7 Ways to Keep People’s Attention with Video
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7 Ways to Keep People’s Attention with Video

By In BLOG, Learning Zone, Opinion On 10th February 2017

In the fast paced world we live in, the printed word has long fallen by the wayside for a public with an increasingly shortened attention span.  Unfortunately, even video is now facing the same problem that defeated densely worded blocks of text.  With consumers imbibing the majority of their video intake through their on-the-go mobiles, the temptation is to click away to social media or messaging whilst watching a video.  If you’re not gripped by the video you’re watching, why stick around when you can click and find something more interesting to view.  Here at Slinky Productions, we’re committed to creating engaging videos so here are 7 top tips to keep your viewers interested.

1. Load It Fast

This may feel like a ridiculous place to start, but studies have shown that if an online video doesn’t load in the first two seconds, people will have clicked away*. By the time ten seconds have elapsed, you’ll have lost almost half your audience! Check your video loading time on a variety of computers and devices and experiment with different sharing platforms to make sure that you can wave bye-bye to buffering.

Vector image of speedometer
Silver Fishing hook on string

2. Start With The Tease

Right from the start, the viewer needs to be hooked*. Facebook recently got in trouble for classing its video adverts as fully viewed when people had only viewed for three seconds! If a consumer finds your opening boring, they aren’t going to stick around for the next sixty seconds. It can be a dramatic image, or bold statement, but you want to have them begging for more.

3. Get To The Point Quickly

Make sure you don’t take too long to set the stage for the action, otherwise your audience may have clicked away before your main message is transmitted. You don’t need lengthy character introductions or elaborate graphs and charts. The consumer wants to know what you’re offering – so tell them!

video player with hand pushing play
Medal for best quality

4. Establish Consistency And Quality

Businesses, brands and groups always benefit from a regular audience who keep coming back for more. So first, establish regular content that the audience knows its going to enjoy. It doesn’t need to be every day, but a regular update, that the audience can look forward to, is invaluable. Next, you need to produce high level content to impress people, alternately if your video is sub-standard people are unlikely to watch any future output from your group or brand.

5. Know Your Audience

It is incredibly important that you consider your audience, who do you want to be speaking to? This can include everything put into your video. Is that reference to an obscure television series going to make any sense to the viewing audience for a new kind of stair-lift? Will young teenagers understand complex terminology about the graphics behind their favourite game? You need to bear in mind that what makes sense to you, may not make sense to your audience, and you don’t want to alienate them.

business social network sharing team
Sand Timer with Man Vector

6. Don’t Make It Too Long

A recent survey by Wistia found that videos up to three minutes in length, lost up to 60% of their audience by the half-way mark. As we’ve previously stated, attention spans are low so you don’t want to test the viewer’s patience. If you feel like your video is starting to waffle, cut it short and wrap things up*. Remember if the audience misses your dramatic call-to-action at the end of the video, the video’s impact can be dramatically diminished.

7. Embrace The Unexpected

Keep the audience guessing, like hearing a favourite song or jingle – it soon gets old. So don’t be afraid to make bold dramatic choices. Think about what will make your audience sit up and take notice of your video. Go big and bold, or if this is your usual style, surprise them again by going small and quiet (whilst still engaging). In particular if you have regular viewers, they’ll love having their expectations upended.

Chalk board with question plus idea


In the modern marketing environment, attention counts as respect. If you can keep your audience watching all the way through your video, then you’ve succeeded. Do your research, know your audience and create a quality engaging video that people can’t look away from.

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