Have you noticed that your attention span is different depending on your level of interest?

And not only that, have you noticed that your attention span is different depending on where you find something and what you are doing when you go there?

If you are going to create an online video, there is no one length fits all strategy.

The length, and therefore the amount of information, story, content you can convey is a factor of WHERE people find your video and HOW ENGAGED they are in your organization or topic.

WHERE THEY WATCH, do you know where your audience hangs out?

People are watching videos on many platforms today:

  • Your website

  • YouTube

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Vine

  • Blogs

  • Embedded in online news articles

There are many places where people can potentially find your video.

So you have many opportunities to share your video content on many platforms.  BUT I’d suggest you create different content for different platforms and for people coming to your content at different phases of the engagement process.

You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you when you first meet them.  

Video is similar, you wouldn’t put a 30 minute movie on the landing page of your website.  Conversely, if someone is interested in your content and was looking to learn more, they  would expect more than a 30 second teaser.   

There is no science to these estimates but this is what I find to be a good gauge based on my own level of engagement and interest when going to these platforms.  

Note, I seek out video content.  But I am critical and I don’t want to waste time watching something when I’m not ready or if isn’t answering a question I have when I begin to watch.

You can use your own gauge based on your own personal habits or based on the specific habits of your audience.

What you should find when doing this exercise is that the length of content and type of content actually differs depending on the platform and level of engagement.  There is no one sized fits all solution.



Your video can actually move people from one level of engagement to another.

People crave good content.

Instagram can drive people to YouTube.

YouTube content can drive people to your website

YouTube content can lead to embeds on blogs.

Nate Elliott, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research describes these levels of engagement as a circle.  One level leading into another.  It reflects that fact that one video can’t communicate everything you want to say.  

Sometimes you can get your content across best with a video series.

Other times the video is used to get people’s interest and drive them to a website or to a live event.

I hope you enjoyed this article.  If you have experience with one format working best on a particular platform with your audience, share your experience in the comments below.  Let us know a bit about your audience and what worked, what didn’t.