YouTube allows you to see many different kinds of analytics on your videos. A particularly humbling one is “Audience Retention.” In this, you can see what percentage of your viewers stay with you second by second.

We studied viewer retention in 6 very different companies who publish content marketing videos. Many videos experience a significant dropoff before they reach the halfway point. Almost all of them have their first significant drop in the first 10 seconds. Still others experienced jumps in viewership partway, pushing viewership up above 100%. This is the result of viewers rewinding to see a particular part again.

Our Advice: Put Your Main Message in the First 10 Seconds

We think the dropoff in content marketing video viewership comes down to four points:

  1. Viewers are in a hurry
  2. The promise of the title isn’t delivered in the video
  3. They found what they wanted in 10 seconds (doubtful)
  4. Wrong target clicked your video

Our videos that don’t drop quickly have consistent qualities that might work for you:

  • They roll out steady information in a clear way
  • They are under 2 minutes in duration
  • They’re fun and different
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