You Have An Attention Span Shorter Than a Goldfish

Posted by on Apr 11, 2018 in How To, Marketing, Travel | No Comments

Sorry, it’s true.

An article published by TIME magazine in 2015 quoted research from Microsoft implying that humans now have an attention span of just 8 seconds – which is allegedly less than that of a goldfish (they have 9).

So what does this mean for online video?

It means 8 seconds. That’s all the time you get.

You have 8 seconds to grab your viewers attention before they’re browsing the next thing in their newsfeed.

We live in a vicious attention economy where news feeds are literally overflowing with endless content vying for your eyeballs. There are so many distractions, articles, apps, stories, pictures, videos, etc it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

This creates a real challenge for filmmakers and brands trying to get your attention through video.

The bottom line: put special attention on that first 8 seconds– often times it will make or break your video!


What is the ideal video length?

Ok, so let’s assume you have a compelling first 8 seconds, and you’ve engaged your viewer enough to stick around. Great!

Throughout my experiences as a filmmaker of 10 years, videos of 1-2 minutes perform best online. You can get away with up to 4 minutes, but sadly that’s the ceiling for most content. In todays digital landscape, anything over that is an eternity and asking a lot for most viewers.

Now, that’s not to say people won’t watch a 10 or 15 minute video, but unless your content is truly riveting, you’re offering some serious value, or they’re deeply interested in the topic at hand it’s very difficult. (Sidenote: cute animals also help)


Getting an Edge – Understand Your Audience

The key is to really understand your audience/target market. Think hard about who they are and what they are watching your video for.

What value does your video offer them?

Is there an engaging story?

Is it massively inspiring?

Does it equip them with some useful knowledge to better their travel experience?

Is it authentic?

These are all important questions to consider. Great content will always rise above the rest.

Focus on that first 8 seconds, hook them, and then deliver your message in an entertaining and concise way. If you can do that, your videos will be leaps and bounds ahead of most.

Now, congratulate yourself if you actually made it to the end of this article.


As always, if I can help you with anything video related leave a comment below!

  • Chris

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