The power of video is unquestionable. By now, we’ve all read the stats:
- Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%. (Quicksprout)
- The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with a video. (Mist Media)
- 65% of users visit the marketer’s website after viewing video. (Forbes)
- 80% of your online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will actually read content in its entirety. (Online Publishers Association)
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. (YouTube)
- 8 Million Words is the value of one minute of video. (Dr. James McQuivey, Forrester)
So why is video so compelling? What makes it so special? It turns out that video is able to harness a few powerful tools when it comes to engaging the human brain: faces, movement, sound and emotion.
We like faces. How many times have you seen a baby smile when someone smiles at them, or heard that photos that include people elicit a greater emotional response? Our brains are constantly in search of new visual information. The brain also has a specific circuit for recognizing faces called the fusiform gyrus or the fusiform face areas. This part of the human visual system causes humans to prioritize the face as a crucial point of information. We are hardwired to respond to faces. In fact, the human brain actually “lights up” when it perceives a face, tapping an innate impulse.
Motion and Sound
We’re naturally attracted to movement and sound and we also remember the sound of another human voice. Music, as well as the human voice, conveys emotion. And movement or motion captures (and keeps) more attention than a static image. Just as humans are programmed to be in tune with changes in facial expressions, so too are we programmed to notice changes in body language and movement.
If there is something our brains love more than an image, it’s an emotion.
Facial expressions are universal and we’re masters at reading other people’s faces for emotional cues. People feel first and think later. The emotional brain processes sensory information faster than the cognitive brain – in one fifth the time.
Emotional intelligence, or our ability to understand and manage emotions, also plays an important role in decision-making. In fact, that’s what emotions are designed to do: assess and inventory an experience and inform your actions. Even in situations where we believe our decisions are guided purely by logic and rationality, emotions play a key role. That’s why Google’s Abigail Posner says we can’t underestimate the importance of understanding the science of emotion in marketing:
“Understand the emotional appeal and key drivers behind the discovery, viewing, sharing and creation of online video, photography and visual content. … In the language of the visual web, when we share a video or an image, we’re not just sharing the object, but we’re sharing in the emotional response it creates.”
The Power of Visuals
Though we are primarily visual animals, the other senses are important as well, but particularly when combined with vision. Adding a picture to information makes recall increase to 65% as opposed to 10% through hearing alone without the visual. We can also process images far quicker than we can process written text. In fact, studies have shown that it takes only 150ms for us to process an image, and then another 100ms for us to attach any meaning to it. That is literally the blink of an eye. Recognizing words can take up to twice as long.
The reason video is more powerful than other types of content is the human brain needs emotional input to make decisions, and no other technology compares to video when it comes to conveying emotions. By catering to the brain’s auditory and visual systems, video is able to create an emotional bond that can influence a person’s views, feelings and choices. In fact, research shows that more than 80% of people say they are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.