7 Reasons Why No One is Watching Your Video Content
You did it. You finally produced and posted your first
series of marketing videos. You wrote the scripts, filmed them,
edited them, and uploaded them to an online platform. All
that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and watch the views roll
Ha ha. Funny story, right?
Before I worked at HubSpot, when I created my very first series
of marketing videos, I was stumped. Befuddled. Frustrated. Here
I had a collection of what I thought were great examples of
visual content, and yet, no one was watching them.
Where did I go wrong?
If only I knew then what I knew now. My absence-of-views
problem was one that many marketers seem to face — which is
why we decided to make a list of the most common factors that
keep viewers away. Read on, and bookmark them for reference
when you’re formulating your next video content strategy.
Why No One is Watching Your Videos
1) They’re too long.
It seems like we’re past the point of requiring evidence that
supports the dwindling human attention span, but just in case
— studies say it’s about eight
seconds. On top of
two-thirds of consumers prefer video under one
minute, so in sum:
Keep it short.
I’ll never forget what HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan, said to
me during a chat about content creation: “You’re asking to
borrow someone’s brain.” When you ask someone to borrow
anything, the considerate thing to do is to be respectful of
that person’s time, and when they might need it back.
Generally, we need our brains — so when you create something
like video content, remember that you have your viewer’s brain
That’s not to say that your video needs to be limited to eight
seconds — after all, how much could you possibly say in that
amount of time? But when you create it, make sure those first
few seconds are highly engaging, as that’s when you’ll need to
grab the viewer’s attention to maintain it.
2) You’re going after the wrong audience.
I love puppy videos. You love puppy videos. Everyone loves
puppy videos. But what the heck do they have to do with your
Whenever you create visual content, that’s a question you need
to ask yourself: “What the heck does this have to do with my
brand?” And while there might be a way to incorporate a puppy
into that, it has to be relevant to your audience.
When you set out to create a video marketing strategy, one of
the most crucial things to consider is what your target
audience wants to watch — current and prospective customers
alike. Entertainment aside, what’s going to be helpful to them?
What’s going to get their attention, make them glad that they
let you borrow their brains, and answer the questions that
brought them to your content in the first place?
3) You’re using the wrong channel.
When people think of “video marketing,” often, the first thing
that comes to mind is YouTube. And that’s not a wrong
assumption to make. After all, about a third of all
Internet users —
all of them — use YouTube.
But YouTube isn’t the only place where videos are
consumed — and it’s not the only place where you’ll find your
target audience. Consider that 45% of people, for
instance, watch more than an hour of videos on either YouTube
or Facebook. On top of
that, Facebook is the
most popular social media channel, with 79% of all U.S. online
adults using it. So if
you’re focusing on YouTube alone, and not creating original
video content on Facebook — well, you might be missing out on
a key portion of viewers.
But where you post videos also depends on who you’re trying to
reach. Generation Z, for example — one of the youngest online
demographics — “can’t live without YouTube,” according to
is over 1.4X more likely to consume content on that channel
than on Facebook.
That’s why it’s helpful to figure out where the different
segments of your target audience spend their time online, which
can help dictate what kind of video you’re going to create and
where it will be shared. The Pew Research Center’s annual
especially helpful for that, which breaks down who’s using
what. Have a look, and figure out if, based on who you want
watching your videos, you need to broaden or narrow your
4) You’re not promoting them on other channels.
Let’s say you create original content video on Facebook. Don’t
just leave it there — because that limits its
“But doesn’t that go against what you just said about using the
right channel?” On the surface, maybe. But here’s the thing —
repurposing that Facebook video for other channels can help to
drive both engagement and traffic.
Here’s where something like Instagram can be a great resource.
Now that verified accounts have the option of adding links to
their Story posts — that’s the thing at the bottom that
usually says, “see more” below and upwards-pointing carrot
arrow — it serves as another vehicle for driving traffic to a
site where you want more engagement. You can now add links to
Snapchat Stories, too.
