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October 12, 2021

85% View Your Video With The Sound Off, And What To Do About It

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I know what it’s like. You spend a lot of time working on your video, writing, producing, and editing it. Then you have to spend additional time on finding the right keywords and writing a title and description – it seems like it never ends. After all that work, it’s disheartening to discover that up to 83% of viewers don’t even have the sound on (and it’s even higher on mobile). Don’t worry, there’s plenty we can do about it.

People watch without listening for many reasons, but we can turn that to our advantage by making it part of the video production from the very beginning. There are actually two motivations here. The first is to excite the viewer enough to turn the sound on. The second is to communicate the message without the sound. Here’s what to do.

1. Use Captions

Captions work because it makes a video seem more interesting and makes people want to turn the sounds on. Even back a few years ago, captioning a video was a big pain. Not so much anymore though. YouTube just announced that its making autocaptions (in English) available to all users (see the video below). All you have to do is go to your YouTube Studio area and enable it via your stream settings. This is available on desktop right now, but plans are in the works to extend it to mobile soon as well.

Facebook, which has a bigger problem with muted video that YouTube, also has an autocaptioning tool, but it’s only available for video ads via its Power Editor. If your video is intended for this platform, for now you’ll have to insert your captions the old fashioned way during editing. Either way, captions are the first thing you want to add to make sure your video works with visuals alone.

2. Remember Your Brand

Use your brand’s colors, fonts, imagery and logos so people are instantly aware that the video is from you. You want them to stop in their tracks and pay attention rather than flipping past after a second or two.

3. Start With A Face

Speaking of a few seconds seconds, it’s been found that people respond to other human faces, especially if they’re looking into the camera to make eye contact. Does this conflict with your music video grand production concept? Probably, but do you want people to actually pay attention or just skip to the next one? Overcome the problem with 3 seconds of a human face looking into the camera.

4. Add Movement

Be sure that there’s movement right away in the video so people realize that they’re not just looking at an image. With an image we can grasp the general meaning in less than a second and decide whether to move on or not. Something that’s moving will keep are attention and pull us in to watch at least a few seconds of the video.

Your mission with all of the above is to keep people watching. Most people won’t last even 3 seconds, but according to Facebook, if you can get them to 3 seconds, 65% will watch at least 10 seconds. After that, your creativity is on display and will cause viewers to hopefully continue watching.

Below is the YouTube announcement video about its new captions features.


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