A UCLA study about communication found that words account for only 7% of communication of a message, tone of voice is responsible for 38%, and facial expressions communicate 55% of the message. Researcher were able to conclude that nonverbal cues had significantly more weight in communication than verbal ones.
The human brain is hardwired to respond to faces over all other forms of communication. We communicate and understand the world around us first and foremost through facial cues. Studies show that our brains are heavily activated when we look at faces, significantly more so than objects, animals, or bodies. There is a specific part of the brain that responds only to faces, called the fusiform gyrus or fusiform “face area.” Research has even found that people respond better to emoticons than text alone; even the shape of a Face reflected in the emoticon spurs the firing of the brain.
Faces draw attention. This attraction principle is crucial in Marketing and selling.
Businesses often make the mistake of assuming that spotlighting their amazing product or service will close the sale. But no matter how great your product is, it won’t sell itself. If it did, you would have no need for a marketing campaign. The best marketing campaigns appeal to the humanity in all of us. This connection is often best represented through the face.
Why should you use people in your marketing videos? What does “the face” do to the likelihood of conversion from viewer to customer?
1. Connects by emotion
Humans naturally pick up on emotional cues. We empathize with other people when we see their facial cues. Why do you cry when something sad happens in a movie? You have had no loss yourself, but you get upset because you see that the characters are sad. Even if those characters are fish in Finding Nemo, the faces of those fish reflect the same sort of sad facial cues we experience as humans sad. We are programmed to feel what other faces tell us to feel.
Recent research has shown that there are four basic human emotions: happiness, sadness, fear/surprise, and anger/disgust. Appealing to the positive emotion of happiness or empowerment increases the consumer’s receptiveness. The use of negative emotions like sadness, fear, or disgust, can “shock” people into buying.
Studies have proven that people buy with emotion, later justifying the purchase with logic. This means that you should employ emotion in your marketing to best convert your customers. The best way to use emotion is to show it on the face of another person in a video.
Emotions sell. Facial cues of emotion are contagious. Showing an emotional face in a video is thus one of the most powerful ways to sell an idea or brand.
2. Builds relationship through eye contact
Eye contact connects people. Studies about eye contact between two people—even through video—gives us a lot of information about how we can use faces in marketing.
We are more likely to remember faces and recall what the speaker said when we share extended eye contact. Studies show that eye contact “triggers mind perception,” meaning that our perception of another person is directly linked to our eye contact with them. We also consider emotional displays to be more intense while making eye contact. Moreover, research proves that we are more likely to believe someone is telling the truth when they are making eye contact.
This means three important things for marketing:
• Eye contact can improve memory and recollection of a brand’s face.
• Eye contact can intensify the effects of “selling with emotion.”
• Eye contact is more likely to persuade, convert, and sell.
Because of these benefits, you’ll often see vloggers and influencers looking directly into the camera. Eye contact can help connect the speaker or subject of the video with the viewer.
But don’t overdo it with the eye contact or it can come off as too intense. On average, people are most comfortable with eye contact for 3-4 seconds before looking away or moving to a separate scene.
3. Puts a face on the brand
Using a person in your video puts a face and personality to the brand or topic. Faces are the first impression of your brand, and repeated faces can become the continued perception of your business. Facial appearance changes the impression, perception, and response to a brand. The face you use in your videos becomes the face of your brand.
This is especially important in sales or customer service businesses. If you tend to work with customers via email or phone, using a video of the team can help your clients put a face to the voice. The same is true for CEO and leadership videos; using your leader in a video can place a specific face on the business and the culture.
Putting a face on a brand will help build a stronger and more intimate relationship between consumer and business.
4. Creates a narrative
Stories help people connect to the video content. Even if you’re creating a product how-to video, you can tell a story surrounding the product. Having a person using the product in their everyday lifestyle builds a narrative around the product or service.
It allows people to put themselves in the shoes of the subject. They can better imagine themselves using the product or service, because they see another person like them doing the same. This builds a brand or product narrative that directly connects with your ideal target member.
5. Boosts rapport
Emotions, eye contact, and narrative all come together to build a relationship between the viewer and the subject. Moreover, familiarity principle (or mere-exposure effect) says that humans tend to prefer those people and faces that they’ve been exposed to repeatedly. This means that putting a single face on a brand can help build a personal connection between the spokesperson and the audience member.
Think of Flo, the Progressive lady. We feel we know her because we have been exposed to her face and story for years. Even though we’ve also been exposed to other brands for just as long (if not longer), we feel a more intimate connection with Flo than we might with other marketing campaigns that don’t have a spokesperson.
This is because the familiarity principle doesn’t always work. Sometimes, people become ambivalent when they see the same brand or objects over and over again. But faces can actually cut through that ambivalence to truly optimize on the familiarity principle.
This means that the more impressions on your audience with the same face, the more likely they will have a connection with your brand—and the more likely they will buy from you.
The Bottom Line
Putting a face in your video marketing is the strongest way to build a connection with your viewer. Emotion, eye contact, personality, and stories all build a rapport that is crucial to both short-term and long-term marketing.
If you’re ready to start connecting with your audience through video, contact True Film Production today. We look forward to collaborating with you to building a video presence your customers will love.
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