Why Your Videos Don't Get Views (and Why You Shouldn't Care).

If you’re in the video production, filmmaking, or marketing industry, odds are you’ve pined over those videos that ‘go viral’ and even lost sleep over the contrastingly low views of one of your videos. There’s a reason your videos don’t go viral, and you should be happy that they don’t.

Ever since Korean pop super-star Psy nearly broke YouTube with the first billion plus view count (his three most popular videos on YouTube have a cumulative 5 billions views), we’ve all had day dreams of our videos doing just that. A well crafted video of ours picking up steam, gaining millions of views, validating what we do and getting recognition from our peers, and earning that elusive YouTube fame that those damn Swedish teens have. I’ll admit I get this delusion of grandeur occasionally, and I have to stop myself each time.

Our job here at Droi Media, and most likely yours too, isn’t creating viral videos; it’s to create compelling, engaging brand videos for our clients that adds value to their business and provides them with a good return on their investment (ROI). If one of our clients runs a gymnastics training company in a mid-sized market here in Illinois, then we want to direct our efforts to the people who might be interested in them - i.e. the people that will either attend themselves or send their kids there. The video we produce for her needs to target their clients, not every single person in the state, the country, or the world.

If we produce a video for a client, upload or link the final video to the Droi Media YouTube account, share it a few times, and sit back to wait for the fame, recognition, and fortunes to come rolling in we’re going to be sitting there for awhile. If this is a scenario you’ve found yourself in, or found yourself even considering, then you need to understand that the end goal of yours is vastly different from the end goal of your client. Our client doesn’t care about 50,000 views appearing overnight on the video, she cares about telling her story and appealing to her customers needs, enticing them into her shop and ultimately making money from those customers. If this means 50 views and 5 new customers for her, then let’s call it a success (even at only 50 views).

When I look at the data on my videos, I love seeing views, but what I love even more is seeing engagement rates. For those of us who don’t know what that is, engagement rates are how long a viewer is watching a video (how engaged they are!). 

The higher the percentage on the right the more of your video a viewer watched (above 100% means they clicked back and rewatched portions).

The higher the percentage on the right the more of your video a viewer watched (above 100% means they clicked back and rewatched portions).

Engagement rates, to me, are a vastly superior measurement to views because they show audience buy-in to whatever it is your client is selling (and just as important: buy-in to the story you’re telling.) One audience member who relates to the story and is engaged enough to watch the video in its entirety is much more likely to turn into an actual customer than 50 audience members who can’t relate and click away before the end. One scenario gets you 50 views and a client who has no new customers, and the other gets you one view and a client with a new customer. In which scenario do you think the client is more likely to pass your name along or hire you again?

I know it’s tough to not worry about views. Keeping the client’s needs in the forefront will likely mean you’re producing a video that won’t always appeal the general public, won’t garner you a Webby or an Addy nomination, or cause Hollywood to take notice. However, if you work with them to understand their client base and ultimately come up with a compelling, creative way to engage with those clients, then that customer will think of you the next time they need video or marketing work done, and better yet, they will probably tell other people about the stellar work you did and how much value your services added.

Instead of worrying about views focus your efforts and energies on what your client’s needs are. Both you and your client will end up with a much better video and you’ll both be more likely to attract customers in doing so. You might not gain worldwide YouTube fame this way, but you can certainly get it locally if you add enough value to your client’s marketing strategies.

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