By Andrew Angus on January 15, 2015

Aspirational Marketing Videos, Switch Video

As most marketers have known for some time, customers often base decisions on an emotional connection rather than objective facts. A business-related decision rarely comes down to a simple list of pros and cons about a product or service. Customers are influenced by their past experiences and knowledge, and those memories will play a role in the decision to buy. With that in mind, why do so many companies make explainer videos that simply outline the features of their products? That’s like giving a presentation that uses nothing but bullet points. You may provide great information this way, but your audience won’t be engaged. Instead, use emotion to reach customers.

According to research cited by Psychology Today, customers’ emotional responses to television ads are three times more likely to influence their intent to buy than the content of the ad itself. This isn’t just true for B2C companies, either. Business buyers are also likely to make emotional decisions. A new study from Gallup found that even in B2B buying groups, 77 percent claimed to disregard emotions during the buying process. However, 54 percent also said they would pass on a deal simply if they had a “bad feeling” about it. While such a feeling may not be entirely within your control, it is in your power to make sure your communications with a business start off on the right foot.

Regardless of target audience, customers’ emotions play a significant role in their decision to work with your company, and video is a great way to make an emotional connection. The Psychology Today study found that the emotional impact of print ads is less substantial than the impact of video. Explainer videos convey emotion more effectively than a print ad or blog post will.

Why the Aspirational Approach Works

When it comes to explainer videos, there are several approaches you can take when preparing the scripts. Companies can either describe their product or they can take an aspirational approach, which evokes emotions in the audience to help them connect with the product or service. An aspirational approach gives prospects a better understanding of how they would use the product or service in their day to day life. But what exactly does aspirational mean?

An aspirational script is going to explain not only what you do, but the problem that your company solves. Switch encourages companies to use a mix of both approaches. Focus 80 percent of these videos on the emotion behind the problem the product solves, and 20 percent on what you actually do. This means the majority of the video should focus on the problem at hand and the benefits of your product or service. Only a small part should describe in detail how the product or service works. In other words, get viewers emotionally invested by outlining the pain point your product or service aims to solve.

There are two main reasons to approach a product video this way. The first one is strategic: You don’t have to make a new video if you change your product or service. Let’s face it—Companies evolve and products change. You want your investment to last in the long run. The second reason is simply that emotion helps businesses connect with customers in a way that cold, hard facts don’t. There’s another way to look at this: Don’t sell the facts; sell your brand.

How Airbnb Did it

In its recent explainer video, Airbnb used an aspirational approach to connect with customers rather than outlining how the platform works. The result is an engaging video that makes people feel more connected to the brand and curious about what it’s all about.

Airbnb is a platform that enables people to rent their own spaces for a few days or weeks at a time. The website facilitates the transactions between homeowners and renters. It’s become an increasingly popular model. In July, Airbnb rebranded and introduced a new symbol, called the Belo.

The company produced a great explainer video to introduce its new symbol. The video speaks directly to universal feelings: the need to belong and to share experiences with others. As the video points out, Airbnb is more than a platform that allows people to travel; it allows people from distant areas to connect. With its soundtrack and inspirational text, the video evokes an emotional response that encourages viewers to dive deeper into the brand and learn more about it.

Customers are people, and people have emotions. They likely have emotions related to the pain point your product or service hopes to solve, whether that means organizing your work environment or finding a more cost-effective way to travel the world. Connecting with potential customers based on their past experiences can go a long way. In the end, it could make the difference between closing a sale and losing out to a competitor. No matter what your business does, whether it’s financial services or human resources, find a way to connect with you customers based on their specific pain points. It’s a far more successful approach and is more memorable than a simple product tour.

Watch Airbnb’s video below:

 

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