Check out how HubSpot used video on its Instagram Story to
drive traffic to Facebook in the way we’re describing:
You don’t have to create an entirely new video from scratch for
something like this, either. You can take the most
attention-grabbing 15-second clips of your longer video, and
use them to build a cohesive series of shorter videos to use as
Instagram Story segments to drive traffic to where you want
visitors to go, whether that’s to a full-length video, or other
5) The title is misleading.
You might be familiar with the term “clickbait”: the use of
attention-grabbing titles that trick people into clicking on
something, only to take them to content that doesn’t really
have anything to do with the title. That’s a big no-no and can
lead to serious penalties on SEO and certain social media
sites. Facebook, for example, announced in
May that it would be taking measures to remove clickbait from
In other words, while it might seem tempting like giving your
video a click-worthy title, if it doesn’t actually describe
your content, you’ll ultimately be punished for it. And even if
it doesn’t immediately get you removed from social media
channels or lower your SERP ranking, it’ll tarnish your brand
— once the user sees that you’re applying misleading titles to
your videos, she’ll likely associate you with unauthentic
It also just makes sense to have your title closely match what
the viewer is searching for — you’re creating the video
content that’s providing a solution to the user’s query. Plus,
research conducted by Backlinko
found that videos with an exact keyword match in the title have
a slight advantage over those that don’t.
6) You’re not optimizing it.
Giving your video an accurate, clear, and concise title is just
one part of optimizing it. Here’s where YouTube becomes a major
player again since it provides one of the most detailed levels
of optimization of most video sharing platforms. Below, we
describe some of the most important things to optimize on
This should be limited to 1,000 characters — and remember that
your viewer came here to watch a video, not to read a lot of
text. Plus, YouTube only displays the first two or three lines
of text, which comes to about 100 characters, so front-load the
description with the most important information.
Using tags doesn’t just let viewers know what your video is
about — they inform YouTube, too, which uses tags “to
understand the content and context of your video,” according to
That way, YouTube can associate your video with similar videos,
which can broaden your content’s reach. But approach with
caution — just as with your title, don’t use misleading tags
because they might get you more views — in fact, Google might
for that, too.
Choosing a category is another way to group your video with
similar content on YouTube — but that might not be as simple
as it sounds. YouTube’s Creator
that marketers “think about what is working well for each
category” you’re considering by answering questions like:
- Who are the top creators within the category? What are they
known for, and what do they do well?
- Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar
channels within a given category?
- Do the videos within a similar category have share
qualities like production value, length, or format?
7) It doesn’t make the viewer feel anything.
After I’ve watched a video, I want to feel something —
whether it’s smart, sad, amused, or generally better off, I
don’t want to feel like I’ve just completely wasted my time.
And while some might label the aforementioned puppy videos as
“non-productive,” the fact that they likely improved my
mood means that
it wasn’t the worst use of a few minutes.
And remember what we said before about people being short on
both time and attention? There’s nothing that will keep viewers
from coming back more than leaving them feeling like they
didn’t gain anything from watching your video content.
Oftentimes, emotions can influence
especially when there’s a story involved. So when you create
video content, it can help to have an impartial audience
preview it before you make it public, like a friend or a
colleague from a different department. Remember what the
intention was behind the video — was it meant to be helpful,
moving, or entertaining? Then, after your friend watches it,
ask if it made her feel the way you hoped it would. If it
didn’t, ask how or what the video did make her feel. If
her response lacks enthusiasm, that’s a good indication that it
might be time to start over.
And remember: Emotions are what make people want to
share something. It’s what makes watching video more of
an experience than an occurrence, and what will make the viewer
want to remark on it to others. So doing what you can to make
sure your viewer feels something in response to your video
doesn’t just provide her with value — it makes her more likely
to share it.
A word of caution, however: Don’t make video content that is
deliberately offensive or meant to cause highly negative
emotions just for the sake of having a reaction. Remember, one
of the main purposes behind all of your content, including
video, is to associate your brand with something helpful and
positively remarkable — not as someone who makes people feel
angry or hurt.
Have you struggled to get people to watch your videos in the
past? How did you address and resolve it? Let us know in the