Good content will always win. If you think about your audience first before you press record then you are mostly going to get it right. The subject of the video is obviously key when thinking about your audience so make sure you are helping them one way or another.

Think of it as being on a first date. You’re not going to get a second date if you talk about yourself the entire time right?! 

Understanding human behaviour is essential in creating compelling content. By aligning your approach with human behavioural theories, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level.

There are certain human behavioural tactics that you should absolutely look into when creating content for your organisation. If you can get your subject locked in correctly and then try to apply some of the below, you’ll have a WINNING piece of content for sure:

  • Storytelling - It’s all about storytelling. Put your audience as the hero of the story. There are a bunch of storytelling techniques (read Story Brand by Donald Miller) so I won't go into all of them but the key thing is to invoke emotion from the viewer and/or take them on a journey. Sounds simple but keep a start, middle and end. Take the Dogs Trust Rob and Milo advert, it’s the story of a man and his dog and how he might have to give the dog up because he’s struggling to pay his bills. By using the Identifiable Victim Effect and showing one person and their struggle it helps the audience to relate to the situation even more.    

  • Consistency - Trust and consistency go hand-in-hand. If you’re not consistent then your target market will question who you are, and, more importantly, if they trust you. To combat this, create lots of short videos on the same day. This will ensure consistency as you’ll be in the zone from one video to the next. They also form a ‘season’ of content that can be posted over months. By creating bitesize nuggets of information that are easily digestible for your audience you are using a human behavioural technique called Chunking. Chunking helps your audience remember the information you are giving them. Hence why most people know the first 7 digits of Pi but trying to remember the whole number is a challenge. 

  • Thumbnail Design - You need to turn heads. Imagine lots of videos on an Instagram search page. If something stands out because of the thumbnail then they have won the first battle. Steven Bartlett A/B tests over 30 thumbnails PER EPISODE depending on facial expressions from their guest that may or may not resonate with the potential viewer. Salience highlights how a person is drawn more to what is new, prominent and easily noticeable hence why having a thumbnail that stands out from the crowd but that is going to be recognisable by your audience is key to ensure engagement. 

  • Mirroring - Everyone likes looking at themselves. You should think about this when making videos. You obviously can't put the viewer in the video but you can put similar-looking people to the demographic you’re trying to reach in the video. If your audience is a 50-year-old conservative male, guess what you need to put in the video? The Bobo Doll study, a social learning experiment, highlighted how when children were shown a doll being treated with aggression they were more likely to show aggression towards the doll when playing independently. This reiterates that it is human nature to mirror the behaviours you see from authoritative figures or people that you resonate with. 

  • £1.99 - This is a bit more subconscious but works nonetheless. We all know that £1.99 is really £2. This has been happening for hundreds of years and we’ve become desensitised to it all. Video content in comparison to currency is a relatively new medium so we are still tricked into watching a video that is say 29 seconds long rather than 30 seconds long. We believe we have enough time in our day to watch a 29-second video. 30 seconds maybe not so much. This form of Anchoring is super effective in marketing. Anchoring is the human behavioural theory which depicts that a person relies on the first piece of information they receive and evaluates succeeding information accordingly. So the number 1 in £1.99 anchors you to believe it is considerably cheaper than £2 when in reality you are only saving a penny. 

  • First Five - This is an absolute classic human behavioural tactic that everyone should know and definitely be doing. People make rational decisions VERY quickly. If a viewer thinks the video is not for them within the first five seconds of watching it, they will just swipe right away. You must get straight to the meat of the video right from the start. A common mistake is starting with ‘Hi My name is X and I am the XYZ from Business Name’. Instead, put a title card on the screen and start with ‘This video is about X’ or even better, start with a hook line. According to Daniel Kahneman in the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” our minds have two distinct operating systems, which he calls System 1 and System 2. System 1 represents fast, intuitive, and effortless choices, whereas System 2 represents deliberate, difficult ones. Daniel Kahneman uses these two systems to explain how many of our decisions are made. System 1, the fast one, is our automatic system: System 1 operates when we casually read signs on the highway, walk or drive a route we know by heart, or have an easy conversation with someone we know well. When we are using our System 2 (“slow”), we are exerting mental energy: doing long division, trying to follow new directions, or focusing intently on a high-stakes conversation. In this instance, we are using System 1 because without realising we are subconsciously deciding on whether a video has engaged us or not. If it hasn’t engaged us we’re gone before we know it. 


Key Takeaways

Like we said at the start, good content will get good results. If you think about your audience and how you want them to feel you will already be head and shoulders above your competitors. By having the tactics we have mentioned in the back of your mind when creating content, you will certainly master your video content strategy. Here’s a reminder of our key takeaways: 

  • Audience First: Always prioritise your audience's needs and interests before creating video content.
  • Storytelling: Employ storytelling to engage your audience emotionally, making them the hero of the story.
  • Consistency: Ensure consistency in your content to build trust and recognition.
  • Thumbnail Design: Create eye-catching thumbnails to stand out and attract viewers.
  • Mirroring: Include characters or scenarios your target demographic can relate to, enhancing connection and engagement.
  • Pricing Psychology: Utilise psychological pricing strategies, like ending prices with ".99," to make content seem more accessible.
  • Engagement: Capture your audience's attention within the first five seconds to keep them watching.

It can be a lot to think about, especially when you’re trying to be human-first - but if you’re thinking about embracing video please do get in touch, our creatives would love to hear more about your challenges! 

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Gary overseas all video, photo and audio that Reflect creates for their clients. By bringing The Gary show to Reflect, he wants to show the world how great they are at creating content with purpose and conviction. 

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