How to Keep Your Viewers’ Attention for Longer than 3 Seconds

So, how do you keep your viewers’ attention for longer than 3 seconds? Videos can be the most engaging and entertaining form of marketing. This is down to their combination of:

  • Sight – cinematography, colours or motion graphics;
  • Sound – music, sound effects or captivating speech;
  • Feeling – what happens to the viewer when all the elements come together.

Hearing this, you would assume that videos are the most popular medium on social media – and they are if you manage to control your viewer’s wandering eye. According to Larry Kim, MobileMonkey CEO and Wordstream founder, 64% of viewers are more likely to make an online purchase after watching a video about the product.

2015 Microsoft study found that humans have a maximum 8-second video attention span, but some marketing analysis has found that it can be as low as just 3 seconds. Why is this?

As video has become used more and more across all platforms as a way of communicating information, we as viewers have built up higher standards and shorter attention spans. The old days of long videos, when video was still new, are now outdated.

If the first 3 seconds of this video isn’t as immediately engaging as the one I just watched all the way through, is it really worth my next 3 minutes?

If you’re eager to take advantage of the video boom, read on to find out how you can steady those eyes and halt those thumbs.

Use a short and compelling title

You’ve seen those clickbait videos on Youtube: ‘I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU’; ‘I WAS KIDNAPPED’; ‘I ALMOST DIED!’ These are on the extreme end of clickbait and Youtube is now heavily saturated with these tempting introductions that often don’t end with the story you were expecting.

Our advice for marketing your brand is to keep the title snappy but relevant to what you’re selling. Don’t employ the above tactics and make it too general – your viewers need to know what your brand is about from the very first thing they look at, which is the title.

Wordplay is always a good idea. It’ll get the viewer thinking straight away; plus, you’ll show them how you think!

Use your most eye-catching image as a cover

Most of us don’t like to admit it, but we’re simple creatures. If something (or someone) looks nice to us, then we’re more likely to stick around for the full piece of content.

For instance, not many people know that Netflix tailors its thumbnails to your viewing habits and tastes. They do this to pique people’s interests towards movies or shows they’ve never seen and may have never considered otherwise.

If your video focuses on people, consider using a photogenic person as your cover photo. If it’s mainly scenery or objects, try to find a cover that’s aesthetically pleasing or even a little unsettling!

Use the first few seconds to inform, but also thought-provoke

You firstly need to get your viewer up to speed on what you’re about immediately, otherwise, they’re likely to be gone. Use those first few seconds wisely.

You also want each stage of your video to trigger a new question: ‘Ok, so how does that work?’ ‘Why is that?’ ‘What were the results?’ These are hooks.

At the end of the video, the viewer should have the full picture.

Invite viewers to convert to the next step

This could be as simple as “visit our website” – all that matters is that you’re getting the viewer to do something beyond just watching the video and scrolling on. They do that all the time, so give them somewhere further to go.

Remember, repeat the invitation at the end of the video to hammer it home and make it the last thing they remember.

This is called a CTA = ‘Call to Action’.

Don’t underestimate the power of statistics

Numbers don’t lie, and using your most powerful ones can boost the chance of prospective customers converting.

Be mindful of different platforms

You might need an even shorter video for Instagram than for Facebook. People expect different things from different platforms – otherwise, they’d all be in one – so think about your audience’s tolerance and attention span and edit accordingly.

Need support with your digital marketing strategy? Get in touch today to learn more about what we can do for you!