“Attention is the product.”
This was a great phrase I heard recently at a seminar I was filming, delivered by a successful entrepreneur and networking guru. Essentially, as choice grows, the digital medium takes over our lives, and always-on becomes the norm, retaining the attention of your audience is key. A consumer who is not engaged with your message, service, or the opportunities your product offers, will move on to something else.
Whilst I was reviewing a client’s YouTube portfolio last week, and pruning out the dead wood, I took some time to look at the stickability of the content, using the Audience Retention graphs in the Analytics section. It really is a great tool that I would urge you to use for your own videos.
Some of the results were quite startling. When 50% of your audience have stopped watching the video within the first 10 seconds, then you really are in trouble. When it is down to 25% retention after 1 minute of a 9 minute video, then a lot of your time has been wasted, and a lot of your Views actually count for nothing, because inevitably the loss of audience is not because they have been convinced to buy, but out of boredom or unfulfilment.
When I am working with a client to storyboard their corporate video, the message is always to start well and finish well (as a minimum!). Maybe you can’t close the sale in the first 10 seconds but you can definitely lose it. At the end, there needs to be a hook, a call to action, a reason to visit the website, a reason to buy, watch the next video, stay tuned, subscribe, find out more…something positive. In the execution it needs to be free of cheese, ordinariness or hyperbole.
Clients ask ‘How long should my video be?’ Most seem to know the rule of thumb is to keep it under 3 minutes. The real answer is that it should be as long as it needs to be to cover what you need, start well, hold the audience, and finish well. What this means in practice is as individual as your business and your video marketing strategy.
Attention is the product. Sell it well, and reap the rewards.