“Keep it short,” is a generally accepted best practice for video marketing, and there are some very good reasons why. Attention spans seem to get shorter every day, and content glut is forcing marketers to compete for mind share.
Unfortunately, getting a video to fit into whatever you believe to be an acceptable length can be a real challenge.
You know that each unnecessary second can cost you viewers, but no one wants to leave a great idea on the cutting room floor.
What do you do with great content that’s running a little long?
With this challenge in mind, here are some things you can employ to get viewers to suspend their short attention spans and extend the amount of time they’re willing to devote to engaging with your video content.
#1. Disrupt your visuals.
Presenting the same image for the duration of your video is a sure-fire way to get viewers to disengage. After all, the power of video marketing, at some level, will always be movement, so keeping viewer’s eyes moving across the screen, from one visual element to another, plays to the medium’s strengths and provides a great way to extend engagement.
Here are some easy ways to disrupt your visuals:
- Use multiple cameras and change camera angles, as appropriate.
- Switch between live-action footage and still visuals.
- Incorporate b-roll footage.
- Change your set. Start a video in one place and finish it in another.
- Make use of titles, title cards and other graphical transitions to help tell your story.
In short, mix it up a little, to give viewers something different to look at, from time to time.
#2. Two talking heads are better than one.
Switching between two or more presenters is a great way to disrupt both the visual and the spoken flow of your video. As each new presenter is introduced, the audience is encouraged to explore who the new person is and what they might have to say. Strategically switching back and forth between multiple speakers is a great way to prolong the interest value of your video, and keep viewers engaged.
#3. Embrace controversy in your video marketing.
Everyone loves a good debate. By introducing different points of view, you invite viewers to think about their own opinions on an issue, and encourage them to further inform those opinions by watching more of the video.
#4. Get creative with audio.
The value of disruption applies to what viewers hear, as well as what they see. If music makes your video better, use it. Better yet, why not introduce music only at select points of the video, and modulate its volume, as appropriate? And don’t forget, sometimes a brief moment of silence can really drive a point home.
#5. Get the right people to watch the right videos at the right time.
Like all your content, your videos should be designed to appeal to viewers at a very particular point in the customer journey. If you throw random videos at people, you will get random results.
The most readily accessible video marketing content on your site should appeal to customers facing a challenge, with no particular solution in mind. Videos that help viewers understand how they may go about solving such a problem work very well at this stage of the sales process.
Once customers understand that there are solutions available to them, direct them to content that positions your product or company as the best way to help them meet that challenge. You can safely make people work for that kind of content, because they’ve demonstrated their need for the type of solution you provide.
So, think about getting an email address, before you serve up that product demo video. You’ll have fewer people watching it, but the people who do will be much more likely to watch it to the end, and eventually buy from you.
Do all things in moderation.
Two things here should go without saying. First, you should be judicious in applying all of these techniques. Overdo it with any of these, and people will stop watching your video. In some cases, it’s even possible to make viewers sick to their stomachs. Not good for engagement.
Second, none of these techniques can compensate for good content. As with all good content marketing, you want to make sure that your video marketing content helps people solve problems. Doing a good job with that is the best way to encourage engagement with your videos and the company and products they support.