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The Role Of Emotion In Building Trust (And How You Can Leverage the Emotion)

Emotion is Contagious...

Have you ever laughed, cried, felt sad, afraid or even terrified while sitting comfortably in a cinema watching a movie?

My bet is that you have experienced these emotions while engrossed in a movie. But...

The Role of Emotion in Building Trust

BECAUSE your body reflects the emotion of the person or situation on the screen the feelings you experience of fear, love, dislike, frustration, and happiness are real. They are yours. They belong to you. 

That is how a movie captivates you.

Does online video generate the same connection?

Yes, online video evokes an emotional but has a more difficult task.

People watching a video online have many distractions. Among other things they are often surrounded by other people, their environment is noisy, and your video is competing with heaps of other visual distractions.  

The movie theatre environment is fully controlled. the seats are comfortable, the temperature is controlled. Sound wraps around you like a blanket. The sound startles you or soothes you. The lighting, actors, music and editing work together to build tension.

And of course it is dark.

In short the director of the movie has your complete attention for the duration of the story. And you reflect the emotion they want you to feel inside your body. There are zero distractions for the viewers.

What about online video?

Online video does evoke emotion in your viewers which is why video is so powerful.

But, while movies have the luxury of a captive audience, a controlled environment and mind blowing music, your online video doesn’t.

How to lose your viewers in the first 7 seconds

What emotional investment do your customers have in your logo?

Well, unless you are a Sony or Toyota I have zero connection with your logo. That may change but only after we have connected. So I am constantly amazed at the number of videos that start with a logo.

Back in the 90s I advised my corporate clients to resist starting with their logos. 

Your logo is important but...

Yes, your logo is important because it tells the viewer that they are on your website. But keep it simple preferably at the top left of the screen.

Remember, you have 7 seconds to grab your viewers attention. Do this with your headline. Name the clients problem. Make a bold statement. Be controversial if you can. And then offer them hope.

I have seen some companies spend the valuable first 10 seconds displaying an animated logo.

And another thing…

Having your logo front and centre means that the video is all about you and NOT your potential customers. Video encourages people to stick around for a while which helps your bounce rate.

So don’t waste it. 

Moving right along...

Where is the best place for a video?

That depends on the type of video you create. As this post is about establishing a very strong connection with your viewers we recommend placing a video on your About Us page.

When people see you talking about your experience, your passion, your values and your motivation for starting the business, your viewers get a feel for you. You know what I'm talking about.

When you meet someone for the first time sometimes you get good vibes and others negative vibes. We may say to a colleague

“I don’t know why but I trust the guy.” Or, maybe you feel uneasy.  “I’m don’t know why but it doesn’t feel right.

These feelings are all come from behind the scenes. They are generated deep in our subconscious minds.

What does this mean for you?

First we need a bit of background. If you want even more information on a particular section the read more gives you details of the research this article is based on.

Cinema takes viewers through an experience that evolves over time, grabbing their attention and triggering a sequence of perceptual, cognitive, and emotional processes. ​Read more…  

When we watch a movie or video we “connect” to another human being before us because our brain mimics—or creates a bodily representation—of what that other person is doing.  Read more

Trust is an emotion

If we see a person smile we reflect that feeling of happiness within ourselves. If they are sad we feel sad. If they are happy we feel happy. If they are confident the viewer feels confident.

This is demonstrated with several experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)  Read more

Your customers want to know about to and your business. They want an insight into your values. This is your opportunity to let them see your passion for your business and how you want to help them.

This is why it is so important for you to get a video of you and your staff talking about what you do, what motivated you to start the business, maybe some of your early struggles and how you overcame them.  This is your company story. 

Your target market want to be confident in your ability to perform the services you promise. They want to know you are committed to a long-term relationship. 

Your customers are seeking answers to questions such as:

  1. Can I trust this person to guard my best interests?
  2. Can I trust them to develop and maintain our relationship? Or...
  3. Will they let me down?

Trust involves courage

You are asking a lot of your potential clients. You must give them the confidence to overcome their fears and have the courage to engage your services or buy your product.

 People who are looking for the service/product you provide must feel confident in you and your ability to perform before they consider entering into a relationship with you.

Strangely enough your prospects want to trust you. They need a solution to their problem and they hope (want) your service/product will be the answer they are seeking.

You will find heaps of common sense tips, rules and strategies for building trust with customers.

Suggestions like be honest, have a reliable product, provide value, be consistent, and be accessible are excellent tips. Even if you manage to win the trust of your website visitors they won’t stay long without these basic qualities.

So, the burning question your may be asking is…

How can you establish trust with strangers on your website?

The best way is to use video!!!

Some of you will not like this next piece of advice.

But you must get a video of yourself on your About Us page. (Before you freak out completely, we have a solution that helps you overcome any inhibitions you may have. Keep an eye out for our interview style videos.)

Consider the benefits you will reap. 

When you let your potential customers see who you are they reflect your emotional state in their body. They develop an emotional connection with you.

When your viewers are watching and listening to you on video they are working hard at the subconscious level. They are not aware of this process but it is happening.

Trust is primarily a positive emotion. 

When people trust you they confidently rely on the integrity and the ability of people and organisations…

Ok, you know that video is exceptionally powerful but you aren't convinced it's for you. Check out our post 

5 reasons why people don't use video

If you want more evidence that video triggers the trust emotion and influences how we all make decisions.


How to Build Trust Online


Think About it...
Do You Really Know Why You buy What You Buy?
This is Nullarbor Plain

This is the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia

My wife Mary and I have been in the film, television and corporate video industry for over 40 years. On this occasion we were 1,110 kilometres from Perth, 1,656 Ks from Adelaide (the next major city) and 11 Ks from the nearest road.  It is a remote, rugged and potentially dangerous land.

