Slow loading video content drives viewers nuts

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Brands that publish video content that doesn't load within five seconds will see their clips fail to engage prospects.

For marketers, finding new ways to diversify content portfolios can help their brands break into new markets. While publishing custom content to corporate blogs helps educate customers and generate leads, some internet users prefer to interact with organizations through social media and, increasingly, video marketing.

Slow Load TimeIn fact, big brands will continue to dedicate additional time to creating video content as 2013 progresses. According to a study from Forrester Research advertisers will spend approximately $667 million on online video over the next 12 months. Platforms like YouTube will see more action this year than in previous time periods, as pre-roll opportunities drive referral traffic back to corporate sites.

When content takes a little time to load, viewers are likely to click away in a matter of seconds. According to a new study from the University of Massachusetts, more than half of Americans who use high-speed, fiber-optic internet say they believe waiting five seconds for a video clip to load is too long, NPR reports. Many people won’t even wait two seconds before navigating away to another website.

“What we found was that people are pretty patient for up to two seconds,” Ramesh Sitaraman, science professor at the University of Massachusetts, told NPR. “If you start out with, say, 100 users – if the video hasn’t started in five seconds, about one-quarter of those viewers are gone, and if the video doesn’t’ start in 10 seconds, almost half of those viewers are gone.”

Overall, research showed viewers will abandon video content if it doesn’t start up within two seconds. For every additional second of delay, abandonment rate increases 5.8 percent. Creative video marketing campaigns that communicate compelling advantages of doing business with an organization will flop if load time runs too long, no matter the industry or underlying message.

Brands that want to improve the breadth of their online marketing campaigns should include video media into their strategies, but make sure website optimization helps it succeed. Perhaps one way to keep people on the page while the video loads is by including transcript content below the clip. This gives companies new opportunities to retain viewership and increases the SEO value of each new post.

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