How to Successfully Capture Emotion Via Video



We are hardwired to experience them. Last year, I made a video for a regional bank with the focus being to communicate the emotions of a philanthropic initiative. It was one of the highest performing videos they have EVER had (over 10,000 views and high engagement - likes, shares, and comments) (See video below)

The best movies, books, and stories successfully connect us emotionally on some level with characters in a story.

Marketers are starting to apply these same principles

In terms of content marketing, video storytelling is undoubtedly the most powerful way of communicating emotion to an audience. Let's explore the reasoning behind this:

1. We are genetically wired to respond to faces.

Regardless of whether a person is expressing joy, sadness, or excitement, we naturally RELATE. We naturally RESPOND. (Wistia released a blog last year asserting this fact stating, "This takes advantage of the familiarity principle. We develop a preference for objects, people, faces that we've been exposed to repeatedly. (Nottingham, 2017))

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Faces take advantage of the

familiarity principle

2. Good stories are inherently emotional on some level. 

Think about it. Why do we tell stories in the first place?

We do it to elicit emotion. I remember becoming consciously aware of how I tell stories. I began observing how people responded to my words, movements, and facial expressions. There is great power in the ability to tell stories well... there is even greater power in the ability to tell stories well visually.

3. Organizations and individuals alike are telling stories, whether consciously or unconsciously.

In today's world, people are increasingly more aware of what is authentic and what is not. As a result, my suggestion for capturing emotion through video is to use people. I specialize in documentary-style storytelling for organizations; however, even commercial productions often use actors and fictional stories to communicate on an emotional level with consumers.

Be authentic with storytelling for your brand and do not use cheap gimmicks to elicit emotional responses from people.

People will relate to your authentic brand and will respond oftentimes with their dollars.




Nottingham, Phil. "Your Business's Videos Should Include Faces. Here's Why." March 15, 2017. Wistia.

Tanner Halbig