As the Creative Director for a video production firm, the most difficult conversation I have with clients as we begin to lay out a strategy has to do with the length of their videos. I produce a lot of TV commercials, and it’s amazing how much detail clients will try to fit in to a 30 second piece of video!
The most effective way to squash the impact of a video is to go on too long, overwhelming viewers with details surrounding a product or service. It’s likely your audience will come away not seeing the forest for the trees. Raise your hand if you can easily recall examples of this approach. Look at all those hands!
A Different Kind Of Beast
Before we discuss some tips on how to tackle this problem, let’s examine the reasons why short is the new effective. Mobile online traffic continues to skyrocket, and will soon pass the 25% mark of total online activity in North America. Social Media has become the standard go-to that fills those minutes between. We are a culture increasingly on the go, and our activities online are usually small increments between interactions.
As simple as it may be, that’s the driving force behind our behaviors. Would we rather watch video than anything else? Yes. But we only have a moment, so you’d better keep it short and sweet. If we like what we see, we might move on to the next video you have to offer, or come back to it during our next brief pause, but nobody is willing to commit to a video of any significant length.
In this recent study by Wistia Video Analytics, less than 50% of all users made it to the end of a 2-minute video! For a video 3-4 minutes long, more than 40% of viewers had moved on by the halfway mark. That’s us, and the modern culture we live in.
Eating The Elephant
It’s pretty clear this trend is not going to change, unless it shifts towards even shorter content. So, how do you get your message across with so little time? I’m glad you asked. The trick is learning how to communicate your story one bite at a time.
We coach our clients to tackle one reason, one concept, one product, one service – and tell that story only. Present each subject one minute at a time, and save everything else for future content. It’s a win-win, because the shorter content is more attractive to the viewer, and it leaves you with lots more to talk about in future pieces.
Be Generous With The Information You Share
Remember that knowledge should be free in today’s society. The real-estate agent who closely guards all his secrets will not gain nearly the traction the agent with the heart of a teacher will attract. As an example, here is a recent video we completed for a local real estate agent. Cody was totally onboard with this concept, so we created a short video where he explained only the primary element that sets his business apart from the competition. Take a look and you’ll see how refreshing it can be to watch a video that has one thing on its mind – it allows you to leave with just that one thing on your mind, which is WAY more effective than trying to remember the 15 topics covered in a five minute video! Remember, most people are watching this content on the go – they are not taking notes.
In the end, open, honest, and authentic is the way to win over today’s consumer. And short.