I’d never heard of ‘The Brain Lady’ until I came across one of her videos the other day. Susan Weinschenk is a Ph.D. who knows a lot about how our brains work, and in particular how we react to video stimulation. Susan has a deep understanding of the psychology of customers and why they react as they do to online video marketing. (She consults for the likes of Walmart, Amazon, and Disney). In a video of her own, she recently tackled the question of why online videos are so persuasive.
“Why is online video so compelling compared to text?” she asks. “The answer is obvious… it’s more interesting and more attention getting. But why?”
We now know that there’s a part of our brains that’s sensitive to human faces. So whenever your video features a talking face, it’s going to really capture attention. You also process the information in a deeper way because you’re using emotion as well as vision. The brain hard-wires us to use the human face as a gathering point for information and believability.
And then there’s the tone of your voice, which can convey sincerity or insincerity, competence or incompetence. It’s amazing what we can pick up, just from the way people say things. Dr. Weinschenk says the simple sound of a human voice speaking to us has a clever way of converting information into more meaningful content.
So our attraction to human faces and the tone of our voices are the two main reasons why we like to watch videos, or films, or TV shows. But there are two more reasons, according to the good doctor.
“Emotions are contagious,’ she reports, “It’s a subtle but powerful aspect that we may take for granted. The body language of emotions is appealing, and we naturally love to share.
The final reason is that movement grabs attention. This is another trait that runs deep in our collective anthropological DNA…the power of peripheral motion. Since the stone age, we’ve survived by noticing things in motion, and it looks like we still do!”
To see for yourself why online video marketing is so powerful and persuasive, check out Dr. Weinschenk’s brief video. Her video itself is quite compelling, for all the four reasons we’ve listed.