Video is SO Powerful as a Motivator

Julien shows me new things all the time. In a recent post, he talked about MovNat as something to go along with the Paleo diet (something I’m on, also thanks to Julien). In checking out the website, I had an interesting realization: as much as I wanted to learn about the ideas inherent in what was different or augmenting between MovNat and Paleo, what really happened was that I scanned the page, saw the guy in the tree at the top, slid down the page to the bottom-right area, and my eyes hooked on the video offerings. I immediately pressed those buttons to see the videos.

Video as a Call to Action is Powerful

MovNat Videos Now, as a marketer, this is just me saying, “the most likely call to action I saw was to click those videos.”

I’ve gone back a few times, and frankly, I don’t see the most obvious call-to-action if that’s not it. Meaning, video on the page is the most visually motivating thing the site offers.

How are you using video?

So, the question/lesson: are you using video as a motivator? Second question: is video distracting people from a more powerful call to action? Can you do both? (My vote is yes, as evidenced by Man on the Go).

If you’re not already doing video for your site, I strongly recommend it. It doesn’t have to be amazing. It might still draw our attention if it’s just plain useful.

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  • Barry Wright, III

    I looked at the site, and agree with the assessment. I like how “real” that video is (not animated, not full of effects); we love “reality” and seeing/experiencing real stories/results. Video like that is extremely compelling.

  • Tim

    Video is incredibly effective which is why we're trying to make it the centerpiece of You can't get much more powerful than videos like this:… The video brought tears to my eyes.

  • stevegarfield

    My thoughts are that your readers who are interested in video should check out my book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business.

    In addition to great interviews and examples, it has step-by-step guides on how to shoot, edit and post video to the web including section on live streaming.

  • John Paul

    Very cool site… I agree with Barry.. I like the real look, mistakes and all..I can relate better to that.. then a super pro edited video.

  • M Sutherland Amado

    Chris — Your post reminds me of two case studies, each from different, but recent publications.

    From Amber MacArthur's Power Friending, she recounts how the author Margaret Atwood embraces social tools, including video (using the iPhone app Qik) to broadcast diverse ways her audience can participate in her upcoming book tour. In this sense, video for her is a complement to the otherwise venerable (if not attritive) industry.

    The second, from The Power of Pull: Hagel, Brown and Davison revisit the story of the Payne's living room in Maui, the locus of a group of surfer kids who surf all day, and watch videos of surfing all night. Soon, this leads them to videotaping each other, and replaying on their macs, frame by frame, to study each other's techniques. They then began posting their videos on the web so others could learn from them. The professional surfing world took notice as well. The power of pull — awareness, evolution of new behaviors and taking new actions to realize possibilities — the authors' very thesis — is framed by this motivating story.

    In both cases, video surfaces the call to action, from participatory to learning. Is it strong enough form a UX POV, not sure. But I'd agree that the point is conveyed.

  • Eric Pratum

    Admittedly, I am no expert in video, nor CTAs for that matter, so take this as you will, but crafting the right motivating video is one thing. Integrating it into something larger like your website another. There are a lot of people that create great videos, but do not leverage them well…unlike the example you use here. Like many people, I believe there is still a lot of space in the the online video world and a lot that can be done to advance the use of it for motivation, CTAs, etc.

    Chris, do you have 1 or 2 bits of advice on how to motivate and/or use CTAs with video based on your experiences?

  • Motivology Matters

    Very timely…currently working on putting together a video review of Ken Wydro's “Think on Your Feet” and developing other materials for my Motivology Matters website. I have been playing with video because it seems like such a rich medium. I honestly think that anymore audiences expect it.

  • Chris Brogan

    It's a great book and a great place to start. Glad you chimed in, king of all video. : )

  • john_gallagher

    I think that video is powerful…IF…it is kept to around 90 seconds or so. Much longer than 2 minutes and it loses it's social media power to me.

  • MarieMonDieu

    Holy cow! Those videos are full of all kinds of awesomesauce! It's like Deep Forest Ironman Survivor Chariots of Fire goodness all wrapped up into one. No wonder you like them better than reading the website! 5 Stars!

  • Seth G.

    Video is a great way to grow your business, share your expertise and put a human face to your brand. But use incorrectly it can really hurt your brand.

  • Seth G.

    Video is a great way to grow your business, share your expertise and put a human face to your brand. But use incorrectly it can really hurt your brand.

  • Katybeth

    I keep thinking about video but every time I go to somebodies video I look for the transcript. Perhaps, its because my hearing is not the best, or people talk so darn fast, or I just “listen” best when I can read something. I do love videos like Common Craft–but Uh, that may be a little out of my league.
    And doing video is intimidating. Does my hair look ok? Do I look fat? Am I talking to fast, to slow. To many “Likes,” “Um's” and otherwise speech habits. I have no problem with public speaking but when you are speaking to someone you can gage immediately how its going or not going. Anyway, I am musing about video, making my son produce a few for me (his grandmother loves them!) and exploring the topic slowly.

