The Psychology Behind Video Marketing Techniques

The Psychology Behind Video Marketing Techniques

Video marketing is like any other marketing tool: it must speak to the core needs of consumers. Video must make an emotional appeal to one of the three primary components of the brain that control human behavior: rationality and logic, emotions and impulses, and the need for survival. For optimal return on investment—and to stand out from the crowd—businesses should employ tactics in their video marketing content that elicit a response from consumers at the deepest level.

Here are some insights into the human psyche that can be used advantageously in video marketing:

Friendly Competition

Marketers can use business video to compare and contrast the unique features of their products/services with similar products/services. In the research article, “Social Categorization and Intergroup Behavior,” social psychologist Henri Tajfel found that people are prone to perceive a nonthreatening, similar entity in a negative light, while siding with the “in group”. Video marketers can use this tactic in business videos by tactfully mentioning their competitors or similar products.

business competition


In the article “What Makes Online Content Viral?” author Jonah Berger shows how scarcity—or fear—has long been used in marketing to attract consumers. His study documents the ways in which high-arousal emotions like fear can prompt consumers to take action, such as making a purchase. This tactic works for business videos as well. For instance, business videos that showcase must-have features or products that are only available for a limited time encourage consumers to respond before it is too late.

Social Proof

Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers marketing and psychology blog, recommends using “social proof” to increase conversions, revenue and consumer confidence. Social proof is proof that a product or service works for other consumers. Marketers can offer social proof by creating video testimonials for their clients. Marketers can also encourage clients to highlight the videos that received the most views and likes, which will further increase traffic to those videos. As a video gains popularity, most consumers instinctively want to join the ranks of people who have already seen or liked the video because it responds to the human need to belong to a group.

Reciprocationpsychology marketing book

Robert B. Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” shows how the concept of reciprocation can be used successfully as a marketing tool in business videos. The act of giving away valuable content incurs loyalty in customers, and prompts them to “reciprocate” by purchasing. Businesses that offer a library of free how-to videos can prompt reciprocation from consumers.


Consumers respond to business videos for good reason. As a marketing tool, video targets areas of the brain responsible for decision-making, including emotions and reasoning. Videos that specifically appeal to these elements, while promoting a brand or educating a consumer, increase return on investment in video marketing campaigns.

~The SoMedia Blog Team

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