So, why did we buy choose to buy the equipment and vehicle we did? The answer is simple.


We purchased Sony video equipment and a Toyota Landcruiser because both of those companies have solid reputations for quality and reliability. And they have never let us down.

We trust them. And when you travel to remote locations like the Nullarbor, you need to trust your equipment and vehicle.

So what is trust?

  1. Trust is a positive emotion, which generates confidence in the mind
  2. The mind triggers the trust emotion after complex rational and empathic evaluation
  3. Trust generates greater energy and interest in ventures
  4. It grants a person goodwill towards another, while inhibiting fears concerning his/her reliability

The point is people don’t trust a product, they trust the company or the person who makes the product or provides the service. 

How do you establish trust?

First trust appears subconsciously. 

Then the mind evaluates … intentions, expectations and hopes. It evaluates the value and costs of benefits.

These evaluations occur within the limbic system. Within this group of nuclei, many emotions, including distrust, fear, goodwill and trust compete. Each emotion offers a behaviour option. 

When goodwill and rationality prevail in this network, trust can be selected. Once selected, the emotion makes a person decide to rely on the “trustee” with the care of her children, or to accept his/her advice. If the distrust emotion dominates, it compels avoidance of commitment. ​Read more...  

Can we BUILD TRUST online?

YES! And the best way to build trust online is with video. 

There are 4 main types of video taht help you do this

  1. Explainer videos
  2. Company Story videos
  3. Product videos
  4. Testimonial videos

Every style of video is valuable and all help to start the process of building trust with your potential customers. 

Remember!!! People buy from People they know, like and trust. The feel-good trust emotion plays a huge part in any buying decision.

Explore our post that explainsThe Role Of Emotion In Building Trust (And How You Can Leverage the Emotion)

Why Your About Us Page is Critical!

Is your About Us page important?  But that's the wrong question?

The question you should ask is…

Do you want your website to generate high-quality leads helping you convert them into sales?

If you do then the About Us page on your website is critical.

It’s critical because people buy from people. 

People want to know whom they are buying from, and, if they are considering buying your product or service, they will check out your About Us page. They want to get to know you.

Still, photos are better than text. But a video is by far the most effective media because you communicate with your audience through all of the senses. Sight, sound and emotion. 

For 84,000 generations humans have learned to recognise danger very quickly. We were on high alert for the slightest change in our environment. The smallest movement or inconsistency triggered our flight or flight response.

If we didn’t react quickly, we got eaten or fell victim to tidal tribes.

As a result of this dangerous environment, we learned to read and process our response subconsciously. 

In the blink of an eye

Our cognitive brain is still slow. Our subconscious observations triggered the fight or flight response and they still do! 

As a result of this dangerous environment, we learned to read and process our response subconsciously. Our cognitive brain is too slow. Our subconscious observations triggered the fight or flight response and they still do! 

Evolution moves at glacial pace. It is less than the blink of an eye since the industrial revolution. 

In just 10 generations we have moved from horse and cart to space travel. A journey from England to Australia has gone from several months to less than a day.

When you have a video on your About Us page, people visiting your website can read your facial expressions and hear the tone of your voice. Together, these observations trigger an emotional response. 

The first impression people form is outside of their conscious awareness. If the impression is favourable, you are seen as a friend and not and their subconscious sees you as a friend…

Old friends

I had an early morning meeting with a potential client. To make sure I beat the traffic I had arrived early. Very early. As I strolled through the shopping centre, I saw a man waving calling out to me.

The man waving was my potential client. He recognised me from the video I had on my website. 

We met and shook hands. “I feel like I already know you,” he said. The ice was broken.

Hearts and Minds

Emotion and NOT FACTS will drive your potential clients to buy your product or service. Every business must win the hearts and minds of their prospects and existing customers.

Facts and statistics are dry. Sterile. Forgettable. 

By 2017, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic (KPCB).

That’s good to know. But, unless you link that statistic with emotion it means little. Yet that statistic might trigger the feeling of fear.

Fear of losing their market share or even their livelihood. The statistic itself is not memorable. But the emotional reaction is.


Before people decide to buy from you, they want to know who you are. They want to see what you stand for. 

Your prospects already know what you do. But they want to know more about you.

Video on your About Us page gives you the opportunity to speak with them letting them ‘get to know’ you. If they feel comfortable, they are far more likely to buy from you.


Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (VidYard).

That is wonderful. But that statistic was provided by research from a video production company. Now don't get me wrong. Vidyard is a good company and it is possible that their report is biased.


Video has stood the test of time!!!

History has proven the value of video over and over again. And there are too many reputable businesses reporting results from their video marketing that are similar to VidYards.

Why is video so successful?

Every buyer is human.

And every human has two dimensions. Conscious and subconscious. Visible and invisible.

Video gives your viewers a chance to get a glimpse of your hidden self. It shows who you are as a person. You can speak about your goals. Why you want to help them.

Of course, you’re in business to make money. Yet most of us are not driven by money. Money is a means to an end.

We want to provide for our families, go on holidays, drive safe cars, and live well in retirement. We must relate to the human visiting our website!

Who are you?

A video on your About Us page shows who you are.

Remember, if you want your website to generate leads and sales then the ‘About Us’ page is perhaps the most important page on your website…

When people can see and hear you it helps to build trust. And trust is an essential ingredient of a sale.

People buy from people they trust!

And that is why your About Us page is critical!!!