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Video Marketing and Attention Span

            By Joe Schaefer, PhD
            President, Live On Page

            Video marketing is not much different than any other kind of marketing. In the end, it’s all about a message and how that message is communicated. So while all marketing is equivalent at some level, there is certainly a difference in the effectiveness of various communication media. Each media in fact is ideally suited for specific products or services. When choosing the communication channel for your marketing, you should consider how that particular method will impact your overall brand, reputation, image and the salience of your message.
            Highly technical products are often the subjects of text-rich print ads and articles. The assumption with a direct response ad is that that headline and sub-headline will engage the reader and draw them in to read the text. Contrary to popular belief, the more copy these ads have, the more the ad creates results. Video marketing runs counter to this approach. Since videos start and follow a pre-created sequence, readers cannot skim, skip and choose their topics of interest. Instead they are forced to watch the presentation start to finish and this is not the way that a modern reader goes about consuming information.
            The adage that “people don’t read anymore”, is not true. People are going to read content on the web or in print, but they are very busy and pressed for time in an information overload society. Therefore, they skim and sample content first to verify that the source they are referencing is authoritative and comprehensive enough. Once they verify this, they are ready to dig in and read deep content. This is currently perceived as a lack of attention, but it is really a symptom of too many sources trying to get their attention. This leaves people with a general distrust of content and a skepticism that what they are reading is authoritative enough to invest time into.
            So since people read by skimming and sampling the content in ever-deepening chunks, they are resistant to information that must be sampled in linear fashion. They are unwilling to invest time listening to a story for which they don’t actually know the ending or middle.
            The only strategy that will help solve this issue is to keep the video short so that the listener can tell from the first moment that the presentation is short and concise. If possible the first sentence should explain what the video will contain, approximately how long it is, and what important content it contains. This will help to keep the viewer interested and watching to the end. If you have some content in the video that is likely not going to be watched because it lies near the end of the video then why have it in the video at all. When creating your video presentation for the internet, a business owner needs to understand that they must fight for each and every second that is watched.

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