Many people contact me and ask for a short video for use online.  There is a lingering perception that people have little to no attention spans these days.

I’ve written about the myth of the magic 30 second video before, but in this post I want to go more into depth regarding timing for different platforms.

Let’s take a step backward.

Both the video content and length will change—depending their current LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT.

So let’s look at these factors in a bit of depth.


Recently I watched an AdWeek webinar entitled “Reboot Your Social Strategy.”  One of the guest speakers was Nate Elliott, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

In addition to tons on insights on what is and isn’t working for brands on social media today, Elliott described the audience engagement cycle, which I’m calling your audience's Level of Engagement.

DISCOVER: your audience has no engagement, yet to know you

EXPLORE: your audience is interested and wants to know more

BUY: your audience not trusts you and wants to buy from you

ENGAGE: your audience is a fan, wants to learn more about your products and brand

Maybe from this list of list you can imagine your own experience with brands you learned of and engaged with and you can imagine the different type of content you’d want to view depending on where you are in the cycle.

Here are some examples:

DISCOVERY PHASE:  When people are first learning about you, give them a short and sweet introduction to the product, brand, cause.  Get them excited about learning more.

EXPLORATORY PHASE:  Here people want more than what can be conveyed in a 15-30 second video.  Give them some depth.  Tell them a story.  Show them how your product is used, how people benefit from using it, how their life will be different if they purchased it.  When people are in the exploratory or decision making phase, more can be better.  You can answer more questions.  You can provide more value.  You can help overcome more objections. This might be in the form of one longish form video or several shorter videos.

PURCHASE PHASE:  Now that they have your product, help answer questions they may have once they start using your product.

ENGAGEMENT PHASE:  Now you have a fan.  Show them that they joined the right party.  Share stories of others who have purchased your product.  One example I love is the recap videos of the Ultra Music Festival.  These videos are 10-15 minutes in length but get millions of views!  People who attended to reminisce about their experiences there and people who want to attend will get a good sense of what is in store.  It is a great for engagement and discovery, which is why “rules” regarding length and type of video are not always hard and fast.

All in all, people CRAVE good content.  

f you are providing good content, you will connect with an audience.

To connect with the right audience, you have to know where they are in the engagement process and know what it is they need to know to help them get to the next level.

So the next video you make, determine who will be watching and where they are on the level of engagement spectrum.

Based on their level of engagement, design your content and how much content you deliver to match their level of curiosity.

These days, when it comes to video, less is not always more.  

Has this made you think differently about how you approach your next video?  Do you have a success story that you'd like to share involving targeting your video content to your audiences level of engagement?  Share you stories and questions below.