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Marketing strategies for 2017 | Gone in 6 seconds
by Janet Torley on 30/05/2017

Who remembers the hit film of 2000 “Gone in 60 Seconds” where the premise was that time was tight, the challenge huge so to achieve it, cars had to be stolen in 60 seconds – all very edge of the seat stuff.  Action packed entertainment.

Did you also know that the attention span of a goldfish has been proven to be 9 seconds whilst that of man is now down to less than 8 seconds.  The boffins reckon it’s to do with the mobile revolution and social media.    We may scoff that this is just hyperbole but do stop for a moment and think of your own behaviour with your favourite social media platform.  Do you read every post assiduously, or scroll and browse scanning quickly for something that grabs your attention?  I know how I act and it’s definitely the latter when it comes to browsing for leisure.

Now add into the mix that the use of video into social posting and advertising has really finally come of age with all the digital marketing experts exalting the use of this medium to get the message across.  Again, think of your own behaviour – do you read posts without an image – nope, thought not.   Do you look at posts with an image – probably, as long as it is interesting and not just someone’s’ breakfast.  By the way, images of cute animals and funny children still get great reactions as do ‘wanna be there’ scenic shots.  But when it comes to video, you just need to look at the viewing numbers to realise the power.  However, how often have you NOT watched till the end of a clip – a few seconds is all it takes for you to make up your mind – and it’s back to the attention span of less than a goldfish as we scroll onto the next piece of entertainment.

The guys at You Tube have spotted this downward spiral of how long we spend on a single video and took it a step further earlier this year when they set a challenge to agency creatives to tell a video story in 6 seconds as part of the Sundance Film Festival.  And some very clever results too.  It’s interesting to read that they didn’t offer abbreviated forms of longer storyboards but each one aimed at 6 seconds from the get go.  In my opinion some are better than others and you can read the whole story with Think with Google and watch the results for some inspiration.

You too can become the Steven Spielberg of your business – just enter ‘video maker’ into your browser and loads of options come up.  The free ones are great for playing about with and learning what works but they nearly all come with some sort of embedded product mention.  But that’s fine to get started.  Personally I like and use Animoto paid for version: very versatile and always coming up with new features.

But whatever you do with your video making, the key is to think as short as possible.  How few images and words do you need to really get your message across?  Not a lot – think old fashioned newspaper headlines.  This useful article on how to write great headlines just as easily works for 6 second videos.   Scope out your ‘story’, highlight the important points, apply a ‘just how important is this’ to each point, reduce and do it again till you have the key point and benefit for the viewer.  Then have some fun making your video short.