You’ve got :10 to hook your audience.

What do you do?

Interesting graphics? Stunning video? A compelling opening line? Do you go for comedy? The emotional tug? The relatable anecdote? A clip of a great dog? A clip of a terrible cat?

Video advertisements have the highest click-through rate of all digital formats. But studies have shown that you have :10 to hook your audience. If the first :10 aren’t interesting, it doesn’t matter what else is in the video, how much work was put into it, how great the production value is. If you save that dog clip for the last :10, no one will see it. And that dog deserves his moment. Online video in general is exploding in this social media age of advertising. In September 2015, Facebook registered 8 billion video playbacks per day*. 8 billion. Per day. Most of those were probably animal videos and those infuriatingly misleading recipe videos, but many of them were original content, created for a specific purpose, promoting a brand.

And an estimated 80-85% of those were watched without sound.

80% of the users who watched without sound just prefer it that way. While a small percentage are hearing impaired or have another factor that precludes audio, mostly, people just felt like watching the video versus listening to the video.

What does that mean?

It’s not all that complicated. Put captions on your videos. Facebook even recently added a feature that allows you to upload a separate caption file. That way, you won’t lose viewers with the audio turned off. And although Facebook recently announced that they’re experimenting with an auto-play format that includes audio, it’s never smart to ignore the preferences of your target majority audience.

But, of course, there are other factors.

A video without audio must rely on other tactics to hook viewers. Striking visuals, whether it’s fast-paced graphics or vivid photography. On-screen text to help move the story along. Not every video translates effectively into silence. Your job is to make sure any video you upload is hitting its target and drawing in viewers.

Online video is exploding, and with more and more people watching TV and movies online instead of traditional TV programming, innovative advertisers are constantly looking for new ways to engage viewers and encourage follow-through action.

For instance, platforms like Hulu now offer viewers a choice. Engage with an ad for 1:00 and skip all subsequent ad breaks, or continue with regular ads. You can’t click off the page and wait out the ad. You can’t walk out of the room and come back to your continued program. Engagement is usually as easy as a click on an interactive piece of the video, but regardless, many advertisers are recognizing that 1:00 of true viewer engagement beats six :30 touches that may or may not be seen.

Other video innovations? Now-common drones offer camera angles and views previously impossible (or extremely expensive) to capture. GoPros offer a choose-your-own-adventure type of video appealing to millennials. And integrated surveys and data collection tools, combined with second-by-second video analytics offer advertisers more bang for their buck than ever before. Live streaming through Facebook offers viewers unmatched engagement, and personalization options are on par with the variable data tactics long relished by direct mail producers.

Let’s not forget about mobile videos. Convenience and immediacy trump screen size and resolution nearly every time. If a video can’t be viewed well on a mobile device, you will lose a lot of viewers. Period.

You’ve got :10 to hook your viewer. If your video is longer than 2:00, 60% of viewers will drop out, and 46% of people think ads should be :15 or shorter.

The next time you consider including video in your marketing strategy, don’t settle for generic and forgettable. With all the innovation happening all over the world, we all have to try a little harder to make sure our message is heard (or, according to Facebook, seen). If you’re going to use video as part of your campaign, make the investment into doing it right. Find a quality production partner, an agency who understands consumers and has the creative prowess and technical chops to make sure your video rises above the other 8 billion. Take a look at a sampling of our video projects here.

* It’s worth mentioning that Facebook counts any video viewed for :03 or longer as a view.

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