The average attention span is just eight seconds. For digital marketers, making it past those 8 seconds is like winning the lottery. If you can grab the right person’s attention, you can keep it—if only you had more time. If you’ve tried cramming text, listing features, showing cute animals, and you’re still scratching your head, you have plenty company. What do your competitors know that you don’t?
Think back on your last sales presentation. If you’re lucky, you had 30 minutes and you still ran over by a few. That’s a good thing. It means your listeners are engaged. But what if you’re not there in-person? Imagine your audience—a printed deck sits there on the table lifelessly, people tap their fingers, an e-mail comes in, and it doesn’t take long for the room to empty. That’s exactly what you expect when someone says, “How about doing something online?” How can you break the 8-second barrier and get people interested? How can you cut through distractions and create focus? Ask yourself this one question: what sucks you in, and keeps your attention during the workday?
The number one answer is video…
Video is quicker for our brains to interpret: our brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds, as opposed to written content, which has more for the brain to decipher. This could be why 66% of internet traffic is made up of video content, and the number continues to rise. Moving images now constitute over 50% of mobile traffic as well.
How can your business take control of attention spans?
Just like with any other content, give consumers something useful and build your company’s stance as an expert:
- Create a visual representation of written content
- Give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the company
- Stream live webinars or conferences
- Highlight work your company has done
- Tell a story
Don’t just make videos for their own sake, though. No matter what kind, make sure that they create positive buzz around your brand and have something to say:
- Reflect company values
- Circle back to the brand
- Establish trust
- Fix a customer pain point
- Educate the audience
Video is everyone’s medium…
The barriers to entering video marketing have never been lower, and there are more open doors to reach customers than ever before. YouTube may have started the craze, but it is by no means the only kid on the block. Vimeo is similar to YouTube in that it allows users to upload videos to its site, but the demographics and content are different, and the experience is less frenetic and cluttered. Facebook and Twitter both recently implemented auto-play features. Instagram added the option to post 15 second videos as well as images, competing with Vine, a place where users post six second videos in a continuous loop. More recently, brands began creating video and picture content on SnapChat, a mobile app where users send content back and forth but the content disappears after being viewed. Google Hangouts not only allows for video conferencing, but also lets users record their sessions to review or upload later.
Know your audience and what kind of content they’ll connect with. It may take research, insight, and intuition, but when done well, the results are unmistakable.