How to get more Engagement during (and after) a Global Pandemic

The pandemic has changed the way we consume content. Follow this guide to ensure you get good engagement during and after the COVID-19 global pandemic

The pandemic has changed the way we all live our lives. It doesn't matter where you are from or what you do - the COVID-19 pandemic brought a change nobody saw coming. Specifically, 2020 changed the way we consume content, particularly video content. Here we will outline how you can capitalise on this change, and increase user engagement.

With no choice but to stay at home, social media platforms have become crucial for staying in touch with our loved ones. Nowadays, we trust short-form videos to improve our mood and help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. The global pandemic has seen a rise in the consumption of videos, specifically short-form videos. It's no secret that the popularity of short-form videos has been on the rise for a while, however the pandemic seems to have acted as a catalyst for this rise in demand. This is due to people spending more time at home and looking for a distraction from the events that surround us.

Since lockdown restrictions were put in place, statistics show that more than two-thirds of consumers are spending between 30 minutes to three hours watching short videos online. Data shows that 83% of consumers will continue to watch at least as much or more short-form video content in 2021. The most noticeable increase seen has been amongst younger audiences, with 80% of 18-24 year olds now spending more time watching online videos.

What is a short-form video?

A video that is under two and a half minutes is considered short-form.

Why is short-form video content so popular?

A few reasons behind the popularity of short-form content are listed below:

  • We lead busy lives; short-form videos are fast form of entertainment
  • Even in lockdown (where we should have more time on our hands), we feel the need to fill our free time. Nobody wants to be bored, even if it's for a few minutes whilst we wait for the kettle to boil. Every moment needs to be filled.
  • We have shorter and shorter attention spans. Generation Z's average attention span is around eight seconds whereas millennials average about 12 seconds.
  • We have all the information we could ever need in the palm of our hands, updating in real time.

So now we have established that short-form content is not going anywhere. You need to know how to create engaging short form videos that will attract new people and retain your current audience. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

How to make captivating short-form video content

Grab your audience’s attention:

You need to differentiate yourself from the crowded newsfeed. One way to do this is by making a bold, eye-catching thumbnail. Try to use humour or mystery to lure people into watching your videos. The thumbnail is the first thing that your user will see and ultimately they will be using this to decide whether to watch your video or scroll past - you must stand out. Your first and biggest hurdle will be to get people to stop scrolling and watch your video.

The good news is that 65% of viewers who watch the first three seconds of a video will continue on to at least ten seconds, and 45% will watch for thirty seconds. If you manage to get people to watch 3 seconds, you stand a good chance of keeping them engaged until the end of your video.

Keep your video short:

By definition, short-form videos have to be just that - short. Facebook has found that 47% of the value of a video is delivered in the first 3 seconds. This demonstrates the importance of getting people’s attention straight away and setting the tone of your content from the get go. Facebook also tells us that the average length of a video on their platform is 18 seconds long.

The longer your video is, the more likely people are going to drop off. Studies have shown that videos under one minute have an 80% retention rate through their halfway marks, and a 60% retention rate all the way to the end. Logic suggests that as our attention spans get shorter, the content we view needs to match this to stand a chance of keeping us engaged.

Optimise your content for no sound:

The majority of social media platforms automatically mute content. 85% of videos on facebook are watched on mute. Your video has to be able to portray the same message without sound. Even if the video isn't muted, you would have to be pretty bold to be playing the video with sound when on public transport or at work . Nobody likes that person on the tube!

The obvious way to do this is to add subtitles to your videos. If there is only one thing you take away from this blog - make sure you subtitle your videos. Editing videos is a timely and frustrating process, we know this. You want to use a platform that is easy and fast. You shouldn’t need a media degree to be able to add subtitles to your videos; content creation should be the task that you spend the majority of your time on. There are quite a few platforms out there that will help you with this. Check out our blog on why you should be adding subtitles to your videos.

How using editr will help you create better content faster

Editr provides you with the most accurate autogenerated subtitles. We have tested our subtitles on lots of different dialogues/accents and compared this with our competitors - editr creates the most accurate subtitles for your videos. Less time changing the subtitles means more time for you to focus on what you do best - create content.