It’s finally happened! The human attention span has slipped below that of a goldfish, according to the findings of one study, to only eight seconds. Tragic implications for our species aside, this means that advertisers have a tougher job than ever to convey their message, racing against the clock before their audience tunes out. Grabbing and hold your viewer’s attention is vital, but what can you do to ensure that they actually engage with your video?
Try focusing on a single, clear message that’s easily understood – aim to convey too much and you’ll end up saying nothing at all. In order to make the most of the short attention span your audience has, you’ll need to refine your brand message until it’s short, sweet and easy to swallow – don’t get bogged down in details, and be sure to refine your brand message to just the bare essentials. When designing your advert, you should ask yourself at every turn whether each piece of information is necessary; if you can do without it, cut it out, until you’re left with only the core message that you want to get across.
Don’t forget that your advert needs to connect to your audience in order to have the full desired effect, so you need to understand how they perceive your brand in order to position yourself appropriately. A healthy dose of realism is your best friend here; it’s no use believing that customers love your family values and quality products if in fact it’s your pricing that keeps them coming back – identify your customers’ needs, and show them how you meet them.
Now that you have your message, you need to offer it up in a way which your audience can identify with, which means presenting it as a human story. Even if your product is highly technical, don’t be tempted to digress into stats and figures. Instead, demonstrate how your product enhances the lives of your customers instead. For example, a car manufacturer could show the peace of mind that comes from their new vehicle’s exceptional safety rating, or a news agency might focus on the advantages that their customers gain from receiving up-to-the minute information. By showing your audience what your product can do for them, rather than describing it, you’re able to create a much more powerful impact on your viewers, one that’s both memorable and sharable.