I few weeks ago I started posting short (10-13 second) videos to promote DHP and test a theory. How often do people click to watch videos and even listen to the audio on videos that appear on social media? How long do they watch and what prompts them to do so?
I used videos like this one to gauge what percentage of viewers where enticed to listen to the crackling of the sparklers:
Or this one, to see if anyone was interested in listening to ambient sounds.
The experiment is still ongoing on FB, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram as well as small focus group studies. Here's what I have found so far:
Higher probability of clicking sound:
1) People click to hear the audio if they see a person talking and there are no captions.
2) They click audio if the thumbnail depicts something that makes a sound.
Lower probability of clicking audio:
1) If the thumbnail has no action.
2) If in the first three seconds, there is nothing that makes noise.
3) If there are no people in the video.
If it is a topic the viewer is already interested in, they are more likely to watch the video all they way through. There is significant drop-off in viewership with lower interest in the subject. Most people watch just a few seconds and move-on. But, and this is key, if the viewer has a vested interest, they will take the time to watch.
Conclusion thus far, if you want to make sure your message is received as intended, make sure that you close-caption your video. So, even if the viewer does not click to listen to the audio or click the video at all, they may still watch it due to autoplay. Also, using people in the video gets viewers to watch longer. If you don't use them then make sure there is some kind of action.
What is most interesting is that, for example, if you sell lawn chairs and you put out a video about your new styles of lawn chairs - people looking to buy or those interested in decor are most likely to watch your video. These are the people you are targeting. This is why you create content, to reach those that want or need your product. Use people when possible to show or talk about your product. If not, then use interesting visuals. Use movement in your shots. All of this will get you the most viewers and more potential customers.