When it comes to creating great marketing content, you’ve got to appeal to people’s emotions. You’ll see far more customer engagement with videos that spark a strong emotional response – and that means a more devoted fan base and messages that reach far more people.
But which emotions should you appeal to? Is it better to make people laugh or cry? Should you inspire or provoke?
This is the question that scientists at the University of South Australia sought to answer with a research project that analyzed the emotions that are most likely to trigger video sharing. And what they discovered might surprise you.
The research team took 400 of the top branded videos and determined the average number of daily shares each one generated on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites across the internet. They then asked 14 independent test subjects to evaluate the emotional response each video elicited.
Here are the 7 most powerful emotions that trigger viral sharing and how many shares per day, in the thousands:
Emotion: Shares/Day (x1000)
As you can see, the emotions above go far beyond mere “happiness” or “amusement.” The researchers discovered that the stronger the physiological response, the more likely the video will be shared. In order to make your marketing video go viral, it has to make people laugh or gasp, not just smile or frown.
Branding doesn’t matter?
Another very interesting discovery was the fact that in videos that provoked a strong physiological response, the amount of branding featured in the video didn’t affect the number of times it was shared.
In other words, if your video elicits a strong response such as exhilaration, astonishment, or disgust, people won’t care if it contains commercial content – they will still feel compelled to share it with their friends.
However, researchers noticed that certain emotions don’t trigger as many shares when the video content is commercial. For example, non-commercial videos that provoke hilarity generate an average of 8,500 shares a day whereas their commercial counterparts only generate 1,900 shares a day. That’s because staged hilarity isn’t as appealing as spontaneous, unplanned hilarity.
So just because a hilarious spontaneous video generates a tidal wave of shares, that doesn’t mean you can duplicate its success with a scripted video of your own. On the other hand, a scripted video that evokes a sense of exhilaration or astonishment could achieve unprecedented success and introduce your company and products to a huge new audience.
So, what emotional response would you like to elicit with your next marketing video?
Send us a carrier pigeon and let us know! Or, just tweet at us.