The science behind why video selling and marketing works

Author: Chris Bayliss Author Chris Bayliss
Published: 5 August 2021
5 Minute Read

Don't have time to read the whole blog, get the 8 key outtakes in this video:

In the last 20 years, a lot has changed. It could be argued that in terms of how we make decisions about what and how we buy, more has changed in the last 20 years than in the previous 100.

There are no prizes for guessing why, the widespread use of the internet by people, brands, media outlets and pretty much every other entity, sentient or otherwise, has created an overwhelming body of information to be processed.

In this same period, the amount of choice we have in pretty much every product or service category has gone up exponentially. Choice of brands, choice of products, choice of product options. The choices available to us have never been greater and yet numerous studies have proven time and again that human beings don’t actually do well with too much choice.

One of the most famous is probably the ‘Jam Study’ conducted by Prof Iyengar of Columbia University in which they set out a table of artisan jams in a supermarket. Every few hours they changed the assortment from 24 jams on their table to 6 jams available for tasting. When the table had fewer jams 30% fewer people stopped to taste them, but what’s interesting is that 30% of those people who stopped to sample the small assortment went on to buy, whereas just 3% who stopped at the larger assortment went on to purchase.

The outtake? Choice is debilitating, the more we have the less likely we are to make one, which brings us back to the internet. According to (quite an old study by) IBM more data is now created every 2 days than was created between the dawn of time and 2003.

Helpful sales and marketing professionals (sorry) are now pumping out content ‘helping’ us to make buying decisions like it is going out of fashion and yet our ability to get people to consume this content is dropping, because - you guessed it - there is simply too much choice.

John Maynard Keynes, the father of modern economics described his subject as ‘the study of the use of scarce resources' and one of the scarcest resources of all (despite what Greenpeace are telling us) is attention.

We now live in an attention economy, in fact, if you have read this far it would be miraculous! People have very little attention to give and this is where video comes in.

Here’s the science bit

As detailed briefly above, human beings crave simplicity, we are driven to be as efficient as possible with our time, particularly when we are doing something we don’t particularly want to be doing (like working).

In a situation where we are researching a purchase for work, it is our natural instinct to assimilate as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, so that we can make a good decision without expending too much time or effort.

Text is not your friend here. Visuals are processed 60,000 faster than text by the human brain, as evidence of this consider the simple example below:

Screenshot 2021-08-05 at 14.10.33

Think for a moment about how you processed this information, when looking at the picture you just knew it was a purple square, whereas looking at the text you had to undertake three separate cognitive processes, reading, assimilating the information and then visualising it. I would liken it to waiting for someone to draw a picture from instructions, vs simply being handed the finished article.

In fact, 90% of all information processed by the human brain is visual and it seems we also process this at a deeper level leading to a stronger recall of that information. Edgar Dale’s cone of learning states that: Learners remember 10% of what they read (text), 20% of what they hear (lectures), 30% of what they see (images), 50% of what they see and hear (demonstrations, video), 70% of what they say themselves (speaking, giving lectures) and 90% of what they do (practice).

According to the Journal of Educational Psychology in a 1984 study by Baggett into the Role of temporal overlap of visual and auditory material in forming dual media associations, information obtained visually is more memorable, and the simultaneous processing of both auditory and visual information increases learner comprehension and retention.

Essentially, what this is saying is that the combination of pictures and sound working together to explain a concept helps you learn a concept faster, which is exactly what today’s prospective buyers want. To cut through the noise and get to the point of understanding as quickly as possible. For brands, the benefit is two-fold as this audio-visual super duo also aids memory and therefore recall of your product or service when the time comes to buy.

Video is what people want

This cognitive preference towards video was recently underlined in a study conducted by Forbes, who discovered that 59% of senior executives preferred watching video to reading text and that 75% of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly and more than half (52%) watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.

The argument for having video throughout your website is particularly strong, research by Cisco reveals that you are four times more likely to watch video on a website than look at text and images. Vidyard go further, stating that their research suggests you are as much as 12 times more likely to engage with video than text. In fact, regularly posting videos can help your company’s website receive 200% to 300% more monthly unique visitors and a 100% longer average time on site spent per visitor, according to a study by Marketing Sherpa. The average time spent on pages with videos in their study was 3 minutes compared to 1 minute and 30 seconds averaged on pages without video, a 100% increase.

These facts are further supported by research relating to Google search results, Econsultancy estimates that on average videos in search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain-text results. Google would seem to agree, as in its never-ending quest to give us what we want before we have even realised we want it, videos are 53 times more likely to appear on page 1 of Google than text-only pages and 70% of the top 100 search results contain video.

But wait, there’s more

As a final incentive to make video a bigger part of your sales and marketing programme consider the old adage that people buy from people, these days we are more likely to describe this as relationship or consultative selling.

Various studies have shown that we connect with people and build relationships far more quickly when we see them face to face (even via video) than we do when only speaking to them or corresponding via email. I’m sure we have all experienced this in the last year when getting to know new colleagues that we have so far only met on Zoom or Teams.
Getting yourself face to face as part of the prospecting process helps you build relationships faster and helps your prospect get a feeling for who you are and what you have to offer far quicker than when only using email and phone-based prospecting methods.

How to make it happen

The good news is that all video doesn’t need to be produced by expensive production companies. Tools like Vidyard can get you up and running sharing personal videos with your prospects without any upfront investment and those wanting to take things further can equip themselves with the technology to power their end-to-end marketing, sales and service strategy, all integrated with your CRM and marketing automation tech stack. Why not speak to one of our video strategists and find out more about how we can help you implement the technology and training programmes to deliver a winning video strategy in your organisation.


Author bio 

Chris is one of the founders of EnquiryLab and is a career marketer and neuromarketing specialist.

He started his career with advertising giant BBDO Worldwide in New York, before returning to the UK for a succession of client-side marketing roles with brands like Jaguar Land Rover. With a strong specialism in automotive and technology, Chris has created a winning marketing & sales playbook that gets our clients the results they've been looking for, every time. He's the lead strategist and most senior point of client contact.


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