With the world wide web at our fingertips, it’s practically impossible to get anything done. Whether we’re scrolling through Instagram, updating our Twitter or getting distracted by those perfectly tailored re-targeting ads, designed to make you pick up where you left off, it’s like our brains have become leaping frogs, hopping haphazardly from one topic to the next. And nowhere is it easier to fall down an Internet vortex than in the sphere of short and sweet videos.

We’ve all been there. One minute you’ve brewed a strong tea and knuckling down to work, the next you notice you’ve been tagged in a news clip of Trump’s latest faux pas or a video of an adorable bat eating a watermelon. One thing leads to another and next thing you’re up to your neck in vines or compilation videos of soldiers returning from war to the dogs they left behind. The struggle is real.

via GIPHY

With all this going on, is it any wonder that consumer attention spans are shrinking? Often, today’s audience doesn’t have the time or the inclination to commit to a five minute long video – not when there are so many other distractions just waiting in the wings. In a nutshell – if you can formulate a way to keep your video marketing short, sweet and succinct in this day and age, you may just have discovered the holy grail of video.

Is shorter better?

Advertising giant Procter & Gamble announced they are increasingly using five-second to six-second video formats that swiftly convey a company’s brand and benefit in an attempt to get round consumers’ ad-skipping behaviour. When you take into account that just a couple of years ago, Canadian researchers found our average attention spans had sunk to eight seconds (shorter than that of a goldfish), you can perhaps see the merit in their technique.

via GIPHY

However, before you throw your long-format video baby out with the bathwater, bear in mind that there is a place for the longer-form video alongside the short-form in your marketing strategy. Whilst platforms like Snapchat and Facebook have turned their attentions to showcasing premium, long-form video, short and snappy clips can be used as teasers to whet your audience’s appetite. Snapchat itself reported that its users watch video ads for less than three seconds – that’s a very narrow window to spark some interest.

So, how can you do it?

Tone down the polish

Our first top tip to hook your crowd is to tone down the polish. Look at the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram stories where we can view short clips from brands that look unpolished, raw and altogether more ‘real’ than those stylised Instagram galleries or long-form YouTube uploads. Use real people that work at or represent your company and keep the overall tone light-hearted in mimicry of the stories that users spend so long engaging with. These shorter video clips go hand-in-hand with influencer campaigns where a laid-back aesthetic conveys more of a feeling of authenticity compared to highly polished studio-ready content. A little bit of improv can go a very long way – just make sure your team is ready to embrace the task.

via GIPHY

Deploy in groups

One short and sweet video alone is unlikely to have a colossal amount of impact. Instead, consider deploying short vids back-to-back in the same way that Snapchat and Instagram users record their persona accounts. Although Snapchat automatically cuts you off at 10 seconds, you’ll have to rein yourself in with Instagram. Plus the fun isn’t completely the domain of the consumer-facing brands, even if they have dominated in this area. B2B marketers can also harness the power of short clips that tease products, provide insight into company culture and showcase behind-the-scenes antics, in just as an effective way as B2C.

We specialise in all manner of content here at M2 Bespoke – video included. If you’d like to hear more about how we can spruce up your content marketing efforts, give us a call today: 01225 720 099 or drop us an email at bespoke@m2.com

Ben Hollom

February 24, 2017