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Visual Content Conundrum: 85% of Facebook Videos Are Played Without Sound

Image is everything for an online marketing campaign; however, shifts in the way social media sites deliver video have changed the nature of the game. Things have come full circle, and marketers are once again living in an age of silent movies.

Free the potential of Facebook videos viewed in silence.

It’s commonly understood that visuals are essential elements in a marketing campaign, and there is strong evidence to support the idea. Humans are visual beings, with 30 percent of their brains dedicated to processing visual information, according to Discover magazine. When a person hears a piece of information, he or she remembers approximately 10 percent of it three days later, but if the information is paired with an image, he or she retains 65 percent of it three days later, according to “Brain Rules” by John Medina.
However, it’s increasingly common for users to consume visuals without hearing anything at all. This is due to the way Facebook delivers videos automatically while giving the end user the choice of pumping up the volume or ignoring the content completely. This creates quite the conundrum for online marketers, considering 51.9 percent of marketing professionals regard video to have the best return on investment according to statistics released by Invodo, Inc. in 2014.

Video offers the best ROI, according to many marketers.

Facebook serves over 8 billion views per day, but statistics revealed by prominent publishers indicate as much as 85 percent of the total video views happen with the sound off, making it increasingly difficult to deliver a coherent, effective brand message for mass consumption. The feel-good website LittleThings generates approximately 80 percent of its traffic from Facebook, with an average of 150 million monthly views throughout 2016, yet reports 85 percent of views occur in silence. PopSugar reports 50 to 80 percent of video views on Facebook occur with the sound muted.

Up to 85 percent of video views occur without any sound playing.

Facebook only logs a view after three seconds, making the first moments of the video essential for grabbing a viewer’s attention. But now it takes more skill than screaming into the microphone to make jaded browsers sit up and take notice. Publishers need to adapt to the changing nature of video content and create new ways to engage viewers in that vital three-second window.
One solution is to create videos that open with a powerful image and then continue with text or captions that narrate the action, providing context for the moving images despite the lack of audio. As such, videos have come full circle since the era of silent films, and once more it’s the written word that has the power to captivate an audience and spread a message.
The numbers:

  • 30 percent of the human brain is dedicated to processing visual information
  • After hearing information, humans recall approximately 10 percent of it three days later or 65 percent when information is paired with an image
  • 9 percent of marketing professionals worldwide say videos have the best ROI
  • Facebook hosts over 8 billion views per day
  • Facebook logs a view after 3 seconds
  • Up to 85 percent of Facebook video views occur with no sound on

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