4 Data-Backed Online Video Hacks to Grab Fans’ Eyeballs 👀

online video for small businesses

It was just six months ago that I last wrote about the importance of online video in your marketing mix. (Video Is Smoking Hot for Small Business and These Stats Prove It!)

I hate to go back to the well, but this is important! I just stumbled across a WOW stat and had to share it.

In a recent survey by video software publisher Animoto, 64% of consumers said that a marketing video on Facebook had influenced a purchase decision in the last month.


Ready for more? Based on the same survey of 1,000 consumers and 500 marketers, here are four data-backed hacks to grab more eyeballs with online video.

1. Optimize Online Video for Mobile, or Lose Your Audience

Key stat: 84% of consumers watch online video on their mobile devices.

That stat may seem like a no-brainer but just think about how crazy it would’ve sounded just two or three years ago.

Screens are getting bigger, broadband networks are getting more powerful, and marketers are meeting the demand.

More than 80% of marketers who post online videos are optimizing those videos for mobile.

That means adjusting for smaller screens (well, smaller than a desktop display or television) and creating versions of videos in square and vertical or portrait orientation.

2. Use Closed Captioning to Engage Mobile Viewers.

Key stat: 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off.

Speaking of mobile video hacks, remember that videos on Facebook play automatically – and silently – when scrolled past. No wonder you see so many online videos now with text on them!

Marketers have taken note with 67% of them laying text on most or all of their videos and 51% going all-in with closed captioning.

The payoff? Nearly 40% of consumers are more likely to finish a video with subtitles than without. Better start transcribing!

3. Think Twice Before Over-Investing in YouTube.

Key stat: Consumers watch more branded videos daily via Instagram Stories and Snapchat than YouTube.

If you can’t post everywhere (damn day job), then where should you invest your efforts? The vast majority of marketers’ investment in video production and advertising is on Facebook and YouTube.

But don’t sleep on emerging platforms.

Consumers are already more likely to watch branded videos daily on Instagram Stories and Snapchat than on YouTube.

It sometimes takes marketers time to catch up with trends, so expect to see dollars and effort to increasingly shift toward the newer platforms.

And what about options like Facebook Live? Consumer haven’t entirely embraced live video yet as the preference for live vs. pre-recorded is still split nearly 50-50.

4. Make Your Point Fast, Then Stop Recording.

Key stat: 43% of consumers decide whether or not to finish a video within 15 seconds.

So, yeah, this is no time for subtlety. You need to grab their attention fast!

The attention span challenge is heightened on mobile with 66% of all views lasting less than one minute and 34% lasting less than 30 seconds.

By comparison, 45% of desktop views are less than a minute and 20% are less than 30 seconds.

If you have a juicy hook or angle to your video, put it out there right away. Say it in the video itself and write it in the copy around the video (YouTube descriptions, Facebook posts, etc.).

Oh, and if you must drone on and on, make sure you’re teaching your audience something. Educational content is most likely to maintain a consumers’ attention beyond one minute.

Share your tips for online video below!

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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