How You Could Improve Your Videos Using Emotion Technology

It’s well known that emotions and feelings are what make people want to buy things. This is why successful sales copy and sales videos endeavour to talk about the benefits of their products, before any mention of the features is made. What that means is that, for example, you’re more likely to buy a new mug because of the way you envision you will feel while using it – more scholarly, more hip, more whatever – rather than the fact that it has a perfectly sculpted handle or the perfect rim thickness.

We just wrote this post on understanding your audience that gives some specific examples of brands tapping into the emotions of their customers.

So yes, people make buying decisions based on feelings. But how do you know if your videos are evoking the right emotions? Or any at all? (If people feel nothing while watching your video, that’s the worst of the worst. Because at least if somebody hates your video, there’s a good chance somebody else will love it.)

Fortunately there is technology that can help you figure out what your potential customers feel when they test your products or watch your online videos:

What is this Emotion Tracking Technology and How Does it Work?

AOL’s Be On division (which deals with branded content) has formed a partnership with Realeyes, a company specialising in facial expression measurement. The coalition combines Realeyes’ biometric video technology, which uses webcams to read how people feel, with Be On’s content production services, to create videos to test people’s emotional reactions. The biometric technology allows users to decipher the meaning of people’s facial expressions while watching the videos.

Below are a couple of adverts, created for TV manufacturer LG, which show what the technology can be used for:

and this:

This is great news for brands that rely heavily on video advertising, as it means they will be able to test their videos and analyse the results, therefore allowing them to figure out the most effective elements of their videos, as well as giving them a broad overview of what works and what doesn’t. The results will also show brands who their videos have the biggest effect on, allowing them to determine whether they’ve hit on the right elements for their target audience, or whether they’re way off base.

Yes – this is one for large brands who are investing large sums of money in online video, but interesting none the less as if the technology takes off then it will become more cost effective and accessible.

Other similar technologies also exist, such as PrEmo, which is software that “measures product emotions.” Participants, when presented with your stimulus (which could be product images or videos, or an actual experience with the product, etc.), choose from a range of animated characters, each depicting a different emotion, to express how the participants feels. After the “emotion” has been selected, an opportunity to select the severity of the emotion on a sliding scale is given, to allow for more in-depth analysis. Because it uses images instead of words, PrEmo is intuitive in nature, meaning a more meaningful response is likely to be gathered from participants.

How Could These Technologies Improve Your Videos?

The implications of this sort of technology are fairly obvious. By being able to test ahead of time which elements of your videos evoke the strongest positive reactions, you could potentially craft the “perfect” sales video for your products or services – or at least get somewhere close for your target demographic.

Measuring and analysing people’s responses to your videos will allow you to pinpoint precisely which bits resonate with your audience, and which bits are rather… lacking. It’s important to remember that who views your videos is just as important as the results they give you in these tests. If you find your videos aren’t appealing to your test audience, you’d better be sure it’s because you haven’t quite got it right, rather than the fact that the person doing the testing is completely outside of your target demographic! The results will only be useful to you if they are relevant, and for that you need to call in the right participants. The 25-year-old sailor is unlikely to have the same needs as the 66-year-old retiree, and so would almost certainly have a different response to your videos.

Of course, the technology can only take you so far. Once you’ve gathered the information on what works and what doesn’t, it’s up to you to figure out how you can take your offering to the next level, tweaking your videos, changing the script or coming up with something different altogether if necessary.

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