By Andrew Angus on May 15, 2014

Couple watching screen

It’s a harsh truth, but consumers just don’t have the attention span they used to have. While it may be ideal that your audience makes it all the way through your video, you can’t always expect them to. The first obvious remedy of the Internet-user’s dwindling attention span is to make videos shorter. You should aim for under two minutes, but that’s not always enough. It’s more important than ever to design videos to suit the new online audience.

You’re not writing an essay
According to an article from Vidyard, many companies suffer from the old model of storytelling or essay writing they learned in school, which the company refers to as the “burger method.” This means the central part of the content is sandwiched between an introduction and conclusion, which form the bun in this handy metaphor. This method doesn’t work for product videos; you just don’t have the time. Instead, it’s important to get to the meat as quickly as possible. Design your videos to combat the viewer drop off. To do this, you have to start out strong and cut out anything that absolutely doesn’t need to be there. From the beginning, you need to be thinking like a script writer, not a novelist, essayist or blogger.

Start out strong
Another important fact to keep in mind is that your video isn’t for everyone. The live action, whiteboard or animated video you create will be aimed at a specific audience and have a unique goal. If you’re a company that makes cloud-based document management software aimed at a niche market, business leaders in this market are the individuals you want to watch all the way through to the end. By finding a way to reach your specific audience early on, you can ensure the viewers you lose are just the ones who wouldn’t be interested in your message anyway. There will always be viewers who abandon your videos – it’s another unfortunate truth – but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Disqualify some leads early on and work on converting the rest.

Front-load your videos so that the most vital information comes early on. After that, you still need to make sure there’s nothing irrelevant taking up time and space. According to an infographic from Kissmetrics, each shot should contain new and relevant information. This is part of what will drive viewers to keep watching.

Keep up the momentum with good storytelling 
Keep in mind, though, that relevant information doesn’t have to be boring. You can find a way to deliver informational details in a manner that drives engagement. Storytelling is one of the best ways to get viewers invested while still portraying the ideas that people want to know. While it could take up a lot of space to list the separate benefits of your company, using a story, you can quickly express the value of your company and its products through a powerful example or success story. When viewers are invested, they are not only more likely to watch, but more likely to remember and care once the video is over.

 

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