Five Tips For Online Video Engagement

Time and content are the winning combination

Jennifer Kirby, PentaVision Media
Although The Clash’s, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” isn’t about online video engagement, it easily applies. After all, this is what viewers immediately think upon clicking play. In fact, an online video has just 10 seconds — yes 10 seconds — to get viewers to “stay,” according to AdAge.
So, what can you do to increase the likelihood of maintaining viewers? To start, focus on video length. Specifically, keep in mind that viewer engagement is at its highest with two-minute clips, reveals Wistia, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Internet video hosting and analytics company. Next, check out these five tips from John Cecil, founder of Oculu, LLC, a Los Altos, California-based video platform company, and author of “Online Video Revolution: How to Reinvent and Market Your Business Using Video:”
1. Get to the point fast! “The problem with a lot of online videos is that they often start with information, such as, “We’ve been around for 20 years,” he explains. “Companies need to get to their point very fast, or the audience will quickly move on.” Mr. Cecil adds that this tends to happen when marketers try to translate traditional marketing materials, such as brochures or other copy for their businesses, to online video. One medium doesn’t necessarily translate to another one.

2. Use a spokesperson or well-known doctor to deliver the message. Shooting an actor or actress in front of a green screen works well in garnering and maintaining viewer engagement and so does using popular experts in specific fields,” he explains. “For example, ‘I’m Dr. X, and this is why I think you should recommend Y for your patients.’" A Caveat: Often, experts can either be too expensive and/or bad on camera, so companies should always vet them prior to making a decision to use them, Mr. Cecil adds.
3. Employ graphics. “If the company chooses to go with a voice-over, for example, the video should have that person’s words appear throughout the presentation to sort of reinforce the message,” Mr. Cecil explains.
4. Include a call to action. What does the company that put the video out want viewers to do as a result of the video? For example, does the company want viewers to fill out a form? Buy a product? This should be stated, otherwise, what is the point? he says.
5. Research color. “Certain colors do help with audience engagement, but the right color can depend on several variables, such as the product being discussed,” Mr. Cecil explains. “So, I can’t say definitely use this color or that color, though colors do enhance the effectiveness of videos.” (For ideas, see https://bit.ly/2PcenAc.)
Here’s the thing: YouTube mobile users are twice as likely to pay close attention while watching YouTube vs. TV users while watching TV, according to Google data. Thus, it makes sense for companies eager to market their services and products to embrace online video. But, “you’ve got to let them [viewers] know. Should they stay or should they go?”  PV

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