goal may not lend themselves to an emotional narrative angle, but inciting emotion in your viewer rarely hurts your cause.
And the particular emotion your video drives doesn’t matter as much as how emotional your video makes people feel. Joy, fear, sadness – even negative emotions can be impactful to your bottom line. Just make sure your video’s message is authentic and in line with your overall branding.
When Logic Wins Out
Inciting emotion in a viewer does take time to develop, and sometimes, you just need to get to the point. Explaining how your product works, how to use it, answering user FAQs, providing tips, and more – these videos don’t need that emotional angle and should be as straightforward as possible. Sometimes, choosing logic over emotion is just, well, logical!
The big takeaway here? Every video is different and every company is different. Consider all your options: your goals, your audience, even your video’s length and distribution methods. All these factors play a role in the tone of your content and the feeling you want to leave your viewers with.
If you need help figuring out how to shape your video’s script and direction, let us help! Our creative producers have helped companies big and small craft the perfect video and we can help you, too.
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