Why Human Beings Love Video Content

Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no Internet, you realize that the amount of video content on social media has skyrocketed over the past few years.

Here are just a few stats about video content:

  • 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching videos
  • 80% of people remember a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days
  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major TV networks have created in the past 30 years

But why is video so compelling?

  • Video Grabs Attention – Much of our visual wiring is around our peripheral vision. As a species, we evolved to be super sensitive to movement. This is why auto-play videos on Facebook and Instagram grab our attention more than static pictures.
  • Video Communicates Emotion93% of human communication is non-verbal. A person’s feelings, attitudes, and personality are conveyed much better in video. When Richard Nixon squared off against JFK in the first televised presidential debate, viewers could see how nervous and sweaty he was. And because of this, he lost the debate, and arguably the election.
  • Video is Real-time – Live-broadcasted video is quickly becoming a way for organizations to demonstrate impact and connect intimately with donors – real time! Facebook Live and Periscope broadcasts are being used by more and more nonprofits each day.

Mobile and Video = Power to the People

The great success of the ice bucket challenge is largely due to the videos that were so easily created on smartphones.

These videos all have a hook, a hold, and a payoff – three elements that are essential to successful storytelling:

  • The Hook – A person doing good for others.
  • The Hold – How will they react when they dump a bucket of ice over their head? Can they do it?
  • The Payoff – Donate, share, and help cure ALS.

I wonder how successful the Ice Bucket Challenge would have been without the ability to easily create videos? Ten years ago it would have been almost impossible…

Read more about why video is a must over at NPEngage.

John Haydon