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This Agency’s Blank Video Definitely Proved Views Do Not Matter

by • August 20, 2015 • Experts TalkComments Off on This Agency’s Blank Video Definitely Proved Views Do Not Matter8428

You hear it everyday: a video went viral. What does that mean exactly? Does it mean it successfully connected with an audience, that it conveyed the brand message? No, it means it got hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of views. We think that is not enough. Do you?

Also Read: YouTube Updates View Counter and Bids Farewell to 301+ Views

YouTube views can no longer be considered as the key metric to decide whether an online video has been a success or not. We need to look deeper, see if it spoke to the right audience, if the message was effective, if the brand will actually benefit from this “popularity by numbers”?

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Solve, an ad agency based in Minneapolis, thought it was time to make a point on this and get their message across once and for all. So they launched an experiment to see if it could make the most uncreative video go “viral.”

They produced a 4-minute video with nothing but… blank! Literally, there are no images, no sound, not title, no description, nothing (note that the title “The Blank Video Project,” was added after the experience ended). The video was promoted using YouTube TrueView (pre-roll) to viewers in the US. As for every in-stream ad on YouTube, viewers could skip the video after 5 seconds. Views only started to be counted after someone viewed at least 30 seconds of content.

100,000+ Views

Well, guess what? The blank video generated over 100,000 views for a media investment of just $1,400. Overall the ad was served 227,819 times which means 46% of viewers actually watched it for at least 30 seconds. In fact, 22% actually watched the whole 4 minutes! And on top of that, 1% even clicked through to visit the website.  Now you will agree that these are pretty good numbers in terms of how brands usually calculate engagement.

However, the video did not get any likes or shares, neither did it contribute to bring new subscribers to the channel.

I am sure you will also agree that this video did not convey any positive brand message nor did it reach a specific audience.

What Can We Learn From This Experience?

If you, or your client, are still only interested in views or similar soft metrics, you are losing the point. Social engagement should be about conveying your message to the right audience and converting interactions into something positive for your business. Views, like followers, are easy to get, you just have to pay for it. Real engagement and ROI aren’t.

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Now let’s see how much of this video you will actually watch:


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