The Impact of Emotional Tone and Music in Corporate Videos

Corporate videos are an essential way for businesses to connect with their customers and stakeholders. They can be used to showcase products and services, share company news, or promote events. But to get your audience to act—to do, think, feel, say, buy, or buy into—you’ll need to tap into their emotions.

Music selection is one of the most important elements in creating a successful corporate video. With the right track or tracks, it’s incredible how quickly you can make an emotional connection with your audience.

Matching Emotional Tone in Video

The emotional tone of a corporate video shapes how viewers perceive the message. A video that is too dry and factual can be boring and lack engagement. On the other hand, a video that is too emotional can be seen as manipulative. Finding the right balance with music is key. These questions will help you identify the right tone for the video.

  • Who is your target audience and what do you want them to do or feel after watching the video?
  • What are the key messages that you need your audience to understand after watching the video?
  • What is the emotional tone of those key messages? (e.g. a message of inclusion might feel inspirational or hopeful)

When the music matches the tone of your message, it heightens the emotional connection your audience will feel. Pairing an uplifting, soaring song with a motivational voiceover and exciting imagery will rally any employee into action. For a human resources video about employee health and wellness, a gentle and caring tone can be accomplished with a light and bright soundtrack.

Music Selection Strategy

The next step is to find music that will achieve the desired tone. Think about your favorite movie soundtrack: Which song elements impact the scenes the most? Is it the specific instruments used, the beat and pacing, or the lyrics? How do they convey emotions separate from the visuals of the film?

While it may be tempting to use a popular song, this is cost-prohibitive for many organizations. Choosing a song from a popular artist may also distract viewers from really hearing your message. And since we believe that video can be multipurpose for many years, will that song go out of style and make your video appear dated?

The better route is to choose licensable music from an online library. Dozens of libraries online have license-ready music in all genres, song lengths, and tones. Music can be purchased for a reasonable cost and for as long as you intend to show this video.

Another important element to consider besides cost is whether the music you select has lyrics. If the song you choose does have lyrics, make sure they don’t distract from your message. Songs with controversial or polarizing lyrics could also turn viewers away, even if the instrumental part of the song matches your tone.

Whether your song is on the radio or from a music library, make sure you have the proper licensing in place. Using copyrighted music without permission can lead to legal trouble.

Make an Emotional Impact with Music

When you understand how music selection impacts the desired emotional tone, you can create corporate videos that engage and resonate with any audience. Music is such a wonderful emotional tool because it plays a subtle and subconscious role.

We like to think of corporate video as an opportunity for storytelling. Stories are built into our human nature. Real-life examples and anecdotes from company employees will illustrate your message to draw viewers in. Music will work in the background to enhance that storytelling and build connection.

Above all, be true to your brand and mission, even in your music choices. The tone and style of your music selections should reflect the tone and style of your overall brand.

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“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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