Why People Aren’t Watching Your Entire Facebook Video

Posted on Posted in Facebook Advertising

Stop Assuming So Much

When you see a video that’s been watched 1,000 times on Facebook, it’ll say how many times it’s been watched. What that really means is that it’s been seen for 3 seconds that many times.

A Facebook video view is defined as 3 seconds.

That’s not very long, and that doesn’t really mean that they even watched it. It could be that that video was in their News Feed for 3 seconds while they looked something above or below it, okay? It’s not really a video view, and so you need to go into your Facebook Page Insights to get a little bit more detail on your video views, or run some Facebook ads to get even more detail, because if you run Facebook ads to promote your video views, you’re going to find out how many people watched for 30 seconds, what was your average duration of video view, and so it’s interesting.

We’ve got … I’ve got some of my own videos, I’ve got clients that have run videos. We’ve seen some videos where people, like, the average duration viewed was, like, 5 minutes, and that is a long time, because with a lot of videos we’ve looked at, the average view’s about 10 to 15 seconds.

That’s really low, so you need to look at your metrics, because most people are assuming, and they assumed this for years with YouTube videos, that the number of video views that you have is the number of people who watched the whole video, and that’s not true. If you look at your YouTube video analytics, you’re going to see retention. Look at retention, and look at that graph of how it just drops off, like after the first 10, 15, 30 seconds.

Most people aren’t watching it anymore, so you better not be putting your best stuff, like, 2 minutes in, or you better have a really interesting video, or a reason for them to watch until the end.

Why Should People Keep Watching?

You know, when we do webinars, we say, “Hey, do this, and we’re going to give you this at the end. Stay the whole time, we’re going to give you this bonus.” You know, we give you a reason to stay until the end, and that’s something to consider putting in videos, right?

Why should they watch until the end?

They’re going to get this bonus, right?

If you really want duration, then you really want retention. Another thing you could do to get people to watch longer is to say, like, when you do a video ad, you could say, “Hey, check out the blank at 45 seconds in, or a minute and a half in.”

It’s kind of like those BuzzFeed posts where they say, “The Top 20 Cute Kittens In The World, And #15 Will Change The Way You Think About Cats Forever,” you know, and that makes you go, #1, and makes you look at #15, okay? With a video, you could do that.

Like, I’ve had some videos that I posted of my keynotes, and I say, “Check out the joke at 1 minute and 30 seconds in,” and it definitely does increase the amount of time people watch for, so that’s a trick, but you have to be more interesting, and you have to look at your analytics and don’t assume people are watching the whole time, okay? As you create more videos, you’re going to learn certain videos are keeping around, and certain ones aren’t, you know?

By the way, one last thing I’ll tell you. If you want to lower your cost per video view, have a look at all the metrics and put them in a scatter chart and figure out the R2 values.

It’s All In The Metrics

What metric correlates the best with lowest cost per video view? It’s the percentage of video watched; so it seems like if you want to lower cost per video view, you need to not make your videos longer than they should be, okay?

If it’s only good enough to be a 30 second video, don’t make it a 2 minute long video, and that means, edit, and that’s not a good thing for Facebook Live, okay? Facebook Live videos can be too long very easily, because you’re live, and you feel like you can talk as long as you want.

I still think edited videos are powerful, because they respect people’s time, and you can cut out the bad parts.