Jonah Van Why
Three seconds. That’s how long your video has before your viewer decides whether to keep scrolling or watch the rest. Want to grab a millennial’s attention? Even less time, now you have 2.4 seconds. That’s how long it takes several people in our office to eat a slice of pizza. Time matters, and your video needs to hook the viewer, or risk losing them.
So, hook them, that’s easy enough to say, but how is it done? There are a few techniques we like to incorporate at the beginning of our videos. One is utilizing the subject. Whether it’s an abstract shot or a smooth animation, unique movement at the start of your video has the potential to grab your viewer’s attention.
Another trick is starting with the most important imagery and information. This ensures the viewer sees the meat of the messaging, and increases the chances of them sticking around for more.
Here’s a look into the few ways we’ve utilized these techniques.
Start somewhere different and add animation.
We set up a backdrop in our Old Town offices and filmed several introduction segments for a documentary series for PhRMA. Behind the scenes footage isn’t anything new, but it has an unfinished look that helps separate it from the pack. Coupled with an animated title, this introduction has two distinct touches that help it jump off the screen.
Start at the climax of the story.
The first few seconds of this video expose you to four different shots, each unique in their own right. For our Port City shoot you see images not just of beer, but the beer making process. Seconds in, you know there’s more to the video than the final product. The viewer wants to keep watching to see the details behind the end result.
Texas Mattress Makers
Start with something abstract.
Does the sawdust represent the notions of craftsmanship, hard work and creation? Absolutely, but that connection alone wasn’t the driving force behind it’s placement. The sawdust dancing across the air is visually stimulating. Even a few brief seconds of unique visualization can have an impact on the viewer. It makes them stop and look for more.
Today, it’s not just about having video, but having effective video. Attention spans of viewers continue to decrease. The average 18-24 year old watches 8% of a 30 second video. That number rises slightly as age increases, with those in the 65+ range hovering around 17%. With that in mind, the end goal shouldn’t just be to use video, but use it in such a way that gets the viewers attention and keeps them engaged.