What is good video retention and how do I improve it? That has become a never ending quest for everyone working with video on social media today.
Want to read more? Download our e-book on Facebook retention here!
What is video retention?
Video retention basically means ”Average time spent in video”, or: ”How many viewers keep watching your video through it’s entire length?”. This measurement – the retention curve – is provided by the social media platforms themselves.
However, it’s easy to get depressed by a curve that drops fast, since most of us loose a lot of viewers early in the video.
But what if we could make this curve into a tool that we can actually work with?
How to analyze the video retention curve
Ignore the first drop
CEO and Founder of Storykit.
Since videos autostart on social media platforms you will always have a natural drop in the beginning of the curve. If your video is 1 minute, almost half of the audience could leave your video within the first 10%.
They were simply not interested in the subject you want to talk about.
– They never made an active choice to watch the video, you have to keep that in mind, says Peder Bonnier, CEO and founder of Storykit.
– I call the first drop the ”Targeting Drop”. If you didn’t have a drop here, you probably could have attracted a lot more people with your video. The targeting drop shows you the audience who are really interested in the subject you want to talk about.
Ignore the drop at the end
If we keep the example with a 1 minute video, you probably have some sort of ending, and then a logo to finish it off. So when we reach 85-90% of the videos playtime, the viewer already understands that the video has ended, and goes on scrolling.
– There is a common saying in the industry that you should measure retention by ”how many viewers are left at 95 % of the video”, but that is grossly misleading. You will most certainly have an ”Outro drop” earlier than 95 %. So that won’t show you how your video actually performed, says Peder Bonnier.
Look at the ”Productivity zone”
The most important analysis of your retention should be done between your targeting drop and your outro drop.
– How do we treat the audience that have shown an interest in our video – or more accurately – how do they treat us? This is where we get our quality insights, Peder Bonnier says, and continues:
– In this ”Productivity zone”, you want the retention curve to be as flat as possible. If it is, you have a perfect video. Even if only 4 % of the viewers are left at 95 % of the video’s playtime.
But a lot can happen even during the productivity zone. You need to really look at what happens in your video at the time your audiens drops.
A new tool to analyze the productivity zone
– We just launched an update of Storykit that gives you the possibility to tag your script with information about what happens at all times in your video. Then we can match that to the retention curve and help our users to analyze what’s happening, in a structured way, says Peder Bonnier.
Maybe your viewers keep dropping off every time you quote someone from your own company?
– Should you be asking other kinds of questions, or maybe not talk so much about yourselves? When you can mark your script in a structured way, you will understand what drives retention over time.
Don't stare in despair
But even if you don’t produce videos in Storykit, you can still look for the right things in your retention curve – not just stare in despair at the 95 %-mark. Because if that’s your only measurement – the only solution to getting a better result is to make a shorter video. But that might not be the right way to engage your target audience:
– Then you will end up communicating with a packshot and a price. That is an option – but the real way to success in social media is to deliver content that can attract people between your kid’s soccer and your cousins wedding photos.
To learn more about how to succeed using video for social media, read our Video Creation Guide!
Listen to Storykit Talks!
Did you know that this interview is actually the first episode of our new podcast Storykit Talks! You can listen to the interview on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts and so forth. (At the moment the conversation is in Swedish, though...)
You can also see a video of the conversation on Youtube.