Eleanor Hanwell
Eleanor Hanwell on 13 July 2021

Exploiting the 5 factors of impulse in your videos

Whatever your company does, it’s likely that you have a product or service that you want your customers to buy. With 78% of video marketers saying video has directly helped increase sales, if you want to get ahead you should be utilising video content to help increase your sales.

In this blog we are going to look at the 5 factors of impulse in purchasing decisions and how these can be best exploited in your video content.


What are the 5 factors of impulse?

I’ll bet you’ve gone shopping and ended up buying something you hadn’t planned. If this is the case, then chances are you were influenced by at least 1 of the 5 factors of impulse.

Let’s take grocery shopping as an example. You can be pre-prepared and take a list with you when you go to your local supermarket, but whenever you pick up something not included on your list, you are shopping on impulse.

It could be that the item is on special offer, it’s something that isn’t available very often, it’s reduced because of a close sell-by or use-by date or even just because you are hungry. All these examples relate to 1 of the factors of impulse.

So, let’s look at each of these in turn and how you can use them in your video content.


1 - Fear of Loss

In Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar said, "the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain". The ‘Fear of Loss’ impulse is driven by the psychological need to avoid missing out or losing. This means that acting under the fear of loss means customers are more afraid of missing out on an offer than the gain they receive from receiving a saving.

How can you use this in video?

You can use video content to communicate to your customers what they would be losing out on by not purchasing your product or service. Such as, "80% of people are using our product to do X. Do you really want to be in the 20% who are missing out?".

If you have offers available, then you may already be tapping into the fear of loss. You can use video content to heighten this, such as promoting the reasons why they need to buy now and what losses or risks come into play if they miss out.

When doing this it is important to establish a deadline or end date for the offer to create a sense of urgency (more on this later). In video content it’s also worth using phrases like “while they last”, “limited time” or “before they’re gone” to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).


2 - Sense of Urgency

The idea of something running out creates a sense of urgency than can often encourage customers to act now rather than later (or not at all!) and sometimes acts in a way they wouldn’t usually. For example, during the pandemic the idea that toilet roll might become scarce was enough for people to bulk buy and shops to genuinely run out!

By tapping into a sense of urgency we encourage customers to act now rather than later. Without urgency a customer may simply ask for more information or aim to come back later (which they may or may not do).

How can you use this in video?

You can use video to address the potential pitfalls in delaying action. For example, if you have an offer or promotion with a deadline or a limited number of sign-ups for example mentioning this directly in your video can give a sense of urgency to your customers.

Like we mentioned above, using language like “while they last”, “limited time”, “before they’re gone” and “only X places available” helps to create a sense of FOMO and taps directly into a sense of urgency. Ultimately your video must help customers to know that they must act now to avoid missing out.


3 - The Joneses Theory

We’ve all heard about keeping up with the Joneses - this factor of influence is all about not wanting to get left behind. It taps into the desire to follow the crowd by purchasing, doing, or getting involved with what is popular or trending.

Part of this influence factor is about creating ‘social proof’ around your product or service and therefore creating a level of trust.

How can you use this in video?

Using specific numbers or language that points to wide adoption of your product or service, such as “X amount of people chose this product every day”"last year X companies worked with us"“most people choose this service because…” or “this is our most popular product”.

Creating video testimonials or case studies allows you to directly talk about how your product or service has helped your current customers. If you know your customers have particular pain points and you can create video content that speaks specifically to these, this could be a case study, testimonial or simply a product video that explains how your product alleviates this pain point for customers.

User Generated Content (UGC) is also a great way of tapping into the Joneses Theory. Directly sharing videos your customers have made which talk about your product, service or company is a great way of doing this. Or creating a video to highlight content from multiple users could also work. You could also work with influencers relevant to your industry to tap into this particular influence. 

To find out more about UGC read our blog How to harness user generated content (UGC) to build your brand.


4 - Greed

It is a natural instinct to want more for less. This is why Black Friday discounts and Boxing Day sales can be so popular. The easiest way to do this is to offer discounts or free products, services or knowledge, but it’s not the only option.

How can you use this in video?

If you have a promotion or sale then you can utilise video to draw attention to the value of the offers available. Visually showing all of the items that you might receive in a bundle and comparing the standard price with the discounted price for example.

You can also use video to highlight the offer of free items with a sale. these don’t have to be physical goods, instead it could be a downloadable guide, webinar, free course or 1-2-1 call with an expert.

However, you can still tap into the ‘need for greed’ without promotions or sales. Product or service videos which exhaustively list all of the features offered can help your customer feel like they are getting a good deal. Especially if you have USPs that allow you to directly compare your offering against a competitor and show a customer they will get more from you than elsewhere. A video like this will go a long way to convince a customer why they should buy from you rather than one of your competitors.


5 - Indifference

This influence factor is about not appearing desperate for a sale. It is about having the confidence that you know your product or service is the best option for the customer and that if they don’t choose to purchase then they will only be hurting themselves.

A big part of this is about making your customer feel as if you care about what is best for them and not their end decision. You need to persuade the customer that you are giving them this option to help them and not because you want the sale.

Ultimately, this shows confidence, belief in your products and services and a level of experience.

How can you use this in video?

It’s all about being friendly, calm and confident and using language like “It’s up to you…” followed by a reason to commit or “If this isn’t for you that’s ok as we know our approach helps new people every day”. You can also combine it with a sense of urgency, such as “It’s up to you whether you sign-up to our webinar today, but places are going quickly and we can’t guarantee a spot tomorrow”.



So, now we’ve explored each of the 5 factors of influence in detail and how they can be utilised in video we hope you can start to see how you might be able to use each one to increase sales in your own business. The key thing to remember is that they don’t need to be used in isolation or all at once. Instead it’s important to match the right influential factors with whatever you are selling to get the best result.

For example, if you are running a promotion, perhaps a sense of loss, a sense of urgency and greed would be the best combination. Whereas if you are creating a video for your best-selling product then tapping into the Joneses Theory and utilising Indifference might be the best approach. Take time to play around with the options that you think would work best for you.

Want to get started applying these 5 factors of influence into your video content? Book a call with our expert team and we can help you plan and produce the video content you need to increase your sales.

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