Christina White
March 26, 2018

How To Use Video Marketing In The Era Of Short User Attention Span

The Era Of Short User Attention Span

Human society has been speeding up incessantly over the last couple of decades, which leads to people living faster lives overall. Consumers no longer have the patience they used to in the 80’s. The new reality is that marketers now need to grab attention really fast.

The Era Of Short User Attention Span

Hollywood has been dominated by blockbusters like those of Marvel for years now – simply because our attention span is noticeably shorter than before.

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have taught us to scroll until something attracts our attention.

And that is exactly what your video marketing should do as well.

Length, content, and form of the videos are more important than ever if they’re ever going to resonate with your users.

This article will show you what to focus on when creating videos for marketing purposes in order to be more successful at it.

Hook. Viewers. Immediately.

Marketers can no longer afford to wait before hooking the viewers. As we previously mentioned, we’re living in a scrolling society, one where you need to hook a viewer with the very first frame of the video.

A good example of this can be found in cooking videos, where you’ll see a finished product first before continuing to the process of preparing the food.

This is vital because the users will get to see something that resonates with them which will essentially buy you some time. However, another rule is to never try to hook your users with something irrelevant for the rest of the video.

Sometimes it won’t be possible to capture the attention of your users with the very first frame. In these situations, it’s good to follow the 8 seconds rule, since that’s the average length of the attention span.

If you don’t manage to hook your users within those 8 seconds, chances are they’ll stop the video and move on. Or they will simply get distracted by something else.

Video Content Needs to Match the Platform

You’re probably aware by now of the unique format that marketing videos have on Instagram. They’re extremely fast paced, and usually as short as possible. They’re also extremely visual, which is because most users view them muted. The idea is that you need to follow certain templates if you want your videos to stand a chance.

The same goes for other platforms. Twitter, for one, is a perfect platform for news content. Facebook and YouTube are most forgiving when it comes to this topic as they do well with any type of video content.

With platform specific content, you’ll always have a better chance of reaching your target audience. So try to resist the temptation to share the same content across multiple social media channels.

The Play Button

When your video gets in front of a user, there are two main things that will ultimately determine whether they’ll hit the play button or not.

The first one is clearly your thumbnail.

The better this picture can relate to your customers, the higher their chances of playing the video will be.

The second factor is the length of the video.

Most users, probably including yourself, will be more likely to play the video if it’s shorter. That’s simply because there are so many videos out there to view.

Anything beyond one minute feels like a waste of time for consumers. Meanwhile, anything starting with 00:xx has better chances of success.

There are exceptions, of course, especially if your target audience is a bit older than millennials.

So let’s take a look at some of the most common video types and determine their optimal length.

Creative Videos

These videos first aired as TV commercials and thus they are the type of video content we’re most familiar with. Some of the most famous TV commercials have been aired during the Super Bowl. And these will live on. However, more and more creative videos are moving online. This is largely because airing TV commercials are extremely expensive – and they can’t even reach the target audience as well as internet videos can.

Creative videos usually consist of a funny story, or a gag, something that will hold the consumer’s attention. The length is usually between 15 and 45 seconds and rarely ever goes above 1 minute.


While there are tutorials of various lengths, the most common ones will keep their length between 60 and 180 seconds. This is mainly because tutorials today aren’t all about showing you HOW something works.

A shorter tutorial will go a long way to show just how simple something is to do. Here’s an example of a very short tutorial on how to create a rainbow cake.


Testimonial videos are a type of promotional videos, and they’re all about having your customers talk to the camera about their experience with a certain product or a service.

While they can last up to five minutes, their optimal length is about 120 seconds.

For even better results you can have more than three people taking turns to talk about the product – that’s always better than having a single person talking for a long time.


Shorter attention span is a reality we need to face if we’re to get good results with our marketing campaigns.

There are so many options for customers available everywhere around them. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep their attention tied to your video.

Marketers have been adapting their video content for a while now, and today Instagram and YouTube are amongst the most successful platforms for advertising a service or a product. By implementing these tips into your video marketing campaign, you’ll have better chances for your target audience to watch the video in full.

Always keep in mind that length of the video is extremely important. But so are thumbnails – and hooking your viewers in the first couple of seconds.


You may also want to read4 Ways To Amplify Your Content Using Video Marketing

How To Get More Clients Through Video Marketing, Pt. 1

Christina White is a marketing consultant from Sydney. She’s been working with different companies for 6 years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, you can find her hiking with her furry four-legged companion or just sharing positivity among her friends. You can connect with her via Facebook.

Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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