  • VBP OutSourcing

    Video is great because its engaging and allows more personality to be injected to your brand. However, it does have to potential to be distracting, especially if not done right. Like with anything, the use of video should be complementary and not overwhelming.

  • Brian Kevin Johnston

    Chris- Thanks for the insights…. I am using video to convey my message, which is TECH recruiter of Engineers in my niche markets…. My prospects seem to “already know me” because they have watched a video or two.. I agree with you, they don't need to be perfect… Best, Brian-

  • doughaslam

    I find video a double-edged sword– when people watch it, thy are more engaged- more likely to pay attention, more likely to act on an ask (at least, I am).

    The other side– getting people to stop and watch the video is so darn hard. I guess I'd argue (and wonder if there are numbers to back it up) that fewer people watch your videos compared to read your text), but those who do are more engaged, more invested in what you have to present.

    Make sense?

  • Rex Williams

    I thought Mike Koenigs of was the king of all video.

    Anyway, I've been thinking about doing more video, spent hours watching Mike's videos last night, and then you post this. The web is so serendipitous.

  • Marylee

    When I'm scrolling around a website, I almost always skip a video, unless I have time to watch it. On the other hand I will read anything, and probably spend as much time reading as I would have watching a video. I just don't think about the time when I am reading something.
    Even your emails, I rarely watch the videos. (Just my way.)

  • williamarruda

    Video is also the best way to express your personal brand on the web. You deliver a complete communication and exude your personality characteristics that create emotional connections with those who are making decisions about you. Video is the future of personal branding on the web. More:

    Bravo on the new site, Chris.


  • Business Done Now

    I like to use video because it creates a stronger connection with those that visit your website, it's a feeling like they have already met you before face to face! I also like to use it with text because it gives viewers another chose to how they want to consume the content. Also great point Chris the video doesn't have to be perfect, the more real and authentic the better. My videos are simple and all are made with my flip camcorder.

    Jason Kienbaum

  • joshmuirhead

    Chris, I couldn't agree more. As far as the four forms of media go, I would say video has to be number 1 (just look at YouTube)

    Two things I would add is with video comes the need to quickly (really quickly) explain what you're going to get from it, and keep them usually short, as many people are turned off by a 9+ minute video.

    Thanks for posting

    Josh Muirhead

  • joshmuirhead

    Forgot to say, lovin' your Man on the Go blog (already got some great tips for my next adventure!)


  • TOHD

    I definitely love watching videos rather then reading content

  • Jeff Sutherland

    So, let me know which MovNat course you are signing up for and I will try to make the same one. Bit of a trek from up here in Canada, but would be worth it! :)

    This Julien fellow sounds pretty cool, thanks for the introduction.

  • matthewdibble

    Great points there Chris… and I love Man on the Go!

    We're only touching the tip of the iceberg right now using video as a tool to get your message across and be found. Since Google introduced Video Site Mapping, everything's starting to change for those getting interested in video and those who have already been using it as a large part of their repertoire.

    For instance, if you Google “lebron james dunk” (since the man seems to be all anyone is talking about today), you get this wonderfully enticing video link right at the top of the page… that is so because that vid has been sitemapped and Google can find it easily.

    Google discusses it here:

    Everything is moving towards video, you're doing well to be on the boat this early… now start vid site mapping! :)

  • amanichannel

    Video is powerful. People like to watch. If the content is compelling, entertaining, or informative they may even share it. It's easier than ever to produce video, and it can definitely help with personal branding… Just ask this news guy turned vlogger. Thanks for the post Chris. Great comments too. Glad to see that Steve shared his book too.


  • Kyle Lacy

    We live in a culture of wanting to be constantly entertained. Video is powerful because it is (hopefully) entertaining and captivating. I think we'll begin to see video used much more for business. There's a lot of good content in this post to think about!

  • Jimshankle

    Every presentation needs to be a combination of numbers, words and pictures. Videos are aces.

  • robwoodbridge

    I use video almost exclusively on my site, – I interview entrepreneurs and leaders in the mobile/wireless space on where their ideas came from and what motivates them — so obviously video is important to me.

    A few important trends that I'm encouraged by about video: (1) The convergence between the television and the Internet (think Boxee and Windows Media Center) will eventually allow me to have my Internet channel in your living room (SCARY!). (2) The democratization of video making. I have interviewed some of the most amazing minds in this space without leaving my office and just using my MacBook Pro and a microphone. I can also host it for $8/month and use social marketing to create a community…Love it!

    The reason I chose video over audio is engagement. I want to see facial reactions if I say something that they don't agree with. I want them to focus on our conversation instead of the next email on their iPhone. I want to add a personality to the voice, their product and their company.

    Video = good :)

  • Performance Mkt Expo

    I agree video is a huge motivator. Just like the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million words. Not to mention sometimes our brains become super lazy (rather watch a 1:30 minute clip than reading a couple of parapgraphs!) Either way, video is the way to go.

