You have to have noticed how popular videos are online today. And if you haven’t, trust us, they are. People love to watch videos, not just on Youtube but also on social media. How-To videos, DIY videos, inspirational videos, educational videos, funny videos, music videos, cat videos…you name it. The popularity of video is one reason Facebook rewrote its algorithms to be more video search friendly. Businesses are using video as part of their content marketing strategies, knowing it will catch the attention of visitors and will likely be shared by them to their friends. Lately, there is a new trend with online videos now that seems to be gaining in popularity, and that is soundless videos.
Soundless video seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? Most people would expect video to have sound of some sort, even if it’s just background sound. Though thinking back, the earliest movies didn’t have sound, so it’s not really all that new. But to many people today, it would seem strange. And yet, as weird as it may seem, soundless video is starting to gain popularity on social media. That in itself is not surprising since social media has long challenged what we consider normal in means of communication, creating new ways for us to communicate with each other. As these changes in communication take place, it’s up to marketers to keep up with the changes and adapt to them in order to keep up with their audience and make sure their message is received and remains effective. And if soundless video is a new way of communication on social media, marketers will have to embrace it as well.
On Facebook, soundless video appears to be extremely popular. In a 2016 report, Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video a day, and most of those views were soundless. Publishers even reported that 85% video views happen soundlessly. In part, the reason is for Facebook’s silent autoplay feature, where viewers have to turn on the sound themselves. This silent autoplay video feature can also be found on Instagram and Twitter, where users must opt-in for sound. That feature is leading brands and publishers to find ways to make videos that will capture attention without relying on sound. This has caused newsfeeds to be cluttered with videos that have snazzy text overlays or captions to narrate the action without the need for sound. But not all everyone is keeping up with the trend, and many meaningless videos have been viewed because their message couldn’t be conveyed without sound.
But despite all this, many users tend to prefer watching silent videos, especially branded videos. One reason is that ads tend to be loud and disruptive, and people react negatively to both the platform and advertiser because of it.
For marketers to take advantage of the rise in popularity of soundless video in social media so as to both gain attention and positive impression from the audience, they need to create attractive videos that will work effectively to attract viewers and get their message across to them without needing sound. One way is to go back and take inspiration from the early silent films from the era of Charlie Chaplin. Captions are also a good option to increase the success of videos without sound and allow your videos to become accessible to a broader audience. See how to add closed captions to your Facebook videos here.
So, given the popularity of soundless videos in social media, it would be a good option to include them in your content marketing strategies. Coming up with suitable ones might be tricky, but it is still doable. Just look at Charlie Chaplin.
For more information, you can look at this article, this article, and here are 11 types of videos you can watch without sound. Also, just for fun, HighQ created the following infographic that illustrates why 2017 will be the year of video marketing:
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