Online Video: What do people care about?

Google recently asked 12,000 people what they watched in the last 24 hours. There are some behaviours and patterns here that are useful for small businesses.

Key findings:

  • Production values are way down the list of importance
  • “Learning something new” is a big motivator
  • User-generated content and short-form video is growing in popularity with younger demographics

In short:

  • Don’t place too much pressure on yourself to produce Hollywood-quality video for your business (it’s not that important)
  • Share your knowledge and expertise
  • Done is better than perfect!

Here’s the full article.


You’ve no doubt heard before how popular online video is and that you should be doing more of it. But I had an email arrive from google this morning with some interesting statistics and some survey results that might help give you some ideas in terms of the kinds of things that you should be doing.

Let’s have a look at that now. G’day, I’m Jason Foss. Today we’re going to have a look at this email I got from google. I’ll link to this article in full either above or below this wherever you happen to be watching.

But I just thought I’d just quickly step through some key points here today. So this is the survey or the page in question here. What the world watched in a day.

So they’ve surveyed 1200 people to talk about what they watched in a 24 hour period, and we’ll skip through some of these things initially in terms of what they kind of questions that they asked.

But here’s the first page of survey results, so ordering responses into why they, why people watched what they watched. So the number 1 result there was “help me relax and unwind”.

Number 2, “teaches me something new”. 3: “allows me to dig deeper into my interests”, 4: “makes me laugh”. 5: “relates to my passions”, and then the list goes down the page from there. So what google have pulled out here is some of the more traditional things that you might think are important in video production are actually down the list a little bit, “has high production quality”, “is on a network or platform I like” and “has famous actors” right down the bottom there at number 20.

So what you could draw from this is a video that you produce for your business does not have to be super high production value. It does not have to be perfect. Done is better than perfect, especially when you first start.

You’re going to be a bit rusty. It’s not going to be fabulous, but getting something done and out there is more important than producing something Hollywood style.

If we move down the screen a bit, the contrast to the previous results is the number 2 reason: “teaches me something new”. The number 3 reason: “allows me to dig deeper into my interests”, and the number 5 reason, “relates to my passions”.

So as a small business or local business, these are the kinds of videos that you could quite easily produce. You know, your customers don’t know what you do. They don’t really know –

For the most part – anything about what you do. Often you overestimate how much your customers know about what it is that you do and there is invariably something that you can teach them about, which helps to position you as a knowledgeable source in your industry.

But having your customer with that extra knowledge, it also makes it easier for them to buy from you. They have a greater understanding of what a good widget versus a bad widget is, or which widget is the most appropriate for their circumstances or whatever the case may be. Coming down the list a bit more they’ve just focused on that one there, “allows me to dig deep into my interests”, we’ll skip past that. There’s a breakdown by country here, which I won’t spend a lot of time on again. There’ll be a linked to this near this video somewhere. If you want to have a look at it yourself, but what will come down to here is a breakdown by generation.

So you can see it is quite a wide age range of people surveyed here. So I’ll come past these and if we look at watching user-generated content. So again this falls back into – not low production values – but not overly high production values.

It doesn’t have to be super polished. It just has to tick some of the boxes that were mentioned earlier in that article. And earlier in this video. This is I guess the last one that looked to focus on here is that when people are watching their videos.

According to google’s survey here, 78% youtube, Facebook was down here in a bit over 40%. Now, this is a YouTube published survey, so you know the results are going to be skewed in their favour.

Obviously, you could make surveys say whatever you want, depending on who’s funding it. But the key thing to think about this in terms of the context of what they’re saying here is that a lot of videos you see on Facebook is a bit serendipitous. You know you go to Facebook and scroll through your news feed on you may happen to see some stuff and stop and watch it.

But if you’re looking for information about something, youtube will tend to be the destination you end up on rather than Facebook. Facebook search is not fabulous. A lot of the time, if you’re you’re researching something or trying to learn about something, Facebook is generally not where you’re going. But youtube videos will quite often be in that list.

And if you look at what happens, we could publish the same video to Facebook and to YouTube. You’ll see an initial spike in videos on Facebook, and then, after a couple of days, your view count would generally peter out almost nothing because on Facebook videos tend to disappear pretty quickly unless they catch on and go viral.

But videos on youtube while they don’t have that generally initial burst, views on those will steadily grow over time, and so you’ve got two different distinct audiences there. There’s the initial hit that’ll come through Facebook, but the much longer tail will come via youtube generally.

So what I see a lot of people doing is posting videos to Facebook. But if you even have a YouTube channel, are you putting the same things there? You’ll find you’ll get a lot more like if you’ve gone to the effort of making the video and you get your short sugar rush on Facebook.

But in terms of the long term payoff for the effort you’ve put into your video, facebook’s not the place for that. That’s where you want to have a youtube channel and be uploading it there as well.

So google’s key takeaways here – find a way to relate. Think beyond entertainment. Focus on passion, not just production. This is another roadblock that I see with a lot of people is they’re not comfortable with themselves on camera or they worry about their arms and ahs, which is sort of what I just did there.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that much. Make a start and make it happen because the only one you ever going to get better at it is to keep doing it and over time you’ll improve. But you’ve got to make that start. Accept the fact that the first few videos you make will be a little bit, but it’s the only way you’re going to get better.

Get them done, get them out. Done is better than perfect. That’s the end of the article. I thought that was really interesting. Some of the bits and pieces in here, if I just scroll back up to the reasons, are a long way up.

So that was it there that writing’s possibly a bit small, but you know what you consider to be perfection in your videos or Hollywood style production. Whatever else like that is not nearly as important to your customers as you might think it is.

So that’s just, you know, an internal thing. You sort of need to get over a little bit. It’s more important to get your personality out there, get your product knowledge out there or your service knowledge. Whatever it happens to be, start producing and get it out there.

You’ll get better over time, but this is what the demand is for the moment. All right, that’s it for me today. I’m Jason Foss.

Thanks for watching

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