Study: Amateur User-Generated Video Held Attention Faster and Stronger Than Professional Video
It’s common sense — use the strengths of the medium to tell your story. The ability to demonstrate the benefits of a product give video an advantage over text and image. Yet, this obvious piece of advice can often get lost in the heat of the creative process. Fine-tuning the words in the script can often overtake the hard task of selecting the right action shots to maximize the impact of your product video.
In a head-to-head test where panelists viewed an amateur consumer review and a professional “how to” video for a beauty product, the user-generated video was able to grab and hold consumer attention faster and stronger. In drilling down on why this was true, viewers pointed out their strong interest in watching someone actively trying the product. Viewers’ qualitative comments included: ”Interested to see how she applies the product evenly”, and “Easy to use, amazing.” Viewers then stayed to see if the consumer was happy with her results. Each time the reviewer in the user-generated video went into a demonstration, interest peaked.
By contrast, the professional “how to” video spent the opening time on product and packaging, bringing demonstration into the video much later. You can see on the graph above how viewer interest was not peaked until the demonstration began later in the video. In our test, consumers were required to watch the entire length of the video. It’s possible that an unrestricted viewer never would have stayed for the demonstration later in the video. In fact, a quote from a viewer included: ”It was just taking a little long to tell me something that I thought was self-explanatory.”
Did having a ‘real consumer’ tell the product story also add to the higher interest in the user-generated video? There is a mountain of evidence that word of mouth is more trusted than other forms of advertising. We think that the user-generated product review we tested delivered on two of the reasons word of mouth is so persuasive:
The amateur consumer in the video naturally knew what would be of interest to another consumer. It’s how she talks about products everyday to her friends. She wanted to show what *she* found interesting and beneficial about the product. That natural instinct is often right on the money and leads her to hit important points quickly for other consumers.
The credibility of the reviewer as a ‘regular person’ also plays a role in keeping interest high. Our test found that interest spiked when the reviewer was critical of one aspect of the product. Viewers commented that this statement added to the credibility of her story, and strengthened their belief in the benefits she covered overall.
When you’re trying to keep the attention of a consumer through video, worry less about getting the words right, and focus more on getting the actions right. Remember to use the strengths of the compelling, demonstrative video medium to your advantage!
Source: Survey conducted by comScore of 675 female category purchasers 25-55, March 2012. Study commissioned by EXPO Communications, Inc.
About EXPO: EXPO (www.expotv.com) is the first consumer network focused on creating and distributing high impact product video to drive engagement and conversion. The company’s end-to-end solution captures, manages and publishes persuasive consumer video for leading manufacturers and retailers. Through EXPO’s platform, clients can harness their own brand enthusiasts and fans or rely on EXPO’s community of consumers to produce authentic video content, such as product reviews, how- to’s, demonstrations, recipes and other topics relevant to a client’s brand. Please contact Jessica to learn more about our platform, our retailer distribution network and our quality guarantee.