Here are some statistics: The average attention span of a human being is 8 seconds. That is one second less than the attention span of a gold fish. Admit it, you’re two and a half sentences into this blog post and you’ve probably already checked your email. That’s okay. Most people check their inbox once every 2 minutes. 17% of page views last fewer than 4 seconds. People typically read half to a third of the words on a given web page. 7% of people occasionally forget their own birthdays. That last one doesn’t really have to do with anything, it’s just kind of weird, right?
I could hit you with a barrage of stats all day long, which will tell you what you already know. It is incredibly difficult to get people’s attention on the internet, and even more difficult to keep it. So how are you supposed to get people’s attention? How do you communicate with people when they seem hell-bent on getting distracted every 8 seconds or so?
According to ComScore, over 200 million people in the US watch videos on the internet in a given month. I know, I know. You didn’t need a statistic to tell you that. Because you have eyeballs. You can probably see people around you watching internet videos on their phones, computers, TVs and pretty much any other screen, non-stop, all the time.
That’s because video is an incredibly powerful medium. In addition to being a way to engage people both visually and aurally, they can also pack a ridiculous amount of information into tiny fractions of seconds. Videos don’t just communicate with words, they mimic the way we naturally process the world around us. Tiny visual and audio cues can communicate a sense of place, time, what’s happening, even a mood or an emotion.
We also know that internet videos can be incredibly effective, and we definitely don’t need a stat for that. Think about it. Internet videos are the only reason you know what Dollar Shave Club is, or that Justin Timberlake has a sense of humor. They’re the only reason you’re willing to begrudgingly admit that cats can be pretty cute even though you’re way more of a dog person. People watch them. People share them. People remember them.
When it comes how video affects engagement or click-through rates on websites, I’ve seen stats ranging from increases of 20% all the way up to 80%. So, don’t trust those stats. Instead, trust yourself. As you spend the next two minutes visiting something like 14 different web pages, pay attention to how many of them have videos. Do you watch them? Do you remember them? Do you stay on those pages longer? And do you feel differently about those pages? I think you’ll find the answer is watching these funny videos here!