Shorter Videos, Longer Attention Spans

The verdict is in: According to Google researchers, humans now have an average attention span shorter than a goldfish. That’s less than eight seconds. People won’t even wait “the blink of an eye longer” than they deem acceptable for web content to load, get interesting, or otherwise grab their attention. How can you fight this goldfish syndrome? Make shorter videos.

Blame MTV culture, Twitter’s character limit, or simply the Digital Era’s ability to give consumers exactly what they want—no more, no less—with just a few clicks. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to effectively convert a lurker into a loyal customer in the same amount of time it takes to enjoy a Snapchat. Your goal should really be “reeling” them in, and that starts with short, punchy, fat-free videos.

Give the People What They Want – shorter videos

Shorter videos can feature a variety of approaches. For example, a teaser video can get a viewer’s attention, luring them in to check out your business website, blog, more comprehensive videos, social media channels, or anything else. Think of it like a movie trailer. Another option is a stand-alone short video that delivers everything you want in less amount of time. There’s a good chance all videos could do with a little fat trimming, but you need a skilled editor who’s passionate about brevity and digital marketing to make this happen.

There’s no denying that Google researchers are on to something, but don’t assume that attention spans always stay short. If that were the case, nobody would be going to the movies. In fact, Hollywood films are getting longer than ever according to Business Insider, so clearly consumers can be more than happy to tune in for well over two hours. This summer alone, Mission Impossible 3 clocked in at two hours and six minutes, Trainwreck at two hours and five minutes, and Furious 7 boasts two hours and twenty-seven minutes.

Are we attention span challenged? Clearly not—but consumers are demanding more and a teaser that draws them in to learn more.

Tips for Tightening Things Up

It’s very possible to create successful videos with nothing more than a webcam. Look at all the YouTube stars like Jenna Marbles and Cory Cotton. However, most businesses and professionals will benefit from hiring an expert film crew, including an editor. It may be possible to shorten existing videos, making them move faster while still being informative or entertaining (or ideally both). You can add text overlay, such as bullet points, to drive your message home, make it more memorable, and appeal to more learning styles.

In an age where multi-tasking is considered one of the most desired skills, even though researchers now say almost nobody can really do it, shorter videos can be your way to hack engagement with more audiences with your video.



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