Motivation as an Element to Trigger Actions in Video Marketing

motivation to trigger action in videos
Motivation as a trigger for action | © Photo: FreePik

There are many reasons to create a professional video. Even if every commissioned production is different and an image film differs radically from a commercial, there is one thing that all genres of moving image communication have in common: video marketing must have an impact. Motivation plays a decisive role here.

The question of how to ensure that marketing measures have an impact has always been a concern for professional communication. Undisputedly, the motivation of the target audience is at the heart of all research. It plays the main role when it comes to triggering an action.

You need to know

  • Every decision to act is underpinned by a conscious or unconscious motive.
  • To trigger an action, repeated impulses are required without a pre-existing readiness to act.
  • Positive impulses are more likely to trigger a willingness to act than negative impulses.
  • Motivation, emotions and implementation (so-called volition) must be understood as a triad.
  • Looking at three main motives combined with three stages of behavior change helps in designing campaigns.

Motivation in marketing

The question of how people arrive at a decision to do something is closely linked to the question of what motives lie behind a decision to act and what motivation (impulses) ensures that these motives are implemented.

Decisions, whether made consciously or unconsciously, always have a cause and a trigger. In marketing, not, only when video is involved, it’s about identifying and addressing that cause in your target audience as accurately as possible.

Video is particularly well suited for motivation because emotional images and ideas can be transported with this medium. These, in turn, stimulate the imagination of the recipient, giving him a vision of what the reward for his actions will be.

Campaigns using moving images to generate attention are particularly successful if they rely on the following elements:

  • Unconventional ideas
  • Emotional stories
  • Identification figures
  • Memorable, unmistakable visual language

In most cases, repetitive impulses are required until effective action is taken. Continuous communication measures are not an indication of failure, but of a professional understanding of the psychological behaviour of people underlying a decision-making process.

Why we do what we do

Lecture by Tony Robbins, neurolinguist, with examples of how rationality and emotions interact in decision-making processes. Video currently with 24 million views!

Tony Robbins talks about the “invisible forces” that motivate human action. | © TED

Motivation as part of a complex mechanism

Triggering an action is a complex process. Motivation is a key element in this.

The goal we pursue with video marketing or video communication is always a change in behavior. Motivation is the driving force that makes us do (or not do) something. Emotions are the tool that helps us achieve our goals because they usually make it easier to trigger a behavior.

Motivation does not automatically have to be perceived as positive. People can experience conditioning through experiences that force them to behave in ways that they themselves perceive as critical. Extreme ambition can arise from an imprint in childhood and can be quite stressful for the person concerned.

Studies show that positive motivation is much more likely to trigger a willingness to act than negative statements.

An advertising campaign that communicates that cigarettes shorten life and can lead to an agonizing death is much less likely to persuade smokers to give up smoking than the statement that non-smokers have more fun in life.

Motivation, volition and emotions belong together

Motivation comes from “to move” or “to drive.” Man does something not only because he can, but above all because he wants to.

Motivation is our drive to turn a want into a do.

The secret of skill lies in the will.
Guiseppe Mazzini

However, it takes more than just willpower to make it happen. It also needs the ability to implement. This “ability to implement” is called volition in psychology. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to motivate a viewer to do something with a video that they can’t even do for objective reasons.

But emotion and motivation are also closely linked. A mental process (and a decision to act is nothing else) always has a state of mind side and a drive side. The state of mind, that’s the emotion. The drive to successfully reach a goal is motivation.

Resistance to interference

How easily we are influenced as individuals depends largely on how well we know ourselves. It can be scientifically proven that those who know their own motives are far more difficult to influence than those who are unclear about their goals and why they do what they do.

This also has to do with the fact that people without goals or with the wrong goals have no or less chance of turning their ideas into reality. This is why they tend to be more unhappy – and recognize influence as an opportunity as a new path or new goal, which they gladly accept.

Three main motives for each action?

Many marketing experts still work with an explanatory model based on three main motives. Parallel to this, countless other theories exist.

The three main motives according to Hugo M. Kehr, professor and motivation researcher at the Technical University of Munich, are:

  1. the incentive motive
  2. the power motive
  3. the connection subject

According to Kehr, the achievement motive is about improving oneself and seeing progress. People with power motives seek ways to control or influence others. Those who are characterized by a connection motive primarily seek ways to establish friendly relationships with the environment and their fellow human beings.

Motive and motivation

A commissioned production usually aims to trigger a plot. Image films are an exception. They are not aimed at short-term activation, but are intended to lay the groundwork in the medium and long term, on which action can then be taken more easily.

Behavioural intentions usually arise from a closely interlocking chain of factors that are perceived consciously or unconsciously by a person. These key links in this behavior change triggering chain are:

  • Knowledge
  • Attitude / Perceptual Perspective
  • Social environment

Campaign creators must therefore always ask themselves which of these levels a video concept or a marketing measure is intended to address. Less is more. Because even in the digital world, people remain different and must be addressed differently. Where an intention to act is already latent, a little loving nudge is all that is needed. Conversely, where there is no interest at all in a question, the willingness to follow up an impulse (motivation) with an action is rarely given.

The willingness to do something is the motive. It can also be understood as connecting feelings to a goal. The motif is therefore something that persists over time. Motivation (activation) is different. It is designed to trigger the realization of the motif now and immediately. This closes the circle to volition, the competence to implement.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Volker Reimann
About Volker Reimann 26 Articles
Mag. Volker Reimann ist TrendScout für virtuelle Realität, Games und interaktives Bewegtbild. Er ist überzeugt davon, dass bald schon über gezielte Nervenstimulation realitätsnahe Projektionen direkt in das menschliche Hirn möglich sind.

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