Web Videos in Social Media: Why the First 8 Seconds Make the Difference!

Web videos and social media: the WILD principle for success - filmpuls
Why the first 8 seconds can be deadly | © Photo: FreePik

Social media is not just a distribution platform for web videos. They are also a gigantic graveyard of millions of productions that no one wants to see. Why? Because eight seconds makes the difference. That’s why you want to know the WILD principle.

Millions of videos eke out a forgotten existence as an anemic zombie on YouTube and other platforms online. Every hour, hundreds of thousands of films are clicked on, only to be sent back into digital oblivion seconds later.

The fact that many films and videos on the web often only last a few seconds is not always due to their content alone. But often also on the structure and the inner structure of web videos.

In this article, FILMPULS shows you how to think, shoot and edit videos that survive online for longer than 8 seconds. The term video is openly defined: the WILD principle presented here also applies to creating GIFs or social videos.

You have to know that

  • Your most important question is: Do viewers watch your video to the end? If no, why not? Find out and learn!
  • Many people give you just 8 seconds before they decide for or against your video (goldfish effect).
  • The WILD principle for web videos says: WOW effect, arouse interest, don’t forget logic and at the end a call to action (Do it!).
  • Think about the sound (video must be understandable even without) and the image format (portrait or landscape, depending on the platform).

Key metric for web videos: The watch-through quotient

In the case of videos on the Internet, before the question of impact arises the question of whether the viewer has even watched the video from A to Z. Because only then it usually unfolds its effect.

Logical, actually. What you can’t see can’t trigger anything! Professionals refer to this metric as View Trough Rate, abbreviated as VTR. It is an essential factor for success. That is why VTR also plays a role in the conception of moving images that should not be underestimated.

The Goldfish Effect

The attention span of the modern media consumer is said to last a whole 8 seconds, according to a study by Microsoft. This is the first time that the average attention of a goldfish has been scientifically proven to exceed that of a media consumer. But that’s not all. If you don’t get what you want, you can click on the next attraction after just a few seconds on the Internet.

Creatives designing pre-roll ads for YouTube channels face this time guillotine, as do creators of video on the web, planners of marketing campaigns with video email, and operators of social video platforms.

What do you have to do to ensure that your own video doesn’t go down soundlessly in the battle for attention?

4 simple check questions, by their very nature, cannot be a programmable, automatic guarantee of successful videos on the web.

But the questions help address video challenges on the web from the start. However, the 4 questions are no substitute for creativity, nor are they a substitute for knowledge of how the various web channels work and how they are positioned with regard to the intended target audience.

The WILD principle for web videos

Because in all probability not only goldfish read these lines and so the 4 check questions are easy to memorize within a few seconds, each question is assigned a letter as a mark.

  1. The first letter in the word W-I-L-D stands for Wow!,
  2. the second letter for interesting,
  3. followed by Logical and
  4. the final Do it.

Most watched videos are doing something right. And there are lessons to be learned from this. That is why the WILD principle exists.

“W” for Wow!! effect

Everything has a beginning. Even a web video. On the Internet and on social channels, this fact alone will not win you a single viewer. A web video on social media platforms doesn’t need a beginning to start, it needs a fishhook! That’s the “Wow!!!” effect. The user needs to be intrigued immediately. Upon entering a web video, a merciless internal stopwatch begins to run at a monkey’s pace for the user: Why should I watch these images, this content? And why should I keep watching, when there are countless, perhaps better, video contents waiting for me?

The beginning of any web video needs to be nothing more and nothing less than a great promise (a “Wow!”) to the target audience. The opening and first few seconds of a social video are critical to viewer success.

“Fart to start!“American marketing professionals call this WOW effect, which is intended to draw the viewer’s attention to the subsequent message in web videos, less appetizingly.

The Wow!!! effect is a promise when making video for social media. Not having a promise is one of the deadly sins of communicating with social video. This promise does not necessarily have to be the climax of the video, as has been propagated with relish by established media houses time and again in recent times.

Of course, you can shoot all your powder at the beginning and then explain afterwards why the cannon fired. But the cannon has already fired anyway. “Wow!” effects can be created with all means from the dramaturgical toolbox of communication with film and video. Whether with a loud bang or by means of contrast on the soundtrack to the image, whether with formal tricks or sensational images. There are countless wonderful ways to start making a promise to the viewer with moving images.

“I” for: Interesting

As in real life, the same applies to web videos: If you make a promise, you have to keep it. Everything that follows the “Wow!!” at the beginning of the video must be subordinate to this promise. Images as well as content. A post that promises sports or culture must not switch to business topics. Web videos that formally follow a magazine must retain their magazine format. If this is not the case, they will be perceived as uninteresting by the viewer.

Interesting is everything that continues and fulfils the promises made at the start of the film from the WOW effect from the point of view of the target audience and from the subjective perception of the user. For the second step it is now: Walk the talk!

Crafty creators will even want to offer their viewers something more. With the famous so-called “Extra Step”, the chance for the sender of the web video to be positively commented on and shared on social media increases once again.

The WILD principle: “L” = Logical

There’s an end to everything. Also, making good on promises in a web video. But that doesn’t mean that the viewer of a video on the internet stops thinking at that point. On the contrary. For the maker, it may be logical that his video stops at this point. But to the viewer, it may be just as logical for the storytelling to continue.

