How Motion in Business Videos Affects Viewer Attention

Video is powerful. It can work for our business or against it. Here’s why.

I want to talk a little bit about motion and video. The human brain is wired to check out what’s going on if something moves in its field of vision. So, for business videos, this means that we can draw their attention to the video and hold it if we continue to move things.

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Why the human brain is drawn to motion

The reason that the human brain likes motion is, because as we evolved, we associated motion with: a) something we can eat b) something that was going to eat us c) something we can mate with. Those are all very high-priority things in the lizard brain portion of our anatomy.

Making motion work in business videos

We can use that in our marketing to hold people’s attention. What kind of motion am I talking about? Well, in an eye tracking study we did, we found that: number one, people are drawn to faces and so, for instance, somebody who is moving their hands in the video, that was not sufficient to draw attention away from the face. But if you held up a prop, like a book, that would draw their attention away.

Likewise if you have a long period of somebody speaking to you like this – and in video today, a long period is like a minute – then you need to find some way of moving things around. Something as simple as this pan, is enough motion to re-engage the visitor, and keep their attention on the message that you’re delivering. Even though I’m talking, and my mouth is moving, I’m not perceived as moving until something else happens. Snap away, snap closer, snap to the left, snap to the right, pan. These are all great tools.

Motion during the call to action

One thing to be certain about here, is that if you’re using motion during a key part of your video, for instance, a call to action in which you want them to look at the page that the video is on, you should stop the motion. In fact if you could put a static image up of some sort, as you’re saying, “Go, and fill out this form,” then you will have a higher conversion rate according to our studies.

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Brian Massey
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