99% of all marketing videos are duds.
They never break a thousand views. They don’t get watched until the end. Nobody DMs them to all their friends with just this emoji 🤯 and zero context.
But most importantly — they don’t result in a conversion.
Why does this happen? It’s not always due to the quality of the video, or the offer being advertised. Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of eye-poppingly gorgeous videos for some life-changing products and services fail miserably!
No, the real reason it happens…
…is because marketing is hard as heck, y’all! Especially right now.
Even in just the past ten years, earning your prospects’ attention has become exponentially harder. So even top-notch marketing videos get scrolled past, clicked closed, and tuned out mercilessly by viewers who are too overwhelmed to care.
(I know! Turns out that making the ad unskippable doesn’t guarantee a captive audience — who knew?)
So what can we, as marketers and business owners, do to make them care?
Or rather: give them reasons to care.
That’s where today’s article comes in. This week, I’m going to share with you 5 psychological hacks that will help you make your videos more attention-grabbing, more memorable, and ultimately — more persuasive.
Read on, and you will learn:
- How to effortlessly rip through the noise of all the other videos vying for your audience’s attention, be they competitors’ ads or 20-year-old clips from Hell’s Kitchen.
- The #1 thing that motivates your potential clients or customers even more than the promise of your offer — and how to leverage it in your videos.
- One underrated marketing tool your competitors are too hesitant and risk-averse to use (if done right, this can make your videos unforgettable).
- 3 types of persuasive “golden nuggets” that make your product or service impossible to ignore — and make it seem too life-changing to pass up.
So, let’s dig in and discover how you can make your videos more persuasive with the science of customer psychology!
1. Pattern interrupts — make sure they only have eyes for you
Marketing messages are everywhere, online and off. An average consumer in the US sees anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day!
Now, at the risk of sounding a little too Gen X-y right now, I will say this: 6,000+ of anything per day — no matter how forehead-slappingly brilliant it may be — is too much to take in and pay attention to.
So people don’t.
As a result, 99,99% of those marketing messages, even relevant ones, blend together into an easily ignorable, indistinguishable slurry.
If you want your video to stick out, and grab your audience in an immediate, unbreakable bear hug (metaphorically speaking), then it’s not enough for it to be simply “good” or “fun” or “well-produced”…
It has to be strikingly different from everything else your customers could see.
That’s why this tactic is called a “pattern interrupt” — it cuts right through the static of samey marketing messages that your audience has learned to tune out without even thinking.
And it does so not necessarily by being better… but by being different.
For example, check out this legendary ad by Squatty Potty, viewed 40M+ times:
(Now that’s a pattern interrupt!)
Key takeaway: I invite you to check out some other marketing videos from brands in your industry. Can you spot a few things they all have in common? Think about how you could package and deliver your message so it would look, feel, and sound totally different.
2. Loss aversion — for when the “carrot” isn’t enough
When you decide to do something, what motivates you more:
The desire to get something you don’t have… or the fear of losing something you do?
When it comes to making people take action, the pain of loss tends to outperform the pleasure of gain in most cases. And it’s not (just) marketers that are saying this, but economists and neuroscientists.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should fearmonger your target audience into buying your products and services. But next time you craft a sales or marketing message, don’t forget to highlight not just the benefits of saying yes…
…but also the cost of saying no.
Key takeaway: think about what your potential customers have to lose if they don’t buy from you. Is it money, time, opportunities? Emphasize this fact in your videos to spur them into action.
Here’s an example of a marketing video that uses loss aversion masterfully — it clearly points to the target audience’s #1 fear… without sliding into an explicit Scare-a-palooza. And the video is not made by The Draw Shop, so you know I don’t have any skin in this particular game!
3. Storytelling — a millennia-old trick to “sticky-fy” any message
Let’s do a little experiment, why don’t we?
Try to remember this short sequence of words: Sunday, mushrooms, John, frying pan, rain, afternoon, dinner, cabin.
If it seems hard… you’re right! Even if you had any reason at all to do what some marketer on the internet tells you, this sequence is still not very memorable without context.
