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  • Casey Voelker

empathy sells: Why use emotional storytelling in business videos

Updated: Feb 28



We've all been there. We are scrolling through Facebook and a few of our friends have

shared the same video. You click play and within seconds the tearjerking music with the emotional story of how this individual overcame tremendous odds to be where he or she is today tugs at your heart. Not only did this video get your attention, but it is also over 3 minutes long which is practically a full-length feature film with today's attention spans. Despite the length, you are so engaged because you feel for the main characters in this particular video. You can relate and you understand. And then, boom, the video is over with a strong call to action. Visit icanchangetheworld (dot) org to learn more. But before you visit the site, you make sure you hit that share button, as well. You know that if this video meant this much to you then surely it will bring that same emotion to someone else.


There is power in an emotional story. When a story has emotion and is relatable, the viewer can empathize with the subject matter. The story doesn't have to be a sad one. It can be one that inspires. Or it can be a feel-good story. Or it can be a story that makes you laugh. In all honesty, most relatable videos are ones that are driven by emotion. In my top 5 Super Bowl ads breakdown article, I was pretty clear that Google's 'Loretta', a commercial centered around an elderly gentleman who seemingly lost the love of his life and utilized Google to remember her, was definitely my favorite commercial from the night of the big game purely based on emotion. This commercial made me feel happy and sad all in one. And do you know what made it even better? It tied the emotional storytelling back in with the product in such a realistic way. This video was a great example of emotional storytelling in business videos illustrating how empathy sells.


I look back on my own projects and the ones that have had the most impact are ones where we were able to share a story that left an emotional knock with the viewer. For business videos, when I have founds explain their passion for why they do what they do, the emotion that comes through their voice is really what sells their product or service. In a discovery meeting, I'll ask the owner to tell me a story where he or she made a real difference in one customer's life. I ask him or her to tell me about a time the company went above and beyond for one of its customers. These questions lead to stories that are real and raw. These raw stories make great emotional videos. These emotional videos allow customers to empathize and ultimately helps them relate to the situation where they may need that product or service.


Why should a business use emotional storytelling in its videos? The answer is to give your customers a reason to buy from you. When a customer empathizes with your brand or product, they are more likely to understand why they need your brand or product. Plus, most of the time when you can sell on emotion, you will earn an advocate for your brand.


For local businesses, it is sometimes hard to utilize emotional videos. Maybe your product is more transactional and doesn't really have an emotional impact on the customer. There are two ways that you can still use emotion in your video marketing. One way is to focus on your people and values when creating videos that need an emotional edge. When you tell your employee stories and how they are living your values, you indirectly sell with emotion. Another way is to partner with a cause in your community. Work with a local non-profit and make a real impact. You can do a fundraiser or help put on an event to bring awareness to the cause. Use video to get people to the event and then use video to show how the event impacted the community.


No matter which stage of the customer's journey you are targeting with video, emotion is always a great way to connect. Videos are a great way to convey that emotion in an entertaining and captivating manner. If you are ready to bring emotional storytelling into your video marketing strategy, please contact us to schedule a meeting on how we can work together to turn your customers into emotional advocates.

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