  • Batman

    Useful video might be applicable for a filmmaker….

  • Batman

    Useful video might be applicable for a filmmaker….

  • Kimberly Otsuka

    I have noticed that video is becoming huge on the web. It is good to give your eyes a rest from reading and let them watch a video now and then. Not only does it give you a break from the small font but it also catches your attention. I find that when I read from the computer screen my eyes get really tired. I like the option of watching a video because it not only grabs my attention but the information also sticks in my mind. The message gets across faster with video most of the time as well. If there is an article with an interesting title but is extremely long I usually read half and then am bored. By the time the point is announced I have already switched to a different site. By providing both video and copy it allows viewers to have more options for their preference.

    -CKR Interactive Intern

  • John Wheeler

    You're always so right on. Video is the next wave. Everybody should be using it.

    John Wheeler

  • Shelley Wilson

    Agree. My two cents: video is more used by and more useful for some types of sites/businesses as compared to others. You need to match your business or marketing goal to the use of video.

  • Ricardo Bueno

    I think video is great because it allows people to see the real, genuine YOU. They can see the expressions on your face, hear the nuances in the tone of your voice and at the end of the day, gain a little more familiarity with you (and if you're a real estate agent, my niche, that's important).

    A few weeks ago I did a write up hi-lighting a few REALTORS® who I thought were using video creatively:

    In those examples, some were using it to do a one-block tour of a particular neighborhood, others were using it to explain the home inspection process while another was using it to do a walk-thru of a foreclosed property alongside an interior designer to find ways to make improvements to the property. And in the last example, one real estate agent was using it to do a video review at a local restaurant (what has since become her Mojito 411 series).

    In each of those examples, I think the individual agent is doing a great job of establishing himself as the local authoritative voice in the area. By doing it through video, he's allowing for people to connect with him just a little bit more and to gain more familiarity.

  • Jon Strocel

    When everyone online is a dog, video is fantastic at making a true connection. Make sure you keep your videos short and to the point, and great things can happen.

  • Socialcubix

    I always prefer videos rather than reading content..

  • Danranfang

    Thanks for sharing this and i have learnt a lot here. This is my first visiting and will be checking up.

  • air max 90

    Thanks for sharing this and i have learnt a lot here. This is my first visiting and will be checking up.

  • RoxanneRives79

    As a social media marketer, I see more and more sites and blogs utilizing video. I think that if you add a 2 minute snippet and show people something rather than just write about will make a HUGE difference. Thank for this post, reminds me to focus more attention to video in the field

  • Adam Boettiger

    Hi Chris – Totally agree. Hey I know you've shared this before with folks, but frankly you put out so much great content daily that sometimes it's hard to remember where and when you shared it. Could you share with us what you're currently using to shoot, edit and publish the videos and video reviews or vlog posts that you do? Flip HD Ultra? Some digital cam? Viddler? Vimeo? What? Thanks!

  • Cover Letters

    Obviously there are some topics that lend themselves better to video, but I cannot believe that some people aren't using it in some form or another. The connection that it builds is unable to be imitated in any other form. One blog that is probably my greatest source of motivation was very ho-hum and I had no real interest in it, UNTIL video was used. It converted me instantly and allowed me to hear a message I would have otherwise ignored.

  • Brenda Stoltz

    Hi Chris,

    First, I love your new site and new logo.

    Now, as for video – for many years the Internet was a wonderful place to be for the deaf and hard of hearing. With the proliferation of video and the lack of captioning, there are more and more roadblocks on the information superhighway. I love seeing video online and think its use will only increase. I would just prefer it be captioned so that everyone can partake.

    There are some brilliant developers at Google and elsewhere working on improving this technology, and I look forward to seeing the captioning wave that meets this video wave.

  • Rob

    I totally agree that video is such a key motivator. Working it into posts and general content = mondo important. I wonder after scanning around the MovNat site if they put the video's there on purpose.

    If the marketing people thought this is perfect…or whoever the owner is just said…oh sweet, our video plugin thing will go there. Sometimes I just don't know. The site looks well done enough…might be WordPress or Joomla. Either way, solid points.

    P.S. MovNat is the type of thing I can't wait to do when I'm liberating from the 9-5.

  • CarmenBrodeur

    I have a simple video introducing myself on my website. It is amazing how many customers have commented that they chose me because of the video. People really like video. You can easily separate yourself from the competition with a few videos.

  • JD Lasica

    I've shot and produced over 300 videos on & over the past few years, and I think I've appeared in about two of them. Focus on your subjects, not on doing a talking head video of yourself. Just start trying a few, and I guarantee that within a few weeks you'll start getting good.

    As Chris says, it's so worth it.

  • Analisa Svehaug

    You are so right Chris, we have used videos for making FBML and Facebook tutorials, which are very popular. But I had never really considered using video to sell our services and products. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • Gdsge

    Is it the right way? Yes. Is it the best way? Yes. Is it the way that most media people like me would suddenly find ourselves flooded with only relevant and interesting stuff?