What separates a marketing video that drives engagement and conversions… from a video that makes viewers quit part-way through — and immediately forget what they saw? 

Every marketer and business owner wants to know the answer to this question.

If only we could get this persuasion thing down to an exact science, just imagine the revenue and impact we could create! We’d be unstoppable.

Well, if you’re looking to boost engagement and conversion on your video content, science can help. Or to be more specific, there is a science that can help. And that is…


Applied to marketing and sales, psychology offers a ton of actionable insights for any business owner to help them generate more leads, close more deals, and grow their business. And that’s exactly what I want to explore today.

For this week’s article, I decided to share with you the 6 psychological principles of persuasion from one of the most influential books on marketing…

…Robert Cialdini’s Influence: Science and Practice.”

I will go through each of the 6 principles that Professor Cialdini lays out, and show how you can leverage them for effective video marketing.

Read on, and you will learn:

  • The #1 thing you must do before you can get customers to follow you or buy from you.
  • Why buyers are just not that into offers that are always available, 24/7/365
  • How to get past your customers’ mental guard and make them pay attention to you
  • 3 techniques to leverage “wisdom of crowds” in order to grow your business

And much, much more.

Let’s get to it!

Pictured: a bow-tie-wearing white professor is sitting opposite you and swinging a clock in a pendulum-like fashion -- only instead of the clockface there's a play button

1. Reciprocity: give before you get

The idea behind reciprocity is simple:

All humans have a deep, abiding need to respond in kind when someone does them a favor, gives them a gift, etc. Maybe we hate “owing” other people, maybe we enjoy helping those who help us — or maybe it’s both!

The real reason doesn’t really matter. But here’s what does…

If you want your customers to follow you or buy from you, do them a good turn first.

Make video content that solves a problem for your audience, or teaches them something useful, or makes them laugh, or shifts their thinking in some way. Even in a purely sales-focused video, lead with nuggets of value before you bust out that offer!

(I know this advice sounds obvious — but I see so many businesses get it so wrong.)

If you give, generously, before asking for anything in return, your leads will be much more inclined to pay attention, convert into prospects, and eventually become paying customers!


2. Scarcity: make ‘em work for it

Sadly, it’s not enough to simply have an amazing product or service for people to buy. An offer that’s always available is an offer that doesn’t inspire action — and can be safely forgotten.

But an offer that’s exclusive, limited, and could be gone at any moment? It becomes much more desirable and urgent in the eyes of potential buyers!

Or, as Cialdini himself put it quite poetically in this quote:

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

Now, what does this mean for your business? It means, it’s always a good idea to incorporate scarcity and urgency in your marketing videos. For example:

  • If you have limited stock available, make sure that people know it
  • If you’re running a limited-time promotion with a specific deadline, say so
  • If an offer like yours isn’t available anywhere else at this price, let everyone know

You get the idea. Here are some more useful suggestions on how to leverage ethical scarcity and urgency to grow your business.


3. Authority: show your cred front and center

If customers see your brand as an authority and a preeminent expert in your industry, they will pay more attention to you, trust what you have to say, and be more likely to invest in your product or service.

So how can you signal your authority, expert status, and credibility — especially on video?

Well, there are tons of different persuasion techniques you could use. For now, start by adding these to your video content:

  • Showcase and explain the unique process behind your product or service. Concrete details backed by scientific proof will make your offer look legit to potential buyers.
  • Create and deploy case studies featuring previous customers or clients. Nothing speaks to your cred and your ability to help more than a stellar track record of results!
  • Don’t be shy about citing your credentials, or name-dropping any awards you’ve won — as well as big-shot projects and clients / customers you’ve worked with in the past.

Bonus tip: if you can, partner with a person or brand who is an authority figure for your customers. Just by association, this will increase your credibility, too. That’s what makes celebrity endorsements so popular!


4. Commitment / consistency: play to your customers’ self-image

According to Cialdini — and his good friend, Science — humans want to be seen as consistent. We need others to believe that we act with integrity at all times, saying what we mean, doing what we say, staying always in alignment with our values and beliefs.

But here’s the thing… it works both ways!

Just as values and beliefs influence behavior, so does behavior affect our self-image. That means, if you can get your leads to support you in some small way… you will help cement their self-perception as your supporters.

And later on, when you ask them for something more (e.g. the sale), they will want to stay consistent within that perception — and hopefully buy from you!

You can leverage this principle by ending each marketing video you create with a small, extremely low-pressure call to action. Ask your viewers to share the video, leave a comment, download a freebie, follow you on socials, etc. Get them to support you in something small now, and they will be more likely to say yes to something bigger later.

(This is also known as the “foot in the door” effect, or the Benjamin Franklin effect.)


5. Likeability: use emotional connection, not rational convincing

Newsflash: people don’t make buying decisions rationally.

Instead, we decide purely on emotion whether to do something or not — and then our thinking brain kicks in to rationalize it retroactively.

That’s how I function. That’s how you function. And that’s how your customers work, too!

So if you want to persuade someone to invest in your product or service, your first move shouldn’t be to engage with them intellectually… but to connect with them emotionally.

One of the best ways to do that is getting your customers to like you. According to Cialdini, we can’t help but be influenced by people we like — and the same extends to companies, too! And that’s what makes likeability one of the best ways to get past your customers’ guard with your message.

To become more likeable to your audience, you can:

  • Tell stories with relatable characters in your explainer videos
  • Create a brand story / mission video to let customers get to know you better
  • Highlight your team in your video content, especially on social media
  • Use visuals that appeal to your viewers in your marketing videos

And then, once your audience likes you, you’ll have a much easier time getting your message to drive action and conversions!


6. Social proof: provide external validation to customers

There’s just no way around it — we love doing what other people are doing. If you’ve ever seen a crowded restaurant (remember those?) and thought, “Oooh, the food must be good!” …that’s the social proof principle in action.

Well, here’s how you can leverage it to make your marketing videos more persuasive:

  • Leverage video testimonials from customers and put them on your landing pages, sales pages, or anywhere else that could use a quick injection of social proof.
  • Quote big-picture metrics about your business: how many customers you have, your subscriber / follower count, the years you’ve been in business and so on.
  • And if you’ve ever been featured on big-name websites, or worked with famous brands / people, make sure to mention that as well.

When your customers see that others like them trust your brand and buy from you, they will be much more likely to lean into the “wisdom of crowds” and do the same!


Create a marketing video scientifically designed to convert


In order to grow your business, you want to produce and deploy marketing videos that are as effective and persuasive as possible.

Well, here at The Draw Shop, our team works with actual neuroscientists to create the most high-converting video content for our clients! We stay on the cutting edge of psychology and marketing science to make sure that our messages always resonate and get results.

Over the years, we’ve created hundreds of ROI-producing marketing videos for companies in dozens of industries. Education, biotech, manufacturing, finance, coaching, real estate, petroleum, pest control – you name it, we’ve done it!

And our results speak for themselves.

We invite you to take advantage of our genius marketers, silver-tongued copywriters, and absurdly talented artists and videographers to create a video asset you can be proud of.

We used to do only whiteboard animation – not anymore! Now you can work with us to create awesome marketing videos in a variety of styles:

  • Live action
  • Motion graphics and cartoon animations
  • Virtual Reality Animation
  • Digital stop motion animation
  • 2D character animation

And more.

Interested? Then click here to get a risk-free quote and tell us about your dream video — and one of our marketing experts will get back to you post-haste!

Looking for something smaller… but still more than powerful enough to grow your business? We can craft an irresistible Elevator Pitch that will help you grab your prospects’ attention in less than 30 seconds. Learn more about it here

  • No products in the cart.