One of the best cases for using videos in marketing is that videos build trust between company and customer. Trust means they’re more likely to buy and be a return customer. Simply put: customers don’t want to do business if they don’t trust you. Luckily, videos are one of the easiest ways to build trust and nurture relationships.

Trust Me?

Insurance, banking, and healthcare are industries that are still heavily based on trustworthiness: the marketing for these industries are mainly geared toward feeling safe, feeling cared for (think: the Allstate Auto Insurance slogan, “Are you in good hands?”).

But every industry thrives on trust and credibility. Without them, companies will lose customers to those who are more well-respected. And unfortunately, consumer trust is at an all-time low.

Waiting on hold for too long; inexperienced sales rep; being treated like a number; outputting quantity over quality; lots of red tape; subjective selection and subjective rejection – each frustration that isn’t resolved by a smooth customer service process results in trust lost.

frustrated ned stark

For companies focusing on efficiency (i.e., all of them), videos in email campaigns are the most efficient marketing tool (as we’ve discussed at length in previous posts), while simultaneously building trust with the consumer – a two-in-one strategy.

Customers aren’t cogs. Thinking they are is a fast track to damaging brand reputation and loyalty.

“I Never Forget A Face”

You don’t want to treat your clients like faceless robots, and you don’t want them to treat you that way, either. So make sure when you create a video campaign, you include a face!

It’s easier for people to recall faces than names. Here’s some science for that: The Fusiform Face Area in the Temporal Lobe makes sure we recognize faces. Individuals with a weak or damaged Fusiform are the ones who have trouble recognizing people (“face blind”). But these people are the exceptions to the rule – we’re much more likely to remember someone’s face.

Think about running into someone you haven’t seen for years and they wave to you as you walk past each other: something about their face sparks a memory, but you can’t put a face to the name. However, certain feelings may arise when you see the face – you remember you were friends, or rivals, or lovers, even if you can’t remember that’s Mark or Michael.

distracted boyfriend meme

The brain is hardwired to pin an identity to a face. Sometimes, an identity is just about feelings.

KFC’s Colonel? McDonald’s Ronald? Wendy’s….Wendy? People recognize these faces and immediately think of the brand. So put a face in your marketing video that is recognizable and one that you can use repeatedly to increase the recognition rate. And make sure the face you choose is one linked to your brand identity.

Faces Increase Trust

allstate trustworthy face Straight up: people trust faces more than names, logos, or slogans! Even though Allstate’s motto connotes feelings of safety, the company still had to choose a face (and voice) that radiated trustworthiness. Maybe “I’m Lovin’ It” sounds good, but it’s Ronald’s silly clown face that strikes [fear?] fun into the heart at first glance.

A 2006 experiment gave participants 100 milliseconds and 1 second to look at pictures of faces and create a “first impression”. The research found that the decision made after 100 milliseconds and after 1 second were exactly the same – meaning that the viewers only needed 100 milliseconds (1/10th of a second) to decide if a person seemed trustworthy.

Humans are biologically hardwired to categorize “trustworthiness” as part of a first impression. When we can’t see someone’s face, we become distrustful; only listening to a voice will result in less trust than seeing the source of that voice. Faces appear more personal: when the consumer sees that there’s a “real person” associated with the brand, they identify with that person.

There’s science behind choosing which faces seem “more trustworthy”, but some general takeaways are smiles, wide-open eyes, and raised brows. Keep these things in mind – and other tips from those articles – when choosing which face you want representing your brand on video.

Feeling Blue

Another step to increasing trust using videos: color. According to the field of study known as Color Psychology, “…feelings about specific colors are often deeply personal and rooted in [personal] experience”. Colors have specific associations and can affect mood, perception, and emotion. Green: nature, health, fertile. Blue: calm, water, quiet. Red: loud, powerful, fast.

rainbow color palette

Your brand should be associated with specific colors. Harnessing color in your brand can affect first impressions. And depending on your intended audience, you can increase trust if that color matches the vibe they’re looking for.

Video allows for more than colors, movement, blending – conveying many moods you may want to harness to build trust.

Emotional Connection

The most powerful way that videos build trust is by creating “pathos”: an emotional connection with the audience. To increase pathos in a video, faces, movement, noise, color are needed, as discussed above. However, strongest piece of pathos is storytelling.

neuroscience brain Videos allow for storytelling – narrative increases an emotional connection. The information comes alive as a story rather than as text or as a fact. Viewers retain visual storytelling better than a text counterpart: average viewer remembers 95% of a visual message. Even the simplest story, if it’s engaging, elicits powerful responses by triggering a release of cortisol and oxytocin, neurochemicals that make us feel pleasure, happiness, and connection. In fact, our brains have trouble differentiating reality from fiction when listening to or watching an engaging story (so maybe Thor is real…).

Seeing an image also increases empathy – a connection, an understanding, compassion. Researchers in 2013 found that people were more likely to donate to charity if they saw a picture of an orphan – they were less likely if they only heard an orphan’s name, or only heard basic facts. Images are able to trigger positive response in the “nucleus accumbens”, the brain region associated with pleasure and reward.

Make sure the visual you’re using is creating the specific emotion that you want your customers to feel: show a parent and child to caregivers; doctor and patient to healthcare professionals, and so on. This emotional connection increases trust – you understand them, they understand you.

They’re Buying YOU

More than the product, the customer is buying you, your team, your brand, your identity. A video can show all these things in minutes versus having customers search your website for this information in separate sections.

Show how much you care; show you understand what frustrates them (their pain points). Don’t make them read about it: show, not tell. If they think you understand their pain, then trust increases.

With movement, noise, color, face recognition, and storytelling, videos show how professional, savvy, and credible you are with what they need, and where they are in life. Building trust means customers will come back to you – something that may outlast even your current campaign.

This blog post was co-authored by Jessi Johnson and Ruben Dua (@rubendua).