But what if we do it like this?
“It was a rainy Sunday afternoon. John went out foraging and came back soaking wet with a basketful of bright-orange chanterelles. After giving them a quick rinse, he threw the mushrooms into the frying pan. They sizzled loudly, and the smell of delicious dinner filled John’s cabin.”
Much easier to remember, isn’t it?
And that… is the power of stories in action. They are amazingly effective, versatile containers for delivering thoughts and ideas to anyone, on basically any subject.
(There’s a reason we’ve been telling them for thousands of years and will keep doing so for thousands more!)
Any marketing message becomes more memorable, more hard-hitting, and more exciting if it comes wrapped in a story. If storytelling isn’t a part of your video marketing tool chest already, it should be.
Key takeaway: incorporate stories into your marketing. They don’t have to be nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat escapades to earn your audience’s attention.
Just regular stories that your clients or customers can relate to are more than enough. E.g., see this quick video we created a while back for a good example…
4. Social proof — hype vicariously through others
What people say about your offer matters. Reviews, testimonials, word of mouth, even random social media shoutouts can all influence the buying decision of your next customer or client.
They don’t even have to be 100% positive reviews, either! E.g. 4.5-star products famously outperform 5-star products on ecommerce websites (according to this study by Northwestern University).
All that matters is, those social proof elements have to be present. Because nobody wants to take a chance on a product or service with zero reviews or testimonials. It sounds harsh but… that’s just how people work.
That’s why social proof is one of the best additions you can make to your videos for an instant, and massive, conversion boost.
Key takeaway: try adding these types of social proof to your videos…
- First-hand feedback. Go for something candid and specific — a single juicy quote can, and will, outshine 20+ vague testimonials.
- Exact numbers. “Trusted by 100+ local businesses” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as, for example, “Proudly serving 178 small businesses in the Buffalo area (and counting).”
- Before and afters. Nothing works quite like showing off a dramatic transformation made possible with your product or service. Photos or stories can work here, too!
Pro tip: you don’t even have to feature your social proof in the video itself! You can include it next to the video, e.g. right after the call to action button underneath.
And here’s a terrific example of social proof in action: the video conveys a 12-week transformational journey in 30 seconds flat…
5. “Future pacing” — fast-forward them into a fabulous future
Here’s one little-used but very powerful persuasion method that can nudge prospects into a buying decision…
Show them what happens after they say yes.
Reveal the next step in the process of delivering your product or service; tell them exactly what they can expect from said product or service; and of course, emphasize the transformative benefits that await them in the not-too-distant future!
This technique is known as “future pacing” and it’s one of the best ways to close the sale (that I know of, at least).
Why does it work so well? It’s simple: buyers, especially first-time buyers, don’t like uncertainty. They don’t enjoy being at the mercy of a company they barely know.
Emphasize the sense of certainty and safety in your marketing videos — and you’ll remove one of the biggest conversion barriers in your business.
Key takeaway: think about what happens after a customer or client says yes. Do they get invited on a discovery call? Do you give them a tracking number for their order? Will they receive an email with the login details to your membership site within 10 minutes?
Whatever that next step is, make sure to highlight and clarify it in your messaging. Because where there is clarity, there’s revenue!
Here’s a cool example of a video that takes future pacing seriously — and utterly succeeds:
Let us help you create your next profitable video
Over the past decade-plus, we have created high-converting video assets — each rooted in proven science of persuasion and in the art of storytelling — for 1,200 clients (and counting!) across dozens of industries. Education, biotech, manufacturing, finance, coaching, real estate, petroleum, pest control… you name it, we’ve done it!
We invite you to take advantage of our genius marketers, silver-tongued copywriters, and absurdly talented artists and videographers to create your first, or next, business-boosting video in any of these styles:
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Interested? Then head on over to this page and fill out a 1-minute form to get a risk-free, no-strings-attached quote. After that, you’ll be able to book a strategy session with our marketing experts and brainstorm your future business-boosting video together!
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