Good stories cannot be foreseen, but they are always logical. Bad stories are always predictable, but not logical. Especially with web videos and on social media it is a good idea to tell the story on another channel or medium.

Despite the wow effect and the subsequent interesting content of the video, it’s important to remember that good storytelling has a lot to do with logic.

“D” for: Do it!

In the WILD principle, the “Do it!” prompt stands for the CTA (Call to Action). If you’re the proud owner of a cat that can do a backflip, you might be very happy to post a video of your circus-ready feline on the web. Otherwise, the following applies: Videos transport emotions and information in order to create a targeted effect.

Effect can only manifest itself when the viewer is taken by the hand and made aware of the goal. This requires a call to action at the end of the video, which serves as a signpost to the next step.

The viewer must and will always decide for himself – but he expects to be told what he should decide for or against. Whether subtle or with the berserker’s crowbar, the Call To Action at the end of the web video indirectly or directly tells the viewer what is expected of them as the next step.

Microsoft Attention-Spans Infographic for Moving Images in Social Media
Attention span according to a study by Microsoft

If you want to establish contact with the user, you should enable him to do so as easily and quickly as possible, and before he searches for similar topics in the browser. It’s not just 360 videos where this is often forgotten.

Success factors of web videos in social media

When creating social video, it is advisable not to forgo a good storyboard. In this way, the WILD principle can be checked as early as the pre-visualization stage.

If you want to check whether a video on the Internet actually conveys added value to the viewer, consider whether the viewer/user can answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions:

  • “Thanks to this web video, I now know the latest news.”
  • “I was able to learn something for myself with this web video.”
  • “I enjoyed this web video.”
  • “I have been emotionally touched by this web video.”

If different channels (see below) are to be used, it must be possible to play out videos for the Internet in different image formats. Unlike TV, online advertising not only uses the 16:9 format, but also square and vertical formats.

Sound level on social media

Videos on the web need to be understandable without sound because of social media. Many users have muted their computer, tablet or smartphone. As the sender of the video, you also want to reach these people with your core message.

metrics filmpuls: How videos are measured in social media - the WILD principle

Low-budget videos, the content to transport the statement desire to the sound level (Off-voice, etc.) are usually allowed and forced to accept many restrictions. Nevertheless, the intelligibility of the audio track must never be compromised on social media. Nothing makes a video seem amateur faster than an unintelligible audio track with noise. This is especially true for self-produced videos. Testimonial, which can quickly become a pain without a clean audio track. (Here are some tips for the iPhone video shoot.)

The use of microphones permanently mounted on the camera is an unalterable taboo and reserved for absolute emergencies.

Think Web Videos Sequentially

For serial communication with video, content that can stand up to competitive headwinds is vital. If you’re a viewer who drops out at some point in the middle of the first video of a series, you’ll refuse to watch any further episodes of the series. Whether it’s a boss on camera in a CEO video or anyone else.

So it doesn’t help much when the quality of the storytelling and the quality of the video on social media improves markedly from episode 5 onwards. Winning back lost viewers is extremely more costly than doing your homework cleanly from the start, according to the rules of art and craft.

With the WILD principle, there are no excuses: The performance of web videos is a reflection of the competence of the creators. Even if authenticity is paramount to good commissioned films (more on that in Film Pulse: Authenticity: Why good films must shine and ache) Even if, similar to politics, sports or the weather, some success factors for the favor of the audience are difficult to assess: Those who do not survey and use the entire panorama of possibilities will, like the viewer, quickly discover that when a monkey looks in the mirror, no philosopher looks back out of the mirror.

Overview of current video platforms with video lengths:

social media platformLength Web Video
YouTubeper video depending on status between max. 15 min. and 11 hrs.
for YouTube partners: possible without time limit
Vimeonot limited by runtime but only by the file amount/file size (per week 500MB/5GB/20GB)
FacebookVideo maximum 40 min.
for Facebook partner agencies: 120 min.
daily motionper video maximum 60 min.
Twittermax. 30 seconds per video
for partner agencies of Twitter: 10 min.
Tumblrper video maximum 5 min.
for partner agencies: limited data amount of max. 100 MB
Instagrammax. 15 seconds per video clip / extended to 60 seconds. See also the article Create Instagram Videos
for Instagram partner agencies: 30 sec. / 60 sec.
Snapchatmaximum 10 seconds per video clip
Vinemaximum 6 seconds per video clip

Table: Key technical data, as of April 2016

How web videos survive longer than 3 seconds on social media

This YouTube pre-roll video interpreted the wow effect in the WILD principle as a reversal… – and made advertising history! Not only does it fulfill its audience promise.

This congenially implemented web video manages to place the logo as part of the film concept right from the start.

Further Information

http://www.socialmediainformer.com and https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-video-metrics. If it’s about more than just the first few seconds for you, we recommend the article: 7 reasons why you should get to know the DANIELA Principle®!

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Carrie Duvan
About Carrie Duvan 18 Articles
Carrie Duvan hat am Aufbau einer Social Media Plattform mitgearbeitet und war Chief Web Officer (CWO) für ein internationales Agenturnetzwerk. Carrie ist glücklich ❤️ verheiratet und Mutter.

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