I hear it every day:

“We want a 3 to 5 minute video that shows these 15 scenes and introduces these seven people.”

“I want to highlight my entire staff.”

“I was thinking 15 minutes. I’ll interview people. You know, like Oprah. Or I’ll be funny. The next James Corden.”

My advice to these people: Watch the intro to Top Gun. Mark the second you desperately want to hit fast forward. It’ll be way before the 4-minute mark when it actually ends.

Yes, Top Gun came out more than 30 years ago, so, of course, watching habits have changed, but what was a four-minute intro in 1986, would be, at most, a 30-second spot in 2017.

For a more modern reference: James Corden drives the top stars in the world and is paid millions of dollars a year to do it, but his Carpool Karaoke sessions are still only 10 to 15 minutes long.

So, while you may want to present the entire theory behind your brand, I can guarantee you, the audience isn’t going to watch.

In advertorial and marketing video, we begin to see viewer engagement fall off at 30 seconds. For an incredible storytelling video, an audience can stay engaged up to about 2 minutes. Any longer than that and you’ve lost them. And worse than that, you’ve committed something unforgivable in branding: You’ve bored them.

Avoid boring your audience with these tips to create great short-form videos:

Focus In

Focus in on one idea, one concept and stick to it. Keep your message clear, concise and to-the-point. This clarity of message will engage customers.

Don’t Dumb It Down

Short videos don’t mean easy or dull, a great 15-second sizzle reel can include more than 60 shots. Don’t make your spot monotonous just because it’s short.

Be the Brand

Make sure that every millisecond of the video is true to your brand, authentic to what your company’s core identity and clear.

Take Advantage of a Short Attention Span

Viewers might not spend five minutes watching your video, but they will probably watch 10, 30-second videos profiling one staff member each. Instead of cramming everything into one long video, slice and dice your ideas into numerous videos. This not only keeps your customers engaged, but provides new and exciting content for your website, social media accounts and online advertising.

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