The World Beyond the View is full of interactivity, engagement and metrics that do more than track clicks.
Here are three simple ideas to get you thinking about what is truly important to make your videos work for your goals.
1. A View is Not a View
Since different platforms have different definitions of a view, it is a reasonable question to ask: What is a view anymore?
For example, on Facebook, videos begin to count as a view if they play for at least three seconds. However, videos autoplay on mute so they may not necessarily be watched and yet still be counted as a view. There is a also a separate counter for views lasting at least 10 seconds.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so the three second rule is in effect to count as a view three seconds for Twitter as well, however, the entire video must be inside the browser window for the view to count.
For Vine, the focus is to insure that the entire six second video is watched.
Many video ad platforms, including Google AdWords, require a video to be viewed for at least 30 seconds for it to count. That way you know your video was seen for at least 30 seconds to justify the cost of the click.
As for YouTube, well that is a bit of an enigma. YouTube intentionally keeps private the algorithm it uses to determine a view. We know it is somewhere in between one and 30 seconds but the exact amount of time can vary based upon a number of factors (i.e. whether the view is an embed or not, where it is embedded, how quickly views are coming in, etc). YouTube even has a system in place to verify views as authentic and not simply “bot” generated.
What is most important is that there isn’t a simple and consistent way of looking at the definition of a view. The key takeaway here is regardless of which platform you are using, it is most important to think about what else can you combine with the “view” to generate some tangible information about the success of your video.
2. Heat Mapping
Heat mapping is not a metric, but it’s a way to look at how a video is viewed in one aggregated manner. In other words, it’s a great way to observe viewing patterns, which can tell you an abundance about your audience. And by doing this, you can learn generally what is–or is not–working with your video campaign. Many platforms even show a separate layer of the heat map to show if the same user watched a video more than once.
If you see a spike in a heat map, what does it mean? Typically, it means there’s a pattern of rewinding the video and replaying that segment. Again, a great way to learn more about what your audience finds important.
3. 360/VR is the Future
360 Video is video that allows you to explore 360 degrees of the image. These videos can be viewed on a number of different platforms, devices and even browsers. In combination with Google Cardboard or a headset like Oculus Rift, the result can be a truly immersed Virtual Reality experience but it does not have to be VR in order to be effective.
Both Facebook and YouTube have 360 Video functionality and both are currently supported on Firefox and Google Chrome. If you want to use another browser (i.e. Safari), functionality may be limited. Speaking of YouTube, it is doubling down on the technology. Check out this recent announcement about how YouTube now includes Spatial Audio which would allow the viewer/listener to know the direction of where the sound was coming from.
The beauty of 360 Video is the level of engagement you get from just one piece of content. You are encouraging people to explore at their own pace, what they find important and when they have the time to do it. And many of the interactions can be tracked.
Check out the videos Tourism Australia posted. They got hundreds of thousands of views on these videos. See the engagement for yourself.
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If you have any questions about some of the topics I raised please feel free to reach out to me directly. Or check out a recent article we posted about interactive video.
Looking forward to interacting with you in the future.
About Glenn Zimmerman
Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.” His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age. He developed an intense interest in extreme skiing and other extreme sports before they were a thing…because every superhero should try flying at least once. While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to post-Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.
His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his Master of Science in Mass Communications. He later became an award-winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC-TV).
And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.
With Mad Bear, Glenn harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.
Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.