If attention spans are getting shorter should that mean videos should be too?
In 2017 we are now swamped with online video content, most of it being fed to us via social media. For the marketing world this can be a daunting prospect as the audience attention span has now shrunk to a mere eight seconds, which can be compared to a goldfish coming in at nine seconds. What does this mean for audience engagement for video content?
According to research* if you can hold the audience for the first eight seconds then the optimal length of a video should be no longer than two minutes, after this engagement begins to drop. However, perhaps it is a good thing that most people drop off after eight seconds as you are then left with your true audience – with people who are truly interested in what you have to say and are more likely to comment, like or share.
Nonetheless length of video should not be an absolute, it should be a consequence of considering your target audience, keep the video tailored to them and this may help you decide on a suitable length. Also remember to consider quality, it is always more important than quantity, the audience will more likely keep watching if you are offering them a quality product which entertains them.
Finally it should be noted that 12 minutes or more is a big ask, stick to the safe zone between six to 12 minutes, this apparent ‘sweet spot’ means the audience will generally commit to anything in between this so don’t stress on length here.
If you want to test your own attention span, try watching this video and note at what time your mind begins to wonder this can be simply scrolling down the page or starting to read something else on your screen….the result may surprise you.