We know that sex + video is an incredibly powerful combination in online marketing, but many of us forget that to stay successful in business, you need to offer more than just the promise of a “fling.” I show the important connection between sex and relationships with social video marketing, and how this connection should be applied responsibly in when doing “social” video for business purposes.

How Sex Appeal Drives So Much “Social” Marketing Online

So let’s start with the obvious. We know that sex appeal is incredibly effective in online marketing. As an online video marketer who thinks about sex, I’ve created this 5-step plan for having great sex and relationships with your customers with social video marketing. (I’m being tongue-in-cheek here, of course ;)

  1. Sex triggers arousal in consumers
  2. Arousal is the emotion which causes the greatest trigger in purchasing
  3. Being online affords a greater degree of interactivity (i.e., participation) than traditional marketing.
  4. Participation increases arousal and engagement with the consumer.
  5. A follow-up (and continued) response by the instigator builds on the excitement, which will eventually be replaced by another type of engagement that will prove more important for consumer loyalty than the initial sex appeal – the long lasting “relationship.”

Creative agencies and ad agencies are good about doing the first 3 steps, and sometimes the fourth. But where many of them fail to give any serious attention is the final and most important step – building actual relationships with the audience where they go beyond any sexual excitement, and more to something deserving of a customer’s long-term loyalty. I explain more about this below, but first…

The Science Behind Why Sex + Video Really Works (To a Point)

But for those eunuchs who want empirical studies, I was able to dig up a report published in the Journal of Advertising way back in 2001, authored by Tom Richert, Susan E. Heckler, and Sally Jackson – Professors in Advertising/Journalism, Marketing, and Communication respectively – titled “The Effects of Sexual Social Marketing Appeals on Cognitive Processing and Persuasion.” The report’s major finding was that “sexual appeals were more persuasive overall than matched nonsexual appeals for social marketing topics.” Respondents also reported that sexual appeals were more attention getting, likeable, dynamic, and somewhat more apt to increase their interest in the topic than were nonsexual appeals.

You certainly don’t need to be a neuroscientist to know that emotions affect our behavior, and the combination of emotions triggered by the combination of sexual thoughts supplanted with video is for many the best catalyst, next to the real thing. And for some people even better and more preferable than the real thing.

Here’s a quote featured on the Neuromarketing Blog written by Neuroscience marketing enthusiast and author of Brainfluence, Roger Dooley, describing a lab test conducted by neuroscientists Dan Ariely – author of the book, Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationalityand fellow researcher Eduardo Andrade, where subjects were showed and annoying or amusing video.

“The emotional carryover from the video and writing exercise markedly altered their behavior on the unrelated money decision compared to when there was an absence of emotional stimulus.”

Here’s what online marketing should find particularly important about their finding: It may actually prove that the impact of an online video with purchasing power can stay with the consumer well beyond the initial viewing, and away from where that video was initially viewed.

What Marketers Overlook in their Own “Sexy” Social Video Marketing

I created the above chart for a presentation I’ve given at a few conferences this past year that I’m sharing here on ReelSEO for the first time. What I find with a lot of so-called ‘social’ video marketing by creative and advertising agencies is that they put most or all of their activity into the “sex” side – i.e., creating feelings of arousal in consumers that they expect will lead to purchasing, and eventually brand loyalty. However, what I’ve shown here as the chart moves downward, is that they often fail to do much to nurture any relationship building with their consumers past that point – including helpful videos, feedback to consumer questions, and participation in social media sites on an egalitarian level.

Big Tip for “Sexy” Social Video: Work on REAL Social Relationships with Your Consumers

Brands can build much more engaging and long-lasting relationships with their own customers by balancing “sexy” video for getting attention and building excitement, along with relationship-building videos that encourage ongoing conversations and helpful service.

To quote an earlier article I wrote on this subject for the Video Commerce Consortium site, here is what I recommend for how a business can harness the power of sex and relationships for social media marketing campaigns with video:

  • First have the sexual attraction. Develop a video or video series that gets your audience’s attention, and has their initial interest. But don’t treat it as a “fling.” Instead, treat it as a romance, with a promise of more to come. Better yet, give them an opportunity to openly respond and share their own interest and feedback directly with you and others.
  • Next, work at social side of the relationship. In other words, show a genuine personal interest with others. Don’t take your audience (i.e., customers/consumers/users) for granted. Maintain the relationship by listening to what your customers say their needs are, and be regularly and consistently responsive with helpful new videos featuring information and resources. Better yet, encourage your consumer base to submit their own videos with questions, comments, and allow them to help others. That’s an outstanding way for brands to have a real, authentic, and egalitarian social relationship with their consumers through video.

You Will Last Longer With Sexy Social Video Marketing, Done Right!

So remember that when you’re thinking of doing a “sexy” video for effective social marketing, have a plan for how you’ll keep the actual relationship with your stakeholders solid and long-lasting!