What is the Viewer Experience and Why is it Important For Me to Know?

 

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In its most basic definition, the viewer experience relates to how a viewer interacts with a video at three phases: before, during, and after viewing. The more the interaction is inviting and meaningful, the stronger the engagement with the viewer. Among other outcomes, strong viewer engagement translates to taking action, higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately achievement of business goals. An excellent viewer experience holds the potential to change viewers' behavior: from disinterested to fully engaged and delighted.

We have a tendency to think that only the content of the video itself determines the end result. In reality, the end result depends first on bringing the viewer to watch the video via the most relevant channel. This is why the pre-viewing experience is so important. Of equal importance is the post-viewing experience that, if successful, will bring the viewer to take a desired action (or refrain from an action, when relevant).

The viewer experience takes three stages—before/during/after—into account to create a holistic strategy that drives best practices for a variety of distribution channels.

Continue reading to learn more about the key viewer experience principles.

To get started, what is an example of a good viewer experience?

Depending on when the interaction occurs (before/during/after), there are many factors that have been proven to contribute to a positive experience, specific to the distribution method or platform (desktop, mobile, email, etc.).

If we take distributing a video over email as an example,  the following elements have been proven to be very effective:

The email subject line is personalized with the viewer's name. This is much more inviting than a generic subject line.

The email video invitation—sometimes personalized—appears at the top of the email with a play button on top of it. This is in contrast to sending only the video URL.

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There is a clear connection between the email content and the video invitation.

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The email is streamlined and the text is friendly and engaging.

I've created a great video in the Editor. Why is the viewer experience still important?

A video—even the most professional and polished—does not exist in a vacuum. Your video is one component of a package. Its ability to engage and bring viewers to take action is dependent on other components of the package. Following are several scenarios to demonstrate this point:

A video uploaded to a web page is impacted by the content that exists (or doesn't) on the page.

Poorly written content (including typos and grammatical errors) displayed next to the video can reflect on the video itself.

If the video invitation is displayed beneath the fold in the email message, it may drive less clicks because of its location.

A video needs to be delivered to its target audience using the appropriate distribution method. Younger audiences may ignore email messages containing a video link while the same message sent via text will be immediately opened.

Is a good viewer experience relevant to all distribution channels?

Yes. A well-thought-out Viewer Experience strategy, translated to best practices, is relevant to all channels: email, mobile, and desktop.

Of course, there are specific guidelines relevant to each channel. You'll find these guidelines in articles located in this Help Center section.

What makes a good viewer experience before the view?

Sending viewers a personalized invitation to watch the video. The personalization inside the invitation can be achieved by including a dynamic player image populated with the viewer’s name and referring to the current touchpoint in the customer journey.

Including information in the invitation regarding the content, duration, and urgency of the video

Having the shortest path possible between clicking the link in the video invitation to reaching the video player. This means no unnecessary navigation or need to sign in to pages in order to watch the video.

What makes a good viewer experience during the view?

When you create a video using SundaySky scene templates and themes, the published video already includes many of the elements that encourage engagement. These include readable on-screen text, clear sound, and a storyline that is understandable to the viewer even when the sound is muted.

To these built-in benefits, we can add:

Page buttons for taking actions, synchronized with the video content

Placement of the video player on a page with your brand identity. See How to Build an Effective Video Landing Page That Drives Action to learn more.

What makes a good viewer experience after the view?

Providing viewers with a clear path to take after watching the video

Providing a clear CTA

My staff resources and design skills are limited. Can I still improve the viewer experience?

Yes. As mentioned above, the SundaySky Editor includes many out-of-the-box features that you can implement quickly and easily to optimize the viewer experience. These include functionality for creating a professional email video invitation as well as a poster image for the video player.

In addition, the SundaySky Help Center includes best practice articles—with examples—to assist you in optimizing the viewer experience throughout all your distribution channels.

Can the impact of the viewer experience be measured?

Yes. Companies use A/B testing, user testing, surveys, and data analysis to assess the effectiveness of the viewer experience delivered to their customers.

On a last note: data from customers implementing good viewer experience practices has shown that their emails tend to get higher open and clickthrough rates.

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