First, let’s talk about the sharing cycle. The lion’s share of sharing generally happens within the first three days of launch. You knew that. But did you know that these first days are even more critical now than they were a year ago? Here’s why.
Unruly mapped the percentage of shares over the days following a launch then compared it to that same type of data from a year ago and here’s what they got:
In 2013, 25% of shares happened in the first three days. In 2014, that number has nearly doubled to 42% of shares happening in those first days.
That’s not to say that your video is dead in the water in under a week – that’s the great thing about videos, blog posts, etc. a year later you can still get hits and ad dollars and click- throughs. But if you’re trying to make a splash, those first days are crucial.
Why is this happening? Because internet denizens are harsh when it comes to old content. Share that video of a cat saving a boy from a dog a week from now and someone’s going to label it as old news. It’s like you’ve committed a mortal sin. So we’re all getting conditioned not to share things that aren’t fresh.
Takeaway: when you launch a video, get your people out there pushing hard the first few days, after that just let go and move on.
Real quick, I want you also to think about these numbers from a TubeFilter report about annotations. These are those little boxes that pop up to remind you to subscribe or with a link to more information or just to be cute. Common sense should tell you that too many annotations is a bad thing and yet I’ve seen videos with a half dozen pop-ups begging me to click here and read that and look over this way. How can I pay attention to the main content when all this nonsense is going on?
The guys at Cartoon Hangover did a quickie test and found that annotations during the content had a less than 1% click-through rate. Annotations at the end, directing people to subscribe and watch other videos had a 25 to 47% click-through rate. Nice.
They then removed all annotations during the content portion of the their videos and the click-through rate rose 27% across all of their episodes and their close rate dropped dramatically.
Not a very scientific study but I’m behind the results 100%. Put your best content out there and let it do it’s thing. At the end, invite people to click for more. If your content was good, they’ll click to subscribe and that’s the most you can ask of any video viewer.
*Totally made-up number, I don’t think anyone knows how many videos there are online right now.