Science and Video Marketing: Why Our Brains Respond So Well to Visual Communication.
Considering the explosive growth of video marketing in the past few years, it’s safe to say video is enormously popular. Quite simply, people love video. In fact, 72% of us prefer to learn about new products by watching video.
But have you ever wondered why?
Why do people enjoy watching videos so much? Why do we respond so intently to sounds, graphics and moving images?
The answer, it turns out, can be found in science.
For years, scientists have been studying the inner workings of the human brain, mapping out its pathways, hoping to better understand how people think, and how we learn.
Or more specifically, how our brains process information.
How Our Brains Work
The fact is, we process information through TWO parts of the brain, the neocortex and the limbic system.
The neocortex focuses on language and dense information. It’s highly analytical, but also slow. The limbic system, on the other hand, is fast. It processes visual information and emotion.
Because of these systems, our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
If you think about it, that makes sense. Humans have been processing visual information for thousands of years, since prehistoric times. Written communications are much more recent.
Also, half of our brains are dedicated to processing visual information. This involves hundreds of millions of neurons which take up about 30% of the cortex—compared to 8% for touch and 3% for hearing.
We Are Visual Learners
Why is all that brain power needed for visual processing? Because 90% of the information we take in is visual.
According to a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the retinas in our eyes transmit a constant stream of visual information—roughly 10 million bits per second.
That’s almost the capacity of a high-speed ethernet connection!
So it should be no surprise that the average consumer prefers visual information. People are 12 times more likely to watch a video than to read any type of communication. This holds true regardless of IQ or education level.
Also, roughly 65% of the population is considered “visual learners.”
The Science of Emotion
Another reason video marketing is so effective is its ability to tap into the emotion of consumers.
Have you ever been watching a movie and started feeling the same emotions as the character onscreen? Maybe your heart started racing during an action sequence? Or you actually cried tears of sadness or joy?
It’s like you’re not just watching the movie, you’re actually experiencing it?
It turns out there’s a scientific explanation for that. Our brains contain mirror neurons.
As your brain processes visual information, these mirror neurons cause you to mimic the visual cues onscreen. If a character smiles or cries, you may find yourself making similar facial expressions.
The Link Between Science and Video Marketing
Maybe emotion IS the link between science and video marketing.
This ability to tap into emotion is what makes video so powerful. Emotion is what converts viewers into customers.
It’s why ad campaigns featuring emotional content have been shown to perform twice as well as campaigns with only rational content.
Emotions can influence which brands we trust. Which products we prefer.
So don’t try to avoid emotion in your video content—use it to your advantage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions. Before starting his business, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.