According to HubSpot, 85 percent of the U.S Internet market watches videos online. Since visuals tend to capture attention more than just words alone, the big question is, how do you keep viewers engaged? It turns out there are some simple key steps that you can use to retain your audience’s’ fickle attention.
It may seem obvious that the longer a video drags on, the lower its retention. But the content marketing pros at Single Grain point out that videos less than 1 minute in length capture 80 percent viewer retention up to the 30-second mark, while videos 2-3 minutes in length enjoy 60 percent viewer retention. Generally speaking, videos that are 5-10 minutes long are essentially the cut–off length for marketing purposes; however, even these see more than 50 percent retention halfway through.
So, what is the message here? The point is that viewers watch your video for as long as they need (or thing they need) to get the pertinent information from it. The goal is to appropriately engage your target audience, not necessarily retain total viewership.
So, how do you engage and retain your target viewing audience? Let’s take a look!
While consistency is important, it isn’t the only factor. If the end-goal is viewer engagement and retention, think of content as the best way to get there. The better and more consistent your content, the better and more consistent your audience. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. Developing a schedule can help. That way your core audience knows when to expect something and begins to look forward to it, BuzzFeed has used this model very successfully with some of their weekly video series.
Engage your audience through media just like you would in an everyday conversation—it should be a back-and-forth exchange. It is important to connect with viewers across all social media platforms. If you have fans on YouTube, cross-platform engage with them via Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to make this a priority as it will only help your online presence. Benny Luo from NewMedia Rockstars put it bluntly, “Remember: in the social media era, if you don’t engage with your audience, they won’t engage with you.”
Engagement Leads to Action
Now that you have gotten viewers to watch your video, it is important to go the next step. Ending a video with a “call to action” is strongly recommended. What are some examples? Ask them to subscribe to your channel or provide social media links so that they can easily like or share the content. Not concluding with some type of actionable item is a missed opportunity.
Timing is Everything
Pay attention to peak posting times. According to ReelSEO, the best time to upload content is during the week, preferably Wednesday and Thursday, between 12pm and 1pm. This is because peak traffic time is 2 pm (post-lunch distraction?) and you want to ensure that your video content is ready to be viewed.
Overall, these four tips can go a long way to helping you gain, engage, and retain your audience. For more helpful tips on how to effectively engage your audience through video, download this complimentary white paper!