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KEEP Viewer Attention!! Making Video Impressions that Matter

A (very) quick word with MVM’s Kiaora Bohlool. Get creative to keep viewer attention!

In eight seconds, you can… 

Tie your tennis shoes. 

Stir sugar into your coffee.

Give someone a meaningful (and perhaps awkwardly long?) hug. 

It also takes just EIGHT seconds to lose viewers, if your video doesn’t hold their interest.  When it comes to attention span, studies show that humans rank lower than goldfish, who can fully concentrate for a whopping NINE seconds!

Goldfish may be schooling us when it comes to focus…but don’t feel like a fish out of water when it comes to video marketing. Keep viewer attention to prevent customers from jumping the tank!!

So if your video isn’t compelling enough to keep them (as in humans, not goldfish) watching past the first eight seconds, it might not hurt to have your tennis shoes tied (to clear your head with a jog), your coffee ready (for a jolt of energy) and a hug standing by (for moral support; why not make it a long one??). 

You may get few more crucial tics on the clock to make your first impression via video, thanks to some research that reveals audiences will continue to scroll down or click away if you haven’t hooked them in the first 10 seconds.   If the rest of them aren’t fully engaged in what they’re seeing after the first 30 seconds, you may lose 33% of your viewers.  If your video can’t keep viewer attention past one minute, around 45% have checked out.  However, these numbers can vary depending on where your video’s getting seen; audiences looking at your website and YouTube, or those with a vested interest in your story, will typically be more patient and stick around.  However, people tend to decide quickly whether or not they want to watch.

So, get and KEEP viewer attention!!  Showcase your best stuff first, and get creative to captivate your audience. Give them a reason to keep watching, whether it’s a call to action, an interactive quiz, or a wacky twist on an ordinary topic. Make them laugh, make them think, make them engage, and hopefully, make them stay. 

As far as who “they” are, it helps to define your audience, or even carve out different target markets for, say, Instagram versus Facebook. A few marketing concepts are important to keep in mind here. “Reach” is the total number of people who’ve seen your content, while “impressions” sum up the number of times your content has been displayed (whether it’s clicked on or not).

I’ve often been asked, “How long should my video be?” There’s no clear answer to that one.  These days, I’ve found some clients who want videos short and sweet, and others who have longer stories to tell.  I will say you can fit a lot of messaging and visuals into a one-minute video (which conveniently fits on Instagram!), and some superb storytelling can happen between 90 seconds and three minutes.  It’s really more about content than length, depending on what you’re sharing.  There are three simple questions that can help you decide how many minutes you want to go, which we outline in our blog, Ask Yourself THIS to Determine the Best Length for Your Video.

Video remains a powerful medium, and it’s only gaining in strength.  Reports confirm on YouTube alone, more than one billion people watch more than six billion hours of video every month, and six out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television.   Numbers show Facebook has more than eight billion video views a day,  and social videos gets shared 1200% more than text and images combined.  To capture, and just as importantly, keep viewer attention is a crucial part of marketing these days.  

So…get to the point, keep it interesting, and always leave ‘em wanting at least a little more. You can always do a follow-up video once you’ve secured an audience.  Make a powerful impression in your first eight to 10 seconds, then use those tennis shoes to kick the competition to the curb, raise your coffee cup in a victory toast, and give your colleagues some awkwardly long hugs in celebration of a job (and video) well done!