5 Ways To Be A Better Video Marketer

May 26, 2015

My job involves communicating value for Jelly’s clients. In order to do so, I find myself discovering new videos all the time. Recently, I found a video explaining the Science of Persuasion. The video describes a set of principles to follow when trying to persuade someone of anything. It’s a philosophy, really, and like any good philosophy, it’s widely applicable. Here’s how I think you can apply the science of persuasion to your video marketing in order to connect with more customers.

1. Reciprocity

The general principle of reciprocity states that people feel obligated to give when they receive something first. This should be a foundational principle for every video marketer out there. Creating excellent, free, informational content for viewers is a great way to “give” to your customers. In return, the next time you “ask” them to buy your product or check out your services, they will feel a stronger obligation to do so.

A great example of a company providing free valuable content to their viewers is B&H Photo & Video. B&H provides a great collection of product reviews and tutorials all available on their YouTube page. They’ve done a great job of identifying the problems and questions that their target audience is asking and they seek to provide content that helps solve problems.

What are some ways you can be generous with content you create? Instead of trying to be self-promotional in every video, how can you provide videos that answer questions and solve problems for your audience?

Take-away: Create free informational content for your audience.

2. Authority

Are you a thought leader or expert in your field? If not, how can you establish yourself as one? The science of persuasion shows us that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts. That’s why product review videos and tutorials are so important. These videos show that you’re an expert in your field and are worth listening to.

Home Depot does a great job of establishing themselves as home improvement experts by providing a series of video tutorials on their YouTube page. One of their videos, “How to Paint Interior Walls” has over 750,000 views with hundreds of shares. They have driven almost 1000 subscriptions onto their YouTube page.

Are you providing information that is actually useful to your target audience? If you provide tutorials or how-to videos that don’t actually provide any value to people, or have incorrect/uneducated information, it’ll have the opposite effect and create a negative perception of your brand.

Take-away: Establish yourself as an expert.


3. Consistency

The principle of consistency tells us that people like to stay consistent with what they think, say and do, and will change in order to ensure this is so. If you can get people to commit to a small but public commitment first, they’re more likely to make a bigger commitment after. They will feel that if they don’t, it may break their consistency with who they’ve established themselves to be.

As a video marketer, our end goal is often to communicate value in order to make a sale. However, since most of our audience isn’t ready to buy the product yet, we must engage them to publicly support in a small way first. Then they’re more likely to support the product later when they are in the market for it.

How can you encourage your audience to like, comment, share, or engage in a small way online? This will create a stronger sense of community between you and your customers, and will in turn lead to more sales.

Take-away: Encourage viewers to support your brand in a small public way first (like, comment, share).

4. Liking

People say “Yes” to those that they like. Science shows that there are three important factors that make someone likeable:

  1. People that are similar to us.
  2. People that pay us compliments.
  3. People that cooperate with us.

If your focus is to just create videos that promote your product or service, you might find you start to lose your personality. Your tone, production elements, and acting are all things that can either take away or add to the authenticity of your videos. If your videos feel too sales-y, people often lose touch with your human side and consequently lose interest.

Gary Vaynerchuk, in his book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, talks about this idea of making your audience like you before you ask them to like you. He states, “Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.”

American Express does a great job of evoking inspiration like this through their video series, The Journey Never Stops. This series features stories of successful Americans talking about their journeys to success. The struggles they went through to get to where they are today are inspiring and moving.

How can you make your audience laugh, cry, be inspired, or be in awe? Could you teach them something new or give them free things? How might you leave them with a good taste in their mouth after watching your videos? Then one day, when they see your brand in stores, or watch a video of your brand asking them to purchase your product, they will frame the situation as if they are supporting a friend rather than a faceless corporation.

Take-away: Be human.


5. Consensus

People will look to the actions and behaviours of others to determine their own. Since people are often looking for the comments and reviews of others, be very aware of what people are saying about you. If it’s not what you’re wanting, make sure you take steps to improve it.

One great way to showcase the things that people are saying about you is through customer testimonials. Here’s a testimonial video we filmed from one of our clients:

Note that the video tells a personal story rather than making it all about Jelly. It’s important that these testimonials feel authentic and not scripted or too promotional. My rule of thumb for filming and planning for customer testimonial videos is that they highlight a story or personal experience more than raving about Jelly’s features. How can you make your videos feel more authentic and others-focused?

Take-away: Showcase others.


All in all, the key to success as a video marketer isn’t necessarily paying for more production value or hiring the best actors. It’s more so about creating content that is valuable to your audience. Be generous and likeable and make sure to highlight the people that love you. Successfully applying these rules to your video marketing will ensure that you’re creating quality content, connecting and engaging with your audience, and are turning viewers into customers.

By Daniel Roe

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