“Are you not entertained?!!!”

How do we improve Audience Retention in Online Video Production?

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Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. If you are reading this blog, you probably know about YouTube. It’s actually quite hard not to know of this free online video service. Most people have heard that YouTube is the second largest online search engine and that it is estimated that by the end of 2020, nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be based on video consumption. YouTube has some really interesting features and mechanics that can help you to produce your own video. I’ll present my favourite metric and how you can use it as inspiration for your online video production.

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It’s all about the metrics

But first a small step back. There are many metrics you can apply to analyse your video and channel performance. The biggest one is off course how many views your video has had. This is closely followed by the amount of likes. Finally the amount of subscribers to your channel shows you how many people are eager to consume your content. I could go deeper into the relatively new bell mechanic and how it relates to online video production but that is not the goal of this blog.

My go-to metric is actually Audience Retention. This metric measures how many of your audience actually watch the video in full. Furthermore, it also shows you when they stopped watching if they couldn’t make it to the end.

Unlike views, subscribers and likes, this metric actually shows how interesting your content is for your audience. Have you been able to capture and hold the attention of the viewer? The Audience Retention will tell you. It is inevitable that you will lose viewers. Having all of your viewers watch your video to the end is an impossible task. The challenge is to keep the amount of full views as high as possible.

So if you understand how the audience retention metric works, you can apply the same line of thinking in your pre-production. How will you design your video content in a way that it captures and retains the attention of the audience? This is where our timeline pre-production approach really comes in handy. Timelines are the cornerstone of online video production.

Think, plan & design

If you visualise your video as a timeline before you start to film, you can plan and schedule every scene and shot. By doing so, you’re working to retain the attention of the audience. Don’t just point and shoot. Think about the general concept of your video and how you will present it to your audience in your video. How are you managing the attention span of the viewer? Are you sure that people will watch it till the end? What kind of incentive do you offer to keep watching? That is the challenge in online video production.

Movie directors don’t want the audience to walk out of the cinema. You shouldn’t want that either. And your job is even more difficult. People who go to cinema have actually bought a ticket and expect to be entertained in return. But someone watching your video on Youtube can walk out with one simple click… How will you keep them entertained?

 

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